Youth Fundraising with Smaller Groups:

The importance of fundraising for smaller groups is sometimes underestimated.  

Why would anyone contact these groups? The number of participants is substantially less than a schoolwide fundraiser - which is on average about 450 students. The fact that there are more participants must mean more sales, a higher participation rate, and better overall results - right? Well, I can tell you this theory is wrong in many instances!

Here are a couple examples of these organizations and why they are successful.

Dance Organizations  

Have you ever heard parents talk about what it costs for their child to participate in dance classes? It sounds something like this, “Oh my God, the cost of costumes, competition, travel expenses, etc. are going to add up to 4 to 5 thousand this year… I have no idea how I’m going to afford it!”

It’s a good thing that many studio owners and directors offer families a way to offset these expenses by fundraising. In many cases these funds are set up where each child or family has their own personal account. This means that the funds raised are not used for the organization as a whole but is their money alone!

Yes, the hard part is over. You have the parents’ motivation to participate, and they ultimately make the decision whether or not to participate in every youth fundraising campaign.

You do not need any prizes, gift cards, candy, etc. to motivate this group. Maybe just offer a cash incentive for the top sellers or a cash raffle drawing which gives them more money to add to their account. These can be quick and easy fundraisers and can greatly benefit the students and parents.

Middle School / High School Class Trip Fundraiser

These groups plan trips all the time to Washington DC, New York City, Boston, etc. The cost of transportation, admission to events, and spending money can cost over $500.00 per student. Again, this means a lot of out-of-pocket expense for Mom and Dad!

The trip advisors establish personal accounts for the students to offset these expenses by fundraising throughout the school year.  In many cases, the students pay for the whole trip.

Once again, you have the parents’ attention! The parents and students get together contacting everyone they know through social media asking for their help and support.

Remember, these organizations usually need to run at least 3 fundraisers throughout the course of a year.  Keep it simple for these groups by selecting one specific item to sell at a time, such as cookie dough, popcorn, chocolate bars, etc. It is okay if you are selling the same product each year. Consistency can be good for a profitable fundraiser.  

 You will be amazed with the fundraising success of these smaller organizations. These groups are self-motivated. Parental involvement and support make a huge difference!     

The success of these fundraisers is achieved by both the sponsors and parents working together to accomplish a specific goal. These fundraisers are a necessity for many of the families on a yearly basis so they can afford to do things that they may otherwise not be able to.

I wish you the best and hope you keep offering this great source of funding to the parents in your community!

- Doug Diano
Cherrydale Regional Representative