If you’ve ever organized a school fundraiser, you may look back and remember all of the time and planning it took to pull it off. Maybe you spent weeks or even months selecting the perfect fundraising idea, promoting the campaign using posters and flyers, reaching out to potential supporters, and counting up the donations received.
While it may feel like these aspects of school fundraising are unavoidable, your school can make a simple switch to eliminate slowdowns: investing in school fundraising software. In this guide, we’ll cover some of the top challenges facing school fundraisers and the ways software can help:
- You’re struggling to engage students.
- Your school needs more community connections.
- You want to focus on online fundraising.
One of the best ways to boost fundraising revenue is to have engaged, passionate participants to spread the word about the campaign—let’s get started by exploring a few strategies you can use to get students involved using fundraising software.
1. You’re struggling to engage students.
When your students take an active role in your school’s fundraisers, they can transform the results. Not only will they learn valuable skills and lessons about leadership and advocacy, but they’ll also help your school reach more potential donors.
Here are some of the ways that fundraising software can help you engage students in your next campaign:
- They can take a leading role. Fundraising software makes it incredibly simple to organize a kid-friendly, peer-to-peer fundraising campaign like a fun run or dance-a-thon. During these campaigns, your students are responsible for sharing about the campaign and procuring donations. With the right guidance, your natural-born leaders will thrive and get excited about achieving success on their own terms.
- Students can make the fundraiser their own. If you decide to hold a peer-to-peer fundraiser in which students fundraise among their friends and families on behalf of your school, choose software that automatically creates personal donation pages for each student. Then, they can update these pages with their own pictures and stories to motivate supporters to give. This is another way to give kids a feeling of independence during the fundraiser.
- It’s easy to track progress and leverage gamification. Incentivize more students to get involved by gamifying the fundraiser. For this strategy, simply use the software to track fundraising progress from each student. Offer incentives for reaching a certain donation threshold or promote prizes for the top earners to motivate them to get donations for the school.
When students feel empowered as valuable players in the fundraising campaign, they’ll be more driven to share about the fundraiser and solicit donations from friends, family, and community members.
2. Your school needs more community connections.
Connections within your school’s community, whether with parents or local business owners, can come in handy in unexpected ways. For example, if you have a relationship with a parent who works for a local contractor, you could receive a donation of free services from the company to refurbish your school’s playground.
You might use fundraising software to build and strengthen your network of community relationships by:
- Using analytics tools to identify and contact potential business partners.
- Accepting online donations, making giving more convenient for parents, alumni, and other supporters.
- Leveraging the software’s marketing automation features to promptly send personalized donation requests, receipts, and thank-you messages.
- Frequently hosting well-organized crowdfunding events to bring awareness to your school’s needs, such as a back-to-school fundraising event to acquire school supplies.
You can also use the carefully tracked fundraising data stored in your software to instill trust in your supporters. For example, you might create an annual fundraising report that transparently conveys how much revenue you generated and how the funds were used.
3. You want to focus on online fundraising.
Leveraging online fundraising techniques allows you to expand your reach to untapped audiences while, at the same time, reducing costs. A simple post on Facebook can reach the feeds of dozens of supporters who may live across the country, and all it costs your school is the time it takes to create and publish the message.
When fundraising online, 99Pledges’ guide to organizing read-a-thons recommends starting the planning process by investing in fundraising software that will make the process run smoothly for everyone involved. Specifically, your fundraising software should have the following features to make your online efforts easy and effective:
- Donation pages with shareable links, both for your school and for individuals
- Automated emails that send donation receipts, reminders to make pledge donations, and thank-you emails to donors
- A payment processor that can accept donations from common payment methods like debit and credit cards, Apple and GooglePay, PayPal, and other third-party vendors like Venmo
- A data dashboard that allows you to track and analyze your fundraising progress
Additionally, you’ll need to promote your fundraiser across digital platforms like social media and email. Create engaging, platform-appropriate content for each of these channels that conveys the basic details and purpose of the campaign. For example, if you’re posting to a platform like TikTok, you may create a fun video that follows a current trend on the app and include details and a link to the donation page in the caption.
When using multiple online platforms, always remember to link back to your school’s website so supporters can view blog posts and other resources related to the fundraiser.
Because your school’s teachers, parents, and students are so busy, why not make the fundraising process easier and more efficient? With school fundraising software, you’ll make promoting, participating in, and giving to your campaigns more convenient, leading to more support for your school.