In recent posts, we’ve focused on the secrets of profitable fundraising. Fundraising is essential for all extracurricular activities, and it is a booster club’s top priority. Thriving booster clubs know that it takes more than just a small group of students and parents participating in fundraisers. It takes everyone pulling together toward a common goal to achieve, and exceed, an extracurricular’s funding needs.
Today we’ll conclude our fundraising series with three additional tips to realize the greatest return from your fundraisers.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed fundraising and how to maximize your booster club’s fundraising revenue. Today, let’s continue by looking at three specific actions that can increase every booster club’s fundraising performance.
1. Capitalize on “signature” fundraisers. A “signature” fundraiser is synonymous with your program, offers proven value to your customers, and generates repeat customers. Here’s an example. My home town high school’s football boosters sell a pocket discount card with special offers from local restaurants and businesses. The discounts provide significant value, which generally allow the card to pay for itself within the first month of use. The card is valid for one year, which drives repeat customers. The fundraiser also helps build the brand of the organization, as customers receive value each time they use their football boosters discount card.
Today’s consumers are as savy as ever, but they’re not only looking for great value in their purchases. They’ve also come to expect outstanding customer service. According to USA Today, Amazon, Chick-fil-A, Apple, Marriott, and Kroger lead the pack when it comes to customer service. In booster club fundraisers, you’re serving the same customers who now expect superior service.
Too often, a booster club’s fundraising focus is on the internal needs of the organization, and that’s not entirely bad. You must be clear on your funding needs and the method you choose to raise money. However, to maximize your booster club’s fundraising revenue, begin by focusing on the customer. Here are four keys to providing great customer service in your fundraiser.
Booster leaders, wouldn’t you love to have the assurance of meeting all your fundraising goals? After all, funding is a booster club’s most tangible sign of support for its extracurricular program.
For the majority of organizations, fundraising is a marathon, not a sprint. The field is crowded with student groups, nonprofits, and other organizations competing for the general public’s charitable dollar. So what can you do to achieve your fundraising goals? Tailor your approach. Here are three prudent secrets to achieve the highest return from your fundraising efforts.
The booster club fundraising season is in full swing, and the field is crowded. Many extracurricular programs are vying for their sponsors’ charitable donations. Chances are, your booster club is seeking a unique fundraising idea that will capture potential sponsors’ attention and prompt them to reach for their pocket books.
If selling a product or washing cars seems ordinary and mundane, here are three unique fundraising ideas from booster clubs around the country.
This weekend, my hometown Blackman High School Band launched a new fundraiser – the Blaze Band March-a-Thon. On Saturday morning, the band brought excitement to two of the school’s nearby subdivisions. The drum line laid down the beat with their parade cadence, and the band entertained with the funky sounds of Bruno Mars. Explosive bursts of color were delivered courtesy of the color guard.
Prior to the event, students solicited pledges from their friends, family, and neighbors. Patrons donated by the mile, or opted for the band to play a song of choice in their front yard. Additionally, parent volunteers accompanied the band, collecting donations along the way.
As you would imagine, this fundraiser was an extraordinary success. Who doesn’t love a parade! Here are eight reasons why every high school band should hold a March-a-Thon.
Embezzlement continues to be the greatest threat to the livelihood of any booster club, and it pervades in epic proportion. Sadly, too many booster clubs make it easy for dishonest – or potentially dishonest – people to steal. The most common factor – putting one, unsupervised person in charge of all financial duties.
The best way to prevent theft and fraud is to make it difficult to commit theft and fraud. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, as simple as it sounds, this is where many booster clubs fail. They do not build proper checks and balances into their operating procedures.
Transparency is the foundation of a booster club’s financial integrity. Therefore, separate financial roles and reporting among two or more people.
Every booster club should have at least two financial officers: treasurer and bookkeeper. Separating financial duties between the two officers creates checks and balances that make it very difficult to embezzle funds.
Many booster clubs’ budgets are comparable to those of small businesses. Therefore, banks often competitively pursue booster clubs’ business. A strong partnership with your local bank will prevent many opportunities for theft and fraud in your booster club.
Photo by Katelyn Caldwell
Carefully select a bank that understands the needs of a nonprofit – preferably booster – organization and is willing to stand beside you as a partner. Select a bank with a branch manager who is willing to be your central point of contact. In the spirit of transparency, each authorized officer should establish a professional relationship with the bank’s branch manager.
Nearly every booster club leader will tell you their club’s greatest priorities are fundraising and recruiting volunteer labor – and they’re right. Booster clubs cannot function without financial support and volunteer leadership.
Although these are a booster club’s most urgent needs, there is another, silent risk that threatens every club – embezzlement by a volunteer.
Just this week, a former treasurer was sentenced to five years of probation, 120 days in jail, and restitution of $74,400 for embezzling from the high school band booster club she served.
Recently, I shared Five Essentials to Create Your Booster Club’s Midterm Plan. These five proven steps help a leader develop a vision for the organization’s future.
Once you’ve developed a vision for the future, it is time to refine that vision into actionable goals. Dave Ramsey says that, “Goals are visions and dreams with work clothes on.”1 Well-defined goals give the booster club leader a platform and a call to action to rally the troops.
Here are three best practices when converting your vision into goals for your organization: