What Are the Best Tips for Holding a High School Fundraiser?

Osmand Vitez

School fundraisers are a common way educational institutions raise money for various purposes. A high school fundraiser may provide income for sports, trips, or special events, among other things during the school year. The best tips for holding a fundraiser include finding products that are easy to sell, of value to consumers, and produce results, namely large funds for the intended purpose. While these three steps sound fairly easy, it is often difficult to plan a high school fundraiser that will meet all three requirements year after year. Good results from a particular type of fundraiser can also help provide options for subsequent fundraisers and offer rotation for these events.

Money from high school fundraisers may support athletic programs.
Money from high school fundraisers may support athletic programs.

Fundraisers often rely on high schoolers to do the work, whether selling items, working concession stands, or engaging in other activities. With this in mind, the products sold must essentially sell themselves, meaning little input is required from the high school student. Many different types of products are often available through fundraising companies. Among the most common products to sell are prepaid phone cards, discount or coupon books, restaurant gift cards, or stationary products. In some cases, educational institutions may be able to sell a variety of products through a small fundraiser catalog with a specific company.

High schools might start a student garden and sell produce as part of a fundraiser.
High schools might start a student garden and sell produce as part of a fundraiser.

The other side of finding products that are easy to sell is the ability to find goods that offer value to consumers. For example, selling candy bars in an area that is notorious for health food stores may not be a good idea. In this kind of neighborhood, little value is in the product for consumers who shop the high school fundraiser. Additionally, each fundraiser — whether annual or periodic — may need to be different each time. This way, there are a large variety of products that have value year over year, with consumers eager to purchase due to the infrequency of the product’s availability.

Each high school fundraiser should produce excellent results every time the school holds it. With this in mind, there should be low overhead for each high school fundraiser as this will keep more money in the school’s coffers. Additionally, the products must be of good enough value to attract consumers to purchase one or more in a single time period. For example, a discount or coupon book may be a good option as the book contains a large number of coupons for use at several stores or restaurants. The book might cost a few dollars, while the buyer saves several hundred dollars on future purchases.

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