How to avoid fundraising burnout

September 4, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
With continuing cuts in education budgets, schools are looking to parents more than ever before to help cover the cost of supplies, extra-curricular activities, and even essential programs. Susan Doherty, founder of Picateers, shares some fresh ideas to save us from fundraising burnout.

Susan's top 5 tips:

1) Limit the number of fundraisers:

  • Typically there are at least 12 fundraisers per year (1-2 per month)
  • Limit it to about 4-5 per year
  • Publicize the ones you do have really well. Build up some buzz. Be a savvy business-person here - don't over-saturate the market

2) Make it easy/minimum effort:

  • Take minutes not hours
  • Make something you do everyday help - like eScrip and grocery shopping. For information go to escrip.com Basically you just do your normal shopping (grocery and so on) and you raise money at the same time
  • Remember, minutes, not hours

3) Healthy:

  • With childhood obesity reaching epidemic levels - let's focus more on walk-a-thon and jog-a-thon type fundraisers
  • Something you feel good about contributing towards, because you're doing something for their health

4) More benefits other than fundraising alone:

  • Along the same lines of doing something healthy - do something good for their brains
  • Read-a-thon, fundraisers that are educational
  • Kids are proud of themselves for reading and it's something you can to together
  • When you do something you like and your kids like - instead of one more thing you all have to do - it makes it more successful too

5) Spend on things you'd buy anyway:

  • Every school has a parent who loves taking pictures and is really good at it -
  • In just one day, most schools make at least half of what they need with this one fund-raiser alone - anywhere from 5-10k - and more for the bigger schools
  • The money comes from parents buying pictures online - again, pictures they buy anyway
  • The quality is better when children have someone they know, who takes the time and energy to get the photos just right

For more information, visit www.picateers.com.


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