There are a lot of factors that can make or break the success of a fundraiser, but none are more important than participation rate. When we talk about participation rate, we mean the percentage of all the sellers that ended up selling at least one item. Your participation rate is a better predictor of how well you’ll do than the average income of your community, selection of products that you choose to sell, or the performance of your top seller. Unfortunately, this critical factor often gets overshadowed by other concerns. Let's make sure that doesn't happen to you!
Now, we’re willing to bet that you’re charming and witty with an award-winning smile, but in fundraising, your greatest asset is keeping the participation rate of your fundraiser up. When a student doesn’t participate, it comes down to one of two things – they don’t want to, or they think they can’t. That’s the puzzle we need to solve!
First, let's look at the kids who think they can’t sell and what to do. There are a lot of reasons someone could find themselves in this category, but the solution is the same – they need options, tools, and encouragement. If your product selection is limited, the kids may think they can’t sell this specific fundraising item. Maybe their family has a special diet and can’t eat the cookies being sold in the cookie fundraiser, or scented candles give dad headaches. Variety is the easy fix here. Almost all Believe Kids Fundraisers allow groups to offer 800+ products online regardless of the specific fundraiser you’re running.
This brings us to the incentives. Make sure you find prizes that are desirable to your student body. Look for ways to encourage kids just to take that first step. If you only have top-seller prizes this can be difficult. The lower the barrier to entry, the better. Can kids get something for just one item sold? Better yet, can they get something just for sharing the fundraiser online? If you just have top-seller prizes, consider switching them to drawing prizes instead, where kids get a name in the hat for every item sold, or even just for sending a few emails. The kids that sell more fundraising items are still rewarded for their efforts, but everyone who took that first step has a chance. A taste of success, no matter how small, can dramatically change someone’s experience and the success of a fundraiser . Check out our prize program for more inspiration.
Can they share the fundraiser online? Fundraisers with online ordering are the easiest most profitable fundraisers. Then even friends and family who live far from you can order items and support the fundraiser. The more pathways you can give people, the more inclusive and successful your fundraiser can be . Since almost all Believe Kids Fundraisers have access to 800+ items online you can create many pathways for support and in turn have an easy, successful fundraiser.
Finally, consider the impact of peer pressure. We all try to fit in, and kids can be sensitive to what their classmates are doing. If it seems like everyone is helping with the fundraiser, they’ll want to help with the fundraiser. If it seems that no one is participating, they’ll do that instead. Keep up the positive reinforcement – give out prizes during the sale so kids can show them off, implement fun fundraising activities and use daily announcements and shout outs along the way. Make sure that in your school helping out is what’s in!