When parents see another school fundraising brochure come home with their children they often feel frustrated and overwhelmed. Many parents feel that since they pay taxes they shouldn’t have to help with fundraising as well. Learning to work with parents and calm their objections can make your fundraising experience more profitable and more enjoyable.
Set Clear and Measureable Goals
Parents get frustrated when they aren’t able to see the results of their fundraising labors. Eliminate this problem by clearly explaining where their fundraising earnings will go. For example if you are holding a fundraiser to purchase new playground equipment explain to parents what the fundraiser will be purchasing and how much you will need to earn. Once the fundraiser is over make sure that you follow through with the plans so that parents can see that their efforts are not in vain.
Reach Out to Parents from Day One
Many school fundraisers appeal to the students and then let the students explain the fundraiser to the parents. For example a school might hold a special meeting to motivate students and show off prizes that can be earned by selling the products. While students do need motivation, don’t forget about the parents. Reach out to them and explain that a fundraiser will be happening. Ask them for their support. Explain why this fundraiser needs to occur. When you get parents on board early they won’t be blindsided when their child comes home and tells them that they want to sell 100 items.
Ask for Help
Parents are essential to the success of any fundraiser. They will help their children find purchasers, will appeal to friends and family and will help deliver the products sold to the buyers. You can’t have a successful fundraiser without the parents. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help. Enlist volunteers and encourage parents to sell to family, friends and coworkers. Once the fundraiser is over make sure that you remember the important role that parents play and that you thank them for their hard work.
Even with a great plan, some parents will be frustrated at the school fundraiser. Be understanding. You don’t need every student to sell to have a great fundraiser. Don’t argue with parents and don’t pressure them. If a parent feels that they are too busy to participate that is fine. Arguing with parents will just lead to anger, resentment and more problems. You don’t understand everyone’s situation, so be understanding if a parent objects.
You should also be available if parents have questions about the fundraiser. They may want to know why the fundraiser is happening or may have other questions. If you are available and listen you will be able to calm parents more effectively. If parents leave a message or send you an email be sure to reply. Even though you are busy it is important to reply quickly. As a general rule you should always reply to phone and email messages within one business day.
Parents will make any fundraiser more successful, so don’t discount their influence. These tips will help you to successfully help parents to realize the benefit that school fundraisers can hold.