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Rethinking traditional fundraising

August 7, 2013

Consider these ideas from Stacey Boyd, founder of Savvy Source when planning fundraisers this school year:

1. Needs vs. Wants - Focus on doing fundraisers for items and/or places that have items parents really need and want, rather than items that don't hold much value to them. Most parents don't want to buy cookie dough or wrapping paper but that's what schools often offer as fundraisers. One really wonderful idea we have seen that works is creating a shopping night for your school or neighborhood. You sign up local businesses for a given night and they donate back a certain percent of their proceeds to your school.

2. Go Local - Partner with local businesses that have a vested interest in the parent community. As we all know, moms represent the majority of household spending. Local establishments know this and are always willing to forge authentic connections to attract and retain mom's business. Leverage the mom customer to the business. Consider a weekly pizza night at a local restaurant where a percentage of the billings go to your school.

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3. Social - Make everything you do social and fun! There's real-world social and social media social. Both are great. Parents love an excuse to get together and do things with others and do interesting things. For those that love an in-person event, consider a margarita night at favorite Taqueria where cover charges go to your school -- or the classic staple event, the school auction. All of these real-world social events can lead to social media conversation to spread the word about what you're doing.

4. Frequency - Don't go to the well too often. This is true of your parent community as well as the businesses you work with. You need a few well planned school fundraisers each season, but don't do one every week. Parents and local businesses don't want to feel they are needing to open their wallets at every turn!

5. Technology - Use technology. There are some really wonderful ways to use social media and technology in way that moves people way beyond the old bake sale. is a great example of that. ( Buy discounted offers and up to 35 percent of your purchase goes back to schools. The event features social tools so parents can spread the word to the school community and beyond. Sites like Fundly and IndieGoGo are also great fundraising donation sites that have social tools built into their system.



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