Transform Your School’s Clubs: 4 Fundraising Strategies

<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Transform Your School’s Clubs: 4 Fundraising Strategies</span>

As a teacher, coach, or club leader, you’ve likely witnessed the positive impact your extracurricular organization has on students. For example, members of the marching band have a creative outlet they can use to express themselves. Football players push themselves to reach new physical and mental goals, teaching them about resilience and dedication. 


These benefits are invaluable to your students, and the lessons they learn will stick with them for the rest of their lives. But your club needs additional support to supply them with the equipment and facilities required for the activity. 


In this guide, we’ll explore the strategies you can use to effectively fundraise for your club or team without sacrificing time spent with your students. Let’s get started by covering how to select the perfect fundraising idea for your club, team, or program.


Choose ideas participants will love.

Consider a marketing campaign that resonated with you in the past. For example, Dove’s Real Beauty campaign spoke to women of all ages who may have struggled with their self-image or mental health. Nike’s famous Just Do It tagline appeals to athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and self-motivated individuals. 


Both of these campaigns worked to engage members of its target audience, and they were extremely successful. To target and engage your supporters, apply the same rule to the fundraising ideas you choose.


Here are a few things to consider about your audience when selecting an idea:

  • Their age. Discern whether your target audience is made up of students, parents, or both. If you’re looking to get the whole family involved, an idea like a fall festival can be effective. However, if you’re primarily targeting parents and other adults, consider an option like a silent auction or trivia night. Additionally, be sure that any ideas geared toward students are appropriate for their age and maturity levels.
  • Past experiences with fundraisers. Consider the fundraising campaigns that you and other organizations at your school held within the last year. Is your idea too similar to others, or does it lack the same level of intrigue? Choose a campaign that will set you apart to avoid causing fundraiser fatigue among parents.
  • Their interests. Ideally, your fundraising idea should be something that students, parents, and other supporters are interested in. Because you can safely assume that members of your club are interested in the activity your organization is built around, tying your fundraiser to that activity can be a good place to start. For example, a soccer team might prefer a kick-a-thon while the drama club could hold a charity talent show.

Additionally, keep this audience in mind when marketing your fundraiser. Reach out through their preferred communication channels and make sure to highlight aspects of the campaign that supporters are most likely to enjoy. Busy parents might appreciate that getting involved is quick and easy, while avid sports fans might be enticed by the chance to win season tickets at your auction.


Leverage technology.

To make the fundraising process run smoothly while saving you time, consider investing in fundraising software. Ideally, this software should handle set-up for you and route donations straight to your account so you can easily track your fundraising progress. 


For example, when you use 99Pledges’ fundraising software, fundraising only requires these four simple steps:

  1. Select a pledge fundraising idea such as a walk-a-thon in which participants secure pledged donations.
  2. Work with 99Pledges to set up an overall donation page as well as individual pages for each participant.
  3. Encourage participants to share their donation pages with friends and family to earn pledged donations.
  4. Hold your fundraiser. Your fundraising software will track participants’ progress or performance, secure donations, and send them to your bank account.

This tool will also send important communications like donation receipts and thank-you messages to supporters, saving hours of your valuable time. Plus, 99Pledges offers built-in features like reading logs, making it easy for read-a-thon participants to track their reading time.


Additionally, make sure to leverage your school or club's existing technology to spread the word about your fundraising campaigns. For example, if your school uses a website or mobile app to connect with parents, you can create blog posts, landing pages, and notifications that remind them to get involved.


Engage your community.

To boost your revenue, your club will likely need to reach beyond the donors who are directly involved with your club (e.g., parents of members) and into the broader community. To get these other community members involved, consider ideas such as:

These are three ways to get the community involved in your fundraisers (detailed in the text below).

  • Seeking corporate sponsorships. Work with local businesses to secure sponsorships for your fundraising events. Businesses can provide monetary support to offset the cost of the event or, in the case of events like auctions, provide in-kind donations of items and services. For example, a local salon might donate a voucher for a free service. To motivate businesses to sponsor your club, offer to advertise their company in event promotions.
  • Working with your school's PTO or booster clubs. Your school likely has a parent-teacher organization or booster clubs that have plenty of fundraising experience and helpful community contacts. Reach out to these organizations for assistance and resources. Additionally, consider asking them to spread awareness of your upcoming campaigns among their networks of supporters.
  • Engaging alumni. Alumni know just how much of an impact your club or activity can have on students. These individuals are likely willing to contribute to your cause as a way of giving back. Be sure to inform them of all of the ways they can get involved, such as by donating, volunteering, or simply sharing about the fundraiser.

Another way to get the community involved is to hold an exciting public event, such as a 5K. The runners in your community will appreciate an opportunity to practice for upcoming marathons, and being able to support your school is an added benefit. If you choose a physical, outdoor event like a race, make sure you take any necessary safety precautions, like having plenty of snacks and water available, and have participants complete liability waivers.


Thank your supporters.

Making your supporters feel seen and recognized will help you retain more donors from campaign to campaign. One way to do this is to measure their satisfaction with your fundraisers by sending out surveys or questionnaires and implementing feedback when possible.

In addition, NXUnite’s guide to donor recognition recommends thanking your supporters to increase retention rates, motivate existing donors to give more, and acquire new donors. The guide also highlights several ways to thank and recognize donors, such as:

  • Sending them personalized eCards.
  • Creating handwritten thank-you letters (bonus points if they are authored by the students!).
  • Making physical donor recognition walls.
  • Posting social media shoutouts.

Strive to personalize these thank-you messages as much as possible. Start with greeting each donor by name. In the body of your card or letter, mention what they did to support your school (e.g., volunteering at an event or donating $50) and elaborate on the impact their support had.

While fundraising for your team can be time-consuming, unorganized, and unrewarding, it doesn’t have to be. By choosing engaging fundraising ideas and leaning on technology to support your efforts, you can reach your funding goals all while staying engaged with your team members. Remember to always show appreciation for your supporters to keep them coming back to your games, competitions, concerts, and future fundraisers.