9 Tips for a Fun Fundraising Experience

Whether your child is in the Girl Scout cookie business or is raising money for new basketball team uniforms, find out how best to help.



9 Tips for a Fun Fundraising Experience

Some children are enthusiastic about fundraising from the start, while others need some encouragement. If your child has a lot on his plate and wants only to sell the minimum required (if there is one set by the fundraiser's organizer), that is fine. Just make sure he contributes his share. If your child can't wait to get started, sit down and set a goal together so you can help him reach it. Use these tips to spark success.

  1. Have her know the product and really sell it.  If your child is selling a variety of items from a catalog, for instance, make sure she knows what's in there so she can answer questions from buyers. Similarly, she should know when the product will be delivered, when she needs to collect the money from the buyer, whether there are any extra costs (such as shipping), if a buyer can purchase in bulk, and any other details that might seal a deal. Let her practice a sales pitch on you!
  2. Don't buy too much yourself. It's certainly okay to contribute by purchasing something from your child, as long as it's something your family can use or enjoy. But be sure you aren't the main contributor to his fundraising efforts.
  3. Walk around the neighborhood with her. If her strategy is to go door-to-door, set aside an afternoon to accompany her. Not only is it imperative for her safety, it will be a breath of fresh air and good exercise. You'll also be able to offer encouragement if she's not having much luck.
  4. Suggest teaming up. Is one of his pals involved in the fundraiser as well? Split a street and compete — each saleskid gets one side of the block. This method encourages healthy competition, and also gives you and another parent the opportunity to split carpooling duty.
  5. Don't do the work for her. It's not your job to actually drum up revenue for your child, so while there are many ways to be supportive, don't make the sales yourself. However...
  6. Ask your relatives, friends, and co-workers if they're interested in the product, then point your child in that direction. If colleagues give you the okay or express desire to buy what your child is selling (this tends to happen often during Girl Scout cookie time!), encourage your child to make phone calls to take orders when it's a convenient time for the potential buyer. Family members shouldn't feel obligated to buy, but let them know that the fundraiser is going on and your child may ask them if they want anything.
  7. Suggest an Internet campaign. Help your child use email to attract business. Be sure to use spell check, and note that the recipients can forward the information on to interested friends or family.
  8. Encourage him to chart progress. He needs to keep track of all the good work he's doing! A simple spreadsheet works, or make a fancier chart and color it in with markers for a visual reminder of what  he's achieved.
  9. Have her write a thank you. Especially with big orders, advocate the practice of a handwritten "I appreciate your order!" note to send with the product. Not only is it polite, but chances are, the buyer will remember it and be more likely to repeat business next year.
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