When you hear the word fundraising – what is the first thing that comes to mind? Usually, you are bombarded with that dreaded feeling that your child’s school is trying to get you sell items to fund a special project or initiative. And while school fundraising does have its purpose, have you ever thought of the impact it could have on your family or students if you used fundraising to motivate them to reach common goals?
I am not talking about selling popcorn to everyone in your office or sending the children door-to-door to sell wrapping paper. I am suggesting that you use fundraising as a way to motivate your family or students to complete desired tasks and reach common goals together as a team. The concept is the same as traditional fundraising, however the objective is entirely different. Read on for my favorite tips for using fundraising to motivate your family or students to reach a common goal and the necessary steps to keep them on track.
1. Choose Your Goals
Gather your group, whether it is your family or your students and discuss the goals that you want them to reach together. I think it is amazing to choose goals that your group will benefit from now as well as in the future. This is really an opportunity for a discussion – whether your goal is to decrease screen time hours, get more exercise or eat healthier for your family or turning in all homework on time, committing to community service hours or working quietly and independently for a designated time each day for your students – the objective is the same, to reach a common goal that is beneficial to the group as a whole.
2. Pick Your Prizes
Once your group has outlined the goals that they want to work towards in the coming weeks, it’s time to pick prizes to add a little extra motivation. For family goals, a great prize is a year-end family vacation, a fun item for the home that everyone will enjoy or a joint prize that the family can enjoy together such as an annual pass to the local amusement or water park. For students, one of their favorite prizes includes free time, think a week’s worth of no homework, or a year-end pizza or pajama party. Remember, the prize has to be a big enough deal to your group to get them excited to participate or your fundraising will fail.
3. Organize It
Once you have designated your group goals and picked the prizes that you want to work towards, it’s important to organize all of that information in one place. I recommend a large dry erase fundraising thermometer that can be placed in a central location where your family or students will see it on a daily basis. If you are setting this up at home for your family, I suggest the kitchen or family room. If you are setting this up in your classroom, then I would position it front and center where your students will see it throughout every day.
4. Get them Excited!
I recommend gathering your group together at least once a week to add their progress to the thermometer together. Give the children the opportunity to fill the thermometer in with a dry erase marker. Get them excited by talking about how much further they have to go to reach their goal and how far they have already come. Then, discuss ways that they can reach their goal more quickly and ways that have been hindering their success. I also think it is a great idea to keep your fundraising goal at the top of your group’s minds by periodically discussing their progress throughout the week. Also, congratulating them on a routine basis for their progress so far is great for morale. The idea is to keep it simple, fun and at the top of their minds!
How have you engaged a group to reach their fundraising goals – do you have tips you could share? Your comments support us all!