5 Ways to Turn Your School’s Spring Fling into a Fundraising Machine

5 Ways to Turn Your School's Spring Fling into a Fundraising MachineAre you ready for Spring Fling?

Springtime is right around the corner and with it comes everyone’s favorite Spring Fling. This seasonal get together is a fun social event celebrated by many colleges and universities consisting of a series of events organized by different student groups. Activities range from sporting events to carnivals and usually culminate with a large-scale dance at the end.

Is your school planning to celebrate an event this year? It’s the perfect opportunity to raise funds for your school or a local charity. It’s a wonderful time of festivities and a natural fit for supporting good causes and doing so is easier than you might think. Read on for my 5 ways to turn your school’s spring festivities into a fundraising machine this year.

#1: GET DONATIONS
To start, I recommend connecting with local businesses and school sponsors to collect donations. The organizations can either donate funds directly to your charity or they can provide items that will be essential to the success of your Spring Fling. For example, they could donate paper supplies, food, prizes to give away at raffles, or even a space to host the celebration.

#2: SELL TICKETS
The first place to start to raise funds internally is to sell tickets for the Spring Fling. You can choose between event wristbands and tickets with stubs to be used for a raffle later on in the day, plus they make fun keepsakes. You can also sell roll tickets both for admission and also for food, beverages, or activities at the event.

#3: PICK A THEME
This is a great chance to be creative! Everyone loves a good themed party, and this is your chance to be creative. A fun theme gives people something special to look forward to, and creates distinct memories that people will carry with them for the rest of their lives. For example, you might consider closing out the activities with a big Masquerade Ball that no one is soon to forget. When you pick a theme, you build extra excitement and sell more tickets.

#4: MARKETING IS KEY
Part of any great event is getting the word out and building a buzz. Even in these days of social media, there is nothing quite as effective as an eye-catching poster. An ideal poster size is 12 X 18 and with Design It Yourself poster options easily available online, you can customize each poster to include the name and date of the event, along with the day’s activities and the goal amount that you are trying to raise for your school. Posters inviting students and the community to the big event can be hung all over the campus and in local shops. Spread the word!

#5: SILENT AUCTIONS AND RAFFLES
Both silent auctions and raffles are excellent ways to fundraise and I highly recommend that you choose to run one as part of your Spring Fling. Whether you choose to host a silent auction or a raffle is worth consideration; each has its own unique benefits. Silent auctions are great for big-ticket items that are popular enough that they could trigger a bidding war while raffles are great because almost everyone can afford to purchase a raffle ticket or two. Both of these activities will equal big bucks for your charity at the end of the event. For your silent auction, you’ll need bid slips to help the event to run smoothly, while for raffles there are a variety of ticket styles to choose from. You can also combine the idea of a silent auction and a raffle by holding a Chinese Raffle. Learn more about how to run a Chinese Raffle here.

You can also use the ticket stubs from your silent auction or raffle to collect names, emails, and phone numbers to add to your mailing list.

Spring events like the Spring Fling are some of the biggest highlights of the year. When you combine the excitement of your event with fundraising efforts, not only does everyone have an incredible, memorable time that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives, but you also generate funds to go to a great cause.

How does your school celebrate Spring Fling?

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6 Fantastic Tips for a School Book Fair Fundraiser

Book-Fair-FundraiserA book fair is an excellent way to raise funds for your school while building community at the same time. Kids always enjoy a book fair, it’s a great way to see new books up close and personal. And while you will get a lot of children that come in and out of the book fair, possibly picking up a book or two with funds that their parents sent with them – the key to making your school’s book fair a fundraising success is to get the students’ entire families and individuals from the community to attend the book fair as well. The more people that attend the book fair, the more books that will be sold, equally a bigger fundraiser return for your school. Read on to learn my 6 tips for making your school’s book fair fundraiser a success!

#1: Get Organized

First and foremost, it is super important to get the book fair organized. Start by gathering a book fair committee made up of parent volunteers. The book fair committee can work with the school’s librarian and teachers to decide on a good part of the year to host the book fair as well as possible themes (read more about themes below). Your committee will also need to work with the librarian and teachers to pick out the best books to offer during the book fair and they will be responsible for assisting in publicizing, setting up and running the book fair too.

#2: Pick a Theme

Instead of simply setting the book fair up in a corner of the media center or school library, give it more personality by completely customizing it with a theme. For example, if your school has an auditorium or gym with a lot of room to spare, consider choosing a Mad Hatter theme. You could set the space up with round tables complete with funky tablecloths, colorful centerpieces and tea for guests to sip as they browse the books. The idea is to make the book fair an event that students will want to bring their friends, family and members of the community to. The more people that attend the book fair, the higher the dollar amount for the school at the end of the fundraiser.

#3: The Perfect Invitation

In the past, there have been many school book fair’s that I wasn’t even aware of. Mostly due to the book fair flyer getting smashed to the bottom of my son’s backpack or even worst lost in the abyss he calls a locker! A great way to ensure that the families of all of the schools students are aware of a book fair, is by formally inviting them. It would be fun to send personalized bookmarks with all of the book fair information on it and then giving them to parents at parent-teacher conferences or even mailing them to their homes. If you plan to send the invitations home with the students, you want the invitation to be something pretty and fun – maybe a personalized magnet for their kitchen refrigerator.

#4: Colorful Posters

If your school publicizes your book fair only through the morning announcements or by sending invitations home with the students – you are missing out on valuable customers. Make sure that you have several different marketing funnels set up for advertising the book fair. I am a huge fan of colorful personalized posters – they can be hung anywhere, come with fun graphics and look great hanging in the classrooms, halls, media center and cafeteria. They can even be given to local shops, grocery stores and medical offices. Just make sure they are hung at eye level for the kids to see and in high-traffic locations.

#5: Host a Special Event

While your Mad Hatter book fair will be much more fun than a traditional one – it is still important to host special events during the book fair week. For example, why not host your school’s ice-cream social or meet and greet during the book fair. If your school has a parent-teacher conference, theatrical play, or sporting event that will bring a lot of people to the school – host your book fair at the same time. For parents with younger children that need a break, you could set up a craft station near the book fair. It would also be fun to host a raffle during the special event – your prizes could be book gift packs or gift certificates to use at the book fair.

#6: Be Grateful

Make sure at the end of the book fair after the last book is sold, that you thank all of the people that helped to make your book fair a success. I am a fan of personalized gift tags attached to a small gift, it’s a great way to let your volunteers know how much you really appreciate all of their hard work. It’s also fun to invite the students and families back after the book fair to share with them the purchases that the school was able to make with the funds from the fundraiser. It gives them a visual as to where there money and volunteer time helped the school, and inspires people to be a part of the process next time.

YOUR TURN: What other tips have you seen used to make a school book fair a success?

photo credit stock images via FreeDigitalPhotos.net