Motivating Participants

Everyone who’s ever run a fundraiser knows how important it is to motivate participants and keep them motivated throughout your campaign. Here are our top fundraising tips for participant motivation.

Start Off on the Right Foot

A great way to get things started is with a fundraising kick-off. A kick-off is a gathering of your group to officially launch the start of your fundraiser. Make this a memorable event by arriving with a positive and energetic attitude. You can even make it into a small party to get things going.

The key to starting off right is all about attitude and energy. Your kick-off will set the tone for your entire fundraiser, so show your team spirit!

Incentives and Prize Programs

Some programs, like cookie dough and gift brochures, come with free prize programs for qualified groups, and the online magazine fundraiser comes with a built-in movie ticket prize program that anyone can use. These are great motivators to help you succeed, and if you use your imagination, you can organize your own prize and incentive programs as well:

  • Individual Success: Award prizes for individual achievements.

  • Top Sellers: Award prizes to the person, team or classroom that raises the most money, or sells the most items.

  • Prize Drawings: Participants can be entered into the prize drawing for selling a pre-determined amount. For example, 10 candy bars = 1 entry.

  • Special Rewards: These are often the most effective motivators. You can offer a party if the group goal is met, have your coaches agree to coach a game in a silly costume, have a pizza lunch for the top selling classroom, or a week of no homework.

Now that you’ve chosen your program, it’s time to organize and manage your fundraising campaign. How you organize will depend on which type of fundraiser you’ve chosen: pre-sale, direct sale or online. The following are our top fundraising tips for organizing your fundraising campaign.
Planning Your Campaign

Set your goal: The goal you set for your group should include a dollar amount, as well as a tangible element. For example, a cheer squad could set a goal of $2,000 (the dollar amount) to pay for new uniforms and competition fees (the tangible element). Basically, you want to say how much you need to raise and why.

Set a deadline: Your fundraiser should run for a maximum of 1-2 weeks. It’s just enough time to get a lot of support and keep everyone motivated, but not so much time that your group starts to feel the effects of ‘fundraiser burnout’.

Also, a deadline keeps you on track for reaching your goal, and is especially important for pre-sale fundraisers like cookie dough where order forms will need to be handed in on a specific date.
Know your group: Knowing how many group members will be participating, and how many volunteers you will have is key to organizing a selling strategy.

Motivate your group It is important to maintain close and constant contact with your group members, and to motivate and encourage them throughout. Being a positive role model and maintaining an attitude of enthusiasm will be key to motivation.

Running Your Campaign

Delivery: Once you have placed your order, allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Remember that with pre-sale fundraisers, you order products after your group has taken orders from friends and family.

Money collection Group members should collect money at the point of sale, or when taking orders. With pre-sale fundraisers, it is usually easier for the fundraising organizer to collect one check from each participant for the entire sum of the money collected.

Tallying and packing orders: Pre-sale fundraisers only. Direct sales do not require this step. A good tip is to solicit volunteers in advance for these tasks, and to appoint a chairperson to oversee. The chairperson and each participant should always check and double-check orders for errors. Please share these tips with your group and discuss more ideas for fun and effective selling strategies.
Who to Ask

You can ask friends, family members, neighbors, coworkers, people in your neighborhood or anyone else you think might support your cause or group.

Remember never to sell alone. Always go in groups or (for children and youth) with a parent.

Fundraising Organizers: As you know, children should always be supervised by responsible adults. It’s a good idea to get parents involved and set up fundraising teams with adult leaders, or to organize a selling event where your whole group will sell together at a stationary location.

Be Prepared

You will need to be prepared for questions like who you are raising money for and how the funds will be used. Be sure to ask the person in charge if you are unsure of anything.

Before you approach a potential supporter, be sure you have all your materials. If you are doing an order-taker fundraiser, have your order form and brochure on hand, as well as a few pencils for people to fill in orders.

If you are selling small items like candy bars, lollipops or beef snacks, or participating in a Scratchcard fundraiser, be sure to have a supply of cash with you to make change if need be.

How to Ask

“Hello, my name is _____________, and I’m raising money for _________________. Would you like to support our group by purchasing _______________? Thank you for your generosity and have a nice day.”
Smile, be polite and most importantly, be enthusiastic about your cause.

Prize Program Fundraising Ideas

Prize programs are the perfect fundraising idea for motivating participants and achieving success. Some programs, like cookie dough fundraisers come with free prize programs for qualified groups (10 or more actual sellers), but you can easily run prize programs of your own that are often very successful.

Our best fundraising ideas for prize programs:
  • Parties – Promise to throw a party like a pizza lunch, or carnival day when the fundraising goal is achieved. You can also set individual goals, and each participant who reaches their goal will get an invite to the party.

  • Individual achievement rewards – These are often best for children and youth. Small prizes can be awarded based on each participant’s successes. It can be anything from gold stars on a sticker chart to small toys or candy as more progress is made.

  • Raffle – If you can get a large prize donated by a local business or sponsor, raffle it off as an incentive! Participants can receive raffle tickets based on their achievements. For example, 1 ticket for every 10 candy bars sold. The more each person sells, the more chances they get to win the big prize.