When it comes to school fundraising we’re often stuck in the practice of selling products to raise money because it seems to be the easiest way. It is in our school fundraising culture and it has been going on for decades. The problem with this approach is that your support is transaction based and it is short-term.
If we can change our mindset and try to gain support by asking for donations instead, the result can be very beneficial for your school. Your school could gain more funds, more often and be on its way to a constant revenue stream, a more sustainable funding model for enhancing educational programming.
So why are we not asking for donations from our friends and family to support your schools? Is it because we feel we are not giving anything in return? We think this way because we are trained to think that we need to make a transaction.
If we think asking for a donation is a tough sell, it is because we are not thinking of developing a relationship, instead we are thinking of a making a quick transaction. Developing a relationship or “friend-raising” comes very easy in the school community. Family members and friends are easy “asks” because you already have a strong relationship with them. They want to see you succeed and will gladly help.
But schools should also consider raising their sights and extend their reach by seek donations from the larger community, local businesses and larger corporations. This approach does not have to be hard or intimidating if done properly. By building strong long-term relationships in your larger community, you can begin to bring in dollars from new sources. This requires communicating with your donor on a regular basis, engaging them and developing a common vision. This relationship building is the basis for success in fundraising.
Does building long-term relationships with your larger community sound like a lot of work? It does not have to be that hard. You can access free online tools to communicate and engage donors and to facilitate donations through Scholmark . So remember, when you Friend-raise first, donations will follow.