Prize Program Results in Fundraising Success

Last year I was elected to my daughter’s school PTO Board as the person in charge of fund raising. My first assignment was to coordinate a candy-gift wrap fund raiser. The program ran for about 7-8 weeks and we were able to raise over $56,000.

The program success is directly related to two factors. The first was time and effort spend planning and soliciting motivational items which served as incentives for the children. The second was a reliable group of volunteers to handle the administrative aspect associated with the weekly recording of students’ individual level of sales and their prize distributions.

The approach and view was this was a program to benefit the community: businesses were asked to make donations. Donations were as varied as the businesses. These donations were packaged into individual gift for the each student in accordance with his weekly sales.

Historically, the sales activity level peaked during the first two and last two weeks of the program. In reviewing the activity level of previous years’ sales that the report showed sales doubling during the time that the vendor offered a double incentive. Hence the conclusion to keep the incentive for the duration of the program.

For every six items sold the student received a prize (all prizes were donated). Initially, we used the small trinket items ( such as a school supply item) and as the program progressed we began using the higher value donations (such as a complimentary large pizza or a menu meal from a local restaurant, or movie tickets). There were no limit on how many prizes a student could earn.

Additionally, there were special rewards and large ticket item prizes at the end of the program for top children in elementary, middle, and upper school. For the duration of the program the sales level remained at a consistently high level.

It was a great way to solicit the businesses support and participation while teaching the children a number of life and business skills. Simple but working as a team it was very effective.



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