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In the Trenches: Who Really Powers a Fundraiser

The good news is, you’ve got the perfect fundraising product(s). The bad news? So do a lot of other companies. And before you can get that school, marching band or Little League team to sell your stuff, you’ve got to sell it to the PTO or booster club first.

If you’ve ever been on a school or youth group’s fundraising committee, you know the drill. But if you’re like a lot of people who seem to magically melt away when the words “fundraising committee” are uttered, then chances are you haven’t seen how the sausage (or candy or cookie dough or restaurant) decision is actually made. The average SignUp user is right in the thick of things, however; and we’ve got some great insights to share. (We’ve also got great leads to share, but more on that a bit later.)


Fundraisers


Who to Reach

While the organizations themselves — clubs, bands, PTOs, faith groups, sports leagues and nonprofits — serve different purposes, the fundraising decision process tends to be pretty similar. An executive board typically designates, elects (or kidnaps) a fundraising chairman, who in turn often bribes brings a co-chair on board. This person or duo then builds a committee (if the organization is large enough), and the search for the perfect fundraiser begins. Once the committee has chosen a few options, those are presented at the next general meeting for discussion and decision. This is where the boots-on-the-ground troops (and future leaders) have their say about which option they prefer to give their busy time to — and which they won’t. It only takes one objector to derail a suggestion, because there are plenty of other choices and no one wants to hear “I told her that was a bad idea” whispered in the carpool line or bleachers for the next six years.

What to Say

A lot of this audience views fundraisers as a necessary evil — hence the rise of the “opt-out” style of fundraiser, where families have a choice to just write a check as a kind of “get out of jail free” card. These folks don’t necessarily have anything against any specific fundraiser — they are just woefully short on bandwidth. That’s why your first and loudest message must be EASY. The easier you can make your fundraiser to execute (for both the organizers and the in-the-trenches folks) the more likely you will be chosen. Other key concerns are safety (door-to-door is out), profit margin, how useful/appealing your product is, the reputation of the fundraising company, and in some areas, ethical/environmental friendliness concerns.

Where to Find Them

Reaching everyone involved in making consensus-based decisions can be challenging. Connecting with top leadership might get your foot in the door, but the more people in the organization who are already familiar with your fundraising program, the easier the sell can be. This is exactly where SignUp excels (remember those great leads we teased in the beginning?). The SignUp user by nature is a doer — already committed to supporting groups outside of just fundraising efforts. Board members and committee leadership are using SignUp not only for their own group’s tasks, but to participate in other class, team or church events. The same thing is true for the army of troops who will carry out the groundwork (and possibly lead the next fundraiser). Not only do they visit our site to select a shift for the concession stand, or volunteer to bring 20 bottled waters to the class party, but they revisit frequently to check for updates, change their reply, or remind themselves of what they agreed to do.

SignUp has been a trusted partner of fundraising leaders like See’s CandiesPanda ExpressChuck E. CheeseLittle Caesars and Flower Power Fundraising since 2009. Not only do we have the perfect ecosystem to increase awareness and leads, we have an in-depth understanding of the audience you’re targeting, and the most efficient way to reach all of them at once. And that’s the kind of choice even the most combative of committees could agree upon.

Let SignUp put some “fun” into “fundraising” by making your job easier. Ask us how we can help you!


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