group of students walking

by Shannon Mastey

A critical piece of a successful fundraiser  in a high school setting is the students. Students often do much of the heavy lifting reaching out to potential donors, and there are typically many more students than teachers and coaches working on the fundraiser. However, it can be difficult to get students motivated to participate. Here are some ways you can get them involved in your next fundraiser.

  • Gamify It: Everybody loves a competition – especially kids and teens. So get your students involved by making a game out of the fundraiser. Make a scoreboard for fundraiser participation or funds raised to let students compete with each other.
  • Find Incentives: Incentives add a game-like aspect to your fundraiser with less competition. Giving incentives to students could mean rewards for hitting fundraising goals (think of the typical elementary school fundraiser where students hit prize tiers based on how much they raise). Alternatively, you could hold a pizza party for everyone who helped on the fundraiser. Giving incentives to students gives them a reason to help out with the fundraiser if they aren’t 100% dedicated to begin with.
  • Give Them a Reason to be Dedicated: If your students aren’t invested in the fundraiser, they don’t have much reason to participate or put effort into it. You can help them find a reason to participate, though, by getting them to think through the reasoning behind the fundraiser itself. Just asking a few questions like, “Who are we helping with this fundraiser?” or “What will happen because of this fundraiser?” lets kids see the impact their work in the fundraiser can do, and encourages them to come up with their own reasons to be dedicated to the cause.
  • Allow Independence: If you are working with high school students, sometimes they can feel suffocated with too much oversight. However, these students are the right age to get some independence (and input) in the fundraiser. Allow your students to make decisions on important but non-critical things. They could decide what you’re selling or what your fundraiser’s social media feed looks like. By giving them independence, you refrain from seeming overbearing and let them come up with their own reasons to be involved in the fundraiser; if students have made some of the decisions regarding your fundraiser, it’ll feel more like their project and be more important to them.
  • Have a Solid Social Media Presence: This is another tip that’s more tailored to older students. Having a social media account for your fundraiser that posts regular updates on the timeline for the fundraiser makes it easy for students to remember what’s going on. As long as they follow your fundraiser account, they can see notifications in their feed about what’s happening, which can be much more effective than text or email notifications that are easily ignored.

Hopefully with these tips you’ll have an easier time getting students to participate in your fundraiser (and make more money for your organization)! Keeping consistent lines of communication open with students or parents is crucial to maintain participation; involving parents in the communication can be a great way to get students participating, too.

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