Elementary School Carnival Ideas

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fundraising Revenues... Apples to Apples...

Guess what?  Schools don't compare and they don't choose fundraisers rationally.  Sorry. I know how that sounds.  But it's true. 

The good news is that everyone makes decisions in life that follow the same lack of true rational.  It's not just PTA and PTO presidents, it's everyone - everyday.

We make decisions based on emotion and security and we base them on feel and trust, etc.  So, what happens when a company that you trust let's you down and your school fundraising revenues fall?

Here is an example I just ran across involving a competitor who shall remain nameless other than to say they have a trusted name in the fundraising industry.

The school reports going from $12,000 raised last year to $8,000 raised this year.  The thing is, they went from 50% profit to 40% profit margin from last year to this year. 

Let's take a look at the numbers:

$12,000 @ 50% Profit Margin = $6,000 to School
$8,000 @ 40% Profit Margin = $3,200 to School

That's a 47% drop in revenue. 

The point here is - specifics matter! 

I get that we make decisions on relationships and trust and some other stuff but school fundraising is hard enough.  It shouldn't be a shot in the dark and it shouldn't be a difference of 47% from one year to the next.

There were certainly hints that this fundraiser wasn't going to perform the same as it had in the past but I am not sure the school was unaware of them.  Regardless, they didn't have a plan to make up the difference. 

So, if you are the fundraising chair or PTA / PTO president deciding on your fundraisers, please don't be afraid to ask the tough questions.  I know we're not really wired to do so but you owe it to your school to have a bit of predictability when it comes to your school fundraising.

A little tough questioning will equal fundraising consistency.  Ask the tough questions!

• Historic number of items sold per student
• Historic student participation rates
• Average item price

You get these three numbers and you should be able to estimate your fundraising success.

Hope this helps and I encourage your feedback by leaving a comment below!

No comments: