Elementary School Carnival Ideas

Thursday, March 3, 2011

School Fundraising Gimmicks

I think there's some interesting things going on in school fundraising today.  For all I know, gimmicks in fundraising have always been a component of school fundraising as much as they have modern marketing.  Regardless, I write a lot of weird and wacky stuff here on my blog and here's another one:

Does your school fundraising group fall for gimmicks?

Ahh, it's alright if you do.  I think we all fall prey to a gimmick once in a while.  The thing is, it's in understanding what a gimmick is and where that gimmick becomes a benefit.

A gimmick is more of a trick.  It's a tactic to generate a sale. Most likely not something that will have an impact beyond that sale. So, it's something that a buyer thinks is cool or different.

A benefit is something that can be catchy, flashy and can be the catalyst for making a buying decision.  The difference is that a benefit has a favorable outcome that is tangible.

I offer an example.  Here on the wikipedia page for 'gimmick' the example of a toothbrush being created that is brightly colored for children or have a character on them.  This is a gimmick because it doesn't have a beneficial outcome.  The toothbrush doesn't perform better in any way.  It's just a sales tool.

If a toothbrush were to be beneficial, it would have to last longer, clean deeper or somehow be easier or more effective.

So, when it comes to school fundraising, do schools fall for gimmicks that don't contribute to their sale?  Of course the answer is yes.

Hey, I'm not really feeling much like making a big deal out of this one.  My point is simply that our schools would benefit from being able to determine what is what.  When it comes to school fundraising, recognizing the difference between a benefit and gimmick would be incredibly helpful in an effort to see a fundraiser for what it will be and how it will perform.

I see a lot of examples of schools hosting fundraisers that under-perform based on something that they liked about their fundraising rep, program or company that wasn't adding to the bottom line.  It would seem that in the fundraising industry, gimmicks can give the impression of additional sales without necessarily providing them.

If you feel you need help deciding what will create the most success for your group hopefully this post will serve as a reminder to try to separate the gimmick from the true benefit.  Schools that look at the outcome of the fundraiser when they make their considerations will be able to see through any fundraising gimmick that won't perform.

Alright, until next time...

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