12 Fundraising Tips

Here are twelve fundraising tips to help your group raise more funds when selling fundraising products, including a sample sales script to follow.

The first steps to a successful fundraiser are to identify your group’s needs by setting financial goals. If your group members know how the money will be spent and their personal benefits, this will motivate them, keep them focused and help with their sales pitch.

One of the most important issues when conducting a fundraiser is making sure that you choose a strong chairperson. If the organization does not have someone with time, energy and the drive to make your fundraiser successful, it will be doomed from the start.

Lack of organization can and usually will cost your group money in extra costs. Mistakes, lapses, oversights, misunderstandings with suppliers, order confusion, and duplication will eat into your profits, so get organized early to avoid them.

Allocate no more than fifteen hours of work to any individual. It’s necessary to avoid resentment and burnout by people being saddled with too many tasks. Other volunteer tasks can take much less time, but are just as critical to your success.

Be sure to offer these volunteer positions for those who want to help, but don’t have as much time to offer.

One of the biggest priorities before sending individuals out to sell fundraising items is practicing what they will say to potential supporters.

Most children are shy and will forget what to say. If they have practiced it several times out loud, they will be much more comfortable when the moment presents itself.

Fundraising Tips – 5 Steps To A Sale


With enthusiasm and a smile on your face:

1. State your Name!

Hi, my name is ……………………………………….

2. Who are you with?

I am with the ……………………………………….

3. Why are you raising money?

We are raising money to/for ……………………………………….

4. How are you raising money?

We are offering these _______________ (put the brochure or product in their hands.)

For a donation you can receive ____________________. The best part is we get the donation for our school.

5. Ask for the Sale!

Would you help us out and buy a gift item? Please!


The 3 Most Common Objections and How To Overcome Them

1. Customer – I am on a diet and I don’t need cookie dough, candy bars, lollipops, etc.

Member – That’s O.K. they make great gifts and Christmas is coming up (or Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentines Day, Easter, etc.). You could order one and give it to a friend or relative. That way you could still help us out and do something nice for someone else too. We sure could use your help.

2. Customer – I don’t have any money.

Member – That’s O.K. We take checks and we can even take one that is postdated for a couple of days. We sure could use your help.

3. Customer – I just gave to another group.

Member – Your donation is tax deductible. We sure could use your help.

Remember the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Short & Simple). You do not need to be a professional salesman, just follow our simple “5 Steps to a Sale” script and the “overcoming objections” above, and you will be successful.

More Fundraising Tips

This is essential for all group activities, not only fundraising. Begin assigning roles and responsibilities at least thirty days before your actual campaign begins and be sure to assign firm timelines to every task.

Assign team leaders right away and meet regularly with your group or team leaders to ensure complete understanding of all relevant details by the respective leaders.

Make sure to follow all state, local, and federal tax laws pertaining to non-profit fundraising.

Choosing the right product to sell for any fundraiser is an important factor to be considered. Avoid selling a product that you know is already being sold by another group in your immediate area.

If another group is selling cookie dough and candy bars, you may want to choose to sell lollipops and pizza cards or a brochure fundraiser such as I-mark gift items, Holiday Delights or Glowz candles.

During the fall, spirit items such as mini rattling helmets, spirit socks, stadium blankets or spirit sticks are always a profitable choice.

Sometimes the money raised is a strong enough incentive, but often prize award programs can be a valuable way to build excitement and boost profits. Ask the participants what would motivate them and don’t forget to be creative.

1. Intangible Prizes: These ones have no cash value but are proven motivators and provide great entertainment. A few examples include: a) Allow the participants to throw cream pies at the organizers if the goal is reached!

b) Have the principal sleep on the roof of the school or the group leader(s) sleep somewhere awkward if the goal is achieved. Set an even bigger goal to extend the number of days they must sleep there. Or have an assembly in which the principal has to kiss a real live PIG.

c) Let the group have an activity of their choice instead of the normal schedule (for example: a free afternoon of sports activities in the schoolyard instead of class).

2. Raffles: For each achieved mini goal (ex. for every 10 units sold or $100 in sales reached) the participants get their names put in the raffle for various merchandise. The more they sell, the more times they can have their name put in the raffle and the more chances they have to win.

3. Top Seller Grand Prize: Give a Grand Prize to your top seller. It may be a computer, a bike, movie tickets, cash or anything else that inspires your group members. Don’t get carried away and offer something your group can’t afford.

4. Top Class or Team Prizes: This is a great way to motivate the kids and get them working as a team – perfect synergy! If you’re a small group, you can create teams by putting your members in groups of twos, threes or fours. If you’re a school you can do it by class and if you’re a league simply do it by team. You can offer the best-selling group a free pizza party or a field trip outing to the place of their choice…ask them what they’d like.

5. Individual Completion Prizes: Individual completion prizes are very good because they are risk-free for your organization. Once your member raises a certain amount THEN they receive their incentive gift. For example: Receive $10 cash for every $100 of products sold. Other completion prizes may include a gift certificate to a music, video, book, or sports store.

6. Early Bird Prizes: You can offer early bird prizes to the first, second and/or third person who reaches a specific objective by a certain deadline. For example: if you launch the fundraiser on Monday, you can have the first three people that generate $100 in sales or more by Friday receive a $15 gift certificate

Also Remember: Solicit Sponsors for Prizes You can get many prizes for free by simply soliciting the local restaurants, sports, book and music stores, as well as other local retailers. Tell them what it’s for and offer to mention their name in parent’s letters and at the campaign launch.

Get the Right Prizes
What could be worse than no incentive prizes? Investing in incentive prizes that simply don’t motivate your members! Make sure the prizes you get are relevant to your member’s age group and interests. Ask them what they’d like to receive as incentives given a certain budget.

Introduction to volunteering
Achieving goals set by the group
Growth by helping others
Sales experience

Hopefully, these 12 fundraising tips from my book, Fundraising Success, will help you raise more funds with your next fundraiser.