While many schools and groups improved their online sales and donations in the past year by fully adopting future-forward fundraising strategies, it wasn't always enough to maintain momentum. Define Financial reports that school fundraising fell 4.6% for K-12 schools across various programs, including arts, after-school programs, and school activities that already relied heavily on fundraising to run good programs.
But as schools look to put that era behind them and prepare for the fall of 2022, there's a lot of optimism in the air. After all, with a new school year comes fall fundraising. Keep reading to see how you can start off the 2022-2023 fundraising season strong by implementing increasingly popular fundraising tactics — beef jerky anyone? — that drive enthusiasm, support, and donations.
Past Fundraising Tactics Not Working?
Unfortunately, not all fundraising efforts can be successful. This can be demoralizing and make you wonder if fundraising is worth the extra struggle and work hours or if you need to focus on trimming down your programs. But when your past efforts don't work, don't give up. Instead, start rejuvenating your efforts by identifying what may have made your past fundraising fail to reach its goals:
- Your Offering: An emotional appeal for donations can work, but it has a low percentage rate of success compared to other types of fundraisers. More event-based fundraisers, such as dances and games where the tickets raise the funds or even raffles and contests, show better returns. Product-based fundraisers also offer a higher rate of success, especially if the products are appealing, have the right mix of affordability and value to encourage purchases, and are easy to distribute.
- Planning: Good fundraisers take a lot of time to plan. When restrictions and policies were constantly in flux over the past two school years, planning felt impossible. Now, you have a wide window of time before the 2022 fall school season begins. You can start contacting vendors, planning milestones, and reaching out to parent groups, students, and more.
Once you know what may have hurt your success in the past, you can create plans that resolve those problems. But when you're done reviewing, it's time to look ahead — there's no season like the fall fundraising season!
Why Fall Fundraisers Work
The fall season is energizing. The new school year has just begun, everyone's excited about what to expect for the season or semester ahead, and engagement is high (both for parents and youth participants). Make sure you harness as much of that renewed energy as possible by preparing for it now.
Fall may feel like it's far in the future. But you don't want to wait until summer break to start contacting vendors, reaching out to parents and volunteers, or getting administrative approval. Everything grinds to a halt in the summer, and in the weeks before and after the start of the school year, there's too much hustle and bustle to begin the process. Basically, if you're not early, it can feel like you're already too late.
When you start preparing ahead of time for fall fundraisers, you can:
- Shop around for suppliers
- Engage students by getting them invested in and prepared for fall fundraisers
- Plan for fundraising needs, goals, and milestones
- Make sure your administrators are on board
Proactive planning helps ensure the fall season doesn't sneak up on you and that you have a plan.
Beef, It's What for Snacking
So, where does beef jerky fit into all of this? Instead of getting dough from a bake sale or loading up on cheddar from a popcorn sale, break the mold and bring home the bacon — with a fun beef jerky-based fundraiser.
According to Statista's interpretation of data from the Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS), "70.64 million Americans consumed regular meat snacks and beef jerky in 2020." Audiences of virtually any age enjoy snacking on beef jerky: it's keto-friendly, it's portable and stores well, and it's a thematic fall food. Who wouldn't want to munch on beef jerky at the home opener under the lights this fall?
Not only is it great for the parents, students, and participants that you're reaching out to, but it's an easy option for you. Here's why:
- Storage is easy: You can order it ahead of time and safely store it in your classroom or closet. If you over-order or a snag in sales, you can extend the fundraiser window without the products spoiling.
- You can buy kits upfront: Fundraisers lose momentum when you have to get orders now and then deliver products at some point. Beef jerky is a product you can sell at fundraisers directly, such as at snack booths during school events. Students can make the rounds and sell products even more easily than with order forms.
- There's room for a profit margin that fits your fundraising goals: Because beef jerky packs well and you can buy in bulk, you have a lot of room to raise funds when you sell products individually or in smaller bundles.
- It's high in protein: Baked goods just don't fit the theme of sports. Instead, raise funds with a high-protein snack that people can enjoy while watching games, before or after practice, or on the way home.
Beef Jerky Fundraisers, Simplified
At Launch Fundraising, we make it simple for coaches, teachers, and community group leaders to get a jumpstart on fall fundraisers. Our platform can help handle the manual tasks of managing orders, keeping track of funds, and ensuring every order is fulfilled properly. With our dashboard, you can check up on your group's progress, be notified of any action steps, and follow our actionable step-by-step setup and management processes so you can focus on coaching and activities, not fundraiser administration.
Prepare for Fall With Launch Fundraising
Get the technology you need to make your fundraisers more successful with less time commitment. The Launch Fundraising dashboard is designed for busy coaches that want to increase fundraising without having fundraisers eat into all of their time.
Schedule a demo before the fall fundraising season to see how we can help you organize, manage, and kickstart fundraisers so you have the funding you need for equipment, recruiting, and transportation.