Are You Doing One Thing?

Do One Thing

When you plan your fundraiser, it’s important to do one thing as the main event.  I went to a school’s fundraiser and was amazed by what I saw.  This small private school hosted a carnival for the kids. They had food trucks, rides, water slides, and games.  But they didn’t stop there.  They also had a silent auction in a big room off the beaten path that very few parents even saw, as well as a “flee market.”  Someone else walked around trying to sell raffle tickets, but I never did figure out what it was for.

I got the feeling that the group that put this together had a lot of people throwing out a lot of ideas and they wanted to incorporate EVERYTHING into this one fundraiser.  It was a scattered event that clearly had “too many cooks in the kitchen.”  The result:  not enough money raised at the end of the day and everyone feels grouchy because the volunteers all worked so hard to make the event great, and they didn’t meet their goal.

If they had just stuck with ONE THING, it might have been a more successful event.

If you follow the rule of doing one thing, your event will be more focused and ultimately you will find more success.

That’s not to say that you can’t have an auction and a raffle.  You can.  But when you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one.  It’s great to do a rummage sale, or an auction or a carnival.  I talk about all of these ideas in my book; but putting them all together into one event isn’t going to reap the rewards you are hoping for.  If the auction is your big money maker, put it where people will see it!  I wish they would have spoken with me before they put the event together.  I could have saved them multiple hours of stress and frustration and helped them make more money too.  I did get to meet with the head of school and the head of their fundraising team and give them my card.  They won’t be making these mistakes again.

If I can help you keep from making these mistakes too, then that’s even better!

What’s the one thing that you have been most successful with in your fundraising? Tell me about it on my Facebook page!  If you or someone you know is struggling with their school fundraising and could use a little help, please get in touch with me!  I can help make your fundraising less stressful and more profitable!

To your success,



Sarah has been fundraising for schools since 2008.  She is the author of A Mom’s Guide to School Fundraising and has consulted for several schools and clubs.  She has been featured on, Scholastic: Parent & Child and The New York Times. She thinks all kids should be able to have a well-rounded education, team uniforms, instruments and support.  Don’t you?


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