With all the cuts to the budgets of different departments, teachers have been forced to come up with creative ways to raise funds for their projects or activities. Recently, I conducted a drive for my club at school. I run a club called the Philanthropy Society. In this club, I teach the students the importance of using their gifts and talents to make a difference in someone else’s life.
We were contacted by the local animal shelter, and asked if we could collect food, kitty litter, and other supplies for them.
I agreed, and we set out to promote a drive to help the animal shelter.
Being the Internet marketer that I am, I decided to implement some basic marketing strategies that I’ve learned over the years.
The drive was a success, and we collected a lot of supplies for the shelter. I thought I would share what I did in case anybody out there was planning a similar kind of drive.
The Marketing Plan
1. The Posters – about two weeks before the drive is to begin, have your students create posters to advertise the drive. There are specific details that have to be on the poster.
The Name of the Drive – This has to be a catchy, heart-string-pulling name. The name of my drive was, “Save The Lost Pets” Drive. I guess I could have named it, “Support The Local Animal Shelter” Drive, but which one would YOU give money to? Exactly.
The Benefits To the Donor- Why should you support the drive? Have a short sentence that explains the benefits that the donor will get by giving. In our drive, we added a line like, “Be a hero to a puppy or kitten who needs you.”
The Need – Describe why you are asking for donations. Our posters stated, “The bad economy has led to a lot of abandoned pets, and the shelter needs your help more than ever.”
The Call to Action – Give the readers the pertinent information in a “call to action” sentence. Make sure you include a deadline. Our example: “Take your donations to room 43 by this Friday.”
Thanks in Advance – It’s good to demonstrate that you will expect your readers to take action. A sentence thanking them is a nice touch. Reiterate the benefits of giving. “Thank you for making the lives of these lost pets a little better.” or “Thank you for being a hero to animals.”
A Picture – Have your students draw a picture to catch the eye of the passer by. In our case, we drew pictures of dogs and cats, etc.
2. Hang the posters up before the drive begins. Let the idea start brewing the minds of the students.
3. Make an announcement over the intercom system during morning announcements. Keep the announcement short and sweet, but make sure you include the heart-clutching title and the days left to donate, along with where the students can bring their donations. Our announcement went something like this: “The Philanthropic Society is sponsoring a Save the Lost Pets Drive to support the local animal shelter. Please bring dry dog and cat food, kitty litter, pet toys or pet store gift cards to room 43 by this Friday. Thank you for helping improve the lives of these lost pets.” Make sure the announcement is given each day of the drive.
4. Flyers – Pick one day when you hand out half-page flyers to the students at lunch time. Each flyer will have the information from the posters, along with a photo of the object of the drive. For example, we had a picture of a sad-looking puppy in the center of the flyer. This is just something that students will take home with them and hopefully show their parents.
5. Extend the Drive. On the last day of the drive, regardless of how much you collected, always extend the drive one more week. Although we had a nice amount of supplies, it wasn’t what I was hoping for, so I added another week to the drive. I modified the announcement to state: “Due to the great response to our Save the Lost Pets Drive, we are extending it one more week. Please bring….” This has some kind of psychological effect on those donors who were on the fence. Now they have one more chance to be included in the group of donors who helped make this drive a success. It’s a little sneaky, but not that much.
6. Reward the donors. Always have some kind of memento to offer those people who donate. In my case, I created a little thank you card on Power Point that I reduced to be able to fit four to a page. On it, I thanked the student for their donation, and reminded him/her of what they helped do – make life a little easier for a lost pet. That is really all you need. The students are proud of that little card, and they show it to their friends who may want to get one also by supporting the drive. You can also offer other forms of gratitude like candy or front-of-the-line passes.
Like I said, this technique has worked well for me in the past. I’ve raised a lot of money as well as collected a lot of donations for the various clubs that I’ve been involved with.
Do you have any other tips or strategies that you have found successful? Please let me know.