The team behind School Ponytails have decades (I've lost count!) of experience in retail, sales, and marketing. We've seen successes and failures, and can attest that there are plenty of great ideas in this world, but not all too many are executed well!
Here's what we know about executing a successful School Ponytails bow fundraiser at school, summed up in to 10 simple tips.
1. Plan your fundraising around obvious events
Planning is good! Identify opportunities early on, and link sales opportunities to big events. The biggest events of the year for school P&C and Uniform Shops include:
1. Back To School
2. School Photo Day
3. Summer/Winter uniform change
4. Sports Carnivals
5. The new class of Kindy kids starting up.
These are the events that we recommend to promote the companion sale of hair accessories - it's a really simple fundraising idea when it pairs perfectly with uniform sales!
2. Opt in to passive fundraising opportunities as early as possible
Passive or online fundraisers are awesome, because they will tick through without all too much effort on your part. Register to fundraise with bows now and you'll give your school the best chance to raise the maximum amount throughout the year, and catch all those events that parents are bound to be shopping for!
Think about the information parents will need at the start, middle, and end of a promotion, and cater your social media posts and promotions to these.
- Promote the ability to order (at least once).
- Remind parents that orders are open (at least once).
- Give parents a reminder about the due date for orders.
- Thank parents for participating, and let them know how well you went with your fundraiser.
4. Promote! Promote! Promote!
Facebook really is a great tool for communicating with parents. If your school has a website, or uses a Facebook Group, app, or Online Canteen, be sure to add the links for online ordering, and the uniform shop order forms for printing.
You're also supplied with marketing materials to make it easy to post to Facebook to remind parents that orders are open, orders are due, and thank them for their support - all you need to do is post them!
Between additions to the newsletters, printed posters around school, and social media, you're sure to catch parents' eyes one way or the other.
5. Think outside the box
Encourage parents to think about uniform requirements on a term-by-term basis, by sending out order forms once per term, and reminding them of important events (e.g. the change to winter uniform).
For Uniform Shops, you could offer parents to complete their order forms by Friday, and have the Uniform Shop fill the order by the following Tuesday. Orders could be placed on forms and left with teachers, then sent via "messenger box" back to the office each day. The completed orders could then be placed back in the messenger box, for delivery to the child!
6. Meet needs
People want to make a difference in the world; they seek personal fulfillment through supporting a cause.
What are the perceived needs of your parents? For us, we find our parents love knowing that:
- they're helping their school
- they don't need to run about the shops to find the right stuff (that doesn't exist at the shops!)
- it's an easier process to "just buy from the school"
- parents are well aware that hats, jumpers, and bows WILL go missing (and need replaced).
Use this knowledge in your promotion of the fundraiser (eg how you write your newsletter or facebook posts), and you'll notice revenue increase!
7. Add on sales are easy sales
Combine your Uniform Order Form AND Accessories Order Form with your School Photo Day leaflet, Kindy pack, Back To School paperwork (etc), to get parents thinking about their COMPLETE uniform needs throughout the year.
8. Get creative
New kindy kids often means there are new parents coming in to the school system - and it's too easy to forget that they really have no clue about school life!
Think about creating a "Kindy Pack" of uniforms, containing all the essentials for your school (e.g. top, bottoms, hat), and maybe add in a headband and some hair ties for the girls?
By providing parents a pre-packaged uniform kit, parents' purchasing decisions are simplified, and your staff/volunteer workers' days are streamlined! This also works for any changes that happen across the years, e.g. moving from a pre-school uniform to a big kid uniform in year one.
9. Get colourful
Please, please, please: print your Order Forms in colour! It's a small expense to encourage greater traction in your promotion!
10. Thank and inform
Parents don't mind supporting a good cause: if they know it's a good cause!
Thank them, and let them know what you have raised funds for. Knowing their contribution has made a difference may encourage them to participate again in future fundraisers!
For more tips on sales and promotions, or advice on how to make your School Ponytails fundraiser the star earner at your school, join us in our Facebook Group.
To get started on your own no risk, no cost fundraise with bows journey, simple email us or request an Info Pack for your commmittee.
- Nicola @ School Ponytails