How To Motivate Students To Fundraise: 6 Gentle, Useful Ways

How to motivate students to fundraise

Struggling to gain the support of students? Wondering how to motivate students to fundraise?

The number of fundraisers in schools has increased a lot in recent years making many students and parents believe that school fundraisers are a scam. Students and parents are either weary of it or are just not interested in thinking for the greater good.

How do you then make fundraisers conducted by the school a success? What should you do to motivate students to fundraise? How do you make students think about the welfare of the school and the community? Why do some schools generate hundreds In this article, we will discuss 6 gentle ways to motivate students to fundraise without exploiting them.

Why do students need motivation for fundraising?

Motivating students to fundraise would always seem like an uphill task if you do not carefully analyze why kids resist fundraising in the first place.

Students’ Money Mindset

Many students come from financially weak backgrounds and live in acute poverty. These living conditions usually make kids associate negative emotions with money and the task of asking for money. They do not wish to confront these feelings at school and instead choose to stay away from fundraising activities.

Students’ Financial Background

Many students do not come from families that have the financial means to keep donating to school fundraisers. They do not have the funds to buy wrapping paper, cookies, arts and crafts, or other items sold at school fete fundraisers. The feeling of not being able to participate and contribute to fundraisers where they see their peers donating money also creates a sense of shame and students tend to distance themselves from fundraising activities.

Students’ Schedules

Older students have to spend a considerable amount of their academic year focusing on studies, research programs, internships, and submissions. They do not feel the need to take on more tasks by signing up to volunteer for a fundraising event.

In addition to the above reasons, students, at a young age, are just not primed to work for a selfless cause. The need doesn’t seem important or urgent to them and therefore, they exhibit a lack of interest in participating in fundraising events.

6 Gentle and Useful Ways to Motivate Students to Fundraise

6 Gentle and Useful ways to motivate students to fundraise

Now that you know why students show apathy towards fundraisers, you can devise a strategy to motivate them to fundraise.

But regardless of how you choose to motivate students to fundraise, remember that exploiting students by using pressure tactics and offering unreasonable rewards and incentives is wrong and unethical. You should not make students work towards fundraising out of a feeling of guilt or capitalize on their fear of being left out.

The ways stated below are gentle. They could be slow. But they are all far more effective and ethical approaches of getting students interested in fundraising initiatives.

1. Create a culture

This one would take time and serious introspection. But your school needs to establish a culture that promotes charity and fundraising. Some ways in which you could create a culture in school that fosters fundraising is by

  • Having the management appoint people in position of power who care about community causes in positions of power – so the school principal, department heads, administrators, student council heads should all be people that care deeply about fundraising and betterment of society.
  • Training the teachers to inculcate a sense of giving back to the community amongst students by talking proudly about the impact of past fundraising efforts
  • Making the school a kinder place with teachers going out of their way to help out students, departments supporting the initiatives of other departments, students being disciplined in a gentler way, etc. Kindness is contagious and fosters a sense of community.

A campus with a culture of community giving and social service is a happier place. Students feel the energy and feel naturally motivated to participate in fundraising events.

2. Let the students lead

In so many educational institutions, students are merely used as tools to generate revenues.

They are treated like salespeople whose only job is to go door-to-door or use social media to raise funds with leaders being rewarded or incentivized.

They are hardly ever put in leadership roles that let them decide
– the types of fundraising events the school must organize
– the scale at which these events should be held
– the logistical aspects of these events
– the targets that they should set for these events.

Putting students in leadership roles makes them feel trusted which then gets them excited about planning, organizing and working hard towards fundraising initiatives.

The Enloe High School’s fundraising success is a huge example of how student-led initiatives have the potential to raise 6-figures in a short amount of time.

3. Make it fun and memorable

If you want students to be motivated about fundraising, you must ensure that the fundraising event is fun and memorable.

You can’t expect kids to get excited about crowdfunding, grant-writing or even peer-to-peer type of fundraisers.

  • The best way to get kids excited for a fundraising event is by conducting it in the form of a school fete fundraiser, a talent-show, a charity ball, a concert or a gala night. Promise the kids a soirée full of exciting events, attractive prizes, music, games and good food and you will not need to spend additional resources in getting the kids motivated.
  • Constantly evaluate what type of events your children love participating in? If they get bored by bake sales and car washes, avoid planning those events. Instead, plan on other exciting events like smash-a-car fundraiser (For older students) or a raffle fundraiser with exciting prizes.

4. Make it effortless and quick

Students engaging in fundraising activities that are quick and effortless

If you are struggling to get students to volunteer for fundraising events, it could be because you are expecting them to put in complex work or a lot of time into it.

To make fundraising tasks feel easy and quick

  • hand over draft pitches to them that they can use for in-person donation demands
  • prepare draft emails asking for donations ready
  • give them old brochures, flyers and social media content for referencing to make designing easier
  • Do not burden them with more than one task per day – such as reaching out to one local business or restaurant, sending an invite to just 4-5 people over email, etc.
  • Make sure you plan the event during the holiday season or at a time when students typically do not have academic pressures
  • Keep enough time for planning and execution so that students do not feel pressured by tight deadlines for large fundraising events

5. Make it useful to them

Organize fundraisers that can provide to be learning grounds for students. Do not expect older students to simply stand at stalls and sell school merch or go door-to-door selling cookies.

Give them the opportunity to lead teams, talk to large corporates, network with influencial people.

Allow them to learn skills like
– people management
– time management
– setting goals
– laying down actionable plans
– drafting professional emails
– communicating clearly, etc

If students find that participating in fundraising activities would equip them with skills they otherwise won’t be able to develop, they would find the motivation to contribute to fundraising causes.

6. Work for causes that the students connect with

Before you announce a fundraising event for any cause, determine if your students feel a sense of connection towards it.

Students, especially, younger students do not feel drawn to larger causes like global warming, poverty, soil degeneration etc. But they may identify more with causes such as foster care fundraisers or fundraising for orphanges in the nearby area.

They may also be thrilled to participate in a donation drive for school supplies or to raise funds for school counselor office or for a school trip – ones of which they would be the direct beneficiaries.

Asking students to unite for causes that they feel deeply about is the most effortless solution to get them motivated for fundraising. Once they start seeing success with such initiatives, they may feel excited about setting bigger goals and targetting causes that have a larger impact.

Similar Posts