I often hear this at the end of a Fall fundraising season… “I sure thought we would have done better.” Or,Guest Posting “I don’t know what happened, but we didn’t do as well as I thought we were going to do.”

Being on the receiving end of this because we in kind donations for nonprofits run hundreds of school fundraisers every semester, I can tell you my take on “WHY” most of these groups didn’t meet their expectations. The only problem with me saying it is that most people seem to nod their head in agreement (just being nice) and then go on their way forgetting the piece of gold they are hearing simply because it sounds to easy to fix or it goes against their own idea of what works and what doesn’t.

I can say that without a doubt I can tell you that as long as a school does a main stream product line in their school fundraisers, they can and do have above average sales IF they do one thing. One simple thing, that’s it. The answer to a great fundraising program can be summarized in three words… Do Great Prizes!

That’s it! If you do average everyday prizes you will have an average everyday school fundraiser. If you skimp on prizes, you will have a poor sale. If you enter a partnership with your fundraising company and charge full bore into giving premium prizes at the right levels, you will make much more profit than you thought possible. Period.

The facts don’t lie. This is not my opinion or bias, it’s just a plain and simple fact. This is based on the results that even you could take a look at on our website. If you “Wow” the students and their parents with the prize incentives you offer with your fundraiser, they will “Wow” you with results that you did not expect. Pretty simply stated, if you make it worth their while to participate in your school fundraising drive, they will more than likely do just that… participate! And participation is where you make your money.

It is not getting more students selling 40-80 items, it’s getting 50-100 more students that sold nothing last time to sell 5 or more things this time. Think about it, which would you rather have, 3 students selling 50 things or 100 students selling 5 things?

THow you put the “Wow” in your incentive program is a little more involved than just adding a drawing for a Playstation or Wii, but it is a pretty simple process. In fact, if all you do is add a $200 IPod or Xbox game as your top seller prize, the only thing that will happen is you’ll waste $200. However, there is a one way to structure your “Wow” factor that will greatly increase your participation and the level that participation goes to. In most cases, the first time you set up your school fundraiser incentive program in a “Wow” way, you’ll more than likely see anywhere from a 40% – 200% increase in your previous sales.