It happens in a blink of an eye. You show up to a parent group meeting just to show your face and to learn more about your child’s schooling experience, and the next thing you know, you’ve been recruited to be the fundraising chairperson for the year. Yes, it happens that quickly. Now you’ve been thrown into an arena where you know nothing, but need get up to speed ASAP. You need to choose the right programs, companies, recruit volunteers, set a yearly calendar, etc. It’s a lot to handle, but don’t worry, we are here to help you navigate the fundraising world. The first step is to find the right company to assist you. Below are some tips on what to look for in finding the right company.
Research, research, research. In today’s wired world, it’s easier than ever to find out information on fundraising companies. Take a few hours to search the web. Visit multiple websites to get a good feel of what is out there. You’ll quickly get a feel of the landscape. You can tell a lot from a company by visiting their website. Do they appear professional? Do they have a company history listed on their site? Do they provide tips and resources that can be of use to you? These are some of the thing you should be looking for. It doesn’t cost anything to request a fundraising packet (if a company charges for that, run for the hills!), so gather as much information as you can.
Do they offer the services you are looking for? There are so many fundraising companies to choose from, so you will need to determine what your group’s needs will be. Do you need a sales rep on site to assist with a kick off? Do you need a prize program? Do they provide collection envelopes? Provide parent letters? The services each company offers will vary. Discuss with your group what your needs are and make a list. Then determine which companies can best fill your needs.
Check references. Ask for references. This is a common practice in the fundraising industry. See who in your area has worked with them. Many times there are online reviews of a particular company, so do a web search to check for online reviews and references.