Do teacher incentives work?
You have selected a great company to partner with you on your upcoming fundraiser! Check! You have found a sales representative that has a proven track record! Check! You have selected a fun and exciting incentive program for the students! Check! You have has brought in chocolates from the catalog, or cooked up some cookies from the cookie dough brochure for the office staff! Check! You have a motivational, fun assembly for the students! Check! The teachers who had to take class time, bring the students to the assembly, and will probably be the ones to hand the packets at the end of the day….have you done anything for them?
In many cases, aside from the Principal, your biggest supporter is the teachers and staff of the schools. How do you get and keep them on your side for a successful fundraiser? Perhaps a little thank you gift on kickoff day – a chocolate bar is always appreciated! How about having some class competitions among the classes, and offer the top three teachers a shopping spree from the catalogs. Teachers are always reaching in to their own wallets for classroom supplies – perhaps a gift card to a teacher supply store for the top selling class? Teachers see the students every day – and can maintain the fundraising momentum during the sale, and will do so if there is an incentive for them.
Statistics show that in schools where students, staff, administration, and community all work together for fundraising success, the school fundraisers are more successful. The one person, who sees those students every day, is the teacher. Don’t leave them out of the process – they are extremely vital. If you’ve run many fundraisers at schools, you certainly know the trend that participation rate is getting less, around 10-30% especially for elementary schools, in recently years. The following are a few tips for non-monetary teacher incentives for you to work on.
- Keep teachers regularly updated. This simple step will make teachers feel respected in the whole fundraising process instead of feeling that they are forced to participate in fundraising events.
- Segment teachers and tie their strengths to special events. Every teacher has his or her own talent or strength. Some are good at entertaining students, some are good at organizing fundraising products when delivered to schools, and others are good at motivating students. Leveraging their strengths in different stages of the fundraising process will also save their efforts.
- Be respectful for teachers’ time. Most teachers spend their extra time helping out the fundraising and thus their contribution needs to be recognized. School principals can work with parents as well as students to deliver their appreciation.