How to Choose an Elementary School Fundraiser: 10 Savvy Questions to Ask at Your Next Meeting
If you’ve ever bought a car or a house, you know there are tons of questions you should ask to make sure you’re getting the best value for your family. The same is true of your elementary school fundraiser. Choosing the right fundraiser for your school requires some savvy. The next time your elementary school is shopping around for fundraisers, use these 10 questions to determine if it’s a good fit for everyone involved.
1. How long has your company been in business?
When it comes to fundraising, no one wants to take a gamble on an unproven program. By an answering this question, you’ll be able to gauge your elementary school fundraiser’s experience level.
Our answer: For the past 15 years, Boosterthon has helped raise funds and inspire students in schools all across the country. We pioneered the Fun Run fundraising industry when Chris and Lyndie Carneal led their first Fun Run in 2002. (Click here to watch a video of the Carneals telling the Booster story.) Boosterthon is now the trusted fundraising partner for over 1,900 schools and 1.3 million students nationwide. More than a decade of experience gives our school partners the peace of mind that they’re getting a program that’s been proven over and over again to get results.
2. Are we able to choose our own program features and keep a greater percentage based on the features chosen?
Every school has different needs. Maybe you have a ton of volunteers, so you’re able to take on some extra responsibilities in exchange for a higher percentage. Or maybe the opposite is true. Either way, you should ask your elementary school fundraiser if they offer flexible options.
Our answer: With Boosterthon, schools can choose from one of three different service levels. We call this “Preferred Choice.” This gives your parent group control over how many volunteer hours you’d like to contribute AND the percentage of funds you’d like to keep. One size does NOT fit all, and with Boosterthon, you get to choose the experience that fits your school best.
3. How many “legacy clients” do you have?
We define a legacy client as a school that has partnered with us for three or more years. This is significant because we believe that a large number of legacy clients is an indicator of an exceptional experience and consistent financial success. We believe this is one of THE most important statistics to look for when evaluating a potential elementary school fundraiser.
Our answer: At Boosterthon, we currently serve about 750 legacy clients. We work with the brightest administrators and parent groups in the country, and if they’re choosing us year after year, you can be sure that you’re getting a stable, trusted program that’s been proven to get results. We even have some clients that have been with us for more than a decade! (Check out what people are saying about us here.)
4. What is the quality of your character content (if you have one)?
Some elementary school fundraisers try to teach character in addition to raising funds. If you’re considering a fundraiser that does include a character program, make sure that it’s credible, high-quality, and authenticated by an outside authority.
Our answer: Boosterthon’s character content is second to none. This year, our creative team traveled all over the country to bring your students the most impactful program ever…Backyard Box Office. Our cinema-quality videos take students on a step-by-step journey of how to make a difference in their world. Plus, we teamed up with CHARACTER COUNTS!®, the nation’s most reputable character ed organization, to create this high-energy character theme backed by 25 years of research-based values. (Hint: Take our new theme for a test drive by watching one of our can’t-miss character videos from Backyard Box Office.)
5. Does your program include every student?
Nobody likes to feel left out. That’s why most schools are looking for an elementary school fundraiser that includes every student, no matter how involved they are.
Our answer: Our program is 100% inclusive of every student. It matters that every student has fun, feels included, and walks away with a giant smile. In our program, every student experiences our world-class character program and Fun Run, regardless of financial participation.
6. How will your fundraiser make my life easier?
Let’s be honest. A lot of elementary school fundraisers are a pain in the neck. They require countless hours of planning and energy, with little to no help from the company. Make sure before you sign a contract that you understand how much work you and your fundraiser are going to do.
Our answer: Fundraising shouldn't have to be a headache. Having our Fun Run experts on campus makes a world of difference. Our highly trained, fun professionals take the load off your shoulders, so you can relax and have fun. Plus, we have a full Customer Care team at our Home Office in Atlanta who loves fielding incoming parent requests. By simply filling out a help request at funrun.com, parents will get a polite, quick response. With Boosterthon, you get double the support—both from your local team and the Customer Care team!
7. What features of your pledging website help our families get donations?
Families are busy. If you ask them to get donations, they’re much more likely to do it if it’s surprisingly easy. Plus, asking for donations can be intimidating for some parents. Providing them with tools to ask for donations in a humorous, non-awkward way is key.
Our answer: We get that asking for pledges can be intimidating. That’s why we spent over a year developing the Student Star video. This brand new innovation makes asking for pledges fun and easy. Parents simply upload a picture of their student on funrun.com, and out comes a customized video starring their child! Plus, this innovation helps families raise an additional $90 (on avg.).
The second pledging tool we offer is the Easy Emailer. This allows parents to enter the email addresses of potential sponsors and forget about it. Our automated system does the rest with a series of polite pledge reminders designed for busy family members and friends.
8. What is your average collection percentage of funds pledged, and what is the collection process like?
If you’ve ever been involved in an elementary school fundraiser, you know that it’s not enough to raise money. You HAVE to collect those funds, and a bad collection percentage could mean a loss of thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a fundraiser with a strong, efficient system for collecting funds.
Our answer: Boosterthon's school partners collect an average of 96% year after year. Our collection system prompts sponsors to pay online, reducing your time spent counting change and processing checks. And on the count day, your volunteers are guided through the entire process by a local team member or remote Program Consultant. Plus, funrun.com is fast, user-friendly, and generates detailed reports so you know where every penny came from.
9. What kinds of promotional materials do you provide (i.e. letters, posters, banners, etc.)?
At Boosterthon, we call promotion “the $10,000 difference.” That’s because we’ve found that the schools who promote better often raise more. Don't forget to ask if your elementary school fundraiser is prepared to equip your school with ready-to-go promotional materials.
Our answer: We provide phone blast scripts, ready-to-publish social media posts, email templates, promotional posters, classroom flags, classroom pledge-o-meters, letters, stickers, and banners, totaling 7,000 communication pieces for the average school.
10. What resources do you provide for our teachers?
We’ve learned that when it comes to fundraising, if teachers are on board, students are on board. Without their support, your efforts will be in vain. Make sure your fundraiser is prepared to equip them with helpful resources.
Our answer: We love teachers, and teachers love Boosterthon! EVERY teacher gets their own t-shirt and Teacher Kit packed with helpful information, classroom flags, and pledge-o-meters. Be sure to ask your local Boosterthon leader for your own Teacher Kit to preview. Plus, we also provide teachers with pre-written, reading level exercises so they can encourage literacy in their classroom.
Choosing the Right Elementary School Fundraiser
Remember this: Choosing the right elementary school fundraiser is a process. But armed with these 10 questions, you'll be much better equipped to make a smart, savvy decision for your school.
Interested in learning more about Boosterthon? Click the button below to see if our proven program is a good fit for your school.