Rock Your Kickoff: How the Right Start Gets the Best Fundraising Results
A motivational kickoff for your fundraising campaign can be the key to getting students, volunteers and teachers excited and engaged. So what’s the secret to a great fundraiser kickoff? Here are some tips on how to make the best one possible.
What is a fundraiser kickoff?
A kickoff event is how every good fundraiser starts. Your fundraiser kickoff is how you communicate the purpose and details of the fundraiser and, more importantly, how you generate excitement from participants including students, volunteers, teachers, parents, community members, and anyone else whose support you need to get the most out of your fundraiser.
So, the first tip to making your fundraiser kickoff the best it can be is holding your kickoff event right at the start of your campaign. When planning your fundraiser, put just as much thought and preparation into the kickoff as the rest of the fundraiser.
Basic components of a fundraiser kickoff:
Of course, since there are so many different types of school fundraisers - from selling spirit wear to hosting a fun run or dance event - there are different ways to approach your fundraiser kickoff depending on the type of campaign you are running. However, your kickoff event should include at least the basic elements listed below.
- Purpose: One of the best ways to get people excited about participating in your school fundraiser is to tell them exactly what you’re raising money for. Donors love to know how their money will help the school, and volunteers and participants love to know that their hard work is going to a good cause. Use your kickoff event to clearly communicate the purpose of your fundraiser.
- Details: Now’s the time to share details about the fundraiser event or campaign, including important deadlines, event dates/times and locations, and any other information volunteers and participants need to know.
- Materials and literature: Are there any flyers, newsletters, or other materials students and volunteers need in order to be prepared to participate in the fundraiser? Or will there be a letter or email sent out to parents with more information? Have a plan for disseminating important literature or communicating what will be sent out after the event.
- Prizes or incentives: Some fundraisers such as sales, fun runs, and auctions incorporate prizes or incentives to promote participation. The fundraiser kickoff is the perfect time to show off these incentives to get people even more excited.
Conveying your message
Host a live or virtual event
One of the most popular fundraiser kickoff events is a school assembly. Kickoff events work best when there is a large audience all gathered together, so the attendees can feed off each other’s excited energy. With an assembly, you can get the whole school community involved, featuring speeches from school administration and performances by student groups like the band or cheer team. All of this helps people feel like part of a big fundraising community.
Of course, assemblies may not be possible or safe these days. If that’s the case at your school, don’t worry - you can still get people excited through a virtual event. To mimic the assembly feel as closely as possible, line up exciting speakers and entertainment just as you would for a live event. Use accessible technology and make sure all participants have access to the links and passwords they’ll need to log into the event. There are a lot of details to consider when hosting a virtual event, but with enough planning, it can be just as exciting as a live event.
Create a kickoff video
Whether you’re hosting a live event or a virtual event, you should create a kickoff video to play for attendees. Include the basic components listed earlier in this blog in your video such as the purpose and type of fundraiser, date and location of the event, and how volunteers or donors can participate.
This is your chance to show off your school’s personality and create an entertaining but informative experience for your audience. You can then post the kickoff video on your fundraising website, school website, social media promotion and more. It’s an investment that goes a long way!
Use social media
Social media is a crucial promotional tool for any school fundraiser. To make the most of your kickoff event, take photos and videos of the event and post them on social media with a custom hashtag, and include links to your fundraising or donation page. Ask kickoff attendees to also post about the fundraiser on their social media accounts. Soon enough, word about your fundraiser will spread like wildfire.
Have a theme
Want to add some extra personality to your fundraiser kickoff? Consider having a theme for your fundraiser and introducing it during the kickoff event. Boosterthon’s Character Program is one way to dress up your fundraiser with a fun, memorable theme that promotes good values for the people who benefit most from fundraising...the students!
Learn more about how Boosterthon can help make your fundraiser dreams a reality, from kickoff to collection.