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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Raising Money for your FFA Chapter

By Robert Cooper, National FFA Foundation Executive Director

Is it time to get organized for your annual fundraiser? Fundraising is an important activity and helps your chapter deliver its programs for the year. Planning and organization are key to your success!

Here are some tips:

1. Start planning your fundraiser early.

The more organized you are and the more involvement you have from your members, the greater your chances of having a successful fundraiser.

2. Develop your case for support.

Determine exactly what the funds you raise will be used for. Be specific. If you are raising money to attend the Washington Leadership Conference or the National FFA Convention then say so when selling products or asking for donations.

3. Review your past goals.

If your chapter has held fundraisers in the past, take some time to review previous goals and accomplishments. What made past fundraisers successful? Where are areas in which you could improve?

4. Survey your community.

Identifying what other groups are doing to raise funds and what key events take place in your community will help you find your niche. Avoid overlapping your fundraiser with another other big community event or fundraisers. Also, try to find a unique idea for a fundraiser. Do something that no one else is doing, and you will draw more attention to your cause.

5. Develop your timeline.

Set a start and end date. This will help motivate people and provide you with a time frame for measuring your success.

7. Develop a goal chart.

This will help you track your progress. Share your goal chart with everyone so that they can see your progress. It will motivate them to help you achieve your goal.

8. Reward individuals.

Everyone likes to be recognized! Giving out fun rewards for hitting fundraising goals will keep your members motivated. See if local stores and businesses will donate items you can give to your members as prizes, so that you don’t have to spend your fundraising profits on these items.

9. Develop alternatives.

If you're selling a product to raise funds (fruit, popcorn, etc.) some individuals may not be interested in buying it. But, they might be interested in making a simple cash donation, or in joining your alumni or booster organization instead. Give people options for supporting your chapter in the way that works best for them.

10. Say thank you!

Consider giving a window decal or bumper sticker to everyone that supports your fundraiser. They will appreciate the recognition, and if people use the stickers they will be helping to promote the organization in the community. It's free advertising!

Do you have some of your own successful fundraising tips? We’d love to hear them. Post them in the comments below or on the National FFA Facebook page!

Good luck!

Robert Cooper has more than16 years of experience in agricultural fundraising. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the National FFA Foundation where he is responsible for securing the resources to support FFA programs and the larger agricultural education community.


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