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Preventing Fundraiser Burnout

Guidelines for keeping your fundraiser offerings fresh, your customers interested, and your salespeople enthusiastic.

Since many schools and other organisations today find themselves suffering from a chronic state of under funding, they are increasingly forced to hold multiple fundraisers through the course of the year. Unfortunately, this can lead to a complete ‘fundraiser burnout’ for many customers as well as for your hardworking volunteers.

So the critical question is: how do you maintain real interest on the part of customers so as to keep support for your group strong, and how do you keep your volunteers from flagging, losing energy, and losing interest in raising money for your organisation? Although there are many potential solutions, here are just a few examples to get started with.

In order to keep customer interest high, and as a way of maintaining goodwill, sell different products during each fundraiser throughout the year. There’s nothing wrong with repeating a successful fundraiser, but once a year is probably more than enough – even an extremely popular fundraising option can quickly lead to customer burnout if it’s repeated too frequently.

As a matter of maintaining customer goodwill, offer useful products and services in your fundraisers – everyone loves cookies and chocolates, but there comes a point where customers will only be buying them to support the organisation; some will just quit buying them at all. If you find a way to provide goods or services that supporters of the organisation already want and need, then they can support your organisation by buying something that they might have somewhere else anyway – a win-win situation.

Be sure not to have too many fundraisers – you’re better off with a few wildly successful ones than a dozen mediocre fundraising programs – customers will buy more readily when they’re asked to buy less often, and salespeople can stay excited if they’re not asked to sell constantly.

To keep your salespeople excited, offer creative incentives to encourage them to compete with one another. Depending on your organisation, the chance to throw pies at a principal or dunk some other authority figure could go over very well. Also, make the connection obvious – show your salespeople the benefits that the organisation will see from fundraising and by extension the benefits that they themselves will see.

There are many other ways to keep fundraising fun and ensure that your customers and salespeople stay interested – just make sure to use common sense and think positively and creatively - your organisation is bound to be successful!