If you are involved in fundraising, then the term ‘fundraising fatigue’ will probably not need to be explained to you.

With so many school, sporting and other community organisations competing for fundraising dollars, people in the community are ‘tuning out’ to calls for support. Here is some timely advice to help you get the most out of your hard work. When it comes to fundraising, your motto should be “do a few, and do them well”.

If you are trying to run too many activities in a year you risk burning out your precious volunteers, who are probably also involved in fundraising for other community organisations as well. And the last thing you want to do is add to the general ‘noise’ of calls for support from other groups.

Make your effort count

Experts recommend that you should focus your efforts on fundraising programmes that make the most money and require the least time commitment from volunteers. Try and make a commitment to parents and the school community that if they participate in one major fundraising event you will not conduct further fundraising that year. And be true to your word! This approach is likely to attract more wholehearted support from volunteers, and the community will be more likely to support next year’s fundraising activities.

Your committee can get a maximum return on your work by sticking to one fundraiser per term or a couple a year and doing them well. This way you can take all the energy and effort that usually goes into running five or six activities in a year and focus them on doing the job thoroughly. You’ll also find that getting your volunteers and supporters engaged and involved will be easier if they know up front what they will be asked to support.


Mandy Weidmann is Australia’s ‘Fundraising Whisperer’ – publisher of the Fundraising Directory and author of the Practical Fundraising Handbook for School and Club Volunteers. Mandy believes that parent volunteers shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel all the time and is passionate about providing resources to make fundraising easier (and more fun). Click here to learn more about school and club fundraising ideas in Australia.

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