Making Fundraising Targets Fun

Setting Fundraising Targets

Let’s take a look at the importance of specific and defined fundraising targets and then explore some creative (free!!) ideas for sprinkling some ‘fun’ over the top of your target…

I came across an article with a great message and, while the subject matter was not strictly about fundraising, I have drawn some fundraising lessons from it. The article was about a principal at a school in the US who wanted to increase the participation of students who elected to sit placement exams. The previous year, 499 students sat the exams but he wanted to increase the number to 600.

The principal promised to sleep on the roof of the school if 600 students sat the exam. The end result was that 670 students sat the exam, which really demonstrated that putting your goals ‘out there’ is very effective.

The principal made good his promise to sleep at the school, although in the courtyard instead of the roof for obvious safety reasons! On a side note, he turned the sleepover into a movie night fundraiser for a student with cancer and raised $2,000.

‘A soul without a high aim is like a ship without a rudder’. The same can be said of fundraisers who do not have a fixed target to strive for. ‘Doing our best’ and ‘seeing what happens’ will not maximise your fundraising, and we all want to get the most out of our efforts, don’t we?

At a fundamental level, successful fundraisers share a common feature – they know what their purpose is in fundraising. Defining a goal creates a shared vision which unites a team and inspires action from volunteers and supporters. It creates an end-game which drives momentum and results. Everyone wants to be part of making a dream come true!



This creative promise got me thinking…

We humans are motivated in all sorts of ways. Let’s add to our traditional ‘fundraising thermometers’ (we can get crazy creative with those too – take a look at an earlier tip I wrote about this), and weave in some sort of a promise related to the fundraising targets. Below are some examples to give an edge to your fundraising efforts. Feel free to use them as you will, I don’t need any glory 😉

These promises should not take over from your core message, of course. Your rallying cry will be the amazing thing or things you will achieve with this important money. The fun promise will simply help to keep the energy and momentum going until you have reached your target.



Some Suggestions

Once we’ve met our fundraising targets (raised $X for Y purpose) we will…….

  • get a favourite teacher to promise to sing the latest pop song on assembly once your target is reached?
  • arrange for a group of teachers/ coaches to perform a line dance choreographed by the students/ players?
  • arrange a local celebrity to dance like a monkey on video which you can share with your community?
  • persuade your president to be brave enough to hop like a frog through every classroom/ club training session?
  • get your teachers to wear the school uniform for the day
  • talk your tuckshop team into dressing as fairies for an entire day?
  • get your principal to dye their hair pink
  • put everyone into the draw to win a gold pass at the fete/a voucher/principal for the day/choosing the principal’s challenge


If you haven’t yet got your hands on my book, I encourage you to read the first three chapters which I have made available for free. Here I take you through the very important process of defining your purpose and goals, and how you use these to take your fundraising to another level. Bread and butter stuff, make sure you get on it 😉

Happy Fundraising!

Mandy Weidmann


Originally Published June 16, 2015

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