Getting your principal involved in fundraising

I wrote my book ‘The Practical Fundraising Handbook: for School and Club Volunteers’ nearly 5 years ago. In it, I listed my top 5 secrets for fundraising success. If I were to write it today, I would have added a 6th. I now see that getting your principal involved (or head coach or similar person) is extremely important to the culture of a committee. I’ve seen principals make or break committees, so this relationship is definitely one that needs to be as healthy as possible!

Today we look at ideas for engaging with your fearless leadership team in fun ways.

When it comes to school or club fundraising, what better incentive than the possibility of public humiliation of your school principal, club coach or group leader! (All in good fun of course.) Getting your principal involved can help encourage kids as they typically respond well to rewards and incentives.

If you’ve got a principal, coach or group leader with a good sense of humour and who enjoys a bit of fun, get them on board as your incentive. With the reward of seeing them do something fun or silly, kids (and perhaps some parents too 😉 ) will be encouraged to sell more or raise more and you could see your fundraising profits climb higher than you expected.

Now, before you do anything, you need to find a willing victim, I mean volunteer, and decide whether you’re doing this to reach your goal on one single fundraiser or event (if you only have one big event each year this is a good idea) or if it will be about reaching your yearly goal and what that $$$ target will be. PRO TIP: If you’re trying to reach your yearly goal, keep a fundraising thermometer to keep everybody motivated. You can find out more about fundraising thermometers here.

Most ‘one-off’ events will work well with this idea if you make your dollar target clear. Things like, lap-a-thons, spelling bees or anything where the kids get sponsored are great too.

Poll the kids and get them to come up with some ideas of what they would like to see happen to said volunteer. (This is the surest way to get the kids on board with the whole plan and the messier the better!) Then take your most popular suggestions to your volunteer and let them choose the one that they are most comfortable with.

I’m sure the kids will come up with some corker ideas, but if you need some inspiration to get the ideas flowing here are a few:

  • Dunking tank – great for fetes
  • Getting slimed – homemade slimes are easy to make and heaps of fun
  • Sticky Fly on the wall – you can run this as its own fundraiser too!
  • Creampies
  • Human Sundae
  • Costume dress up for the day – think full chicken, cow or rabbit costumes.

You’ll also need to agree on when the frivolity will happen. It might be the last day of term, or maybe at the school assembly or for the highest possible rate of public humiliation, the school fete. For clubs and other groups, you might choose the last game of the season or awards presentation. Once that’s all locked away you’re good to go.

Kids (and parents) either have a love or hate relationship with the person in charge and you might be surprised at the lengths they will go to if it means seeing someone gets slimed, dunked or dressed up in a costume for the day!


Happy Fundraising,

Mandy Weidmann

Originally published 22 January, 2018

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