Setting Expectations – at the beginning of the year

Setting Expectations – get in early

If you are organised enough to have a plan in place for the year, now is the time to get active about setting expectations from your community.

Use the early part of the year, when families are fresh from holidays, to make known your expectations of support—in its many forms.

Don’t get this confused with fundraising promotions. What you’re out to do is put your support network on notice: like an incoming plane on a radar, your fundraiser will be known and can be planned for.

Seek opportunities to talk it up with a captive audience:

  • An informal BBQ is a great way for new school families to meet others. Assign cheery enthusiastic supporters (not martyrs!) to take families under their wing at the BBQ  to meet new school families – and clue them up on talking about what’s been achieved by working together. A morning tea for new parents after first assembly works too.
  • Enlist the principal’s help. Get on the ‘welcome’ agenda at information nights in the early weeks of the new school year.

Specify how you will be counting on the support. Forget subtlety.

  • Organise a table of friends now for the trivia or casino night out.
  • Family photo portraits will be delivered in time for Mothers’ Day – what a great present for the grandmas (as well as Mum).
  • Five art union tickets will be sent home to every family and every ticket needs to be sold to reach the goal (rather than ‘make a profit’).
  • Raffle tickets will be sold outside the supermarket every Saturday between 10 and 2 for six weeks, requiring X number of adults in 2-hour shifts.

Here’s one high school P&F’s approach:

“We have a register of interest on orientation day—a special day held weeks before school commences—and typically gather email addresses for 80%+ of new parents. We use email for date claimers initially and follow up the register of interest with ‘asks’ (where appropriate) for assistance or in-kind donations. And we have a special social – for new parents – to welcome and seek their involvement directly.”