Let’s face it, if 2020 has taught us anything, it is that life can continue (even if we don’t like it) in a virtual world. I’m one of those people who is slow to embrace change, however even this old dog has learned some new tricks this year and that trick is...Online Fundraising, and let’s face it, it’s only going to become more common, not less! So let’s all learn some new skills.
Working with chapters across the country I’ve met some really great and creative ag science teachers, and they’ve taught me some awesome tools to engage your members. As we all know, without the members themselves invested in any fundraiser, the likelihood of that fundraiser succeeding is extremely unlikely. So as we advance our technological savvy, we open a new pathway to generating much needed funding for our chapters. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you engage your FFA members in this next generation of fundraising.
It has to be a rewarding experience for your members - so don’t forget to encourage their efforts through praise. We all like to be appreciated, so make sure you recognize members for their efforts. That can be as simple as public and private acknowledgements, social media shoutouts, and as I discovered in my chapter’s campaign… They like REWARDS! Give them something for both meeting expectations and more importantly exceeding them.
You have to get the members to actually join the fundraiser dashboard - When they do, it creates an individual URL that is specific to each participant so they can share and get sales credited to them when someone uses their unique URL. If they don’t join, it won’t get shared. And your chapter’s success is directly tied to your ability to share the fundraiser and market.
I’d strongly encourage you to make them do it all at one time; whether in class or a meeting, but make it a mandatory MUST DO. Consider giving extra points, daily grade or even a small set of prizes for everyone who joins at your initial request. Anything will work… but this is your #1 task, and the one you can not overlook. Don’t rely on the kids to voluntarily join the fundraiser… that’s like asking them to do homework even though it won’t be graded.
Give weekly sales prizes - It's recommended you break your campaign into days, not weeks. Yes, it will run for 3 weeks in most cases, however if you reward members every 7 days, they have 3 sets of goals and prizes to earn. Think grades, to free time or a weekly prize.
Make this a “marketing lesson”, not just a fundraiser. Digital marketing is the future, so teach them how to thrive in the 21st century; have students make video clips explaining the fundraiser and its purpose. Consider a “How-to” video that demonstrates how to sign up, pay on your chapter’s page, and how to use the app. Those are powerful and videos & pics will always draw more attention than words. Let the video be a grade, and consider having everyone that shares their unique URL get a daily or test grade.
Share some of the best savings you can find on the myffarewards.com locally, regionally and hotel savings at some popular destinations. Screenshots of deals will draw some attention. Including the FFA Exclusives.
Consider adding your Chapter as a Vendor if you do a plant sale at some point in the year. You can offer a 10-15% discount to supporters that routinely support your spring sale, simply by purchasing the FFA Travel & Savings card as well.
These are just some of the ideas we’ve seen that tend to increase your participation, and increased participation will ultimately impact your campaign in a positive way.