Presidential Election Impact on Fundraiser Profits

Vote for Fundraising Profits

Vote For Teamwork For Successful Fundraiser Profits

It’s true…Google it! Presidential Election years are often bad news for the U.S. economy, markets, and, to the dismay of parent groups everywhere, fundraiser profits too. It’s not unusual for participation in fundraisers and profits to slide as the result of people’s:

  1. Uncertainty about the future.
  2. Distancing between family and friends with different political affiliations. It’s kind of hard to ask Uncle Bob to support the fundraiser when he just un-friended you on Facebook after seeing a message regarding your candidate of choice and you blasted his choice.
  3. Distraction from the normal classroom-routine. Election years bring additional projects, discussions and even mock-elections that upstage a fundraiser.

To avoid and recover from the trifecta of fundraiser profits failure above organizations must be prepared to fight for the funding they desperately need! If your fundraising profit is down, consider the following before you fire your fundraising company to try something new and different, or accept failure as your new reality.

Look at the factors that contribute to fundraising failure AND fundraiser profits success. Ironically, THEY ARE THE SAME!

What Makes or Breaks Profitability of a Fundraiser?

To see how YOUR organization measures up, as well as, safeguard your school from fundraising failure, Rate your school 0 to 3 on each of the below.


  1. Communication of Expectations (By you to all)                       0 1 2 3
  2. Purpose (Supported? Creates excitement? Communicated? 0 1 2 3
  3. Principal Support                                                                            0 1 2 3
  4. Staff Support                                                                                    0 1 2 3
  5. Student Awareness (Coincides with Parent Awareness)        0 1 2 3

A Rating = 14 Points
You are officially rocking out your fundraiser with participation over 50%, profit close to your target goal, as a result of teamwork, clear communication of expectations, and running a fundraiser that’s treated as HIGHLY IMPORTANT and essential by every member of your school community. The election year “may” cause a little dip in sales/profit, but you’ll bounce back next year. Pat yourself on the back, because you are taking ownership of your fundraiser and securing your success regardless of what outside force comes your way. GREAT WORK!

B Rating = 10-13 Points
The election year blues may hit your organization a little harder than the A schools. EVEN IF you’re doing many things right, you are lacking in one or more of the five categories essential to fundraising success. To improve your rating you (the parent organization/chairperson) has to make some changes and plan ahead to secure and maximize your profit.

Here’s how to raise your rating:
Focus on approaching each of the 5 factors above to the best of your ability.

  • Formulate and follow through with a plan to maximize communication & teamwork
  • Set clear expectations.
  • Map out exactly how many participants you need to achieve your profit goal.
  • Market “One-‘n-Done” fundraising as your new philosophy to stop focusing on fundraising and start focusing on fun.
  • Plan to run a spring fundraiser to fund a very specific purpose. Use this an opportunity to regain lost profit from your fall fundraiser, and practice great communication, teamwork, and expectations.

 C Rating = 9-0 Points
The election year may have delivered the blow that knocked you out of the “B” club. If you’re in the 7-0 range, the hard truth is that your organization may not treat your fundraising efforts with much importance. Take ownership and focus on:

  1. Communication (pre-sale, during sale, and follow up communication of your purpose and specifically what each member of your school community is expected to do to reach your profit goal)
  2. Teamwork (between parent group and principal/staff, as well as within your student body)

Contributing Factors to Fundraising Failure You CANNOT Control

Great communication and teamwork WILL guarantee a better result. But there are some circumstances that make any fundraiser a challenge:

  1. Circumstances Beyond Our Control
    School closings due to weather, teacher strike, safety concerns, etc. may happen without warning no matter how well you plan, communicate and apply teamwork. The BIG positive of working with a fundraising company, when you encounter situations like these, is that you have support and assistance from someone who’s been there before, and can offer you suggestions as to how to proceed, as well as salvage your sale.
  1. Human Error
    It can be bad luck or bad planning, but it results in BAD FOR YOUR FUNDRAISER PROFIT SUCCESS. It can be many things: teachers forgetting to send home the packets, an incorrect date in a newsletter, a squeaky wheel on your parent group or staff undermining your effort, or another group within your school running a book fair, apparel sale, charitable collection, or restaurant night, before or during your main fundraiser. Plan ahead to offset human errors swiftly, and avoid circumstances in which competition is created within your own building.
  1. Enrollment Changes
    Obviously a decline in enrollment may result in declined profit. But ironically, the MOST profitable groups with the highest participation and highest per seller sales totals are smaller schools! On the flipside, you would think an increase in enrollment would generate MORE profits, but it’s not always the case.

 Quick Fixes to Fundraising Failure

  1. Direct Correspondence with parents
    Direct correspondence with parents can be effective. If this is the only way you are able to communicate with parents and families, it is ESSENTIAL to communicate your fundraising expectations.
  1. Be social to generate the results you need!
    Encourage families to “like” and “share” in relation to fun activities, special family-friendly features, acknowledgements of exceptional students and staff members, etc. For the best results, build up your contact list BEFORE you encourage them to “order.”

You can get social with:
1.71 billion active users per month.
29.7% of users are 25-34.
76% of users are female.

4 billion video views each day.
81% of Millenials use YouTube.
58% of Gen Xers use YouTube.
43% of Baby Boomers use YouTube.

110 million active monthly users today!
Expect Pinterest users to grow to 200 million by March 2017.

Plus you can utilize:
School or PTO Organization Blogs
School Websites

FYI: A handful of fundraising companies have become very social-savvy and can be extremely helpful to groups planning to earn more from their next fundraiser.
Visit to see examples of this.

  1. Stop making excuses and pointing fingers.
    Accept accolades for success and responsibility for failures. Learn from both and move forward.
  1. Be positive and have fun!

Election years and fundraisers can be perceived as an opportunity for a better brighter future, and for positive change. While it’s not unusual for participation in fundraiser profits to slide during an election year, you have the tools to be voted fundraiser chairperson of the year!

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