At Sherwood Forest Farms, we think nobody’s in a better position to incentivize sellers than the group leaders themselves. That’s why we decided not to incorporate incentives into our fundraising program, but instead use those savings to offer luxury evergreens at affordable wholesale prices.
However, just because our program doesn’t integrate incentives doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find creative ways to motivate your sellers. Sure, your members should be motivated by your group’s worthy fundraising cause, but doesn’t it always help to have that carrot dangling just out of arm’s reach?
Here are our top tips for setting up incentives and organizing prizes for your fundraiser.
✓ Create tiers of success based on your minimum per-person sales target
Tier 1: Consider making the Tier-1 target the minimum amount each person would need to sell in order for your group to reach its overall fundraising goal.
Tier 2: To reach this level, individuals should need to sell more than the minimum target. This figure will depend on the age and salesmanship or your group members, but it might be around 10-30% more than the Tier-1 target.
Tier 3: The highest level should be designed for super high achievers who earn well beyond the minimum target. Depending on what you think’s achievable for your group, this could be 50-100% more, or perhaps even triple or quadruple the Tier-1 target.
How you organize the different tiers of success is completely up to you, and you should tailor your various targets to suit your group. There’s no need to stick to just three tiers. Setting up several tiers with easier targets and smaller prizes can also be an effective way to motivate your sellers.
✓ Give each tier a catchy name
Title each per-person sales level along the lines of ‘Bronze’, ‘Silver’ and ‘Gold’ so that it’s clear that each tier is desirable, but that some are better than others. For example, if you’re a football team booster group, your tiers could be called ‘Safety’, ‘Field Goal’ and ‘Touchdown’.
✓ Tailor prizes to your sellers’ interests
Make sure the incentives you choose will entice the members of your group. Consider their age and interests when you pick your prizes. For example, will a group of 14-year-old boy scouts really be interested in a hoola-hoop? Probably not. But IMAX movie tickets might do the trick.
✓ Roll out a group-wide prize halfway through
When you reach the middle mark of your fundraiser, consider introducing a group-wide prize for meeting your overarching fundraising goal (if you’ve already reached your goal, set a new target). By announcing the prize at this stage of the fundraiser, you’ll give sellers an extra push before the fundraising season winds down.
Individual prize examples
Group-wide prize examples
Try to get prizes donated so that the money doesn’t have to come out of your fundraising pot.
Incorporate ‘free’ prizes whenever possible, such as allowing sellers to duct tape their teachers to the wall (like this school did) or letting the top fundraiser be ‘principal for a day’.
Don’t forget to talk up the ultimate prize—your reason for fundraising in the first place. Continually remind sellers of what the fundraiser earnings will go toward. Whether it’s new tents for a scout trip, new equipment for your hockey team or the ability to reach out to more people in need, it’s important that you regularly engage your sellers with your cause. The more connected to the mission they are, the more likely they are to give it their all.