Shopping for a Cause: 7 Successful School Store Fundraiser Strategies

December 6, 2023

It’s time to raise money, and you’re considering all the business acumen you can instill by starting a school store. A school store fundraiser is a popular go-to option because it’s effective! When you take the right steps, your academic emporium can rake in the cash you need to fund school needs and student activities.

Stick around, and we’ll walk you through all the necessary steps so you can have the most successful school store fundraiser in scholastic history (more or less).

Understanding School Store Fundraisers 

So, what exactly is a school store fundraiser? It’s simple! You set up a store—either in person or online (or both if you want to cover all your bases)—and sell things to students and the community. 

A huge part of setting yourself up for success is figuring out whether you want your store in person and/or online. It’s often easiest and most effective to offer your store online. With MoneyDolly, the app is already set up so you can upload your products and sell them through the platform. Then, all you’ll need to do is send out a virtual store link to your supporters.

You get to choose what type of products you want to sell, and when you’re done, you get to use your substantial profits for good. 

It seems simple enough, right? The good news is that it usually is! However, you need to take some smart steps to bring in the cash. 

7 Steps for a Super Successful School Store Fundraiser

We know you want to raise the most money you can. (If you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t be reading this, right?) Start with these seven steps, and you’ll watch the dough rolling in.

1. Have a Goal 

Before you start selling, sit down with all of your group members and decide what your fundraising goal is. 

The best way to achieve a fundraiser goal is to keep it SMART:

  • Specific: Figure out the exact dollar amount you want to reach.
  • Measurable: Make sure you have mini goals along the way so you know when you’re getting close. Maybe make one of those giant thermometer poster chart things? They seem popular.
  • Attainable: Make the goal big enough to push you but not impossible.
  • Relevant: Make sure you and your team know why you set the goal. They’ll need to explain to supporters whether your school needs new tablets, sports equipment, or a trip to regionals.
  • Time-Based: Giving yourself a deadline helps provide a sense of urgency.

2. Select Merchandise 

Now comes the fun part: choosing what you want to sell. As entertaining as it would be to randomly select whatever looks cool, we recommend employing more strategy

You have two options: You can choose items to stock yourself or select products MoneyDolly already has ready to ship to customers. MoneyDolly will package and ship products for you, so you never need to worry about it. If you decide to sell your own products, you still can through the app; you’ll just need a plan for packaging and delivery. 

Don’t forget to consider who your customer is (students, parents, or grandparents with deep pockets?) and find items they’re likely to buy. For example, parents may be into sweatshirts with a team or school logo to support their kids. Think about what time of year you’re selling, too. If it’s wintertime, you can sell cold weather gear, or if it’s almost summer, T-shirts will sell better. Of course, a fashionable pair of socks will sell like in any season.

3. Create Marketing and Promotion Strategies

Your school store won’t do well if nobody knows about it! You need a compelling marketing plan. Start with advertising. 

It’s best to get the word out in every form possible. Send flyers home with students, make announcements in school every morning, and share the word on social media platforms. This is your time to be annoying! 

This is why the MoneyDolly app works so well! It’s perfectly set up to easily send texts in a matter of seconds, inviting people to visit your online school store fundraiser.

4. Open the Doors

You need to plan out who will be in charge of keeping track of funds and sales, who will make sure items are delivered to customers, and who will be responsible for spreading the word. As all team members work together, your fundraiser should gain traction from the moment it opens its physician or digital doors.

Make sure buying is an easy process for customers. Clicking a link and paying online is convenient—using the MoneyDolly platform will save you a lot of stress. Unless you’re into stress.

5. Maximize Your Profits 

Don’t forget the little tricks you can do to make people more inclined to spend money. It’s not sneaky; it’s just good business. Roll out tried-and-true tactics like:

  • End prices at .99 instead of a full number—$19.99 is more appealing than $20!
  • Hand out coupons during school.
  • Run special deals, sales, or prizes for customers.
  • Give promo codes to past customers so they’re likely to buy more.

All of these strategies help make people open their wallets just a little bit wider. The best angle to push is making sure customers know where the proceeds will go. People are more likely to spend extra money for a good cause, so tell people exactly how the funds will benefit the students!

6. Engage the School Community 

Now it’s time to get everyone involved, not just the team putting on the online school store fundraiser. Your marketing strategies are a big part of this. Involve as many people as possible, including parents, teachers, and students. Make sure everyone knows the cause you’re working toward so they can feel a sense of pride in helping you reach your goal. 

Make sure you also recognize and reward those who have contributed to the fundraiser. This could be students who have worked hard to make it successful or customers who have paid the most for products. Send them thank you notes or share a picture of them with a note on your school website to let people know how much you appreciate them.

7. Measure Success 

It’s traditional to measure fundraiser success by how much money is raised. When you use the MoneyDolly app, fundraiser coordinators can quickly see how much you’ve accumulated and who has contributed the most. You won’t have to tediously tally up numbers or count cash; we handle all of it. 

There are other, non-monetary success markers to feel good about, too. During a school store fundraiser, your students develop valuable life skills like: 

  • Goal-setting
  • Sales techniques
  • Communication
  • Teamwork

All these little lessons help them become more confident in their personal lives. Fundraising doesn’t just raise money; it raises kids. (Dang, that was inspirational. Hallmark, call us.)

How MoneyDolly Can Help

Using the MoneyDolly app and platform is a very successful school store fundraising strategy. It’s by far the best way to make your fundraiser easy to run and share with supporters. We act as the digital dolly that carries the fundraising load so everything is simpler for you and your students.

And just check out these rousing tales of success: 

“It’s a very easy way to do a fundraiser. It was very nice that there was no money handling. It was also very easy for the buyers to choose if they wanted to give a donation, buy popcorn, or buy a coupon card.”

Jonathan Vance

“We used the MoneyDolly app to sell popcorn and pretzels this year, and it was a huge success for us.”

Coach Gavin Pochut

Reach Out to MoneyDolly Today!

When it’s time to raise money fast, it’s time to try a school store fundraiser through the MoneyDolly app. We’ve helped hundreds of clients meet and surpass their fundraising goals, and we can do the same for you! Get started today, and we’ll set you on the path to success.

Damion Smith-profile 2

Damion Smith

Founder and CEO

Prior to starting MoneyDolly, Damion spent the last 25 years helping teams, schools & organizations raise money while growing multiple companies across the country. He has served in many capacities including Sale Representative, Sales Manager, Senior VP of Sales & President.