2011 FALL FUNDRAISER REPORTThe fall 2011 Lucas PTO Fundraising campaign, “Make a Mighty Difference”, was a directdonation drive to designed replace the sales-based fundraising efforts of previous years with amore efﬁcient and sustainable fundraising model. The ofﬁcial dates of the campaign wereAugust 1st- October 10th. “Make a Mighty Difference” raised a total of $12, 245- an increaseof over 20% from the 2010 sales-based fundraiser. This report describes the strategy andoutcomes of the campaign and recommendations for the future.INTRODUCTIONLucas Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (Lucas PTO) has an operating budget tosupport various educational activities at Lucas School. Lucas PTO has traditionally raised asigniﬁcant portion of their annual budget by way of a ‘fall fundraiser’ which in recent years wasa merchandise sale, facilitated by a 3rd party fundraising company, which would pay LucasPTO approximately 50% of total sales revenue. The net income of the 2010 fundraiser was$10,065. The Lucas community had to sell (buy) approximately double this amount in overallsales to achieve this net.General consensus in PTO discussion after the 2010 fall fundraiser was a preference for a moreefﬁcient fundraising model so Lucas family and friends could see more of their money godirectly to Lucas activities, rather than a for-proﬁt fundraising organization.Lucas PTO convened a fundraising sub-committee in winter 2010 to explore the viability of adirect donation drive to replace the sales-based fundraiser. The idea was endorsed by the PTOand the committee began work on the design and implementation of a direct donation drive forfall 2011.CAMPAIGNThe committee consisted of outgoing PTO co-Presidents Steve and Melinda Pradarelli;Treasurer Ruthina West; PTO President-elect Dave Snyder; Lucas parents Ben Hill, Renee Spehand Joey Young; and Lucas principal Julia Burton. The group met occasionally in person andcommunicated regularly via email. Initial decisions included fundraising priorities (classroomtechnology and outdoor learning space), campaign goal ($25,000) and campaign dates (August1- October 10).CAMPAIGN IDENTITYTo ‘brand’ the campaign and make it memorable, “Make a Mighty Difference” was adopted asthe campaign slogan and a campaign logo was created incorporating the familiar Lucasmascot. Two posters with the logo were purchased for use at school events.BROCHURESA trifold brochure, or ‘ask letter’ was designed as our central information piece to describe thegoals of the campaign, a call-to-action, and instructions on how to donate. We decided toprint 1,000 to ensure thorough dissemination. Printing was purchased at The Printing House.
WEB PRESENCEThe committee agreed an online presence was important, so a “Make a Mighty Difference”page was added to the existing Lucas “Mighty Hawk Messenger” blog maintained by PTO athttp://themightyhawkmessenger.blogspot.com. In addition, the domain namesmakeamightydifference.org and makeamightydifference.com were acquired to link directly tothe campaign’s home page. A Facebook fan page was created for the campaign as well.VIDEOA short promotional was created, using photos & video of Lucas activities to help drive interestin the campaign. The video was published on YouTube on Aug.1 and added to the web page.LAUNCHThe campaign was ofﬁcially “launched” on August 1st, 2011. A campaign brochure was sentto all Lucas families in early August, and two local news sources- Press Citizen andPatch.com- wrote articles about the Lucas PTO campaign.BUSINESS SUPPORTThe PTO President personally solicited donations from neighborhood businesses and PrincipalBurton sent a follow-up letter to them. Some parents also worked with their employers formatching donations or for corporate grants.SCHOOL EVENTSThe campaign sought to maximize support by having a presence at the mid-August “Meet andGreet’, where in addition to paying school fees and meeting faculty, Lucas families could learnabout the campaign, take a brochure and/or leave a donation.BLOG UPDATESThe Lucas PTO blog was updated weekly during the campaign with a current fundraising totaland message, including a brief call-to-action and instructions for donation.TAKE HOME FLYERSA campaign update ﬂyer was prepared and distributed toclassrooms to be sent home each Friday during the campaign, toreach people not subscribed to the Lucas PTO blog.GIVE-O-METERA “Give-o-meter’ (in the form of a Mighty Hawk outline beingﬁlled in with color) was designed to chart the progress of thecampaign towards our expressed goal of $25,000. This wasprinted at poster size and placed in the school, and a digitalversion on the PTO blog was updated.YARD SIGNSTaking a cue from the ‘Stand Up for City High’ fundraising campaign, it was suggested that weproduce yard signs to increase visibility of the campaign and energize support. Given that thiswas our pilot donation drive, the decision was made to forego the considerable investment ofvinyl weather-proof yard signs, and we instead used color card stock signs donated byGoodfellow Printing. These were distributed out of the Lucas ofﬁce to students and families.
SCHOOL SIGNThe address www.makeamightydifference.org was added to the school sign during thecampaign.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSIt was agreed that a personal thank-you should be written for each donation received. Inaddition, we utilized the PTO blog to create a “Wall of Fame”, updated weekly, listing names ofall businesses and individuals who contributed. Donors were given the option in our ask letter/brochure to specify if they wished their donation to remain anonymous.RESULTSThe “Make A Mighty Difference” campaign raised $12, 245, an increase of 20% from the netincome of Lucas PTO’s 2010 sales-based fundraiser. 2010 2011 13000 9750 6500 3250 0 FUNDRAISER TOTALS
This total included four (4) donations from businesses and and ninety four (94) individual orfamily contributions. The largest amount of donations came early on the in the campaign- inthe third week of August, coinciding with Meet and Greet- and at the very end of the campaign.OBSERVATIONSThe fact that Lucas was able to top the 2010 fundraising total is strong evidence for thesupport and viability of the direct donation drive to support Lucas PTO.What worked:- Lucas Meet and Greet on August 16th- raised $1,350- Back to school night- raised $300- PayPal- online donations totaled $1,750 (%14.3 of total)Opportunities to improve:- Support from locally-owned businesses- Durability of yard signs- deteriorated in weather- More realistic & attainable campaign goal to better engage communityRECOMMENDATIONS- direct donation model for 2012- reuse ‘Make a Mighty Difference’ slogan and logos- set more realistic monetary goal- describe PTO-supported activities in greater detail; document with photos/video- make engagement (percentage of Lucas families donating) a key metric- cultivate non-ﬁnancial (i.e. volunteer) activities- campaigns <$5,000 should go through ICCSD foundation- next campaign should be coordinated with them as early as possible in the planning process- more durable yard signs- purchase with only logo (not year) for families to reuse annuallyFEEDBACK- student engagement?DATATotal net income in 2011 Fall Fundraiser was $10, 065.20Final tally for 2011 Fall Fundraiser $12,245Expenses for the MMD campaign were $846.20:• $458.00 – MMD brochures from Printing House• $152.60 – Thank you Cards from Printing House• $40.00 – MMD Banner from Printing House• $105.00 – color printing job from Zephyr• $90.60 – envelopes and stamps for mailing