Getting Back Into the Swing of Fundraising

Majority of Americans Support School and Youth Group Fundraising

Despite the sluggish economy, support for school and youth group fundraising remains strong in the U.S., according to findings from a recent national survey commissioned by the Association of Fund-Raising Distributors and Suppliers (AFRDS). Six out of ten adult Americans purchased consumer items, such as gift wrap, food, magazine subscriptions, gift items and other products, to support a school or youth group fundraiser within the past year. Eight out of 10 parents of school-age children support these types of fundraising programs by purchasing at least one item, while most parents – 66% – actively sold items to help out.

“Supplemental revenue provided by fundraisers is critical for schools and youth programs, especially during tough economic times like we’re experiencing today,” said Jon Krueger, executive director of AFRDS. “More than ever, support for these programs translates into new playgrounds, band uniforms, computer labs, field trips and other products, programs and services that greatly improve young lives.” According to AFRDS, product sales alone annually contribute $1.4 billion to schools.

The survey of 1,000 Americans was conducted by the market research firm, Synovate. Other key findings included:

• Americans Know the Importance of School Fundraising – The majority of survey respondents (80%) agree that: “product fundraising sales are an important financial resource for America’s schools and youth groups.”

• It’s for a Good Cause – The number one reason why Americans purchase fundraising items, mentioned by nearly half (44%) of the respondents, is “to support a worthy cause.” Others purchased fundraising items to support their child’s school (24%) or to support the child of a friend or co-worker (13%).

• Product Satisfaction High – The survey found that most fundraising supporters (86%) were very or somewhat satisfied with the items they purchased.

• Online is Another Option – Among respondents who supported a fundraiser, 9% report that they made their purchase online.

“The data shows that communities are motivated to support school fundraisers but, there is a limit,” Krueger said. He suggested schools consider limiting the total number of fundraising efforts each and focus on the most effective and efficient programs.

“By putting a greater effort into a fewer number of fundraisers with very specific goals and a wider outreach, schools will find that they can successfully raise the money they need and get greater participation in their fundraisers from school families and the community at large,” Krueger said.

So remember as you go forth to fundraise this Fall –America still has your back.

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