Fundraising is a necessity for many groups and programs, including cheerleading squads. Even in the early days of cheer, fundraising has been an important aspect!

There are many ways to fundraise and one way is through word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth is exactly what it sounds like. You (and others!) spread the word around your community. When fundraising, whether it's hosting an event, gathering donations, selling a product, or using Fund2Raise Cards, word of mouth is crucial for success. It's the easiest way to get people involved and it can really unite a community! It's also the oldest marketing trick in the book.

Did you know that Gmail and Tupperware relied on word of mouth advertising? They didn't spend any money, yet they're used and known worldwide. Word of mouth marketing is great for cheer squads and programs that don't have the money to advertise.

There are several ways start and encourage word of mouth marketing for your fundraiser. Before you get going, create a key phrase or short summary about your fundraiser. It should include information about what the fundraiser is and why someone should contribute. Or, instead of a phrase, write out a few key points that address the basics of the fundraiser and any questions you think someone may ask. Make sure your fundraiser is fun! It makes it much easier to get others involved.

Once you've got your "pitch" down, the best way to start is to tell your friends and family! Share the details of your fundraiser with them and have them share with their friends and family. This is the easiest (and fastest) way to spread the word. Always let them know the details of the fundraiser, including prices and what the fundraiser benefits.

Whether they're designed on the computer or handwritten in colorful markers, signs and fliers are a great way to promote your fundraiser. Ask your school administrators if you can post fliers or signs around the school. Hand out flyers and encourage others to share the information with their friends and family.

The biggest concern some people have with word of mouth marketing is that they're afraid they may come across as aggressive or annoying if they frequently talk about their fundraiser. The key is balance. In order for word of mouth marketing to work, you have to talk about your fundraiser with everyone you know and get them inspired. But, when you do discuss it, politely give them a little information about it, explaining that you wanted to let them know about it. If they don't sound interested, don't push. Accept the fact that not everyone will want to participate or contribute.

For everyone that does contribute, give them a wonderful and genuine thank you! You'd be surprised how much more likely people are to recommend your fundraiser to someone else if you treat them with respect and show them that you truly appreciate their help. By relying on word of mouth and cutting down on marketing costs, you can get the most out of your fundraiser, which can help with program and uniform fees.

Stay tuned for more tips on fundraising. Next week, we'll explain how you can employ the help of local businesses!
How do you spread the word about your fundraiser? Do you have any tips for word of mouth marketing? Share your thoughts with us and other readers!