When talking about fundraising, we often focus on what to do. But, it's just as important to know what not to do. Whether you've had problems in the past with your fundraisers or are brand new to the game, follow our must-know tips on what not to do when planning a fundraiser.

Don't...

Wait until the last minute.
Even if you think your fundraiser is the easiest idea ever, throwing together a plan last minute can reduce the impact (and income) of your fundraiser. Give yourself at least a month to answer the most important questions:

  • How long will this fundraiser last?

  • What am I raising money for?

  • What is each cheerleader's role in this fundraiser?

  • How can I promote this fundraiser?


Forget to set a goal.
Just like creating a budget for your program fees, you should determine how much money you need to raise. This way, if you don't meet your goal, you can either plan a second fundraiser, or find other ways to reduce fees. You can even create several "levels" for your goal. For instance, if you raise $200, your team will be able to purchase shoes and poms. If you raise $500, your team can also purchase uniforms. If you raise $1,000, your team can afford to attend two competitions.

Ignore the power of social media.
Social media can take your fundraiser to new heights and reach many more people than a sign around your neighborhood. You can create a blog or social media account specifically for your team or fundraiser as a means of promotion. Remember, social media should never be a last resort, only used during the last week of a fundraiser. In order to make social media worth the effort, you've got to start early and you need the time to manage it! As you plan out your fundraiser, think of ways you can incorporate Facebook, Twitter, or a blog. Just as you would create a schedule for fundraising sales at school or a grocery store, social media requires its own schedule. Plan out who posts and at what time, how you'll gain a following, and how and when you'll share updates and information.

Think simple means boring.
Just because you can't hold a fundraising fashion show or bungee jumping contest doesn't mean you can't have a successful fundraiser. If your team is busy, you can rely on a simpler method and still raise the funds you need. Check out Fun"d" 2 Raise cards, which are just about the easiest way to fundraise ever.

Ignore what other cheer teams have done.
Fundraisers are rarely entirely unique and that's okay! There's a reason some types of fundraisers work, like car washes, and others don't. If you're not sure what you want to do for your fundraiser, take a cue from other cheer teams and see what they've done. This doesn't mean you're "copying" them. And even if you don't ultimately use another team's idea, it may just provide some inspiration.

Forget about spirit.
You're cheerleaders, which means even your fundraiser should be spirited! Whatever your fundraiser is, there are easy ways to add a dose of spirit, whether it's performing a cheer, selling mini poms, or raising money at your school's pep rally. A really great spirited fundraiser idea is to sell "cheergrams" through your school. Like a candygram, you can sell mini pom poms or megaphones. When you go to deliver them, perform a short cheer! This is a great idea to do before a big homecoming game or before prom.

Wear non-cheer clothing.
Whatever you do for your fundraiser, your team should be outfitted appropriately. If possible, wear your team uniforms and/or warm-ups. If your fundraiser involves food, water, or something messy, create team shirts. It's important people know that you're a team raising money for your team, rather than just a group of students. It also makes you appear much more professional and united.

What are other things cheerleaders and coaches shouldn't do when planning their fundraiser? Share your tips!