Continuing Community Engagement after a Successful Fundraiser
- by Chief Cultivator
- Posted on April 28, 2016
You just completed a successful FarmRaiser campaign. It’s your last fundraiser for the school year. You raised a lot of money for your school, exceeding the fundraising targets you had set for the campaign. The family kitchens in your community are full of fresh local produce. You give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, and thank your fellow organizers and volunteers.
Now what? How do you keep your community actively engaged for the rest of the school year and beyond? The answer is communication, and there’s a new platform that can help you do that more effectively than ever before. It’s called SimplyCircle.
As you know, fundraising is not a “one-and-done” business; you can’t just ask people for money when you need it. Plus, you didn’t do a FarmRaiser campaign just for the money. You also did it to get kids to eat healthy, and to connect them with local farmers and artisans in your community.
The secret to keeping your community engaged long after the “high” of your last fundraising campaign wears off is consistent and effective communication.
That’s exactly why I created SimplyCircle. It’s an easy-to-use, safe and affordable online portal for schools, PTAs, clubs and other communities. I wanted to help community leaders like you engage your members more effectively.
As a parent of two young kids in elementary school and an active member of the PTA, I wanted to be in the loop. But I was often overwhelmed by too-frequent and disparate communications (emails, texts and phone calls). I didn’t like having to use multiple tools for newsletters, volunteer signups, and photo sharing. And I certainly didn’t enjoy the reply-all email threads, or the copying and pasting of information from emails into my personal calendar.
SimplyCircle solves all of these problems by offering a single platform – accessible from any device – that combines group emails, updates and newsletters with a group calendar, volunteer signups, a private and searchable archive of photos and documents, private messaging, and more.
Here are 5 tips for how you can use SimplyCircle to keep the momentum going after a successful FarmRaiser campaign:
#1: Share the results of your campaign with the community and thank your volunteers.
Remind the community what your fundraising goals were, and how much you raised. Tell them how you are going to spend the money that you raised. What programs will it support?
Thank your volunteers, either as a group or by calling them out individually. They poured their heart and soul into this event, and they deserve the recognition for their efforts.
#2: Share photos from the event.
Sharing photos from the event is a great way to preserve memories, and to keep your community engaged.
There’s nothing that parents love to see more than their kids’ photos and artwork. However, remember to get their parents’ permission to share the photos with other families at your school.
Rest assured, the photos that you share via SimplyCircle are private and secure, and only members of your circle can see them. (I’m a privacy-obsessed Mom of 2, so I made sure of that!)
But even so, you still need to get the permission – and it’s very easy to do on SimplyCircle. Just create a new task and attach a photo sharing permission form to it.
#3. Keep your community informed about upcoming events, and ask for volunteers.
You are done with fundraising (phew!), but there’s still the Teacher Appreciation Week, Mother’s Day, the spring parent-teacher conference, a field trip and a school concert. There are still minimal days when kids need to be picked up early, and teacher in-service days when the school is closed. . . the list of things to remember and organize goes on and on.
When you put an event on the SimplyCircle calendar, parents will get automated email reminders about the event on Sunday morning, and again the morning of the event. So nobody forgets to pick their kid early on minimum day, or to pack a lunch when there’s a field trip. Plus, nobody has to manually copy an event to their personal calendar ever again, as exporting events is a click of a button.
Many of the events need parent volunteers. With SimplyCircle, volunteer signups are integrated right into the event, and parents can sign up with just one click. And of course they are reminded about their commitments – no nagging required.
#4. Consider organizing some optional summer events.
School lets out for the summer (and that’s when parents’ work really begins!) Even with some trips and vacations, many of the families end up spending most of the summer in their local communities.
Consider organizing an optional social event, like a summer BBQ, an ice cream social, or a friendly sports game in a local park. With SimplyCircle, events have an optional RSVP feature, so that you never have to guess how many people you can expect and how much food you need to prepare.
Or you might want to organize a community service event for a local non-profit. They need your help and support year-round. You can set up a volunteer signup right on SimplyCircle. When you make it dead-simple to sign up, many more people participate.
#5. Get an early start on planning for the next school year.
Before you know it, it’ll be August and the new school year will be upon us. Getting a head start on planning for the year will make the back-to-school season less stressful.
Set up a new circle for your classroom, your school, your club, or your PTA. Pull in a school calendar from your website, and add other events that are already planned (you can always edit all the information you post if the schedule changes).
Put the information that you know your group members will need while you remember it. When they join your circle at the beginning of the year, everything will be ready for them.
If you have fellow group leaders that you’re coordinating things with, designate them as circle managers. Take advantage of the private messaging feature to easily communicate with your group members without having to look them up in a school directory or club roster.
So keep that fundraising “high” and increase your community engagement today!
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You just completed a successful FarmRaiser campaign. It’s your last fundraiser for the school year. You raised a lot of money for your school, exceeding the fundraising targets you had set for the campaign. The family kitchens in your community are full of fresh local produce. You give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, and thank your…