Promoting your Fun Run fundraising campaign to your parent body is critical, particularly in the lower grades of elementary school. Ultimately it is the parents who will either encourage or discourage their children's fundraising efforts. In addition, parents should be encouraged to fundraise as well by sharing their child's fundraising link with friends, co-workers, and others in their network. Getting your message out to parents requires a multi-pronged approach, because there is no single way that will guarantee that your parent body gets the message. MyFunRun recommends using a combination of methods described below to promote your Fun Run fundraiser to parents. Try to use all of these methods if possible. Using all the elements listed below will not only raise awareness, but it will demonstrate to parents the school is serious about fundraising and the importance the of campaign and of students' participating.
The first basic method is to send materials home to the parents.
1. Student Kits
Student kits should be sent home with students at the kickoff of your campaign. This is the first element that creates awareness among parents. The kits are designed for both students and parents, and they contain information for parents and students on how to fundraise.
2. 2nd week letter home
MyFunRun recommends a follow up letter home to the parents each week of the campaign (average campaign lasts 3 weeks). This second letter reminds parents of the importance of your campaign, and to get their students started fundraising if they haven't already. The letter suggests that the parent sponsor their own child to get him or her fundraising effort started.
3. 3rd week letter home
Similar to the previous letter home. This letter reminds parents there is not much time left and now is the time to get their children participating before the campaign ends. The letter also reminds parents of the upcoming run day event details (what to wear, etc...).
No matter how many letters or materials you send home with students, sometimes the message just doesn't reach the parent. Even if the message was received, the message can be reinforced and strengthened. That's why it's important to implement the following list of alternate methods of promotion:
4. Pickup/Drop-off queue
The lineup of cars picking up students and/or dropping off students in front of the school presents an excellent opportunity for you to make parents aware of your fundraising campaign. Make a splash to get noticed. Get student volunteers from the older grades to create and hold signs promoting the Fun Run. Get them to make noise, music, or whatever else will draw the attention of parents. If your school has a mascot costume, try to get a volunteer to wear it and hold a Fun Run sign. If possible, recruit a couple of volunteer parents to approach parents to briefly tell them about the Fun Run fundraising campaign.
5. School website and Intranet
If your school, PTO, PTA, or other organization has a website, make sure to have a link on your website linking to your MyFunRun website. If your school employs an online platform connecting student, teachers, parents and administrators, be sure to post updates and notices frequently.
6. Social Media
If your school has a Facebook page, LinkedIn page, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or any other social network presence, create regular posts about your Fun Run. Try to get your network to Like/Share/Re-tweet your post(s). Some good ideas for items to post include; Messages and interesting facts related to students health and education, progress towards goal, major sponsors or supporters, etc... MyFunRun provides a worksheet of potential ideas for posting on social networks which is available in the Dashboard resource section..
7. Class Mothers
Many schools make use of "Class Mothers", or a parent volunteer in a given class who has agreed to act as a hub for communications within their child's respective class. If your school employs the "class mother" concept, make use of them. Class mothers can be very powerful allies as they can often motivate and mobilize a class into action. Class mothers are in touch with the other parents and frequently enjoy the friendship and/or trust of the other parents. Sometimes a class just needs a push to get started. Once a few students in a class start to raise money, other students (and parents) in the class will quickly notice and join in the fun. MyFunRun customizes your "letter to class parents" with you, and provides a sample letter for class mothers to email or post to their class network. All documents can be accessed and downloaded at any time in the Resource section of the Dashboard.
8. School Communications
If your school sends out any kind of communications via print or by email such as; Newsletters, bulletins, notices, reminders, updates, announcements... etc., leverage those communications to get the word out. The average Fun Run fundraising campaign lasts only 3 weeks. It may feel like overkill to use so many vehicles/channels to get the message out, however the campaign is short. It's all over in a very limited timeframe, therefore overexposure is not a concern. Remember that the more exposure you can get, the more money you will ultimately raise.
Most schools have a constant stream of events occurring on premises such as; Shows, sports games, parent/teacher meetings, etc... If possible try to get a table setup with a poster and a volunteer with some information to promote the Fun Run fundraising campaign whenever your school host an event.