Markets That Make Sense

What markets make sense to call on?  Do you have a target audience or specific group that you like to work with instead of others?  Well, it is time to get out of the box and get out of your comfort zone.  Below are some specific markets that you can target and why they need to fundraise. 

SPORTS / Middle Schools and High Schools will almost always have sports teams. Sports run in all seasons (fall, winter, spring) and have specific schedules for games, practices, workouts, and the off season (good time to fundraise).  Sometimes sports comprise the majority of revenue generation for a school and a lot of expenditures are budgeted for sports for that very reason - stadium, courts, equipment, transportation, uniforms, gear, umpires/referees, lighting, travel, competitions, tournaments, etc. 

Start with the Athletic Director or the Head Coach for the team you are targeting.  Check out the website.  Do they travel out of the county to events?  Do they qualify for district, regional or state tournaments/competitions?  If so, that requires transportation and funds to attend.  Don’t forget about the cheerleading squads.  Same applies for them just like the football team.  Talk to your Fall Sport Coaches NOW!!!!!  Summer workouts are underway and could be a perfect opportunity to set up a quick Sprint Fundraiser!!!

MUSIC / BAND / ORCHESTRA / CHORUS / Hopefully most of your schools have a music department or program at both the middle school and high school level.  Sometimes there is a department chairperson (similar to college) or head of each group - band director, orchestra leader, choral director, etc. 

Check out the website - does the marching band attend area competitions?  Do they host any competitions?  Does the choral department conduct various shows and programs throughout the year?  Does the music department support other groups like theater or a drama club?  Wouldn’t it make sense to partner music with theater when it comes to fundraising if they already work together on productions (school play, theatrical productions, invitation to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade).  

Most music groups will have a Parent Organization that heads up the fundraising efforts.  Reach out to them and set up a meeting. Some bands fundraise each month and you need to get on the list (maybe) as an approved vendor.  They generally are a well-organized structured group of parent volunteers who strive to keep the music programs top level while running smoothly and efficiently.  There are a lot of expenses with music groups, especially those who participate in a lot of contests and competitions that require travel.

CLUBS (Departments or Subject) / Various clubs throughout the school will have fundraising needs.  Generally these are led by the department chair or someone who is very active in the school.  This includes everything from the AgriScience department and Aviation/Aeronautics to Home Economics and DECA.  FFA and other national organizations have annual meetings to attend for their officers and some school representatives.  Some students enter competitions and contests.  

SCHOOL SPECIFIC (elementary, middle and high school) / Do you call on specific schools in a category?  Only high schools?  Only elementary?  We’d like to challenge you to step out and try to contact all three.

Elementary schools generally have a PTA/PTO organization that handles their fundraising.  Ultimately those things have to be approved by the principal, but are executed by the booster group.  If you have some dedicated hard working parents those sales can go really well and raise a lot of money for the school.  Younger students are easier to motivate as well (prizes, incentives, lunch with a favorite teacher, extra recess time).  However, communication to the parents through a 2nd grader can be challenging.

Middle schoolers have similar needs to that of the elementary school, but on a bigger scale.  More programs and more opportunities are available on the middle school level.  There may also be some crossover with the high school if the middle school is a feeder school.  Sports programs tend to start at the middle school level as well as clubs and organizations.

High School seems like an obvious choice because there are a lot of smaller groups to target, but high schoolers (a.k.a. teenagers) are some of the hardest to motivate and get excited about fundraising. They are “too cool for school” so not prime candidates to fundraise.  Sometimes in the high school setting it’s easier to target clubs, music groups, sports groups, etc. because those members understand fundraising is a part of the deal and they will do it especially if it is “semi-mandatory” or “highly encouraged”.

PRIVATE vs PUBLIC SCHOOL / This can be tricky because a lot of times private schools just want to collect fees and not fundraise; however, some of our top groups are in private schools. There is a sense of community, family, and loyalty. Additionally unexpected costs can arise if a team qualifies for a tournament or has to travel to a not-so-close destination.  Generally you can start with the headmaster or the person in charge of the school, but if it’s a sports team try the athletic director or head coach.  Additionally, parental support and involvement tends to be higher at private schools because they are paying for their child’s education and have a vested interest in what they are doing.  Generally speaking, the parent and student involvement tends to be higher at these private schools than at public/local schools.

NON-SCHOOL GROUPS / Preschools, church daycares, little league baseball and softball, travel volleyball through a sports complex, private hitting or pitching instructors who run camps, etc.  All of these entities are viable options when it comes to fundraising and they aren’t affiliated with a school and all the hoops.  Generally there is one decision maker - the boss/owner - and then they have a dedicated audience who chooses to attend (nursery school) or take lessons (gymnastics) and want to excel within the group. A private gymnastics academy may qualify for a competition or decide to enter 3 of their teams and those teams will need uniforms or costumes for various performances not to mention travel, food, lodging, and other expenses. Preschools or daycares might want to add programs, additional classes/teachers, upgrade computers or playground equipment.  There are definitely needs in all of these areas and you are the person to call on them to help them raise funds to meet those needs.

So work on adding some new groups in markets that maybe you don’t traditionally work in and see how it goes. Try to add one new one for Fall and one new one for Spring as a starting point.


National Food Days

June 10th - National Iced Tea Day
June 11th - National Corn on the Cob Day
June 20th - National Vanilla Milkshake Day


Group Relations Guidance

Checks and Returned Books
PLEASE make sure that payments (checks) are mailed to the P.O. Box address.  Some groups are including the payments with their box of returned books that goes to the warehouse.  In some cases, these check payments are lost, misassigned or missed altogether because they are in a box of books in the warehouse and not picked up via the P.O. Box by the accounting team.  When this happens the group will be delayed in closing out and that will also delay your commission being processed and paid in a timely manner.

ALL payments need to be mailed to P.O. Box 2399, Binghamton, NY  13902

ALL returned books need to go to the Warehouse address using the provided shipping label.

If you have any questions about how to remit payment or return books, please contact the Group Relations team (


Weekly Tip

As you go through the spring/summer cleaning purge and are getting your office in good order for the coming school year, you have discovered a few books that are leftover.  What should you do with them?  They will make a great thank you gift and are excellent tools for prospecting.  Leave one behind with the secretary as a thank you and then also leave one for the coach that you just missed. Attach a note or a business card and follow up with them.  If you’ve done that then plan to recycle.


Father’s Day Jokes

Father’s Day is just around the corner (June 16th) and we thought you could use a few funny Dad Jokes.

Do they allow loud laughing in Hawaii or just a low “ha”?

Why do golfers carry an extra pair of socks?    In case they get a hole in one.

How do cows stay up to date?  They read the Moo-spaper.

What do you call a beehive without an exit?  Unbelievable.

I found a wooden shoe in my toilet today.  It was clogged.

What is Forrest Gump’s password?   1Forrest1

What is a guitar player’s favorite Italian food?   Strum-boli

I don’t trust stairs.  They are always up to something.

What is an astronaut’s favorite part of the computer?  The space bar

Where do Dad’s store their dad jokes?  In a dad-a-base

What do you call it when James Bond take a bath?   Bubble 07

Markets That Make Sense