So, you and some fellow parents have decided to tackle a fundraising campaign. Don’t make the mistake of going into a fundraising campaign unarmed with a plan. Let’s set some goals to work towards!

Goal Setting: Why It Matters

Setting goals is part of the foundation for any plan. Here’s why goal setting is the secret sauce for fundraising success:

  1. Motivation and Momentum: Goals are the fuel that keeps you going! When you set specific and achievable targets, you’ll find yourselves motivated to push harder, celebrating small victories along the way.
  1. Organized Efforts: Goals keep your team on the same page. Everyone knows what they’re working towards, leading to more coordinated and effective efforts.
  2. Measuring Progress: How do you know you’re on the right track? Setting goals helps you measure your progress, so you can make adjustments if needed and celebrate milestones.
  3. Plan Like a Pro: Goals allow you to strategize and plan your fundraising activities. You can create a timeline, anticipate potential challenges, and devise creative solutions to overcome them.


Setting SMART Goals:

I’m sure you’ve heard of the SMART goal setting method time and time again, but that’s because it works! With the SMART approach, you’ll have a roadmap that guides your team towards success. Let’s dive deeper into each aspect of SMART goal setting for your fundraiser:

  1. Specific: Be clear and precise

Be specific about what you want to achieve with your fundraiser. Define your target in clear terms, leaving no room for confusion.

For example, instead of saying, “we want to raise money for the school,” set a specific goal like, “we want to raise $2,000 to purchase new books for the school library.”

If you’re having trouble deciding what you want to accomplish with your fundraiser aside from a monetary amount, ask yourself where you see gaps in your organization that could be filled with funding. Have you noticed your child’s textbooks are run down? Are your team’s uniforms looking a little old? Find an opportunity for improvement!

A specific goal not only provides a clear destination for your efforts but also helps your team focus on the tasks that will get you there.

  1. Measurable: Quantify your progress

Your goals should be quantifiable. This means attaching numbers to your objectives, making it easier to track your progress along the way. This doesn’t always have to be a monetary number either! You can do this by tracking.

Instead of saying, “we want to increase parent participation in the fundraiser,” set a measurable goal like, “we want to have five more parents on our volunteer team than we did for last year’s fundraiser.”

Measurable goals allow you to monitor your success and identify any areas that may need extra attention.

  1. Achievable: Dream big, but be realistic

I know, it’s tempting to set crazy ambitious goals. While dreaming big is essential, it’s equally crucial to ensure your goals are achievable given the resources and time available.

For example, if your previous fundraiser raised $5,000, setting a goal of $100,000 for the next one might be too lofty. Aim for something challenging but within reach, like raising $7,000.

When you’re choosing your goal keep in mind things like the number of volunteers you have, the size of your community, and other variables! A school of 1,000 kids is going to have a much easier time raising a large amount of money compared to school of 300.

An achievable goal keeps your team motivated and prevents feelings of frustration or disappointment due to unrealistic expectations.

  1. Relevant: Align with your mission

Just like a puzzle piece needs to fit into the larger picture, your goals should align with the purpose of your organization. Ensure that your objectives directly contribute to your fundraising cause and support your overall mission.

For instance, if your fundraiser is for a sports team, a relevant goal could be to “raise $1,500 to purchase new uniforms for the team.”

Be forthcoming about the purpose of your fundraiser with your community. Parents and family members are much more likely to participate when they know they money is going to a worthwhile initiative.

Overall, relevance ensures that every effort put into achieving the goal serves a meaningful purpose and strengthens the impact of your fundraising campaign.

  1. Time-Bound: Set a Deadline

Make sure you’re managing your time wisely. Set a deadline for achieving your fundraising goal. Having a specific timeframe creates a sense of urgency and helps you stay on track.

For example, instead of saying, “we want to raise $3,000 for the school,” set a time-bound goal like, “We want to raise $3,000 in three months to fund new playground equipment for the school.”

You can also use your deadline to push sales. Let your supporters know that your fundraiser’s end-date is coming up and your close to hitting your goal. It’s encouraging for supporters to know that their purchase is what could push your fundraiser to hit its goal.

A time-bound goal adds a sense of purpose and motivates your team and your supporters to take action promptly.


Let’s put it all together to create a SMART goal for your fundraiser:

“Our specific goal is to raise $1,000 in four weeks to purchase new gym equipment such as basketballs, soccer balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, and more! We will measure our progress through weekly check-ins on the funds collected. We know this is an achievable goal based on our previous fundraising experience and the size of our school community. It is relevant to our fundraising cause, as enhancing our children’s physical activity aligns with our school’s mission to provide a well-rounded education. The deadline of four weeks provides a time-bound framework to keep our team on track and motivated!”

With a SMART goal like this, you’ll have a well-defined roadmap to guide your fundraising efforts and increase your chances of reaching your target.


Using a Goal Thermometer:

Let’s talk about how using a goal thermometer can add an extra boost of excitement and motivation to your fundraising journey.

The goal thermometer is a fun, interactive way to engage everyone in your community. Parents, educators, and students can visually see the impact of their efforts in real-time, which creates a sense of unity and shared responsibility. Set up a reoccurring date and time that you will update your goal thermometer and display it in a central location in your organization. This way your progress is visible to everyone. Who knows, you might even attract an excited audience who is eager to see the thermometer fill up! Watching it rise from the initial starting point and inch closer to your goal offers a sense of pride and that unites the whole team and encourages everyone to give their best effort.

Here’s a pro tip: Get creative with your goal thermometer! Customize it to reflect the theme of your fundraiser or the cause you’re supporting. For example, if you’re fundraising for new sports equipment, create a sports-themed thermometer with basketballs, soccer balls, and baseballs marking the milestones. When you fundraise with Mabel’s Labels you’re given a predesigned goal thermometer to use for your campaign.

Remember, goal setting is not just about numbers; it’s about creating milestones that your community can feel proud of. The goal thermometer just adds that extra touch of visual magic.


Celebrate with a Party!

Reaching your fundraising goal is an exciting accomplishment for everyone involved, from your team of volunteers to your supporters. Organize a celebration to honor your team’s efforts, thank your supporters, and let loose after your hard work. A great way to make your volunteers and supporters feel appreciated is to hold a recognition ceremony during the celebration. Present certificates or medals to each of your volunteers based on the role they played in achieving the goal, and make it point to thank your top purchasers for their contribution as well.


Goal is setting is a very important part of any fundraiser, but remember to embrace the journey and be flexible. Roadblocks are bound to happen, and things may change. Allow yourself and your team the flexibility to reevaluate goals if necessary, and don’t let it get you down if you don’t hit all your goals. Take the time to plan and strategically set goals for your fundraiser and your campaign will be a success!

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