“I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe how easy it was.” When Coach Todd Kuska’s St. Rita High School football team sold over $57k in their second 4-Day Virtual Fundraiser, any fears about online fundraising with Double Good disappeared. Instead of selling less than their first fundraiser, as some had worried, they sold almost 40% more.
Their first Virtual Fundraiser was an experiment out of necessity. The pandemic had eliminated their annual in-person fundraising events, but not the need for fundraising. Coach Kuska heard about Double Good’s new Pop-Up Store fundraisers, but wasn’t sure it would work for his team. “Who’s going to get involved? How are they going to reach family members?” He understood that it relied on the players sharing their personal Pop-Up Store links on social media, but he wasn’t an avid social media user himself. Would this reach grandparents? What about supporters who are not tech savvy? Trying an unfamiliar form of fundraising felt risky. So rather than pushing it to all of his football players, he only had his Varsity players participate in the first one to control it. They went on to sell a surprising $42k with 100 Pop-Up Stores selling an average of $415, which covered the necessary costs of reconditioning their equipment; an annual expense of $20,000+ for a program their size.
Everyone has their own network. The kids aren’t walking the same streets ringing the same doorbells.
“The second time, nobody was hesitant and everyone believed in it. Everyone was ready to have fun selling.” Rolling it out to the rest of his players, it was easier for them to learn how to sell their first time. The kids who had participated in the first fundraiser were already generating word of mouth talking about how easy it was to fundraise with Pop-Up Stores. Their families talked about how much fun they had all throughout the school year. So when time for the second fundraiser rolled around, the excitement was already built. They sold $57k with 122 Pop-Up Stores selling an average of $470. “It’s also a great way to spread the word of mouth about football and the football season.”
Even though other teams at the school had run 4-Day Virtual Fundraisers with Double Good and there were more football players fundraising in the second year, they weren’t worried about seeing reduced demand for the popcorn and player support. “Everyone has their own network. The kids aren’t walking the same streets ringing the same doorbells. Even distant family members can support each other easily.” In fact, the team went on to sell to supporters across 27 states.
One important factor also helped increase demand in their second year: the popcorn had wowed their supporters. “The quality of the popcorn made it easy to sell the second year,” Coach Kuska explained. “It was just so good and so easy to receive.”
You have other priorities to focus on at the start of the season, fundraising has to happen, but this saves you time.
The impact of the Virtual Fundraisers has helped make the program more safe for their players. “My first and foremost concern for budgetary matters is the kids’ safety.” Replacing equipment that cannot be repaired is critical or fewer kids get to play. When they beat their fundraising goals, that means more funds to buy newer, safer equipment so that more kids can participate. The rapid, 4-day fundraiser also helps Coach Kuska better use his time. “You have other priorities to focus on at the start of the season, fundraising has to happen, but this saves you time.” Instead of having to manage a weeks-long fundraiser, organizing forms and handling cash, he can prioritize the needs of the kids and the program.
It’s not just the program itself that is safer due to Virtual Fundraising. “Parents don’t have to worry about their kids’ safety like selling in-person. Kids aren’t in public, they aren’t talking to strangers, they aren’t put in harm’s way.” Instead, parents and family members can get involved by sharing their kid’s Pop-Up Store link to their friends and networks through email, text message, or social media post.
Parents don’t have to worry about their kids’ safety like selling in-person.
Coach Kuska makes it even more fun for the kids to participate by capturing their competitive spirits with incentives. “The kids want to compete. Daily incentives drive momentum!” So he offers tiers of awards every kid can win by reaching higher and higher goals. “Smaller teams might be concerned about incentives, but they drive success.”
The team has now made it a tradition to kick off their 4-Day Virtual Fundraiser at the start of camp to harness the excitement of a new season. “It’s a fun way to start off the season with a win.”