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6 Steps For Ending Your School Fundraiser

The helpful GraduationSource eBook “Fundraising for Your School: How to Raise Funds for the Best Graduation Ceremony Possible” contains a detailed and helpful chapter on the best way to end your school fundraiser. Without further ado, here’s a snippet of the chapter entitled “Celebrate Your Success”:

Celebrate Your Success!

Your school fundraiser event is drawing to a close. Depending upon the type of fundraiser you chose, it could be as simple as receiving a commission check from a vendor, or as advanced as requiring a significant clean-up, a goodbye speech, and a thank you gift bag for the most prominent donors. For the latter, we created the steps below.

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Give a Compelling Speech (Thank Everyone Involved)

It’s a great feeling completing your school’s fundraising event. Depending on the size of the event, it might require a closing speech. At the very least, it should involve a closing address to all those that helped make the fundraising event possible.

You should thank the following groups of people:

Guests (for attending)

VIPs (thank each by name)


Committee members


Anyone who has gone above and beyond

If you have a preliminary estimate on how much you’ve made, let people know if you fell short or if you blew your goal out of the water. If you only know about how much was raised, be very clear that this is not the final total. Now is also the perfect time to say “thank you” with a gift, but we’ll talk about that in the next section.


If it looks like you fell short, don’t fret. You can still do some other smaller fundraisers to reach your target. And one important thing to note: if your guests had a great time, then it wasn’t a failure. Giving families a chance to have a enjoy themselves in a wholesome way is always a victory. Make sure your team and volunteers know that you were fortunate to have worked with them no matter the outcome. A positive outlook will help you reenlist the same volunteers should you need to get another event going.

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Give a Thank You Gift (When Appropriate)

While you are up on the podium, now is the perfect time to mention that you have a small thank you gift for attending. Keep in mind that most people don’t expect anything expensive for this type of event. They want you to be focused on raising as much money as possible for the school. You could give a small framed photo of the school, a coffee mug with candy in it, or some other gift you think would please guests. The key is something thoughtful that will remind guests of your school in some way. Try to choose your school’s colors or incorporate the school’s logo and mascot if you can. You probably delegated the task of gift bags to a committee member. We spoke earlier about getting local businesses to make donations, and this is something they could help with (such as coupon booklets).

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Acknowledge Everyone (Thank Them as They Go)

As your event closes, stand by the entrance (have other staff members do this as well) and thank your visitors, guests, and everyone else for attending. Thank them for supporting the school and for participating in the event. Be sure to have business cards on hand because some may ask for one as they’re leaving to show interest in donating further or perhaps to request to be a part of the next fundraiser. Make sure you keep an eye on your VIP guests as they may leave early. Make sure you get to say goodbye to them and thank them again for coming.

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Meet with the Cleanup Crew

Upon completion of the fundraiser, it’s time to clean the venue so that it’s ready for the next event. If you are at a hotel or other larger space, they may have a cleanup crew that runs on their own schedule. But do your best to meet them as they’re about to clean so you can personally guide them with specific needs.

If volunteers are cleaning up the area, divide the duties into smaller tasks so that no volunteer feels overwhelmed. Be sure to have lots of garbage bags, gloves, brooms, and other supplies on hand. Provide bottles of water, sodas, and snacks to keep morale high. Thank them for their hard work.

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Return All Rented Items

If your school rented any items, like a sound or video system, you’d want to confirm that these will now be returned. Your arrangements should have been made ahead of time, and you’ll want to make a call to be sure that someone is on their way. It is best to not leave expensive equipment on its own at any venue, even if it’s on school grounds. Have at least one or several volunteers waiting for the vendors to come pick them up. You may also need to sign something to confirm that everything has been picked up and is in excellent condition.

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Assemble the Final Counts!

Total all revenues and expenses. Subtract and find out how much closer you are to your target. If you’re not all the way there, it’s time to start planning again! And if you did hit your goal, then it’s time to think of a new objective and start planning a whole new fundraising event.

The event is drawing to a close. Depending upon the event you chose, it could end by receiving a cash back check from your graduation company, or it could be as advanced as requiring a major clean-up, a goodbye speech, and a thank you gift bag for the biggest donors.

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Future Reading:

Over the next few weeks, we will be publishing articles on specific topics related to school fundraisers. We will provide fundraising ideas, fundraising instructions, and other useful insights.

If you’re interested in getting all of that information at once, GraduationSource recently published an eBook detailing school fundraising – it’s a draft that’s continually improving with feedback from readers like you.

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