How Can A 13 Year Old Boy Make Money Fast 5 More Ways to Make Money at Your School Carnival – Updated For 2010 School Year

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5 More Ways to Make Money at Your School Carnival – Updated For 2010 School Year

A carnival is one of the best and most fun ways to raise a significant amount of money for your school. However, the amount of work that goes into turning your carnival into a real money-making machine can be intense. Here are five suggestions you can use to really increase your income generating potential.

1. Use the latest technology in your marketing campaign

A basic principle of marketing is to convey a message to your audience in the way they consume information. Since your primary market is families with young children, you can safely assume that a large percentage of these parents are active online. Therefore, you should be sure to use social media as your primary way of spreading the news.

Create a Facebook fan page for your school and fill it with quick posts like:

· Important dates/times for the carnival

· Notifications about the sale of bracelets

· Cool activities you’ve booked, like bungee runs or inflatable fights

· Popular entertainment acts you have scheduled, such as local bands or high school cheerleaders

· Incentives such as shaving the principal’s head if 80% of students in the school buy wristbands in advance

· Any specialty foods you’ll be selling at the carnival, like deep-fried Oreo cookies

Get this information in real time and specifically ask your readers to spread the word by emailing links or suggesting their friends visit your school’s fan page.

I would also suggest hiring a few students who are great text message writers. Ask them to start a “text tree” in which they send messages to ten of their friends and family members. Then, those ten each message ten more of their friends, and so on, until the numbers explode. It can be a simple message like “don’t forget to buy your carnival wristbands by today”. This can be a very powerful tool for you.

Remember to ask your school district if you can use their automated phone alert system, if they have one. This is a phone system that calls you at home to alert you of school cancellations or something similar. Many times schools use these systems to notify parents about school plays or performances. Request permission to use the school carnival announcement system to parents on their home or mobile phones. This is a very effective means of communication at your disposal. If you have it, use it!

2. Be more honest in your marketing

Face it, it’s hard to get people to spend money on the charity that is schools in a bad economy. People are scared and want to keep their money. That is understandable. But it is also true that schools need to collect money for things, important things, that the budget can no longer cover. Therefore, I would suggest two very important messages that should really be reinforced in your carnival marketing plan.

First, be very specific in your material. Tell your parents exactly what the money you collect will go towards. Work with the school principal and teachers to make a list of all items that depend on fundraising. Tell your parents that these items will be cut if your goals are not met. Even go so far as to make a priority list – name the item that will be cut first, etc. Your message will still be ignored by some, but for others this reality check will be a nice boost. And at least, it can be said, they were warned.

Second, make sure you start marketing your carnival LONG before it happens. I’m talking six or seven months ago. Then, after telling them what their money will go to, specifically suggest that the family SAVE for your event. If you give them six months (24 weeks) and only ask them to put away $3 a week, that’s $72 by the time of the event. If your school has 250 families and only half of them (125) save to spend $72, you will receive $9,000. 75% on that amount would be over $13,000. Would it be helpful to your school?

I would even go so far as to start a school-wide project where kids would get coffee cans or milk jugs and decorate them into personal piggy banks for the school carnival. Even on a tight budget, many families can find ways to scrape together $3 a week. That’s only 43 cents a day! But, you will have to make a plan for them.

Unless families know the specific needs and are given a specific plan on how to reach the goal, you will not be able to raise the money your school needs.

3. Pre-sell activity wristbands

In the sections above, I mentioned pre-sale activities and game wristbands. Basically, this is a concept where people get a discount for buying tickets to an all-access game in advance. If a person chooses not to purchase a wristband in advance, they will have to pay more at the door on the day/night of the event. Usually a $5 advance purchase discount is incentive enough.

I would suggest setting a school-wide goal to sell bracelets. This will mean that you or the school principal will have to make a big deal with the children about monitoring their progress. Once a day or once a week you should make calculations and announce them to the school about how close you are to the goal.

This can be done with a simple “goal thermometer” that you make out of a few thick Sharpie markers – black and red – and a sheet of large poster board. It doesn’t have to be fancy to make a point. Really fire up the kids for it. Of course, this will mean you’ll have to offer them something pretty good in exchange for their efforts.

Although it’s old fashioned, a school principal with a shaved head in front of the school is a great motivator (unless the principal is already bald or is a woman who refuses to undergo a haircut). But things like an assembly, a day off from school, a day off from school (if it’s private) or anything else that doesn’t cost you anything would also be good.

By pre-selling a large number of activity wristbands, you’re not only pre-loading your income, you’re also getting a good head start on how much food you’ll need to have on hand. By adding a goal/reward system to pre-sales, you proactively increase your revenue.

4. Be smart about spending rewards – use reward packages

It’s easy to want to splurge on the rewards you give kids for the games they play. Some schools are really getting into it and setting up a “redeem a prize” station, where kids trade in tickets they’ve won playing games for various prizes, very similar to how arcades do it.

I suggest you stay away from this system. While the children love it, it is a logistical nightmare for carnival organizers. You have to do all the math on how many tickets each child could win in each game, for each time the game is played. Then you need to determine how many small, medium and large prizes you should buy based on what you think the kids would actually do. And you better not screw up if you don’t have enough “big” prizes. He could have some disgruntled youngsters on his hands…

Additionally, children take an incredibly long time to decide which reward(s) they want. Have you ever stood in line behind a seven-year-old at the prize counter at Chuck E. Cheese? It takes them eons to figure out how to spend all their tickets. You will have a queue snaking around your school trying to solve this!

The solution, although not the most fun for kids, is to use prepackaged prize packs that are all the same. You can make separate packages for boys and girls if you want. Good prizes are pencils, McDonald’s coupons, small candy, a homework pass, a few small toys, a rub tattoo, etc. In the long run, the child won’t be disappointed with this loot bag, and you’ve saved everyone involved a lot of pain.

5. Trade like crazy with money making plugins

OK, you have people buying their activity wristbands and some food, but how else can you get them to part with some of their listening money?

From the moment the family enters your carnival, they should be inundated with spending opportunities. Games and activities are attractive, but you can set up a bunch of other money-making stations that are also very attractive.

For example, you can sell “cascarones”. These are decorative eggshells that have been hollowed out and filled with confetti. Once they are filled and decorated, tape a small lid over the hole to keep the confetti inside.

Have volunteers make dozens of them and then sell them individually at the carnival. Once a person buys a cascarone, he or she sneaks up behind a friend and smashes it over their head, showering confetti on that person. It’s a good laugh for everyone. Just make sure the person buying the egg doesn’t injure their target by smashing it too hard on the head.

There are many articles on the Internet that give instructions on how to make and decorate eggs. Do a simple Google search to learn more.

Another good idea is to set up a prison at the carnival. For a fee, such as 2 tickets (about $1), you can hire one of the prison guards to “arrest” one of his or her friends. The “arrested” person must remain in jail until they pay 4 tickets (about $2) to get out.

The jail should be in a visible place where everyone can see who has been arrested.

If you really want to up the awkwardness factor, make the inmates sing for the crowd while they’re in jail. I once had to sing “Little Bunny Foo Foo” while waiting to get out of jail. It was very embarrassing, but very fun!

Another idea to make extra money at your carnival would be to hire a camera-savvy volunteer to take candid shots of friends having fun together throughout the evening. With a digital camera and a portable color printer, you can print copies for sale. Appreciate the photos to move and make sure the photographer is also a good salesperson to motivate people to buy.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the many strategies you can use to make more money at your next school carnival. The most important tip is to make sure you are giving people what they want. The more ways you can tempt them, the more money they will spend.

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