4 Reasons School Fundraising Prizes Decrease Participation

4 Reasons School Fundraising Prizes Decrease Participation

When it comes to school fundraising, offering prizes as incentives has been a common strategy to increase participation. However, despite good intentions, this approach may sometimes have unintended consequences. Here are four reasons why school fundraising prizes may actually decrease participation:

1. Perceived Inequity

One of the main drawbacks of using prizes as incentives is the perceived inequity among participants. Offering extravagant prizes for top fundraisers can create a sense of unfairness among students who may not have the same resources or social networks to secure large donations. This perception of inequality can discourage participation among those who feel they have little chance of winning.

2. Pressure to Perform

Introducing prizes into a fundraising campaign can create pressure for students to perform and meet specific fundraising targets. While some students may thrive under this pressure, others may feel overwhelmed or anxious about meeting expectations. This pressure can lead to burnout and fatigue, ultimately decreasing overall participation in the fundraiser.

3. Diminished Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation refers to the internal drive to engage in an activity for its own sake, rather than for external rewards or incentives. When prizes are introduced into a fundraising campaign, they may overshadow the intrinsic motivation students have to support their school or cause. Instead of participating out of a genuine desire to contribute, students may focus solely on earning prizes, leading to a decline in overall engagement and enthusiasm for the fundraiser.

4. Exclusionary Nature

Prize-based fundraising initiatives may inadvertently exclude certain students from participating fully in the campaign. For example, students who are unable to sell a certain number of items or secure large donations may feel excluded from the prize incentives, further widening the gap between high and low-performing participants. This sense of exclusion can be demoralizing for students and may lead to feelings of alienation from the fundraising process.

In conclusion, while offering prizes may seem like a straightforward way to boost participation in school fundraising efforts, it's essential to consider the potential drawbacks. By focusing on creating inclusive, equitable, and intrinsically motivating fundraising initiatives, schools can ensure that all students feel empowered to contribute to the success of the campaign.

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