School / Childcare Fundraiser – Time Sensitive
Dear Parents and Friends Association,
I’d like to extend an opportunity to help raise funds for five (5) local schools or childcare centres, yours being one of them, if you take up the offer while places are avaliable.
I’ve seen a number of fundraising activities put on by P&Fs and often wonder if it would be more economical for those P&F members involved to donate the money upfront rather than invest the hours it takes to organise and administer projects such as: Photo Plates, Chocolate Boxes, Lamington Drives, Pie Drives, Raffles, Fetes or Grant Submissions.
My goal is to make this fund raising opportunity take the minimum amount of your time as possible and offer real value to parents at the school rather than have them feel obligated to buy something they don’t really need.
I’ve booked the Redcliffe Cultural Centre on Friday 10 June 2011 from 7PM to run a training presentation on Google Places.
What are “Google Places”?
When you conduct a search on Google for ‘redcliffe plumber’ you will see a map appear and listing with red pins showing a number of local plumbers. These listings are called Google Places and are effectively a free website provided by Google that show up in the top of the search results section.
Google has made millions of these free websites for businesses by extracting data from other sources, often in Australia from the Yellow Pages database. If you open up the listings for the plumbers by clicking on ‘Place Page’ you will see that all these Google Places have not been claimed by the business in question.
Less than 3% of these free websites provided by Google have been claimed world wide. That leaves 97% of business owners that don’t know about them. Claiming the Google Places page allows the business to complete information in the listing on a range of aspects about their business, add photos, offer specials via coupons and even attach videos. By doing this it tells Google that they are a real local business and Google will serve up their listing towards the top of the search results.
“97% of businesses and organisations don’t know about them”
Getting listed higher up the page is extremely important for being found by customers. There are limited places on the first page of Google and those businesses not listed there are at a very real disadvantage.
If you Google ‘redcliffe schools’ you will see a similar trend. These are just some of the local schools that haven’t claimed and completed their Google Places listing:
Redcliffe State High School
Southern Cross Catholic College
Humpybong State School
Redcliffe Special School
Grace Lutheran College
Grace Lutheran Primary School
Clontarf Beach State High School
Scarborough Primary School
Woody Point Special School
Kippa Ring Primary
Clontarf Beach Primary
Who Would be Interested?
Parents that are local business owners or managers of local businesses that likely don’t know about Google Places and that would benefit from claiming and filling out their free listing so that they can be found by more customers.
Remember this is 97% of all business owners, if not more in the local Redcliffe context.
How Can this Help Raise Funds for our School or Childcare Centre?
I’m selling blocks of 10 tickets at $10 each to five local schools or childcare centres. Schools can then sell these 10 tickets for $40 to members of the school community.
School cost: $100
Revenue from sales: $400
Funds Raised: $300
$40 is a reasonable ticket price for the training from a number of aspects.
- This is what the Moreton Bay Regional Council is charging for its monthly business education nights.
- Attendees will get an electronic copy of my book on Google Places setup valued at $29.
- To hire a consultant to advise on the same material covered in the presentation would cost businesses many multiples more than this.
- With the decline of Yellow Pages readership and the shift by consumers to Google claiming these free listings is incredibly important for businesses and the value to a business of getting this right can be in the thousands of dollars per year.
- An evening session allows many business owners a chance to attend without taking time away from their responsibilities in the business.
- Bulk of the cost is going back to the school or childcare centre.
The $10 that the school pays for each ticket will be used to cover venue and equipment hire. Any remaining amount will be donated to the Regional Community Association. My time is being donated and is not included in any of the costs.
What Commitment or Resources are Required from us?
Schools will need to purchase the tickets in a lot of 10 for $100. The 10 places can then be advertised in newsletters or other school communications with money received via your reception or other internal arrangement. The received money is then the school’s or P&Fs to allocate to projects as required. I can provide newsletter wording and images that you can adapt.
Prior to the event a list of the 10 people attending will need to be returned to myself.
My hope is that this represents a worthwhile return on time invested for the $300 raised.
I’ll provide the venue and training – you just need to let your community know the training is on, collect the money for the 10 tickets and return a list of the 10 names. The event should sell itself as business owners are now really seeking this type of education about how to get found online as opposed to buying lamingtons as a fund raiser which they may not need!
What Timeline Details are Involved?
To take up the opportunity to be one of the 5 schools involved I will need written or email confirmation no later than Wednesday 18 May 2011 that you wish to take part and payment of the $100 to confirm your involvement.
A list of the 10 people attending from your community will be required by Tues 7 June 2011.
What will be Covered during the Training Session?
- What Is Local Search?
- What Are Google Places?
- Search Ranking Considerations
- How To Claim Your Listing
- Setting Up Your Listing
- How To Upload Videos To Your Listing
- How The Reviews System Works
- Creating Offers and Mobile Phone Coupons
- Ensuring Your Listing Is Relevant
- Generating Citations To Your Listing From Other Websites
- Using Available Information on Similar Businesses
- Facebook – Integrating It Into Your Marketing Mix
- Is Your Website Aligned With What Customers Are Searching For?
I’d like to secure my organisation’s 10 tickets for fundraising now…
Risks for us as a P&F Association?
That our $100 will disappear with no event delivered.
I’m the owner of a local marketing company, Redcliffe Marketing Labs. If I was to not deliver or otherwise run this as a fraud for the sake of $500 then it would destroy my future business, which is a poor return on time invested. You can also check the bookings at the Redcliffe Cultural Centre for the event which has been pre-paid.
Paypal, like most merchant services, provides buyer protection through their payment system as added assurance and accepts credit card payments.
At the end of the day the event will go ahead with ticket sales to the public. Its just a matter of if you want the chance to add to your fundraising.
We are unsure of the presentation quality and content…
I have a recorded session from a previous event which I can make available, if requested, should you like to see the content being delivered on the evening. You can also Google ‘redcliffe marketing’ ‘redcliffe social media’ ‘redcliffe seo’ ‘redcliffe online video’ etc and see the result listings for Redcliffe Marketing Labs. I also run a training group at http://meetup.com/redcliffesmallbusinesswebmarketing/ where you can see comments from attendees. I know my stuff and will over-deliver.
Attendees will receive an electronic copy of my book about Google Places which itself is valued at $29.
We run at a loss if we can’t sell the tickets.
To cover the P&F outlay you need to sell 3.5 tickets.
If you advertise the event in your school/centre newsletters and website and are having difficulty selling the tickets, let me know, and I will assist via Facebook Ads or cross-leveling ts/he tickets with the other school/centres.
I will refund the amount of any unsold tickets. You have zero, nada, nil financial risk.
That the limited tickets have already been claimed by other schools.
This is a risk you run. There is only limited space at the venue and keeping the size manageable allow for audience interaction and the chance to answer individual questions.
The chance to purchase tickets for fundraising is only available to the first 5 organisations that take it up so if you are interested you will need to act soon.
If there is sufficient demand for tickets then I may run another event later in the year with the same setup but it takes some organisation, so this is not definite. If you can provide the venue and equipment then there is also the option of running the training just for your community as a larger fundraiser but again my time is limited to conduct these.
Benefits for us as a P&F Association?
Many fundraising efforts require significant volunteer time from staff or parents in the organising and administration of the event. Other than collecting payment, advertising in your newsletter or similar and passing me a list of names there is nothing else you need to do.
What else are you going to do this month for as little effort for the same fundraising effect?
There is no compulsion to be part of it as other schools, childcares can take advantage of the event and any remaining funds raised will still go to the Regional Community Association.
This is also aimed as an event to provide real value to parents as a fundraiser rather than chocolates, icecreams or other similar fundraising options.
- 97% of businesses do not know about or have not claimed their Google Places listing.
- These listings are placed at the top of the results for local business searches on Google and referenced on the Google Map.
- On Friday 10th June 2011 a training session about Google Places will be held at the Redcliffe Cultural Centre showing local business owners how to use these listings to best effect.
- Tickets are $40 each and there are 50 tickets available.
- Five (5) Local schools and childcare centres have the opportunity to buy the tickets in 10 ticket lots for $10 each and resell at $40 with the difference to go to the P&F association as fund raising.
- Total money raised for your school $300
- Access to the 10 ticket lots are provided on ‘first come, first served’ basis – so just the first 5 schools/childcares. Acceptance and payment of the 10 tickets at $10 each ($100) is required as soon as possible to secure your involvement but not later than Wed 18 May 2011.
- Should any tickets remain at that date they will be sold to the general public at full price.
What do I Need to do Next?
When you are ready to secure your lot of 10 tickets please let me know so that I can allocate them to you.
If your school was listed above as not having claimed your Google Places listing then also ask me about that.
Yes, please allocate 10 tickets at $10 each for my organisation so that we can take advantage of this for our fundraising efforts. I understand that we can onsell the places at the Google Places Training session for $40 and retain the $30 difference.