Fundraising Safety TipsIt's that time of year again when fundraisers are in full swing for schools, sports teams, and organizations. Do you look forward to fundraising, especially if there are exciting incentives or prizes to be awarded? Some may differ in their opinions. Some jump right in and get the ball rolling, while others approach fundraising as an aggravation or a burden no matter what the purpose is. Either way, it is very important that you are protected while raising these needed funds!

Fundraising opportunities have increased over the years with the addition of email, online sales and social media. While it is basically the same as far as raising money for much needed items that are not covered in the general budget, your safety is now a major issue. It is no longer advisable to approach strangers to ask them to purchase items. However, outsides sales must somehow be a part of this process in order to increase sales and collect funds for the organization.

Here are some safety tips to help keep you safe during fundraising:

1. Supervision
Fundraising events should be under the supervision of a responsible adult such as a teacher, coach, parent, or other adult who has knowledge of the safety rules that should be followed. If you have questions about what is or isn't safe, do not hesitate to ask.

2. Door-to-Door Fundraising
For the most part, the "knocking on doors" type of fundraising has been replaced with a good spot at your local grocery store and online sales. While some organizations discourage door-to-door selling for safety reasons, if someone or something they do scares you or makes you uncomfortable, get away from them immediately! However, selling items in your neighborhoods to neighbors and friends is a wonderful way to increase sales if you are closely accompanied by parent or responsible adult. Taking your fundraising brochure to a parent's place of employment is also a great idea for increasing sales.

3. Selling Online
While fundraising online or on social media such as Facebook and Twitter may seem safer than door-to-door selling, it should also be done very carefully. Only answer emails, posts or phone calls from people that you know. Responses to strangers should be done by an adult. Never give out your personal information!

4. Collecting and Handling Money
You should never carry cash or checks with you. When possible, try to collect funds in the form of checks instead of cash. Money and/or checks that are collected should be turned into an adult or to the school or organization as soon as possible.

5. Know Your Stuff
If someone buys a product from you, stay in touch with them by phone, email, flyers, and online announcements to let them know when they can expect delivery. Allow your parents or an adult help you contact them. If you, your parents/adult and your customers all know what's going on, misunderstandings can be prevented.

Always keep your safety in mind when fundraising so that you and your school or organization can have a healthy, happy fundraiser!