One of our favorite things at Fun Pasta Fundraising is helping groups to achieve their fundraising goals. We’ve learned with every group, there is a story behind the fundraiser. It’s the story and the people we love. It keeps us using our noodles to continuously raise the fundraising bar to improve our fundraising products and the process. We’re delighted to share our interview with Kevin Jenson, head basketball coach from the Batavia High School and group leader of the Girls Basketball fundraiser.
Tell us about your group? How many members? How long have you been together?
We are the Batavia High School Varsity Girls Basketball Team. We have 40-50 students in the basketball program. This is my 3rd year as the Head Coach. I also teach Mathematics at the High School.
How long have you worked with Fun Pasta Fundraising?
This was my 3rd time working with fun pasta. A parent of one of my girls told me about you a couple years ago and I’ve used you each year. No other groups at our school do anything like this. The last time we used you was in fall 2013 before our season started. We plan to use you again next season.
What were you raising funds for? What was your fundraising goal?
I’m given a budget from the school to purchase things that need to be replaced each year like balls etc. Any money made in our fundraiser’s goes into an “Activity Account.” This account is used specifically to buy things for the girls. It might be sweats, travel gear, $ for meals while we’re traveling. Over the past three years I’ve been able to completely give or highly discount Underarmor sweatpants for the whole team.
What group events on your calendar are you most excited about in the coming months?
Well, we are coming off of a really big year. We just finished our season in December. We won our conference for the first time in several years. We won regionals for the first time in 24 years and made it to the Sweet 16 in our state. This season we were 21/10. One of our girls was named Player of the Year for our conference.
How did you advertise and market your fundraiser?
The girls’ basketball team has its own website as well as a Facebook page and I have a twitter account. I promoted the fundraiser across all of these channels as well as traditional email. I posted about the fundraiser 2-3 times leading up to it and then 3 times during the course of the fundraiser.
What do you attribute to the success of your fundraisers?
Our community does a really good job of supporting our kids in whatever they are doing. Parents and grandparents are all involved. Another reason we were so successful is that I had nearly 100% participation on the team and set lofty goals (20 items/person) and had several girls exceed the goal. I also think this is just a great fundraising product compared to the other things done at our school. Pasta is an inexpensive tangible product that has a long shelf life and doesn’t require refrigeration.
Did you face any challenges as a leader? How did you overcome it?
The only problem I ran into over the last couple years was that people were doing online orders and didn’t realize that they could choose the person who they were buying for so that the sales could be properly attributed to the correct sellers. This was important because we offered prizes to the girls.
The only other challenge was being organized about the distribution of the pasta. Once we realized that the boxes were packed in the same order as listed on the Master Order form then it was easy. I used a long hallway, lined the boxes up in order, had volunteers take an order form and pick from the boxes to fulfill each order. Year one it took us a couple hours. Our second year it took us 30 minutes. I had 6-8 adult volunteers and about 8 kids helping me.
Tell us why you are such a passionate supporter of you group and of this fundraiser?
This is my 11th year overall teaching and coaching. Before I was even out of High School I knew I was going to be a teacher and coach. My father was a teacher/Principal. I love it. For me, it is a family thing. I have a 4 yr. old and 1yr old and they love the players and coming to the games. It’s a lot of fun. The community and the school are outstanding. We’re a large school but we’re also the only school in town so everyone pulls for us.
Of all the products in our catalog, which did your group sell the most? What were they the most excited about?
If you could tell another leader to do one thing to help their fundraising efforts, what would it be?
Before even choosing a fundraiser, be sure that you find something unique compared to what other fundraisers have been done at your school. Fun Pasta Fundraising was so easy to work with. Ask yourself what you want to achieve in terms of profits from the fundraiser and then work backwards to determine where to set your goals. Ask yourself if your goal is realistic to achieve based on the size of our group.
Special thanks to Kevin and to the Batavia High School Varsity Girls Basketball Team for participating. For more information about your next Fundraiser, click here.