fundraiser welcome guide
Thank you for booking a portrait day fundraiser for your school! We are so looking forward to working with you and the families who attend your school, all for the goal of creating beautiful images while benefiting your organization. Please read through the information below to find out how to get started.
Please click here to review and complete our fundraiser agreement.
what you'll need to get started
- Welcome guide (what you are reading right now!)
- Personalized fundraiser webpage - provided before launch date
- PDF save the date & flyer to print and distribute electronically - provided before launch date
Our fundraiser days are typically scheduled on Saturday mornings. Fundraiser days take place at a neutral location, typically with both greenery/foliage and architecture, that is easily accessible from major highways and within the immediate Capital District. We will assign your school a one hour time block once you select your date. Each time block can accommodate 10 families, as two photographers (Kristen and Ashley) will be on site and will be double shooting the event. Each session is 10 minutes long. There is a half hour buffer before or after your time block which can accommodate an additional 5 families. If your school fills the first hour, we'll open up this additional half hour for a maximum number of 15 families. If you reach the maximum number of 15 participating families, your school will receive a gift certificate for a mini session ($300 value) to auction off at a future event!
Because portrait fundraisers are a more specialized event with a higher price point than broader reach fundraisers, we find that the average school/organization brings in about 8-15 families during their first fundraiser. This average is how we determined the best set up for our fundraiser days. If the fundraiser is a blockbuster success and there are more families interested, we will maintain a waiting list to accommodate them as best we can. A high level of interest means a private fundraiser may be a great option for the next go round.
Private fundraisers are an option for returning schools. They take place on a day and at the location of your choosing and involves just your school, and require a minimum of 20 participating families and a maximum of 30. Often times, the buzz and word of mouth starts to circulate after the first fundraiser, necessitating a private fundraiser for the next time.
Each family participating will pay a $30 session fee to reserve their time. Your school/organization receives 75% of the session fee. The remaining 25% covers our administrative & shooting time, as well as payment processing fees. We collect the session fees via credit card, through our booking system. We find credit card payments to be the easiest, as our booking system collects payment right away, which ensures prompt payment and avoids the issue of families taking up a time slot and then not paying. We will send booking updates to your point of contact each Monday.
If a family needs to cancel their session, we ask for them to give us preferably 48 hours + notice so that we can make their spot available. We do not recommend refunding session fees unless the event is cancelled, and instead, having the session fee apply strictly as a donation to the organization in the event of individual cancellations. However, this is at your discretion.
booking, session fees & payment options
We work diligently to ensure that our fundraisers are a high value, low maintenance event for your team. From start to finish, we recommend the following as a timeline of events for a successful portrait day:
- 6-8 weeks prior: Send a 'Save the Date’ announcement made via your social media outlets, emails, newsletter (optional, but with families' busy schedules, we find this is helpful!).
- 5 weeks prior: Schools: print PDF flyer to send home in backpacks, with all booking information--additionally posted on social media, school newsletter, emails from teachers, etc.
- ~4 weeks prior: Booking link becomes active. The link is launched 4 weeks prior at 8 AM to give families an equal, fair chance at booking a session.
- 2 weeks prior: Continue with additional outreach to fill remaining spots. Send another flyer home as a reminder, and continue with social media or email marketing.
- 1 week prior: Final outreach for any remaining sessions, including reaching out personally to interested families who did not book or any other families who may be interested. Booking deadline arrives (typically 3-4 days prior to the fundraiser date). "Day of" email with directions and instructions sent to families 1-2 days prior.
- Day of: Representative on site during your time block to greet families and ensure everything runs smoothly
- 2-3 weeks after: Families receive their online gallery for review, as well as ordering instructions. You, and the families, with be notified of the exact date they can expect to receive their gallery while at the fundraiser.
- Four weeks after: Order deadline
what you can expect from us
We are committed to making our family portrait fundraisers a smooth, easy, and financially beneficial event for your school. To do so, you can expect that we will:
- Guide you throughout the process, from setting a date to finalizing the session schedule
- Provide you with a smooth, easy booking process, where we accept sessions fees via credit card and will keep your representative aware of progress and how many remaining sessions are available; a booking "progress report" will be emailed to you 1x a week
- Support your school/organization in publicizing the event, through customize flyers or information sheets for widespread exposure
- An exceptional, successful experience for each family on portrait day
- Turnaround of the images within 2-3 weeks, and timely responses to families' questions about ordering
- Instant delivery of digital images and delivery of prints/products within (3) weeks of order deadline
- Delivery of the session fees & percentage of sales to your organization via check within (4) weeks of order deadline
tips for success
The beauty of our portrait fundraisers is that very little effort is needed by your organization. We handle the booking, day itself, editing, ordering... the only aspect that your school is in charge of (and its an important one!) is the promotion of the event. Naturally, your organization is best connected and in tune with the families at your school, as well as the daily process and procedures, so we trust that you know the best ways to promote our fundraiser. Our fundraiser timeline serves as a general guide, but feel free to tweak as you see fit... for example, if you feel that your families would be more responsive to frequent hard copy materials send home in backpacks or via snail mail, great... send away! If you find that your parents are very active on social media and respond best to email blasts, perhaps more frequent targeting in this fashion would be best. The more places to distribute the information (i.e. teacher's break room... staff tend to love these fundraisers!... hallways, other events, etc.), the better. We also find that having organizations members reach out personally to families that they know well and that might be interested works great. Please click here for some specific ideas and strategies from garnering bookings.
Fundraiser days do not require a minimum number of families participating, but naturally, the number of families participating and the amount of enthusiasm generated directly impacts the financial return of the fundraiser. We find that the vast majority of families are thrilled with their images and we have a very high rate of orders and average sales. The majority of families tend to order the full set of digital images ($150.00) but we assume a $100.00 average. Here's a few scenarios.
- Fundraiser day w/ 8 families participating
- 8 families x $30 session fee = $240.00 = $180.00 (75%)
- 8 families x average sale of $100.00 = $800.00 = $80.00 (10%)
- Total: $260.00
- Fundraiser day w/ 15 families participating
- 15 families x $30 session fee = $450.00 = $337.50 (75%)
- 15 families x average sale of $100.00 = $1500.00 = $150.00 (10%)
- Total: $487.50
- Private fundraiser w/ 25 families participating
- 25 families x $30 session fee = $750.00 = $562.50 (75%)
- 25 families x average sale of $100.00 = $2500.00 = $250.00 (10%)
- Total: $812.50
Many families have never worked with a custom photographer or participated in this type of fundraiser. The most successful fundraisers are those where the PTA rep acts as an evangelist for what we do! Talking up the experience... the benefit, the ease, the affordability, etc... may be the key to giving some families the extra nudge they need to book a session. We recommend highlighting our work and experience by referring families to check out our website, and stressing the low obligation nature of our fundraisers. We very rarely find that families do not love their images and choose not to place an order, but in the worst case scenario, it's a very small time investment for each family and the only money paid up front acts as a donation to the PTA/PTO.
On the day of the fundraiser, the on site PTA/PTO rep has a simple job, but it is a huge help to us. We will ask that they "camp out" in a central location where arriving families can easily spot them. The rep's job is to greet arriving families, brief them on how the process works, answer any questions, and help to keep the schedule intact.
We want your fundraiser to be a huge success and one that garners lots of interest and benefit. We are here and happy to help in any way, so please do not hesitate to call or email if we can assist you or answer any questions. Our best chance for success is working together as a team, and we are confident that portrait day will be a huge hit! Thank you for your efforts!
the abp team