When it comes to fundraising and book sales, Julie Fox–yearbook adviser at Central Middle School in San Carlos, CA–is a true guru. In 2009, as a first-year yearbook adviser, she won 2nd place in the Herff Jones Northern California Ultimate Yearbook Sales Challenge.
In 2009, the yearbook staff at Central Middle school not only wanted to increase sales, but they wanted students to buy early. So they motivated them by offering complimentary name stamps to all students who ordered books within the first 6 weeks of school. The price covered the cost of the name stamps and more. Each Monday during the sales campaign, teachers received a list of students who had not purchased. Homeroom teachers encouraged students who had not purchased books and new orders came in every Tuesday. The week the free name stamping disappeared, parents were notified of a last chance offer with order forms and personalized money envelopes in weekly mail folders. Increase in sales: 10%, and for the first time ever, the school was able to prepay, making them eligible for the prepayment discount.
How does she top it for 2010?
For her 2nd year as an adviser, Ms. Fox noticed that Central’s yearbook did not have a name, so she asked the school to help. At a school-wide assembly, the yearbook staff announced their Yearbook Naming Contest. They explained the importance of a yearbook name and shared examples of other schools’ yearbook names. They then opened it up to the entire student population to submit their ideas. The names started flooding in. With Principal Lynette Hovland’s help, the staff narrowed it down to 2 choices: Hoofprints or The Round-Up. (Their mascot is the Mustangs.) Instead of just having students vote on one of the final two names, the staff decided to turn it into a fundraiser. They placed two jars in the school office, one labeled “Hoofprints” and one labeled “Round-up.” They then asked students to vote for their favorite name by placing spare change in the jar.
Three weeks later, not only did Central Middle School’s yearbook have a new name, but the entire school was excited about the yearbook and being a part of creating a tradition that will stay with the school forever. Talk about great publicity! And if that wasn’t enough, the yearbook staff raised an extra $170 by simply placing 2 jars in the office.
What’s the secret to her success?
“The yearbook belongs to the students, not the yearbook advisor. My role is to help the students create the book that showcases the entire student body,” shares Ms. Fox. “If I help them do a good job, then the students and staff will buy the book. It’s all about talking the talk beforehand (through advertising) and following through with a great product.”