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How Fairview High School raises over $5k annually

Mike Lawson • Perspective • August 29, 2019

The email from the local high school band booster parent in my small town outside of Nashville, Tennessee, Fairview High School, read:

FHS Band Flag Renewal

Good morning. I am following up on flag renewals, and it’s time for your flag renewal. An email was sent out last week and I am just following up. You can go to fairviewhighschoolband.org to renew and pay online or payment can be sent to school.

Last year, FHS impressed me with a couple of things following a knock on my door. First, I liked the idea of the band parents and students showing up on every flag-displaying holiday and planting a flag in my yard for the day, then collecting it at the end of the day. Second, I loved that they were smart enough to set up a payment method for me that allowed me to pay using PayPal, in addition to cash or check. Check? Who writes checks in the second decade of the twenty-first century, or who even has cash, for that matter? OK, maybe some of you still do for both. I don’t. If you want my support for your door-to-door fund raising offers, you’d better meet me where I live with how I can pay you and make it easy for me to give you my money.

The flag promo went off for the band members and boosters without a hitch, all summer long, too. I woke up on the Fourth of July to a waving flag that hot summer morning. So, I got what I paid for, and the band got my $50.00, paid for via PayPal. Using PayPal gave me, the buyer, the choice to use a draft from my bank, or a credit card. Smart move, FHS band boosters.

The program was created by a former Ravenwood High School parent from nearby Brentwood, Tennessee. The director at FHS, Mark Kinzer, moved over to Fairview last year and took the program to a whole other level, certainly not seen when my three kids attended there just a few years ago. The program is currently being used by all Williamson County high schools. The flag setup costs are minimal. The parts inventory per flag consists of a PVC pole (about $4.50), rebar (also about $4.50), and through a bulk purchase, the American flags costs are about $4.00 each. There were other miscellaneous material costs for securing the flags to the PVC poles, which ran around $2.00 each. So, all in, we’re talking an investment of $1500 for 100 flags.

In the first year, they had 108 flag services sold, with 48 renewing through simple email/phone call follow up. A mass email with a renewal notice was sent out the first week after the last flag service. Phone calls were placed a week later to make everyone aware of renewal was emailed out. The supporters that were not contacted will be getting a door to door visit about 10 days before next flag holiday. Four of the 108 supporters moved. The 2019-2020 goal is 150 flags.

This is a program most any school can emulate. It is creative. It is community service and patriotically oriented. It can be done with subscription renewals via email using PayPal or other payment options online. And in a word, it is brilliant. I was delighted to renew.

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