Whether you are a seasoned fundraising veteran, new to the fundraising game or anywhere in between there are always tips you find out by doing or from others on how to make your fundraiser go smoothly. We’ve assembled some tips and tricks for having stress-free and successful school fundraisers.
PLAN IN ADVANCE
Whether you’re a few months or weeks out from a fundraiser or need to start one immediately, asking yourself the following will put you off on the right foot for starting your fundraiser:
When do I need to have my goal money in hand?
There is probably a set date you will need your profit by, say to pay for activity fees, group travel, supplies that will need to be ordered, etc. Once you have selected your date you can work backwards to plan an appropriate schedule. A typical fundraiser, usually, runs 2-3 weeks. A cash and carry fundraiser is where the customer gives you money immediately for the product you are selling. With this type of fundraiser, you can run your fundraiser up to your deadline day since you have your product in hand. With an order based fundraiser like our Celestial Candles or Excite Your Snacktime brochures, you’ll need to factor in if you will be collecting money upon customer’s placing their order or if you will collect money upon delivery of their order. If you choose to collect it upon delivery, you should account for order delivery time to the customer. We recommend collecting the money when a customer places their order.
If you are using your earned profit to purchase items then, you may need to consider the order period or shipping of those items. You may find that this impacts your timeline. Most our cash and carry fundraisers ship from our warehouse in 24 hours so you will have your product in 2-5 business days. With order based fundraisers, you will receive your product within two weeks.
Do I need volunteers?
Depending upon the size of your fundraiser, length of time, and other scheduling factors you may want to consider adding some volunteers. Start early by sending out flyers with your fundraising information, purpose, goal, and timeframe. You may also want to include your contact information if you are asking for assistance with setup, order taking, organizing an event, etc. Many hands make light work and having the sellers themselves; family, friends, co-workers, etc. all working together can help alleviate stress on the fundraising planner and make things go smoothly. If you are holding after school hours fundraisers, it may be helpful to have a sign up sheet for your group to select spots and take turns manning the fundraising station.
TYPE OF FUNDRAISER
There are two types of fundraisers: cash and carry and order takers. With cash and carry fundraisers you purchase all products up front and exchange money for the product during the sale. The majority of our fundraisers, including our candy and snack varieties, are this type of fundraiser.
Order takers are the second type of fundraiser and where our Celestial Candles and Excite Your Snacktime brochures come into play. Once you have brochures in hand, your sellers collect orders from customers, you place your product order as a group and then later deliver products to your customers. Our order taking fundraisers are great because you don’t have to purchase any product up front, and the brochures are all free. Once you’ve collected all the individual orders from your group, place your total product order with us and pay for only the items you’ve sold. When your items come in, be sure to schedule a bit of time to sort out the sales from each of your sellers. Provide them with a copy of their order form so they know to whom to deliver the product.
WHERE TO SELL
If you are doing food based fundraising, consider not just selling during school hours, but at events too. See if you can set up a snack table at sporting events, a small concessions area at musical productions, or even host a movie night complete with snack bar. Working your school fundraisers into activities that are already drawing people in is a fast and easy way to make sales with minimal effort.
If you are fundraising at an event, be sure to have posters or signs around your table or selling area. Signs that state “fundraising for (your group here)” and even your selling price point are helpful in pulling patrons in. Chances are also high that you’ll make more sales having signs since people will be more apt to purchase something that they know is helping a good cause. To help get you started we have some pre-designed sign templates you can fill your groups name in on here: $1 signs or $2 signs.
As always, our friendly fundraising experts are on hand to assist you with any and all of your fundraising questions. If you need a little help or a lot, we are happy to assist you in picking and planning out school fundraisers that are fast, easy and profitable.