Having group members sell products is one of the most fast and easy-to-run fundraisers out there.
Schools, scout troops, sports teams and other organizations rely on this method of fundraising. Two popular areas of merchandise are candles and cookie dough, and they’re relatively easy to sell, even for novices.
Who doesn’t love cookies? Rather than boxes of prepared cookies, dough allows the purchaser to enjoy hot fresh cookies right from his own oven – tasty and easy!
The dough comes packaged in plastic tubs, and a variety of flavors are available.
The popularity of scented candles has gone through the roof in the last decade. Stores such as Yankee Candle and Illuminations provide temptations that many are simply not able to resist. Consumers shell out millions so that they can have a $25 candle perched on their mantle. Your group can capitalize on the popularity of this item by bringing this temptation right to the doors of potential supporters.
Making the Most from your Fundraisers
The most cost effective way to sell both of these items is through a pre-order system. This means that orders are taken from customers first and then you purchase only the exact number of items needed. This, obviously, minimizes risk, especially if you require payment at the time the order is placed. The down side of the pre-order system is that it rules out the possibility of impulse buys from people who see your cookie dough or candles and want to buy some on the spot.
Another way to handle the sales of these items is to order a bulk amount and then set about the task of selling them. The potential problem is that you may not sell them all, and then you will be left with a bunch of items that you paid for and can’t unload.
A compromise between the two is to start with the pre-order method. Then, when you place your order, order a case or two extra for impulse buy sales. That way even if you are left holding the bag for some unsold items, it will only be a small amount rather than the entire order.
The key to this type of fundraiser is getting as many people involved in and excited about selling as possible. Give a nice prize to the top sellers to encourage everyone to really give it their best effort.
If you’re wondering how you’re ever going to reach that elusive target amount, do try and break it down into smaller amounts.
For example, raising $50,000 might seem daunting, but raising ten smaller sums of $5000 each might seem more achievable, especially if you can get your first donor on board.
Once you have one donor willing to commit their money, it’s strange how it seems to open up doors to other possibilities and funders. Also, consider how you might input funding – whether it’s actual cash, matched funding, volunteer or staff time – which can be helpful in showing your own commitment.
5 Fundraising Event Ideas to Help You Reach Your Fundraising Target
So, if you’re looking for some simple tips to get there – here’s our top five:-
1. Selling Food
One of the most popular ways to raise money for a fundraising cause is to sell food. You will see churches do this all of the time. My church has an annual meatball supper where they charge for people and use that money to sustain the church. We also have some bake sales and events where members cook cookies, bars, pie, cake etc. and charge for them.
I’ve also been involved in fundraising where I went door to door and sold chocolate bars. You could have an event where you have a pizza sale. This may be at a school event or some other type of event. Food is a great thing to sell because people need to eat and if they can eat good food and contribute to a good cause at the same time, it is an easy choice. Focus on the quality of the food and the importance of the good cause.
2. Offering Services
Another popular way to run a fundraiser is to provide a service. There are all kinds of different services that you can provide people. One thing that you can do is hold a car wash. You find a heavily trafficked area and clear it with the land owner and have your volunteers hand wash cars and you charge for it. Why not provide services like mowing people’s lawns or plowing out driveways? Or offer to provide just about any service that you can think of, go ahead and get creative!
3. Golf Events
Another way to have a fundraiser is to have a golf event. This is popular because almost everyone can golf and people will love to contribute to a great cause and have fun at the same time. You can also capitalize on the traffic that you get from the golf event. You can set up a food stand or a tee shirt stand etc. Just make sure to clear it with the golf course, they may already provide food or tee shirts and they might not want you to have a stand on their property. You could get creative and set up that stand on an adjacent piece of land where you have permission.
4. Annual Fundraiser
There are all kinds of other items or products that you could sell besides food. I know groups that sell a calendar every year, in order to, raise money for their group. I also know groups that have sold crafts that they have made. They will sell these at arts and crafts shows. Again, you can get creative and think of all kinds of different things to sell. Each fundraising group is different, so the items that you sell will tend to be different. You can choose a theme and base your products around that particular theme.
Having a raffle is another way to raise money. This is very common with school groups, who want to raise money for their group. What they do is have a box and ask people to buy a ticket. With this ticket they have a chance to either win an amount of money or some other item. The drawing is then held and the winner is announced. You either split the money that is made with them or else you have bought the item ahead of time and just keep all of the profits that are made from the raffle and they get the item.
This is popular with school fundraisers because they can get permission from the school and they can hold them at sporting events. There is already a good crowd there, using ranging in the hundreds, if not thousands. That is a big pool to draw upon and you send out your volunteers and collect the money and tickets from people and draw from the box and announce the winner, at the end of the night. It certainly doesn’t have to be a school event, you can get creative and have this at any number of different events.