Fundraising | Raise More Money with Product Fundraisers
When your school needs to earn $10-20,000+ in a few weeks for new technology, or your marching band needs new uniforms, or the team needs travel money to play in the big tournament – product fundraisers are one of the best options. They take much less volunteer muscle than a carnival or walkathon, and getting kids involved in supporting the school or group builds pride and ownership.
To get the scoop on fresh fundraising ideas, we met with the fine folks at the Association of Fund-Raising Distributors & Suppliers (AFRDS) conference in Orlando, FL. Professional product fundraisers help schools and clubs raise more than $2 BILLION per year and we learned there is definitely a seasoned art and skill in conducting a successful fundraiser.
Local professional fundraising representatives can help guide your group in choosing the best option for your community. Here are a few best-practices we picked up to boost participation and results in your fundraisers:
5 Tips for Successful Product Fundraisers
- Get the principal involved! A letter from the principal kicking off your fundraiser and explaining how it will help your school is a major parent motivator. Include participation and target sales goals per family and where funds will be spent.
- Launch BIG. Fundraising reps are GREAT at getting students excited and ready to sell product to benefit your school or group – talk to him or her about hosting a kick-off with all the students. For example, Dorothy and Harry Van Epps from Bumblebee Fundraising in Kentucky encourage younger students to go straight home and put their fundraising catalog in the refrigerator so mom and dad are sure to find it!
- Make transactions easy. The trend is moving away from pen-and-pencil order forms to online ordering, gift-cards, and on-the-spot transactions. Make it easy to also include orders and donations from out-of-town relatives via email or Facebook.
- Rewards and incentives work! Kids love prizes so choose carefully and they will work hard to earn them. Also add incentives like a pizza party or popcorn treat for the class or grade that gets the most participation. Include a funny school-wide incentive for hitting a big participation and/or dollar milestone, such as the Principal shaving his head or having to come to school in pajamas.
- Parents matter! When planning product fundraisers, keep mom and dad in mind. What items would they want to buy for their families and give as gifts? What fundraisers will they ask their friends and coworkers to support?
What about the stuff?
Most fun at the conference was getting to see (and sample) all the options schools and groups have for product fundraisers. From delicious sweets and coffee, to gift items and frozen food, to useful every-day products – there was something for every appetite. Whether sold in a product catalog custom for your school, or as a stand-alone fundraiser – we’re in for some very cool products this coming year.
For moms – Decadent sugar-free chocolate banana treats from Buena Fe Chocolates,, reusable designer grocery bags from EnviroVogue, , luxury bed linens from Amadora (yes, sheets!), and potpourri from Ability Nation, a group that employs mentally disabled adults.
Everyone will enjoy products from these trusted, well-known brands – World’s Finest Chocolate, Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Mrs. Fields Cookies, Hershey’s, Jack Links Beef Jerky and Little Ceasars Pizza Kits.
There were so many more awesome products – from decorative candles to pet supplies, housewares to cookies, snack foods to coupon books – we’re all in for a treat when the product catalogs come home this year!
Find out more about product fundraising with AFRDS’ Product Fundraising Handbook and check out their Tool for Evaluating Fundraising Companies. VolunteerSpot is proudly sponsored by fundraising companies, check out our website for fabulous Fundraising Ideas and scroll through our past blog articles on Fundraising for more fresh ideas and tips for raising money for your school or group!