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General Fundraising Tips
Fundraising for an organization can be a very tricky endeavor. While the right fundraiser can make hundreds of dollars for your organization, the wrong one can actually lose money. Several factors can influence whether or not the fundraiser you have chosen will make money. There are no set rules determining which ones to use and which ones to stay away from; most of that depends on your area and what activities other organizations use. Naturally, when choosing a fundraiser, the first place to start is with doing some research. Find out what other organizations have been doing and what has worked for them. This is not to say that you should shy away from what others have done. Some activities, such as car washes, bake and candy sales, and dog walking services, work nearly every time they are done.
These kinds of activities work every time for a couple of reasons. First, they work because of the low investment costs required to participate in them. Car washes and dog walking services, for example, often only cost your organization the price of supplies; sponges, buckets and soap for a car wash, leashes and shovels for dog walking. Second, they work because of the supply and demand. Unless you are working in a very small community, no single organization is going to wash every car in town. Your organization can catch the cars some other group missed out on last week. Or in the case of a bake sale, you are selling one time use products that people will buy if your prices are reasonable.
The next thing to research when selecting a fundraiser is location. First, if you are planning a car wash or bake sale, try to find a location that will first give you space for free (some places will charge you to use their water or charge a rental fee to set up tables). After you find free space, talk to a manager at your chosen location to find out if their company offers any incentives for using their location for your fundraiser. It’s not guaranteed but occasionally you can find a company that will match whatever money you make in your activity, turning $100 worth of washed cars into $200 for your organization. After doing your homework, the next thing on your agenda should be setting prices for your services or products. If you have chosen to wash cars or walk dogs, you may consider offering your services for free, asking for donations instead of a flat fee. While some people may end up not paying, others will make up for it by giving you more than you would have asked for.
Even if you do decide to work on a donations only basis, you can save yourself from doing something for nothing setting a price after a certain point. For example, you could ask for five dollars or even ten dollars to wash full-size trucks or to walk dogs over 60 pounds or three or more dogs. You are still working on a donation basis but you are not running the risk of having someone take advantage of your free services.
The last important thing to consider when selecting a fundraiser is credibility. Unfortunately, because of past success and popularity of some activities, such as selling discounted magazine subscriptions, these activities have been transformed in recent years into scams. In such a large capacity in fact that potential customers have begun to avoid giving money to people saying they are selling magazines for their organization, despite the reputation of the organization. So, be sure to check on the credibility of your activity. While your members aren’t using these activities to put money in their own pocket, there are too many others who are.
Above all else, the most important thing to remember when you are selecting a fundraiser is to do your research. If it is popular, is it repeatable? If there are overhead costs will your profit exceed that overhead? Are their locations in your area that will match your earnings? And finally, is the activity credible, or has overwhelming success in the past made it prime for scams?
First Time Fundraising
How To Select The Right Product - Six Key Questions Consider the following six questions to help you choose the ideal fundraising product or program for your group:
1. How much money do we need to raise? Come up with a goal that is based on your group's needs not just one that sounds good.
2. What would our group enjoy selling? The more they like the products, the more confident and motivated they will be to sell them.
3. What has been successful in the past? If you've been having a huge success with a certain program year after year- stick to it.
4. How soon do we need the money? If you need to raise funds within two weeks, we suggest you fundraise using our direct-sale products (ex: candy bars, lollipops, scratch cards ). If you have 4 weeks or more to fundraise, an order-taker brochure may be ideal.
5. Are the products we're selling of high quality? Remember that your fundraiser may be an annual or semi-annual event, and nothing builds profits like a reputation for offering top quality products.
6. Does the price match the income level of the community? Offering products at affordable prices for a good cause will lead to greater success. (I.E. Selling $15 items in a low income area will result in few sales. Fit the price to the area.) JustFundraising features fundraising programs that offer top quality merchandise, a variety of price ranges and the highest profit levels in the industry.
How To Select The Right Fundraising Company
Are you planning a fundraiser and need help choosing the right fundraising company? Below are a few pointers to help you along the way.
Whether this is your first fundraiser or your 100th, you'll be faced with decisions. One of them will be how to choose a fundraising company. It's hard enough to plan a fundraising campaign, so you want to be sure the company you choose works with you and isn't just in it for a quick sale. Below are some things to think about during your search and decision process.
Good Fundraising Companies Ask Questions:
Good fundraising companies will need to know about your group to help you the best. This is what they should ask you:
1. Your group's financial goal
2. Your fundraising timeline
3. The number of potential participants and their ages
4. Any historical information you can provide (e.g. past fundraisers, participation levels, successes and failures). If they don't ask these questions, this may suggest that they don't really care about you. It's in a good company's best interest to care and help make your fundraiser a success. They are looking to build customer loyalty and want to be around a long time.
Things You Need to Ask Potential Fundraising Companies:
1. How long has the company been in business?
2. How many years of experience does the company representative have in fundraising?
3. Do they listen to your needs and are easy to work with? If so, then they will help you later if problems arise.
4. Are the their products of high quality? If so, then your fundraiser will raise more with less hassle.
5. What is the percentage profit of sales? Although the percentage profit is important, there are many other factors that need to be considered (product quality, shipping included, time saving customer service).
6. What services are available to save you and your volunteers time and energy? Does the company provide checklists, collection envelopes, tally sheets and pre-sorting?
7. Are products paid for in advance or upon delivery? Will they work with you on a fair payment option?
8. Is there an incentive or prize program? If so, who pays for it?
9. How are products shipped and when? Who pays the freight?
10. What is the policy regarding damaged or unsold product? What about back orders?
11. Can the company provide references? Once you find a fundraising company that matches up to the points above, you'll ensure better success on your next fundraiser and many fundraisers to come.
General Fundraising Tips. http://www.fund-raising.com/fundraising-tips/ Retrieved on 2010-06-21.
First Time Fundrasing. How To Select The Right Fundraising Company. http://www.fundraisingweb.org/ Retrieved on 2010-06-21.
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