New Year’s “Game Day” Fundraiser

New Years Game Day Fundraiser

When family and friends get together, there is often a fundraising opportunity that presents itself. Close friends and family are perfect prospects when it comes to raising funds. Everybody likes to help a good cause, especially when they care for the person that is presenting the opportunity. Loved ones are there to support one-another.

New Years is one of those perfect times to present a fundraiser. You may often overlook the men in the family when it comes to fundraising, but this fun way to raise money will have everyone all in — even the men!

The idea is centered around football.

The big game is just as much a part of New Years Day as pumpkin pie is to Thanksgiving. Everybody will have fun with this particular game.

The Fundraiser

The idea is that everybody involved picks a team during the game. Whenever the “other” team scores one or more points against “your” team, you put a contribution of a quarter or more (perhaps even a dollar) in your collection jar (details below). Everybody is bound to get into this one, as it makes for friendly competition that contributes to a great cause.

This game not only brings more fun to New Years, but it is easy to perform. The plan-ahead preparation is even easier than most fundraisers. You do not need much to add this to your holiday.

The Set Up

Getting Organized

It is best to start planning and collecting the materials needed as soon as possible. You will need a set of collection jars (or other containers) to hand out and retrieve. Plan your collection method prior to making your announcements. It is best to have everything in order prior to presenting the fundraiser.

Make a list of the participants. Think of as many people as you can. The fundraiser does not need to be limited to your household. Invite neighbors, teachers, friends, family and, if you make it online too, even people you know across the country to participate in this online version that will contribute to your fundraiser.

Set Up Your Donations Method

There are two primary methods used to collect the funds afterward.

Collect the Money in Person

In the past, this has been the most common way to collect the money.  Designate one to two people to collect the funds.  Plan for the collection.  If you are collecting the actual funds, make it as convenient as possible.  Though you could have participants “bring in” the money, you might consider offering to pick the jars up.

Online Collection

With the internet, you literally can make this fundraiser nationwide.  Therefore, you need a way to collect the funds nationwide.  First, you need to set up a donations page.  HelpaFund has been working with all sorts of groups doing just that.  Click here and set up your donations page with them.

Instruct all your participants that once the fundraiser is completed, they should count the money in their donation jar and then use your donations page to send in the money.

HelpaFund keeps a very small percentage, but it’s worth it.  They take the headache out of collecting funds, they allow you to collect funds nationwide, and they provide many other benefits.  Check out our two other articles for more information.

Promoting Your Fundraiser

Promoting the fundraiser will be simple, especially using social media. Create an event on Facebook that has all the details, then get the word out.

  • Schedule one or more Facebook live sessions to present the idea.
  • Tweet a picture about the event with a link to your Facebook event page.
  • Have a group meeting where you present the fundraiser.
  • Present this idea face to face with whomever you think would benefit from that interaction.
  • If you have a place where people frequent (such as a school or church), put up flyers.
  • Send out letters and/or emails. Emails are very good when you are collecting online donations (see above).

Doing Your Fundraiser on New Years Day

If you are Doing the Fundraiser Online

Game watchers who are doing the fundraiser online do not necessarily need  a jar.  As their team is scored against, they can either write IOU’s that they drop in a hat or jar, or they can simply write down their donations on a piece of paper during the game.  At the end of the game, donations are totaled and made online on the donations page.

Build Excitement on Game Day

Use your Facebook event page to get your participants to tell you which games they are watching.  Post the game scores.  Get your participants commenting and posting pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Get people interacting about the games and the amounts donated.

Collect Your Donations

Think of the  best way to collect the donations after the event for your group or organization.  After the fundraiser is done, either the participants bring all the money collected to the collector(s) or the collector(s) visit each participant and get the jars.

For online donations

As discussed above, if you are using online donations, collections are easy and convenient for everyone.  You should have already instructed people how to make the donations.  After the fundraiser, your designated collector simply needs to be available to answer questions in case any donators need help.

 

Fundraising can be enjoyable. This holiday and sports event will greatly benefit your efforts, while providing family fun. Enjoy your New Years!

 

How to Use Crowdfunding for Your Next Fundraiser

How to Use Crowdfunding for Your Next Fundraiser

Crowdfunding can be a great way to bring together you donor network and surround them around your cause. Today, we’ll show you how to use crowdfunding for your next fundraiser.

Here’s three steps every cause can follow to successfully crowdfund a campaign:

1. Choose The Right Crowdfunding Platform

Before you can launch your campaign, you need a platform to host the fundraiser.

Crowdfunding with Expertise in Fundraising

If you are looking for a platform that has experience in the fundraising industry with both large and small groups, HelpaFund is a great platform.  It was developed by a gentleman with years of working with fundraising groups and individuals.  They provide all sorts of helps to aid you in your crowdfunding fundraiser.

  • Audio tips for your campaign set-up stages
  • Provide music on campaigns if you want it
  • Provide Entertainment discount cards for rewards (see details on their web site)
  • They even let you create your own rewards.
  • They have share tools.  All crowdfunding uses Facebook of course, but not everyone has a Facebook account. You can also share on Instagram (younger people use that over Facebook) and a Text tool that can be done from a smartphone. (About 98% of people read their text messages, so this is an extremely effective tool.)
  • They even help your crowdfunding campaign get found in search engines.

Product Development or Creative Fundraising

If you have a product that you want to get off the ground, then Kickstarter might be right for you.  People can pledge money to your cause through their site. Your project only funds if you meet or exceed your fundraising goal. If your project is successful, Kickstarter takes a 5% fee of the money raised – and there is a 3-5% payment processing fee. Keep in mind, Kickstarter can only be used for “creative projects.” For more information check out the Kickstarter FAQ and their Creator Handbook.

General Crowdfunding Service

If you are just looking for a general crowdfunding service, GoFundMe offers fundraising services for all causes. Set your crowdfunding goal and you get every donation your campaign raises. The type of campaign you run determines the fee GoFundMe.com attaches to your fundraiser.

2. Make Sure to Provide Compelling Information on Your Crowdfunding Page

This is your opportunity to let donors know who you are, how much money you need and what you’ll use it for.  The old saying, “A Picture Paints a Thousand Words,” is true.  Be sure to provide pictures along with compelling information about your fundraiser and how the funds will be used.

If possible, set up a video for your crowdfunding page.  That way, when potential donors visit your crowdfunding page, the first thing they will see and hear is a video about your cause.

If you need to raise a lot of money or explain an in-depth cause, see a professional filmmaker (think local) might donate part or all of their services to make your crowdfunding video. Tell them what you need the video to do and let them actualize your vision. Some crowdfunding campaigns budget their video production into their fundraising expenses.

3. Launch and Monitor An Engaging Campaign

After you’ve created your crowdfunding page and populated it with information, it’s time to launch your campaign!

The first few days are your best chance to gain traction. Get as many eyes on your crowdfunding page as possible. Share your fundraiser across all social media platforms, and get your network to do the same.

Release daily content related to your crowdfunding campaign. This could be photos of the people / project your fundraiser will benefit, or status updates on how much money you’ve raised so far.

Check out how your promotional content is performing. What posts drive the most traffic to your crowdfunding page? What kind of donors are you attracting? Use this information to refine your crowdfunding efforts.

You want to constantly engage your audience with meaningful updates. Keep attracting new donors until your campaign ends!

 

So what you waiting for?  Start your crowdfunding!

Why You Really Need to use Crowdfunding for Your Next Fundraiser

Why You Really Need to use Crowdfunding for Your Next Fundraiser

Fundraisers are crucial when collecting money to support what is important to you. It opens many doors that would otherwise remain closed. There are many ways to raise funds for your need.

The amount of strategies are endless. People often only consider one option: selling items. This category can include bake sales or other craft sales. You may have only considered fundraisers to be events such as these. However, you can truly get creative with ways to raise money.

Have you considered crowdfunding? You may have heard of it, especially with so many people opening up a crowdfunding account to raise significant amounts of money. You may have seen people sharing a funding page on social media. Huge amounts of money have been raised using this method of fundraising.

There are several reasons to use crowdfunding for your next fundraiser…

Crowdfunding

Extends Your Reach for Funds

Crowdfunding has brought fundraising to the internet. Never before has it been this easy reach sources for fundraising. You will literally be reaching a crowd, as crowdfunding is a form of crowdsourcing.

Crowdfunding allows your fundraising abilities to reach further heights. You can share your crowdfunding account over social media. People who care about you and your cause can also share it with their friends and followers. This creates a nearly limitless reach for funds.

Size Doesn’t Matter

Larger groups have the power of numbers, but small groups and individuals often face a much harder battle of trying to raise money.  If you or someone that you know has ever been faced with the burden of raising a large amount of money, you know how overwhelming it can feel.

You may have heard of people raising large amounts of money for trips through this type of funding. There are also many tragic situations that people feel compelled to support through crowdfunding. It is truly an easy and effective way to raise funds for your cause.

With crowdfunding, any person or group can use social media to amplify themselves.  Your online friends suddenly are an opportunity to turn yourself or your small group into a large one as they help you get the word out.

Every Cause Matters

Crowdfunding can be used for any and every cause. The range is limitless, so do not count your fundraiser out. Crowdfunding is used for a variety of needs. People have fully funded travel using the method. Entrepreneurs have been successful with funding their business ventures. Artists have also benefited from crowdfunding.

It’s Easy!

Set up a donations page and then use social media to get the word out.  HelpaFund has been working with all sorts of groups and individuals to do just that.  Click here and set up your donations page with them.

There’s No Up-Front Cost

There’s no cost to set up an account, and you don’t have any fees unless people actually make donations.  As for fees, HelpaFund keeps a very small percentage, but it’s worth it.  They take the headache out of collecting funds, they allow you to collect funds nationwide, and they provide many other benefits.

 

There is no reason that you should not incorporate crowdfunding into your fundraising strategies. You will be shocked at the reach your fundraiser has through crowdfunding. If you have a steep goal, then you should definitely consider crowdfunding. The amount of money you could raise is limitless. Do not underestimate people’s willingness to contribute to your cause. Reach the power of human kindness by using this crowdfunding resource today!

Five Star Fundraising’s Choice for Holiday Shops for Schools

The holidays are just a few short months away, and they provide a fantastic opportunity for an elementary school fundraiser:  a holiday shop.  There are a number of shops from which to choose, but the one that Five Star Fundraising likes best is the Lil’ Shoppers Shop.

Holiday Shop from Five Star Fundraising
During the holiday season, parents can rest assured that their children will shop in a safe, non-commercial setting. Teachers love it… Your faculty can teach their students about budgeting and spending wisely at the school holiday gift store, and emphasize the joy of giving.

Lil’ Shoppers Shop is an in-school holiday shopping program that has been around for 35 years.  As a family-owned business, they have helped literally thousands of volunteers raise money for their school or organization.

Lil’ Shoppers Shop is simple and straightforward. Choose your preferred dates to run your shop. This fundraiser then gives you everything you need to run a successful holiday shop from posters to parent letters to gift bags. They also provide pre-priced tent cards, box inventory sheets, closing sale sheet, and they all have pictures of items to make set up, shopping and closing your holiday shop easy!

The Shop features over 110 quality holiday gift items carefully priced within a child’s budget ranging from a pocket change to $10.00. Most of the gifts are around $3. What’s good about this shop is your child can buy gift items for their whole family as well as their friends.

Features Of Lil’ Shopper’s Shop

One of the best features of Lil’ Shoppers Shop is that it is risk-free.  All items are on consignment.  After the fundraiser is over, return the unsold merchandise (no freight charges).  There are no hidden costs.  You pay after the sale is over!

The gifts are considered top quality and are approved by Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). There is something for everyone. Of course, they are priced for kids as well.  You can see the gifts available here.

This elementary school fundraiser is convenient too.  There’s no door-to-door selling or your child asking the same people to buy something from them again.  Instead, parents appreciate that (1) the entire fundraiser is in-school so the children are safe and under adult supervision, and (2) it doesn’t add something else to their to-do list.

Lil’ Shoppers Shop is versatile as well.  You can set your own prices.  This allows you to make more profit.

Other Benefits of Lil’ Shoppers Shop

Lil' Shopper's ShoppeNo one wants the same stuff year after year.  That’s why Lil’ Shoppers Shop provides a complete new line of holiday gifts every year. You’re not getting closeouts or fundraising overstocks. If your inventory gets low or runs out, you get free UPS Next Day Air Reorders. In fact, you can place your reorder every day of your sale.  Using the custom Chairperson Web Site, you can track inventory, re-orders and invoices 24 hours a day.

To make purchases easy, the merchandise is price-coded so you don’t have to look up the price of each item.  The program also provides you with a Cash Register App!  It runs on Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iTouch) and Android, but you can also access it online from any internet-enabled computer, tablet or smart phone.

There are even guarantees. There is a $5.00 guarantee to make sure every child will get exactly what they want for holidays. They provide a 100% Product satisfaction Guarantee.  In fact, broken and damaged items can be replaced, and you can even get a refund for any reason.

There’s one final benefit that you will definitely want to know.  If you sign up early, you can choose a sign-up BONUS!

Make your students jolly this holiday season! Call Five Star Fundraising toll free for more information — 1-877-699-7807.  Ask for Matt and tell him The Fundraising Network sent you.

*Photos used with permission by Five Star Fundraising

Savory Cookie Dough and Savory Popcorn

Five Star Fundraising Savory Cookie Dough and Savory Popcorn

When Five Star Fundraising is thinking about fundraisers for their customers, they think about three important factors:

  • All ages love it
  • It’s easy to sell
  • Gives a group lots of profit

Since 1993, Five Star Fundraising has been creating fantastic fundraising opportunities to help social groups and other organizations across America earn a profit for a certain cause. Five Star is known for great fundraisers and sure success.

Five Star Fundraising created this promising fundraiser, “Savory Cookie Dough Fundraiser” and “Savory Gourmet Caramel Popcorn.” This fundraiser is tested and proven to be a success.  It’s easy and very profitable, because it tastes great and is an outstanding value. Because of its success, many groups are doing it twice a year, and it never fails to surprise them with excellent success!

Five Star Fundraising Cookie Dough TubThe cookie dough comes in a full 3 lbs. tubs or 3 lbs. pre-formed cookies in a box. This delicious cookie dough makes mouth-watering cookies that everybody loves. Aside from its yumminess, groups can make $6.50 or more profit per item. Even better, a group gets 8 free tubs or boxes for every 288 sold along with free shipping. (Shipping charges apply for orders under 288 pieces.)

Popcorn fundraisers are successful moneymakers, because:

  • Sellers are always enthusiastic about a product they like
  • Parents interested in healthier snacks will love the fact that your fundraiser popcorn pops in a heart-healthy air popper vs. and unhealthy oil popper
  • Kids love the all the flavor choices
  • And of course, what adult doesn’t like a little popcorn for themselves from time to time?

Groups can make $6.50 with gourmet caramel popcorn.

Best of all, you can pre-collect all your money so you can have profits right away!

If you are currently looking for a fundraiser that is proven successful, Five Star Fundraising’s Savory Cookie Dough Fundraiser or Savory Popcorn is a great choice! It’s easy, fun and very promising! Call Five Star Fundraising today, and Matt will be glad to assist you with questions or even get you started within three days! 1-877-699-7807

*Photos used with permission from Five Star Fundraising

How to Make Your School Fundraising Ideas Successful

Successful working of fundraising ideas for school depends on many vital factors. It all depends on your campaign or strategy based on the demand of targeted customers, place, timing and competition. Also, managing the team and getting active participation of members play an important role in fulfilling the goal of a school fundraising program.

Goal Setting:

Be it a fundraising for public or a private school, first set your goal and deadline. Clearly decide the start and end dates of your fundraising activities. Finalize your budget or monetary needs, the timing, the place and how long it would take to raise the required money.

Timing & Location:

The time and place of arranging your fundraising program matters a lot. Pre plan your event so that it does not coincide or clash with the fundraising efforts of neighboring schools or any other groups. This helps to attract more people and increases your potential to raise funds. Arranging the events during weekends rather too help a lot.

Also, arrange your fundraising events near a popular or central location that generally draws a large number of crowds. Opening stalls and serving customers directly in and around a venue of regular exhibitions, fairs, cultural programs, sports tournament, etc. help achieve your fundraising targets easily. You can create awareness about your campaign through advertisements in local media. You should also carry out online sales of your fundraising products or services using various promotional modes such as social media platforms.

Quality Product/Service:

Selecting products and services for your fundraising activity should be of top quality and matching the requirements of local customers. Higher quality fundraising products leave a lasting and positive impression among customers about your cause. This helps to arrange successful fundraisers in the future with more buyers and higher profits.

Managing Team:

Motivating your team members and finding their attractions to achieve the common goal are integral parts of a successful fundraising program. Developing proper skills help to make them professional in their approach and to effectively communicate the organization’s purpose, while dealing with people in such an event. For an increased association of individual team members, you should launch a reward or incentive program for top performers or best sellers.

Lastly, you can get help from a professional school fundraising company for timely advice on selection of product, place and timing to make your efforts productive and successful.


Special thanks to Andey for this contribution.

Raise Money and Support Humanitarian Interests for Women at the Same Time

discount card fundraising

“The Fundraiser was a huge success for its first year, and one that will continue to grow for many years to come. With a profit margin of $7.50 per card sold, we were able to provide our squads with full, embroidered, warm-up uniforms with the proceeds of one fundraiser! An impressive accomplishment!”
Samantha Young, Delaware

Blue Heron is one of those Fundraising Companies that you may not have heard of, but they have been helping groups raise money since 1995, and they have been quite successful at it.  The vision behind this company comes from its founder and President, Pete Reed.  Its success comes from his personal philosophy, “The customer is always right!” and the personal service that each customer receives.

Between the fundraising business and his humanitarian work, Pete stays very busy.  However, we caught a few moments with him to find out more about him, and what makes his fundraiser work so well.  Here’s what he had to say.

“Our discount cards are tremendously effective for our customers.  We get mostly schools, sports teams and marching bands, but we also get military and university organizations. It works well for several reasons.

First and foremost for our groups, the cards produce 70-80% profit.  That’s nearly unheard of in fundraising.  The normal ceiling is about 50%.

Second, our cards sell well because they have fantastic discounts, and because they come from businesses in the group’s community.  We work with our groups to get the best possible discounts within their communities.  The businesses don’t have to pay for the ads either.  Local discounts mean (1) people want the cards, (2) the $10 price point makes it an easy sell, and (3) it helps the local community.

Third, we help save their customers money.  There is no setup or production costs for the group unless they have special artwork that requires more attention than normal.

And our customers like the fact that they don’t have to fill a room with inventory they have stocked.  The cards are small enough so that they fit just about anywhere – wallet, purse, pocket. Their group members can carry the cards anywhere and can sell “on the spot” when the opportunity presents itself.”

During the rest of our visit, Pete talked about the groups Blue Heron discount cards have helped and the organization’s dedication to making groups profitable.  It’s not a complicated process, but it is successful and it’s proven effective for raising money.

Though Blue Heron is located along the Delmarva Peninsula in Delaware, Blue Heron has helped groups all over the United States.  Pete’s vision doesn’t stop there, however.  In 2005, through a series of events, Pete began working to help a girl, Slavka (pictured bottom right), in Slovakia and later began helping Aneta (pictured bottom middle) from the Czech Republic.  He didn’t just throw money at the problem.  He equipped these women to be able to live and succeed which led him to form Slavka’s Dream Ltd. (www.slavkasdream.com) His goals are:

  • to help women achieve status in their culture and society,
  • to provide for their families through working and education,
  • to increase hope by helping them to succeed rather than fall into desperation,
  • and to teach others to believe in themselves so that their dreams can become real.

To date, he has helped women in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia, and Romania.

Meeting with Pete was an eye-opening experience.  Groups who want to raise money not only have great potential to meet their goals with Blue Heron fundraising cards.  When they use Blue Heron for their fundraising card provider, they also are helping to support humanitarian efforts for women who would otherwise be trapped in a terrible lifestyle.

Check out Blue Heron discount cards at www.blueheroncards.com.

Spotlight on Blue Heron Discount Cards — Part 1

Blue Heron Discount Cards
Blue Heron Discount Cards
Blue Heron Discount Cards strives to put together a discount card that contains quality offers that make the cards easier to sell. Each year, we attempt to make our clients a better card than they had the previous year. We want a card that people can use over and over again, not one that has offers that are not valid in the clients market.

Last year, we had the opportunity to speak with Pete Reed, the owner of Blue Heron Discount Cards.  His fundraiser caught our attention because of the humanitarian work he has been doing. We contacted him recently and asked him to send us any updated information he has about his fundraising program.  Here’s what he sent back.

Blue Heron has been producing community based discount cards since 1995. At the time we started, discount cards were actually in their infancy. Over the years, we’ve improved our product constantly by changing our graphics personnel and our card suppliers. We’ve gone from a boring one color card to exciting multi-color logos and offers.

One thing that hasn’t changed is our care for our clients. We strive to put together a discount card that contains quality offers that make the cards easier to sell. We’ve been fortunate to have been able to build good relationships with many of the same businesses over the years, but we still strive for new business offers at the request of our clients. Each year, we attempt to make our clients a better card than they had the previous year. We want a card that people can use over and over again, not one that has offers that are not valid in the clients market. This requires a bit of extra work on our part, but it’s all part of the value we give to our customer, along with a high profit margin.

Pete didn’t really talk much about custom vs. generic discount cards. Most discount card companies are going to the mass produced, generic discounts, but Blue Heron is still providing custom cards with custom offers and there are some benefits to custom cards.  More information about that in Part 2.

Spotlight on Ultimate Fundraising’s Cookie Dough Fundraiser

“We listen to what our groups say and help them choose the best program to reach their fundraising goals.”
Pat Van Hesteren
President, Ultimate Fundraising

When it comes to cookie dough, Ultimate Fundraising offers you two types of cookie dough programs: Standard and Home Delivery.

Standard Cookie Dough Program (with three brochure choices)

If you have done a cookie dough fundraiser before, this part will be no surprise to you. Decide on which brochure you want to use, fax in your Participation Agreement Form, and you are ready to start raising money! Tell Ultimate Fundraising how many brochures you need, and they provide them. Brochures include Ultimate Fundraising’s famous cookie dough program as well as tag programs that include cheese cakes, pretzels, dessert bars, funnel cakes and more.

Run your fundraiser for 2 weeks. (The price of the cookie dough ranges from $10-$16.) Your coordinator then completes the master order form indicating the address where they want the delivery to be made and fax in your order and send payment. Your product is shipped to you within two weeks.

Of course, everyone wants to know about the profit. There are two cookie dough tub sizes that you can choose for your fundraiser. The smaller tub gives opportunity for 40% profit, and it also has a lower minimum. This is great for smaller groups. On the other hand, the larger tubs allow for up to 50% profit, but it has a higher minimum. Regardless of the minimum, however, Ultimate Fundraising makes a way for you to get your cookie dough even if you don’t meet the minimum order!

Home Delivery Program

Your group makes 40%-50% profit on each tub sold. There is a $4 shipping charge for each tub to allow for home delivery. Your group uses the order taker and when your campaign is over you tell Ultimate Fundraising how many tubs you sold. They mail you enough activation cards for you to hand back to your supporters who log onto the Crazy About Cookies website and indicate the flavor of cookie dough that they would like and provide a mailing address. Each card has a code that your supporters will enter and the cookie dough will ship directly to their door. It is that easy!

Don’t Forget the Incentives

In a time when many companies are cutting back, Ultimate Fundraising is staying consistent with their incentive for your group. If you sell 1000 tubs or boxes of cookie dough or 1000 bags of their coffee (remember that they offer multiple products), your group receives a Nintendo Wii System or $300 CASH!!!

Add the cash to your fundraising profit total or use the incentive to spur on your members. It’s up to you. Either way, your group has the opportunity to make extra profit!

For more information, click here.

Fundamentals of Event Fundraising

Fundamentals of Event Fundraising
Fundamentals of Event Fundraising
Following these fundamentals, you should be able to do many fundraisers to help you raise the money you need.

The thought of doing fundraising events for your group or organization can be downright scary, if not totally off-putting. Please don’t despair, however.

Doing fundraisers is not as daunting as it appears to be at first blush.

The whole process of fundraising needs to broken down in to a series of highly doable steps that lend momentum to the planning and conduct of the fundraiser.

Gather Participants and Create Passion

Bring together a group of people who are passionate about the project or service for which you’ll be raising the money (1). Additionally, ensure that they’re willing to do the careful planning and implementation work which will be vital to the success of your fundraiser, or fundraisers. Ideally, over time, as you do fundraisers, have experienced members of your group train those who join your group but have no experience in raising money.

Thorough Planning

Meet Regularly, Weekly if Possible

During the planning phase of the fundraising event, try to hold weekly meetings to foster accountability and to maintain the morale and forward momentum of the group. It is important that the meetings have a very clear focus and that they last only 15-20 minutes, as people’s time is extremely valuable.

Be organized and plan each part of the fundraiser: goals, how the money will be used, who will be invited and how invitations will be extended, what will happen the day of the event, and evaluation.

Set Clear Goals

During the planning stage be sure to set forth clear goals in terms of how much the group wants to raise and what resources will be needed to achieve those goals (2).

Determine Exactly How the Money will be Used

Clearly set forth exactly how the money will be used once it is raised. Make sure that all your participants and supporters will be in agreement.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel. Look at Others’ Efforts

Don’t be afraid to study fundraisers that other groups have done in order to learn from their successes or lack thereof. Be sure to share with your group successes that other groups and/or organizations have enjoyed so that they (your group) are motivated. This encouragement can make group members feel empowered which may generate better fundraising results.

Inviting Attendees

Start with Who You Know (“Warm” invitations)

Encourage members of your group to invite people they know to attend the fundraiser before they reach out to those outside their circle of family, relatives, friends, and acquaintances. In so doing, individuals in your group will gain confidence in inviting people to the fundraiser and bridging into inviting people they don’t know.

Avoid “Cold Calling” Unless It is Necessary

“Cold-call” invitations should be avoided whenever possible. Unforeseen invitations are often refused, and, however politely the refusal is made, this can erode the morale of the group.

Do the Event

Your planning should make the event easy. It will still be work, but with good planning you have no need to be nervous. Just follow the schedule that you create, and it should all fall together.

Evaluate After the Event

Be sure to evaluate the fundraising event that you’ve just conducted. Several questions should be raised to this end (3):

  1. What things at the fundraiser worked, or went well?
  2. What things did not go well? Analyze why those things didn’t go well? How can the same mistakes be avoided in the future?
  3. What was the fundraising goal versus that was actually raised?
  4. Were the objectives of the fundraiser broken down in to easily manageable steps?

In Summary:

Plan well, invite your “warm” supporters, do the event and evaluate. Following these fundamentals, you should be able to do many fundraisers to help you raise the money you need.


 

About the Author

Dave S. Morse is a freelance writer/editor in Knoxville, Tennessee who also serves as a volunteer community advocate. Dave holds Master’s degrees in Christian Service and Management/Public Administration from NW Christian College (now NW Christian University) and the University of Phoenix Online, respectively, and has a strong passion for social justice.


 

Sources:

1. http://www.justfundraising.com/fundraising-101/
2. http://www.tripointfundraising.com/4-super-easy-processes-for-raising-more-money/
3. http://www.asce.org/uploadedFiles/Young_Member_Groups_-_New/YM%20Webinar-Fundraising.pdf

Image used with permission. Copyright: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo

How to Choose the Right Fundraiser
Part 1: Match Your Group

How to Choose a Fundraiser: Match Your Group
How to Choose the Right Fundraiser: Match Your Group
How do you know the best fundraiser for your group?
Read this series to learn more.

Every person, group, or organization who does a fundraiser wants it to be successful. One of the most important parts of fundraising success is choosing the right fundraiser.  But how do you do it?

There are many important factors that you should consider if you want to meet or exceed your goals, as you compare the various fundraisers available to you. One of them is the fundraiser you choose must match your group.

What motivates your group members?

Is it about the goal?  Some groups do very well with fundraising simply because the members are motivated to reach the goal. I know one teen right now who is motivated to raise money (and is doing it very successfully), because she wants to go on the trip with the Madrigals choir in which she sings.

Is it about material prizes? One recent elementary child told me that he was going to win a particular prize by reaching a fundraiser goal. He was determined, and he sold with gusto. He didn’t wait for sales to come to him. He went and got them.

Is it about the social scene? Some groups enjoy event fundraisers like car washes, because they enjoy doing the events together.

Get the idea? Figure out what motivates your group and then focus on fundraisers that fit that motivation.

Will your members support your choice?

I know of a small school in East Tennessee that “missed out” on raising an easy $1000 a few years ago. There was a fruit fundraiser available to them. If each family in the school purchased just one box of fruit, they would easily have made $1000 for the school and had some awesome citrus too!

I spoke with the parent in charge of fundraising and learned there was a reason that the school passed on the opportunity.  The parents and students never did well selling products for fundraisers. They simply didn’t want to sell (other than a school coupon book that everyone wanted). They focused on fundraisers that did not involve selling. They wisely passed on what seemed like it would be an easy fundraiser, because the fundraiser coordinator knew her group.

Is the fundraiser appropriate for your group?

In elementary school (forty years ago) I had grand ideas about winning great prizes by selling the most spice grinders. However, I remember thinking, “Why does anyone need these?” Though I wanted to win the prize, I think I only sold 2 grinders, because I didn’t understand how to sell them.

Be sure that your fundraiser fits the majority of your group members. For example, groups with younger children shouldn’t sell large items or products they don’t understand. Everyone loves cookies and kids understand that easily.

Go with what you know

Bands and FFA groups are known for selling fruit, and they typically do well.  Elementary schools do well with cookie dough and Christmas shops. If you have a track record doing a particular fundraiser, and you’ve done well with it in the past, that just might be perfect for you. As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”


We would like to know what works for you. Tell us in the comments below about what fundraisers you have done and whether or not they worked. What works best for your group?

JustFundRaising.com, the Right Choice for Non-Profit Fundraising

 High-Performance Fundraising is the Norm for Non-Profits such as Schools, Sports, Churches and Special Projects

Let JustFundRaising.com Help You Supercharge Your Fundraising Initiatives

  • JustFundRaising.com maintains a stellar record of fundraising success.
  • JustFundRaising’s passion is helping you and your organization to become, or remain, successful.
  • JustFundRaising strives to create win-win outcomes for all of its customers and their organizations.

JustFundRaising.com maintains a strong track record of empowering non-profits and other groups in their fundraising efforts, with more than 29,000 groups assisted in the raising of $67.9 million to date. JustFundRaising.com, moreover, possesses an extremely high level of customer satisfaction.

JustFundRaising’s expertise in non-profit fundraising spans four major areas:

  1. School
  2. Sports
  3. Non-profit projects such as: Youth Fundraising; Breast-Cancer Fundraising, Reunion Fundraising, and Animal-Shelter fundraising, among others
  4. Church-related fundraising.

The Ins and Outs of Working with JustFundRaising.com’s Discount Card Fundraiser

You have three excellent choices for discount card fundraising:

  1. Dinner and a Movie Card (65% Profit)
  2. Restaurant Discount Card (65% Profit)
  3. Local City Savings Card (70% Profit)

Easy-to-Sell Dinner and a Movie Card

  • Selling Price: $10
  • Gives buyers a 50% discount at 100,000 merchants nationwide
  • Profit: 65%

The Dinner and Movie card is ideally suited for groups of all sizes. It is an easy sell at the $10 price because purchasers receive a 50% discount at 100,000 merchants nationwide. Your group makes a profit of 65%. The purchasers of the card get unlimited use of it for a full year.

Major Plusses with the Restaurant Discount Card

  • Selling Price: $20
  • The $20 card gives buyers $50 to spend at over 18,000 eateries around the country
  • Profit: 50-65%

The Restaurant Discount card is accepted at over 18,000 eateries around the country, and it provides a great savings for your supporters. By spending $20 on the card, they receive a $50 card that can be redeemed at local restaurants or at eateries nationwide.

The profit to the seller ranges from 50% to 65%, depending on the number of restaurant cards sold. In short, the greater the number of cards sold, the larger the profit per card, which, of course, would have very beneficial results for your organization.

Win-Win Outcomes with the Local City Discount Card

  • Selling Price: $10
  • Buyers love having a discount card for local merchants that lasts a whole year
  • Profit: 50-70%

These discount cards sell for only $10 and earn a profit of 50%-70%, depending upon the number sold.

Here’s how it works:

JustFundRaising will provide you with a list of 300 local merchants from which you select 75. From that list of 75, JustFundRaising contacts the merchants and creates a card with 10 valuable discounts that is customized with your logo.

Want more information?

You can contact JustFundraising by phone at 1-888-440-4114 or check out their web site at www.justfundraising.com. Once you talk with them, you will know why so many groups choose JustFundraising for their fundraiser provider year after year.

Origin of Christmas Wreaths

Merry Christmas wreath from Christmas Forest Fundraising
Merry Christmas wreath from Christmas Forest Fundraising
Merry Christmas wreath from Christmas Forest Fundraising

In our series about Christmas Wreath fundraising, Christmas Forest has been fantastic. They provided us with an overview of their program, tips for choosing the right Christmas wreath (your customers will need these tips), their history, and also about how their method actually helps sustain and improve the growth of the trees that they use.  We thought it only fitting that we share the origin of Christmas Wreaths as provided by Christmas Forest.

Origin of Christmas Wreaths

The Christmas gifts sit under the tree all aglow – tucked in neatly with ribbons and bows. There are Christmas decorations placed about, and Christmas wreaths adorn the door. It’s that wonderful time of year again when mysteries are unveiled. So, why do we give Christmas gifts during this holiday season? Have you ever stopped to wonder about the history of gift giving? When did Christmas gifts become the highlight of the season and why? The idea of giving gifts most likely originated when the Three Kings brought offerings to baby Jesus upon his birth. Throughout history, there is documentation of gifts being exchanged during Three Kings’ Day as well as on Christmas Eve.

However, gift-giving as we know it today began in the early 19th century when some of the first few ads were posted in newspapers by store owners. By the late 19th century, giving gifts at Christmastime was in full swing as large retailers such as Macy’s began leaving their doors open late on Christmas Eve. Today, Christmas Day wouldn’t be the same without gifts under the tree. Another item you won’t want to leave off of your list when it comes to Christmas is one that’s as popular as gift giving itself – a fresh evergreen Christmas wreath.

The Christmas wreath is another tradition that has been around for a long time and was initially created from fresh evergreens. Since evergreens are green year-round, they were the obvious choice during the winter months. The word ‘wreath’ is derived from an English word meaning to twist, such as in a circle. Some believe that initially wreaths were hung on doors in Ancient Rome to represent victory.

In Christianity, the Christmas wreath was used to symbolize Christ. The circular shape, with no beginning or end, represents eternity or life never ending. The wreaths were typically decorated with four candles, three on the exterior and one in the middle. The middle candle was lit on Christmas Eve to symbolize the arrival of the Light of the World – Jesus Christ. A tradition began in the early 19th century to lay evergreens shaped into wreaths or crosses on graves to honor the dead. Family members would bring them home to use as part of their Christmas decorations during the holiday season.

At Christmastime, it only makes sense to combine two of the most symbolic icons together, giving wreaths as gifts. Who wouldn’t love to display the beautiful colors of the holiday season upon their door during this festive time? Christmas wreaths come in many styles and designs. There are traditional wreaths with velvet red bows adorning noble fir branches speckled with berries to the more regal choice such as gold satin bows atop pine boughs embellished with juniper berries.

So why doesn’t everyone have a Christmas wreath hanging on the door as part of their Christmas decorations? Many people simply don’t realize how much a Christmas wreath can illuminate an entranceway and provide festivity and cheer to visitors both old and new. As well, it can be hard to find the time to do the extra things that make the holiday season so special. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to share such a rich holiday tradition with your friends and relatives when selecting their Christmas gifts this year? And while you’re deciding which Christmas Forest wreath to send their way, shorten your holiday to-do list by purchasing one for your door too.

Share this story with your supporters when you do your wreath fundraiser this holiday season.

Christmas Forest has a great fundraising program that works for both large and small groups (or even motivated individuals). Click here to read our review of their program.  If you think you might want to even consider doing a wreath fundraiser, please get the information now.  Don’t wait. Your fundraiser needs to be set up in early fall and it’s already October! And after you do your fundraiser, let us know what you think of Christmas Forest.

Candle Fundraisers are Profitable but Not a Field of Dreams

Sailaway Candles offers over 130 scents for your fundraiser.
Sailaway Candles offers over 130 scents for your fundraiser.

Over the years, the staff of The Fundraising Network has had the opportunity to speak with many different groups who try to raise funds. Sometimes they are disappointed, because they didn’t do well with their fundraiser, and, typically, they blame it on the company who provided their fundraiser. In our experience, that’s sometimes the case. You need to be sure to choose a reputable, experienced company who fits well with your organization. Unfortunately, more often than not, the fault is not with the fundraiser provider. Rather, the group did not execute well their fundraiser or they had unrealistic expectations.

If you were a movie-goer in 1989, you might remember the phrase, “If you build it, they will come,” from the movie Field of Dreams. In the movie, Kevin Costner, the main character, hears a voice telling him to build a baseball field on his Iowa farm so that the ghost of his dead father and some famous baseball players would come play a game. He listened and built it against all odds. He was convinced that people would come from miles around to see baseball played there, and, as movies go, at the end hundreds of people were headed to watch baseball, and he made a mint. (Sorry for the spoiler if you haven’t seen it.)

When most people think of, “If you build it, they will come,” they are describing the idea that if you just start something, that everything will fall together and your dreams will come true. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case for anything worth doing, and it’s especially not true for fundraising. An excellent, profitable fundraising program takes some work, but, if it is done correctly, it is a little work for several people (so one person doesn’t get overwhelmed) and the fundraising effort brings great profit.

So why are we talking about this with regard to candle fundraisers?

A candle fundraising effort is a basic order-taker fundraiser. Your members take the brochures and order forms and go make sales. Simple right? It is simple, but you need to do more than just show pictures to have it be greatly successful. Therefore, here are ideas to help you have a wildly successful candle fundraiser.

Candle Fundraiser Ideas

1. Choose a Fundraiser that Fits your Market’s Price Range

I remember a time when a small group in a lower economic rural area called wanting information about a very profitable fundraiser. The problem was that the fundraiser products ranged from $22-$34 and that was a price too high for the people living in the group’s area. On the other hand, they would have done much better with a candle fundraiser which typically are priced in the $10-$12 range and sometimes higher.

The goal is to choose the fundraiser with items that fit the price range of your market. Candles fit most markets because they have such a range of prices. You will most likely get more sales.

2. Choose a Fundraiser that Fits your Group

It’s been interesting to watch trends over the years. Most often, we see sports groups selling discount cards  or scratch cards, and bands and FFA groups often sell fruit. Motivation is everything though. If your members aren’t motivated to sell, your fundraiser will be a flop. And while children have great intentions and great desire, it usually takes the involvement of the parents to make a fundraiser very successful. Do your parents really want to sell something or would they rather just give a donation? Know your group and choose a fundraiser that fits.

We see a wide range of groups that sell candles. It’s one of those products that can be sold just about anywhere to anyone by anyone. Just make sure it’s the right fit for you. If you have a small group of 10, don’t choose a candle fundraising line that requires a huge purchase to get the best profit percentage. JustFundraising has several selections of candle fundraisers to fit groups of all sizes. Regardless of whether you have 10 people or 100, you can be successful with their candle fundraising program.

If you would like to compare different candle fundraising providers, our candle fundraiser site presents a profile of many of them.  Click here to view a list of the providers. For each one in the list, you can click “Profile” and view more detailed information about their program(s).

3. Equip Your Sellers for Success

A candle fundraiser follows the same basic concept of any order taker fundraiser. Your sellers have a brochure, order form and basic sales script. The brochure shows the candle selections and provides details about color, aroma, size, shape, weight and container type.

Did you know that you most likely will raise more money by have candle and fragrance samples for your customers to see and smell? The boost can be dramatic! Candles are not perishable and most buyers will sniff several samples and imagine how the candles will fill their homes with the pleasant aroma. Therefore, give your sellers a few samples to carry with them.

Choose candle scents that will appeal to your customers.
Choose candle scents that will appeal to your customers.

Sailaway Candles is perfect for this. They have a no-frills fundraiser that any group can do. They are a candle wholesale company that offers healthy soy-based candles (no carcinogens from paraffin). You choose 6 scents (they currently offer 130) that you want to offer and whether or not you want to have the candles be your own private brand (for example, Longhollow High School Candles) with your logo on them. In their fundraising kit that you purchase (at a very low price, we might add), it has samples of the candle scents and colors that YOU CHOSE. The samples are in candle tart form (small cubes) that make it VERY easy for your sellers to carry. Some groups prefer not to pay anything up front, but the boost in sales should far surpass the cost of the kit.

Need ideas for which scents to choose? Food scents such as french vanilla, bayberry, apple, pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon are always popular. (So are melon and citrus.) Holiday scents such as clove and pine usually do well too. Whether you are selecting a brochure or getting a custom candle fundraiser, choose scents that most likely bring back fond memories for your customers.

4. Take Advantage of Every Opportunity for Candle Sales

When you schedule your candle fundraiser, think about your community event calendar. Bazaars, community garage sales, banquets and other events present fantastic opportunities for a candle booth. Make sure you have samples for display if you are taking orders, or, even better, purchase candles in advance that people can buy from you so that you don’t have to worry about deliveries. The bigger the event, the more potential customers you may have, so think big!

5. Get the Best Price and Highest Profit

Most candle fundraisers offer 40-50% profit and minimum orders can vary. Where you really want to pay attention is the breakpoint for the higher profit. The higher the profit percentage, the more money you make. For example, the average seller makes about five to seven sales at $12 each.

Candle Fundraising Company A
40% profit for less than 120 candles, but 50% if you sell 120 or more.
Group of 10 sells 70 candles = 40% profit each
$12 candles * 40% = $4.80/candle * 70 candles = $336 take home profit for you
To get the best profit, you really need 16-24 sellers to get the best profit.

Candle Fundraising Company B
40% profit for less than 60 candles, but 50% if you sell 60 or more
Group of 10 sells 70 candles = 50% profit each
$12 candles * 50% = $6/candle * 70 candles = $420 take home profit for you
This fits a small group

Candle Fundraising Company C
50% profit with a minimum 12 candle order
Group of 5 sells 36 candles = 50% profit each
$12 candles * 50% = $6/candle * 36 candles = $216 take home profit for you
This fits any group! Even the smallest group can sell 12 candles and the larger groups make more profit too!

And, by the way, Company C exists! The great deals are out there. Be sure to look for them. You also need to figure shipping into your calculations as well. Candles are not cheap to ship, so be sure to ask. Many of candle fundraising companies offer free shipping if you meet certain minimums.

Your Candle Fundraiser Starts with Good Information

The Fundraising Network provides information about all sorts of fundraisers. For candle fundraising, we have quite a few candle fundraiser companies on our site candle-fundraising.org.  Be sure to check it out.