How to Pick the Right Fundraising Company

Katherine, Editor – Skratchers Fundraising Insider

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 Know About A Fundraising Company
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 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 help).
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.

About the Author

The Skratchers team has 12 years experience in fundraising and has been providing fundraisers through the Internet for 6 years. To request your free Spring 2005 fundraising kit go to Free Skratchers Sample Kit or call toll free at 1-888-800-9506. Visit www.Skratchers.com.

How To Pick the Right Fundraiser Product – 6 Key Questions

Katherine, Editor – The JustFundraising Insider

Usually the first question that you ask yourself when you realize your group needs to raise funds is:
“What Are We Going To Sell?”

There are thousands of products available for fundraising programs that range from candy to nuts, cookies to wrapping paper, and inspirational goods to sausage and cheese. After all, anything people use can be re-sold to them by groups for a profit.

Consider the following 6 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. If your group needs to raise a few hundred dollars, lollipops or a small order of candy bars may be appropriate. If you need to raise over $5,000, you may want to use an order taker fundraiser like a popular chocolate brochure program or a cookie dough fundraiser.

2. What would our group enjoy selling?
Your group members will determine the success of your fundraiser. Ask them what they would like to sell and what they’d absolutely not like to sell. 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 it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ as the saying goes. If you’ve been having a huge success with a certain program year after year – stick to it. Chances are, your supporters are expecting you around the same time every year and your participants are comfortable with selling the product.

4. How soon do we need the money?
Pre-sale programs ( order taker ) do take longer than direct sale programs (candy bars, lollipops etc.). If you need to raise funds within 1.5 – 2 quick weeks, we suggest you fundraise using direct-sale products. If you have 4 weeks or more to wrap up your fundraiser, a pre-sale (order taker) brochure may be ideal.

5. Are the Products we’re Selling of High Quality?
A consumer will be happy to support a worthy cause, however they won’t be very interested in paying for inferior or significantly overpriced products. 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?

As well, make sure that the retail prices of the products offered are priced fairly. Offering a fairly priced good at a price that’s affordable to help a good cause will lead to quick success!

About the Author

The JustFundraising team has 12 years experience in fundraising and has been providing fundraisers through the Internet for 6 years. To request your free Spring 2005 fundraising kit go to Free Spring 2005 Fundraising Kit or call toll free at 1-888-440-4114. Visit www.JustFundraising.com.

Why Work With A Fundraising Company

Do you enjoy helping others? Are you involved in fundraising? Are you looking for a totally free way to work from home and make some extra money? Can you send email, post messages on blogs and forums, tell friends? It is honestly that simple…

Do you know people in the United States spend 6 Billion dollar a year on fundraising and associated fundraising products? Would you like to have just a small piece of that action heading into your bank account each month? Well then, read on, you have found the right place. Many fundraising companies are always looking for help to spread the word about their products and service. They know that a “word of mouth” recommendation is the best advertising anyone can get. Think about the last movie you went to see, or book you read. Did you get someone else’s opinion before you took action? You are not alone, and most people feel safe when they hear first-hand how well a fundraising program went, and how much money was raised.

Need a “Work from Home” opportunity? – Why not with a fundraising company?

The MARKET
Avoid the #1 Biggest Mistake? Why should you care if there is a market? Why fish in a stream when you can troll in the ocean? This simple strategy will prevent you from trying to sell ice cream to Eskimos. It will also ensure you have a steady stream of sales, year round. Fundraising is a very popular activity, and think of all the churches, teams, cheerleading squads, boy scout troops that are in your local area?

The PRODUCT
Yes, this is very important also. Fundraising ideas need to be fresh and new. Look for products that are “niche” and special. Nobody wants to hear that you have a new kind of cookie dough. Unique and custom products allow each group to tailor their campaign and make it special. This also works well for teams who have new players every year and want to add a team photo to their fundraising efforts.

The PROFIT
People are tired of slaving away with products, order taking, and inventory. If you have ever been a “Cookie Mom” you will know what we are talking about. Most fundraisers offer returns from 50 – 100% which means that in the best case, they purchase a product for $5 and sell it for $10. This sounds great, but there are many other new fundraising ideas which are much more profitable, and have far fewer hassles. If you were the agent for this sale, even at 20% commission, you would only make $1 per item, hardly worth it. Products with much higher margins will make it much more lucrative for you to offer.

The ADMINISTRATION
Please do not overlook this as it is critical to success!

1. Do they Process Fundraising Orders Online? This is important because if they do, you should get a record of all referral sales. You can also manually place orders for your customers, and get them processed much quicker and more accurately. Be careful of companies that will tell you that they keep track. Remember the old adage “trust but verify” and look for programs that allow you to see your sales reports real time.

2. Do they offer easy tools to promote their fundraising products? This is important because if you have to generate all the advertising, web links, etc. you are more likely NOT going to make any money, or go to the trouble. Look for programs that have these tools already in place that are easy and simple to use. Each tool should automatically include your special tracking link, so that when you send an email out to friends, coaches, associates, you get credit for sales.

3. Do they have free samples and kits to help the customer make an informed decision? This is important because people like to see and feel what they are purchasing. If you can provide them something they can look at and touch, you will have much greater success. Look for companies that will handle processing all of your sample requests. This feature alone will reduce your workload, and help you make more sales. Kits that help the customer have a safe and profitable fundraiser are also of great benefit to your prospective customers. Ideally these are in PDF format, so that they can easily be downloaded and printed.

4. Do they have multiple ways for processing orders? Many people are very comfortable placing orders online, but there are many who are not. Make sure your fundraising program allows you, as the “agent”, to process orders by hand, by fax, and online. This is very important, because you can carry order forms with you and fill them out when talking to prospective fundraising customers.

Remember, fundraising is a great thing. You are helping others achieve their dreams, and make an impact on the world. You will feel good helping others and this “work from home” opportunity will seem less like a job and more like a service to your community. People will be happy to see you, because you were the person who helped them build the new homes for the homeless, raise money for the cancer walk, or pay for the trip the little league world series.

About the Author

A military veteran with a passion for helping others. Active in Key Club and Kiwanis organizations in his youth, and for many years with the Combined Federal Campaign and Navy League while on active duty. Currently involved with Rotary and supporting local arts organizations. We look forward to being of service and helping you exceed your fundraising goals. Please visit our website for more information.

What’s Your Mission?

After moving to a new city, I joined a civic club, Business and Professional Women, which is a local chapter of a national organization. At each meeting there is a formal opening, or call to order. As part of the opening, the President recites the mission and purpose of the group.

Recently it struck me that this reciting of the mission at every meeting is not just for the benefit of visitors or special guests. It’s to remind each member of the reason that they are there. This spoken affirmation of the purpose of the group serves to strengthen the focus and unity of the group. I don’t think the power of this ritual can be underestimated.

Does your group struggle with lack of unity or focus? Do the projects and activities reflect the mission of the organization? The following is a simple 4 step system to strengthen your purpose. Remember to involve not only leadership in this process, but general membership as well.

1. Review established mission and purpose statements. Evaluate and revise to create a consensus among the members of the group. Even if these statements are not open to being revised, it’s important to have structured discussions about the meaning of the statements. The important thing is to get people talking.

2. Define objectives and goals to carry out these statements. Evaluate current projects and activities and see if they really measure up to the mission of the organization.

3. Reinforce the mission and purpose by reciting these statements at meetings. Always measure proposals against these belief statements.

4. Follow up on activities to see how they helped your group further its mission. Celebrate the accomplishments and show appreciation to participants.

By constantly believing in and reinforcing the mission of the non profit organization, unity of purpose will be strengthened and greater accomplishments will be achieved.

About the Author

Sandra Sims has been fundraising for various charities for over 10 years. She is the publisher of Step By Step Fundraising newsletter, which will help you get maximum results from your charity fundraising campaign. To get a free copy of the special report “The 5 Keys to Successful Fundraising” visit StepByStepFundraising.com

Maximize Fundraising Results for Any Campaign

The most frequent advice that I give fundraisers is about how to increase the amount of money raised with a fundraiser. Many of these ideas to maximize results will apply to just about any situation. So consider adding one or all of the following techniques to your upcoming fundraising efforts.

1. Incentive Programs – Create an incentive for donors or participants to help you with your fundraising program. Here are two examples of incentive programs:

Sales Contests – prizes for volunteers who sell the most raffle tickets, have the highest sales in a product fundraiser or otherwise raise the most money with your campaign. Prizes can be anything from a gift certificate, a plaque, free tickets to an event or a trip.

Thank you gifts for donors – Provide small thank you tokens depending on the level of giving. Thank you gifts could be items such as books or DVDs or event oriented such as a cocktail party, concert or other special gathering just for donors.

2. Multiple Fundraisers – Event fundraisers should always have several ways to bring in revenue. Examples include silent auctions, raffles, advertising in programs, food, corporate sponsors, booth rental, entry fees or souvenirs.

3. Partnerships – Partnering with other organizations, businesses and individuals can help in your fundraising efforts. For example, a fundraising event may be easier to plan and have greater attendance when it is sponsored by two organizations. Creating a sponsorship or advertising program will help involve businesses and individuals and underwrite the costs of your fundraiser.

4. Donations – When planning a fundraising event get as much donated as possible, this includes food, facilities and supplies. Prizes for silent auctions, raffles, door prizes and incentives should always be donated.

5. Increase Publicity – Just like in the business world, people need to be exposed to an opportunity multiple times before “buying.” Fundraising events should increase publicity during the weeks leading up to an event using press releases, banners, advertising.

About the Author

Sandra Sims has been fundraising for various charities for over 10 years. She is the publisher of Step By Step Fundraising newsletter, which will help you get maximum results from your charity fundraising campaign. To get a free copy of the special report “The 5 Keys to Successful Fundraising” visit StepByStepFundraising.com

Fundraising Tips

Fundraising for non-profit organizations serves many functions in today’s American community. Whether funds are needed for a local sports team, to restore a church or to purchase uniforms for a school band, organized fundraisers have been helping thousands of groups raise a remarkable amount of money to help support their various causes.

An essential part of a successful fundraising campaign is proper planning. Here is a list of several points that will help you plan your next fundraiser:

Fundraising Checklist
– How much money do you need to raise?
– When do you plan on starting your fundraiser?
– How much time are you willing to spend on your fundraiser?
– How many people do you estimate will be participating in your fundraiser?
– Do you have experience organizing fundraisers? If not, do you know anyone who could give you any feedback?

The next step is to determine which type of fundraiser to use. There are several different types of fundraisers, including fundraiser events such as auctions, and fundraising products like candy or magazine sales. When deciding on which fundraiser is right for your group, refer back to the Fundraising Checklist, then discuss with your committee which programs appeal to them most and why.

You can increase your fundraising results by utilizing a combination of fundraising products. You can also combine products with an event, such as a car wash fundraiser, a raffle or a spaghetti dinner. These are a lot of fun, and can help raise a lot of cash as well. For instance, at your car wash or spaghetti dinner, you can also sell brand name candy bars. When people are purchasing tickets to your event, you can ask: “Would you like a chocolate bar with that?”

Finally, you can add to your ongoing fundraising efforts by choosing additional fundraisers that are easy and will not require much effort, but that will increase your overall fundraising results. One fundraiser you can do all year long, 24 hours a day, is an online fundraiser. An online program will help you raise more profits with less effort.

Combining an online fundraiser with an event and a product is definitely a successful way of boosting your profits.

About the Author

eFundraising offers proven fundraising programs at up to 90% profit. Available programs include World’s Finest Chocolate, Online Magazine Fundraisers, Scratchcards, Brochures and more. eFundraising / QSP Reader’s Digest has helped groups raise almost $3 billion since 1964.

To help you discover the best fundraiser for your group, call 1-800-561-8388 for your FREE info kit and gift and an experienced fundraising consultant will be more than happy to help you. Visit www.efundraising.com.

Successful Fundraising with Christmas Ornaments

Christmas ornaments make a great fundraiser because everyone uses and cherishes them! Each year people unpack them and marvel at their treasures! They hold memories for us so they are a remarkable keepsake from which to fundraise.

First find a company that makes a custom ornament that is well done and that can be personalized especially for your church, school, or organization. There are ones made of brass, pewter, beveled glass, glass balls, etc. Choose one that will represent your group well and one that will stand the test of time. It is a more marketable idea to choose one that could be used all year round, for the Christmas tree as well as hanging in the window or on an ornament stand, and one that is profitable.

Next, make people aware of the unique, personalized ornament that is for sale. Show a sample along with a sign at meetings, before and after church or games, in a press release to the local newspaper, in the church bulletin, etc. Make sure you are where they are! Also make sure they know this is a limited time offer that is collectible and publicize the deadline. Realize that still you will probably get orders as you are selling or after selling is nearly finished. Plan on that and take orders anytime you can. Market to alumni of the church, school, or group too. Anniversaries and special events are great times to do an ornament fundraiser. You can also advertise that this is one of an annual series if you wish to do that. That will help build in a market for next year too.

If you do not sell all of the ornaments, you can market them later in the year. They also make wonderful gifts to visiting pastors or important organization visitors or thank yous to contributors.

Market a personalized Christmas ornament for your next fundraiser! Remember this works well ANY time of the year, not just at Christmas time. It is unique, original and profitable. It will be a memorable keepsake for your buyers.

About the Author

Wullbrandt opened in 1974 creating traditional leaded glass and fine woodworking. They soon added etched glass by sandblasting and then by using acid. Etching is their focus and specialty. Their niche continues to be designing and making distinctive glass pieces for fundraising groups who appreciate original artwork and want to offer a unique, memorable fundraiser that people desire. You can contact Wullbrandt studio on the web at www.wullbrandtstudio.com, by email at fundraisers@wullbrandtstudio.com, or by phone at (641) 456-3580.

Good Advice for First Time Fundraisers

Have you thought about doing a holiday fundraiser? There are a few things to keep in mind in order to maximize your fundraising results while making your task easier. No matter what fundraiser or company you choose, these 5 tips will help you get the most from your efforts.

1. Keep it Simple
The old adage “keep it simple” is very good advice, especially for first time fundraisers. Our most successful groups have learned to offer only 1 or 2 products.

2. Communication
The success of your project depends on having a clear understanding of what the vendor is promising your group and so it is essential to have good communication. Having a personal sales representative to answer your questions is invaluable.

3. Choose a Proven Company
Choose a fundraising company that has a proven record. Your group depends on the company being able to deliver what they promise.

4. $$$
Pay Attention to what your actual profit will be. Watch for hidden costs such as shipping and handling fees.

5. Testimonials
Ask the company for information about other groups that have used their services.

Christmas Forest ® is a great choice

From keeping it simple to happy customers, we are here to help you every step of the way. See how we do with the five tips.

1. Keep it Simple – You can choose 1 or 2 of the many beautiful wreaths and ornaments at Christmas Forest ®.

2. Communication – Christmas Forest ® provides your group with a personal rep who will be able to help assure the success of your project.

3. Proven Companies – Since 1976, Christmas Forest ® has guided hundreds of groups to successful fundraising projects.

4. $$$ – Christmas Forest ® offers free shipping, a free sample wreath and free brochures. At Christmas Forest ®, you can choose our EZ Plan and earn 10% of the suggested retail or your group can choose our BULK Plan and earn as much as 40% of the suggested retail.

5. Testimonials – At Christmas Forest ®, we are proud of our relationship with our customers.

What our customers say about Christmas Forest ®…….
– “It is so easy to make money when you are selling a quality product. We have been selling Christmas Forest Wreaths for over 10 years and have never been disappointed.” (N. Bandy/Tri Delta Sorority Alumna-Fair Oaks, CA)

– “We were able to raise $750.00 with only two weeks to gear up and sell the product. The folks at Christmas Forest are excellent to work with. They delivered what they promised and the product was great. I particularly appreciated their gracious and service oriented spirit.” (B. Carver/ The Oaks Christian School-Summerville, SC)

Keypoints of Christmas Forest ® Fundraising

Your personal Christmas Forest ® sales rep to help guide you to success
– Free sample wreath
– Free shipping
– Free brochures
– Choose from 2 successful programs

We look forward to hearing from you for your holiday fundraiser!

About the Author

Christmas Forest ® was established in 1976 and we are well known for our superior craftsmanship and personal, efficient service. We guarantee each wreath to arrive forest fresh! Email us to receive your free information packet.

Free & Low Cost Fundraisers

Is your non profit organization operating on a shoestring budget? Take heart, you’re certainly not the only ones! Many community groups, schools and other social impact organizations have very tight budgets and are dedicated to putting the money they do have toward their mission. So what do you do when it comes to fundraising? Does it really “take money to make money” as the old saying goes?

One of the best fundraising strategies is to plan fundraisers that require very little upfront cost. This can be accomplished through sales fundraisers, collection drives and sponsorships.

Sales Fundraisers
Many product sale fundraisers do not require an upfront purchase. Product fundraisers, such as candy, magazines or plant sales are very popular and could be a good solution for your organization.

If you have a large group of volunteers to sell the items, your sales fundraiser will be more successful. Each volunteer would just need to sell a few items for the entire group to raise a lot of money. You may find that you have some very dedicated “super sellers” who help push through to meet the fundraising goals.

Collection Drives
Partnering with businesses for a collection drive is another way to raise funds at no cost. Box Tops for Education is one example of this. This program will help schools earn up to $20,000 each year by clipping box tops from specially marked grocery products.

Recycling drives are another way to raise money for your cause. Your group can partner with recycling centers to collect newspapers or cans and get money back from the recycling center. Other programs such as cell phone recycling can also be profitable ways to raise funds. These drives also have a secondary outcome of helping to promote conservation and environmental awareness.

Collection drives are normally ongoing projects and may take several months to collect enough of the items to get a sizable redemption reward. A short term drive or “blitz” could also be successful with a large amount of community participation and dedicated work by your volunteers.

Donations and Sponsorships
Events such as dinner fundraisers normally require supplies to be paid for in advance. However, getting support in advance from businesses and individuals will help offset the cost of producing event fundraisers.

There are many ways that donations and sponsorships can support a fundraising event. For example, you could contact a local printer and ask that they donate printing for your mailings, programs or flyers. A corporate sponsorship program would allow businesses to “underwrite” costs for the event by making a financial contribution and in return the business gets advertising and publicity.

Finally, fundraisers such as silent auctions and raffles can be planned based solely upon donations of prizes by local businesses and individuals.

Reducing upfront costs and getting donations and sponsorships are keys to having a successful fundraiser.

About the Author

Sandra Sims has been fundraising for various charities for over 10 years. She is the publisher of Step By Step Fundraising newsletter, which will help you get maximum results from your charity fundraising campaign. To get a free copy of the special report “The 5 Keys to Successful Fundraising” visit StepByStepFundraising.com

7 Pizza Fundraising Ideas

Pizza is a very popular food that can make for a great fundraising program. There are lots of different pizza fundraising ideas that could raise lots of money for your school or other non profit organization.

Here’s 7 Unique Pizza Fundraising Ideas:

1. Pizza Party – Plan a pizza dinner night at your location. Contact local pizza places in advance and negotiate with them for a good price on the pizzas. If you are hosting a larger event, you may be able to get the pizzas donated.

2. Pizza booth at a Carnival – Host a pizza “by the slice” booth at a local carnival, festival, or other special event and sell drinks separately. This is similar to the pizza dinner, except you don’t have to worry about selling tickets or getting the people there. You are going to where the hungry people already are!

3. Dine out at a Local Restaurant – Many restaurants sponsor special fundraising programs which will give your organization a percentage of the profits or receipts from a designated day. It is important to understand the requirements set up by the restaurant and promote the night very well. Offer door prizes or other incentives for people to come to the pizza night.

4. Sell Pre-made Pizzas or Pizza Kits – There are a variety of companies that offer catalogs featuring pizza products. Some of these are ready made pizzas and some are pizza making kits.

5. Pizza Recipe Contest – Bake-offs are always fun events and bring out the competitive spirit in those who like to cook. Create a pizza recipe contest where those who would like to enter must submit a pizza recipe. Select several finalists who will bake their pizza creation and submit it to judges to decide who has the best pizza recipe.

6. Pizza Cooking Class – Sponsor a cooking class that teaches students to create gourmet pizzas. This pizza fundraising idea raises money through the tuition fee students pay for the class. With the support of a good cook or chef who is willing to donate his or her time this could be a great event. Contact local grocery stores to ask if they can donate the ingredients needed for the class.

7. Pizza Prizes – This pizza fundraising idea is really a supplement to other fundraising programs. Offer a pizza party or gift certificates as prizes for volunteers who sell the most raffle tickets, candy or other fundraiser product.

Pizza fundraisers can be great ways to raise money for your organization. Choose the pizza fundraising idea that fits best for your group and you’ll find it to be a fun fundraiser.

About the Author

Sandra Sims has been fundraising for various charities for over 10 years. She is the publisher of Step By Step Fundraising newsletter, which will help you get maximum results from your charity fundraising campaign. To get a free copy of the special report “The 5 Keys to Successful Fundraising” visit StepByStepFundraising.com

What’s The Scoop On Cookie Dough Fundraisers?

Katherine, Editor – The JustFundraising Insider

Cookie dough fundraising is becoming very popular with many fundraising groups today. It’s no surprise, since freshly baked cookes are as easy to sell, as they are to eat!

How Cookie Dough Fundraising Works?
Using order-taker brochures, your group members allow your supporters to choose from a selection of mouth watering flavors, some of which include Chocolate Chunk, M&M’s, Peanut Butter, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Reese’s Pieces, Hershey’s Kisses and White Chocolate Macadamia.

Once all orders are taken and the money has been collected, the order forms are tallied and the cookie dough is ordered with your fundraising company. About two weeks later, your cookie dough is delivered for you to distribute to your buyers. The dough is usually packed in 3 lb tubs. Because most cookie dough comes frozen some planning with your fundraising company is needed for delivery day. However, some of the newest cookie dough requires no refrigeration and will keep for many months.

No Money Up Front

Since cookie dough fundraising is an order taker fundraiser, you can fundraise without putting any money up-front. This is great if you are low on cash to begin with. Most tubs sell for $10 and expect to make between 35% – 55% profit depending on how much your group sells. Make sure to choose a fundraising company that provides free shipping since 3 lb tubs can add up fast. A group size of 20 and larger is recommended, but any group can raise anywhere from $1,000 – $10,000 and more if they are motivated and focused.

About the Author

The JustFundraising team has 12 years experience in fundraising and has been providing fundraisers through the Internet for 6 years. To request your free Spring 2005 fundraising kit go to Free Spring 2005 Fundraising Kit or call toll free at 1-888-440-4114. Visit www.JustFundraising.com.