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.
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.