Winter Fundraiser Series: Flowery Fundraiser in February

How to Do a Flowery February Fundraiser

If you are looking for a fundraiser to do during the winter months, February is a great month for which to plan. Valentine’s Day is a holiday when gifts are given, so it is a perfect time for a fundraiser.  People love giving and receiving candy and flowers, so why not have a fundraiser that supplies them?

Start Early

While this fundraiser is fairly simple, it is date sensitive so start planning early.  Because you will be delivering the flowers on a particular day, the florist will have a deadline for the order so they can deliver your flowers to your group on time.  You need time to take and collect orders.  You also need time to plan.  Therefore, pull your fundraising team together in plenty of time to get everything planned.


Planning a flower fundraiser is easy. Start by assembling your fundraising leadership team.  The team doesn’t have to do all the work. They help plan and make sure that all the work gets done.

Determine the Type of Flowers to Sell

Easy Alternative to Live Flowers

Chocolate flowers are usually chocolate lollipops shaped like flowers. This is a fundraiser that is especially good for elementary schools.  It’s simple.  Purchase the lollipops and then sell them.  Companies like The Goodies Factory offer a wide selection.

The first step is to determine which type of flowers you might want to sell — live or otherwise. For this article, we are going to focus on live flowers.

Research which type of live flowers you would like and where you will get them. Get in contact with your supplier to find out when you need to place your order so that you receive them on or around February 14th.

You also need to determine if you want to sell individual flowers or arrangements.  This can be determined by profit made per sale as well as by simplicity. It is much easier to sell and deliver individual roses for Valentine’s Day than to deliver whole arrangements.

Finally, plan for prizes to help motivate sellers.  The amount spent on prizes should be a very SMALL percentage of the profit.  Don’t be afraid to go to local businesses and ask for donations to use as prizes.  You’d be surprised at how motivating a free pizza or hamburger can be.  Offer a large prize for the top 1-3 sellers.  If possible, offer a small prize to anyone who meets a certain sales target.  For example, it could be a $5 Starbucks gift card for anyone who sells 30 roses.

Organize Your Group

Once you know your product and deadline, recruit and organize participants to do the selling.  How you organize depends on the size of your group. Smaller groups can simply distribute order forms to your participants and have them take orders.

Larger groups will need to break your sellers into smaller groups with each group having a leader.  Some organizations naturally break into groups such as schools. Each classroom becomes a group with the teacher as a leader.  Group leaders are responsible to distribute and collect order forms from the participants.

Promotion and Sales

Get the word out!  Make up the fliers and distribute to friends and family. Use social media to your advantage. Send out invites to order your fundraiser flowers. Take orders as they come in and do not be afraid to follow up with people you have contacted but have not yet placed their order or said they would rather not.

Collect the Orders

Depending on the size of the group, you may want to give 2-3 days for participants to turn in their orders.  However, set a specific date and time by which all orders need to be turned in.  Be sure to emphasize this deadline to participants and group leaders.


Some groups, especially larger ones, set a date and time during which customers can come pick up their orders.  Others prefer to deliver which is more personal and shows a bit more customer service.

If you are selling individual roses, it is easy enough to have a list of all participants and have them come and pick up the number of roses they need to deliver to their customers.

If you are selling arrangements, hopefully the florist sorts the orders.  If the florist does not sort orders, you will need to have a team to sort the various flower orders for distribution to individual customers.

If you have a smaller group, simply give the flowers to the participants and let them deliver them.  For larger groups, distribute the orders to the group leaders who, in turn, give the orders to individual participants.  The participants can then deliver the orders.

Throw a Prize Party

The goal of the party is to create a final fun memory associated with the this fundraiser so that your group is motivated for the next one.

Most groups need to fundraise more than one time per year.  Therefore, it is important to keep your group energized and motivated.  Once the fundraiser is done, throw a party for the participants.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  Just make sure it’s fun.  While at the party, award the top sellers in front of the group and then make a big deal out of distributing the smaller prizes as well.


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.




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?

Christmas Wreath Fundraising: Tips for Choosing a Christmas Wreath

Highlander Wreath from Christmas Forest
Highlander Wreath from Christmas Forest
Highlander Wreath from Christmas Forest

Have you considered a Christmas Wreath fundraiser? You might think, “Why should I consider this now? Christmas is three months away.” Well, you need to think about it, because Christmas Forest (who provided the information below) gets their groups ready for fundraising in the early fall.  It takes time to create the materials you will need and to be prepared for sending out so many wreaths to the groups use their wreaths for fundraising year after year. And making all those wreaths is not quick either. Christmas Forest employs about 50 crafts people during the months leading up to Christmas and sends out about 30,000 Christmas wreaths all over the world.

If you are or are thinking about doing a Christmas Wreath Fundraiser this year, here are some tips to help you maximize your results and profits.

Tips for Choosing a Christmas Wreath

The holidays are a time of year when Christmas starts to occupy the thoughts of many as they decide not only how to decorate their own home but what gifts they will give to their family, friends, clients or colleagues. Here are some tips for making meaningful choices your gift recipients will love:

Christmas Classic Wreath from Christmas Forest
Christmas Classic Wreath from Christmas Forest

1. Take into consideration the color scheme the recipient is currently using. If your friend has a green door, you may not want to send them a wreath with a big blue bow. A fresh wreath topped off with a gold bow would be a perfect choice because not only does it complement the green door, but it also brings more of the colors of Christmas to the exterior.

2. When making your choice, think about the preference of the recipient and not necessarily what appeals to your taste. You may fall in love with the designer look of the Holiday Swags, but perhaps your great aunt would much rather have the traditional circular wreath with a great big red velvet bow.

Art Deco Wreath from Christmas Forest
Art Deco Wreath from Christmas Forest

3. We have some great ‘fancy’ wreaths loaded with ornaments, lights and colorful bows. You could choose the Mardi Gras colors of the Gala Glitz wreath or the fun geometric designs of the Art Deco wreath for your friend that marches to his/her own drummer.

4. When deciding on which Christmas wreaths would be best to send out to your client list, we recommend something a little more conservative such as the gorgeous Christmas Classic wreath or the beautiful Highlander wreath with the tartan plaid bow.

Cross Wreath
Cross Wreath

5. At this wonderful time of the season, it’s important not to forget those who share their faith with you. Consider sending clergy people, choir members or special friends from your congregation special Christmas Crosses – wreaths in the shape of a cross. This is sure to bring them great joy.

6. Lastly, when giving wreaths as gifts, it’s important to consider whether or not your recipient has something they can use to hang it on the door. If you’ve never seen them display a Christmas wreath, chances are you should probably include a wreath hanger with your gift. This way, you’ll be certain they can use it right away.

Fresh Christmas wreaths make perfect Christmas decorations and great Christmas gifts for those you care about. With these tips for choosing just the right style from our large assortment, you’re sure to bring pleasure to your recipient with a Christmas gift as unique and special as they are.


Special thanks to Christmas Forest for the information for this article. Groups of any size can easily use Christmas Forest for their fundraiser. Click here to read our review of Christmas Forest, or you can visit them at


Three Steps for a More Profitable Fundraiser

The search for a fundraiser can be a bit overwhelming. There seem to be thousands of choices, from selling chocolate and magazines to collecting used cell phones and ink jet cartridges. Whichever means you finally choose as means of raising money, you can be sure to have a positive result if you take these three time-tested steps.

Step 1: Create a plan.

The person or team in charge of the fundraiser needs to make some decisions, including the following:

  • Determine what items will be sold or collected for fundraising: Is the fundraiser limited to selling cookie dough in the neighborhood or will the entire town be involved?
  • Determine the timeframe for your fundraiser: Allow several weeks to get the word out, sell or collect the items of choice, and deliver and collect money.
  • Set a goal: Set an aggressive but achievable goal in terms of how much money is to be raised. Choose a goal and advertise it for all to see. You could say something like, “To reach our fundraising goal, each person must sell 25 candy bars.”
  • Make an advertising plan: Determine what groups of donors you wish to approach and determine the best way to address them- by letter, neighborhood door drops, email, through their children, in combination with some other event, etc.

Step 2: Train your team

This is an extremely important part of your fundraiser. The amount of money that you earn depends on how well your team understands your cause.  The first step is to hold a meeting. Include everyone in your organization, school or club who will be fundraising. Make copies of the goals and mission of your fundraiser and hand them out. Explain the “who, what, when, where, and whys” of your fundraiser:

  • Who will be fundraising
  • What you are selling or collecting
  • When you will be selling or collecting
  • Where the items will be sold or collected
  • Why you are holding this fundraiser

Step 3: Advertise your fundraiser

There are several ways to get the word out about your fundraiser. The more people who know about it, the more successful it will be.

  • Post flyers at your local business, your school and your church. Have parents hang a flyer at their office.
  • Hand out letters to friends, classmates and neighbors.
  • Send emails to your friends and family. Have your parents email everyone at work.
  • Issue a press release to all local newspapers that explains your fundraiser.
  • Advertise your fundraiser on local radio stations.


It all sounds pretty basic, but you’d be surprised at how well your fundraiser will run if you just take the time to plan, train, and advertise.

How to Turn your Group into a True Team

Definition of a Team: A group of people who do “collective work”, and are “mutually committed” to a common team purpose and challenging goals related to that purpose.

The key characteristics that will make any fundraiser a success are Collective Work and Mutual Commitment.

Each member holds themselves and each other jointly accountable for the team’s performance. The team will automatically think and act as an army, collectively combined and share a genuine conviction that “WE”, which is the potent concept behind every “Team”, will succeed or fail together, and that no individual can succeed while the team fails!!

  1. The Purpose
  2. Goals

It is also important to clearly define the purpose of the fundraiser, as well as the goals (including the reason(s) for fundraising and the actual finacial goal). Without the purpose and goals to reach, no group will ever become a team!

The group members that make up the team need clarity on: Exitus acta probat (the results validate the deeds):

  1. Their own individual roles to meet their individual goals
  2. How each group member is required to interact with their supporters based on the fundraising product or program
  3. Always set a minimum requirement, and make it a standard mandatory requirement
  4. The team’s final goal

The questions that each administrator can ask themselves to know that this will be a success are:

  1. Are we all committed to a worthwhile purpose?
  2. Are we pursuing a very clear common goal based on that purpose?
  3. Are the blueprints detailed, and the plan of action in place for the team to reach our goal?
  4. Are each of the members individually clear on their own roles and responsibilities?
  5. Does everyone share the same sense of values and beliefs about we expect of each other, and how we treat and respect each other?
  6. “Seeing is believing” – Tools are needed that are easily accessible at all times to show the statistics on this fundraiser being successful
  7. Deadlines and/or due dates are required for any project

Once all of the above is clearly understood and defined by the entire team, then everything is in place to guarantee a successful fundraiser!


About the Author

eFundraising provides non-profit groups with quality products, low prices and excellent service. Visit or call 1.800.561.8388 for more information.

7 Reasons NOT to Have a Youth Group Bake Sale

Many youth groups plan bake sales to support their programs, summer camp or trips.  Everyone likes cookies and cupcakes, so why not have a bake sale?  While a bake sale might sound like a good idea, here are 7 reasons why may not be the best idea.

1. Bake Sale Item Prices – Bake sale items are typically priced quite low.  After all, you can only charge so much for a little zippy bag of cookies.  Prices generally range from 50 cents to $10 for a cake.  So unless they give an extra donation, each person who makes a purchase is contributing a very small amount.

2. Impossible Volume – Considering the low price point of items, your church youth group would have to do a lot of baking to come up with enough items to generate a good income at the end of the day.  With baked goods it’s just not possible.

3. Potential Funds Raised –Unless you only need to raise $100 or less your group is not likely to reach it’s goal with a bake sale.  Why would you spend so much effort on something that produces so little results?

4. Too Much Work – Anyone who’s ever baked items for a sale (and I have) knows how much work it is.  It may take all afternoon to bake a few dozen cookies and cupcakes.  At best your hard work will fetch the organization $10-20.  Was it really worth it?

5. Perishable Foods – Baked goods need to be sold the day of the sale.  If bad weather, a low crowd or something else thwarts the bake sale, you can’t save them for later.

6. Too Many Fundraisers –Because bake sales generate such a low amount of income for the group, it becomes just one more fundraiser people are asked to participate in.  After awhile even people who support your group will get tired of being asked.

7. Divides Your Efforts – Because your youth group is spending time on the bake sale, it is taking time away from fundraisers that could be more profitable. Why not focus all of your efforts on one or two fundraisers that will produce much more results?

Instead of wasting time with a bake sale, find a fundraiser that is the best match for your church youth group.  An effective fundraiser is appealing to a wide majority of your supporters, brings in the most amount of money compared to the effort and doesn’t cost more than is appropriate.

There are a variety of great fundraising ideas…bake sales are just not one of them!

About the Author
Sandra Sims is dedicated to helping groups raise more for their causes. She is the publisher of a website that features the best fundraising options including a list of the Top 5 Event Fundraisers.

5 Tips for Publicizing Your School Fundraiser

You can have a great school fundraiser planned, if parents, teachers, students and community members don’t know about it – then your school isn’t going to raise nearly as much as it could. So getting the word out is super important for the success of your fundraiser. Here are 5 tips for successful publicity for your school fundraiser.

1. Focus on the benefit of the fundraiser. Parents, teachers and community members are more likely to participate if they truly understand how funds raised will be used for the school. Doesn’t it sound better that your school is “raising money to send the marching band to a national competition” as opposed to simply “please support our school?”  Even if you’re doing just a general school fundraiser it still benefits the school’s education programs, right?  Focus on what benefits your students will receive from funds raised.

2. Offer alternatives to asking “the usual suspects.” Many workplaces today do not permit fundraising activities at all, so parents cannot ask co-workers for their support. Suggest creative alternatives such as asking contacts from religious groups, social and civic clubs.  If you’re doing a product sale fundraiser like a gift catalog remind them that the items will make good gifts.  You can shop now for the holidays and beat the store crowds!

3. Send Press Releases to Media. Former students or parents that had children in the school may like supporting your fundraiser – but will only have the chance to do so if they are made aware of it. Write a press release with all of the information about the fundraiser and contact information. Then you will need to submit your press releases to your local media outlets and to online distribution services. Reporters and newscasters are often quite busy – so don’t hesitate to follow up with a phone call or two for those who don’t respond.

4. Send Flyers Home. Parents should be notified immediately once your school decides to do a fundraiser. Sending a flyer or letter home is one thing you should always do.  If you have the budget for it, you may want to mail the letter so you can be sure the parents get it.  Many schools now maintain email lists for parents, and sending an email to all parents could be a terrific way to notify give them all of the necessary details. Send another flyer midway through the campaign so parents will know how the program is going and remind them to contribute.

5. Use Your Internal Media. Many schools have a web site and you can create a special page dedicated to your fundraiser.  If your school, PTO or other group has a newsletter make sure your event gets included.  The Principal or teacher who gives the morning PA announcements can keep students updated on the progress of the fundraiser.  Even better, let the students who have raised the most give the morning announcements!

To really get the most awareness and participation for your fundraiser, you need to communicate with your supporters several times.  It takes more than just one flyer to get the message across.  People may intend to join in but get busy and forget.  So a gentle reminder may really be appreciated, and give your group a better chance for success!


About the Author
Angela Costas enjoys helping school groups find fundraisers.  She is a frequent writer for a site that provides many free fundraising ideas including school spirit, school carnivals and much more.

Healthy Food Options for Sports Game Concession Stands

Now days one of the big issues for school districts is offering healthy food options. Many parents are concerned about the high obesity rates for children. They want to know that healthy food options are at least available. This extends even into extracurricular activities like sports and the foods that are offered at concession stands.

There are other reasons to offer healthy options at the school concession stands too. Many families are very busy and the sports concession stand may provide the family meal for the evening. Having healthy choices will give people more to choose from than just the usual burgers and hot dogs.

Providing consideration for people with dietary restrictions is also another reason to offer a variety of foods. Offering lighter options for those on weight loss diets, dairy free items and vegetarian options will be a welcome change for some of your sports fans.
Here’s seven tips for having a healthier school sports concession stand fundraiser:

1. Offer deli sandwiches in addition to burgers
2. Have light mayo and other condiments available
3. Offer granola bars and dried fruit bars
4. Sell Baked Lays and Sun-chips in addition to other chip brands
5. If your stand has ice cream bars, also have dairy free fruit bars or sorbet
6. Offer trail mix in addition to other snacks
7. Veggie lovers Pizza in addition to pizza with meat

Concession stands are a great school sports fundraiser that has been a tradition in many schools. Your concession stand can be unique by offering a variety of foods – including healthy food options.

About the Author
Angela Costas enjoys helping school groups find fundraisers.  She is a frequent writer for a site that provides many free fundraising ideas including school spirit, school carnivals and much more.

Tips from Artware Fundraising: The First and Last Things to Do

First Tip for Next Year: Plan your Fundraising Calendar Ahead of Time.

As the year draws to a close it would be wise (as many of you are) to select your fundraisers for the 2011 – 2012 school year.

  • Plotting out the calendar taking in to consideration days off and vacations, school events, teacher conferences and holidays will help you to adhere to fundraising company deadlines and prevent you from scrambling at the last minute.
  • Planning now will help you to figure out how many volunteers you need for next year – and at the first day of school coffee or first parent meeting in the fall you will know just what you need to ask for in help.
  • Spacing out your fundraisers is much appreciated by parents, especially as they reach for their checkbooks.
  • Less can be more when selecting the amount of fundraisers to run. Choose fewer but  successful fundraisers.   If you see participation drop off in a particular fundraiser – shelve it for a year or two.
  • If you need the bulk of your operating expenses in the fall then run your programs that yield the greatest profits first.

And lastly, If you have a favorite for holiday gift buying, make sure to schedule that as well (who knows – you might even consider ArtWare for the winter holiday gift buying season)

Last Tip for this Year: Say Thank You to  All Who Have Helped.

The thing about volunteers – and I can say I know this first hand after six years of being Fundraising Chair and PTA President, a genuine thank you is much appreciated but often forgotten.  Here are some ideas that may go above and beyond – but when you are looking for volunteers for next year – you might not have to beg.

  • Write a thank you note at the end of the year from the board to everyone that has helped – whether the task was large or small.
  • Host a thank you coffee or tea the last week of school.
  • Give out Starbucks gift cards (or Dunkin Doughnuts) – to those that chaired larger events that resulted in lots of money or effort.
  • Take out an ad in the school newsletter or local newspaper – saying thank you to all, including local merchants (by name if possible) who went the extra mile to support your efforts.
  • Send a thank you note to the principal or director and any other administrator that supported programs you ran (fundraising and otherwise) .

Now that everyone is thanked and your calendar is a go for next year, Enjoy the summer!!  The first day of school 2011 will be here before you know it…………..

Artware Fundraising


About Artware Fundraising

Helping you and your organization reach its goals has been the heart and soul of ArtWare Fundraising since its founding in 1991.

Our creative and holistic approach to supporting the goals of our client organizations leads to fundraising programs that not only raise money but also improve the lives of those who participate.

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How to Project Manage a Fundraiser

Larger Trivia Nights might need to have a Project Management Team that coordinates all aspects of the up and coming fundraiser. It’s not that scary. To project manage something, is to coordinate all the aspects of a particular project. So to project manage a fundraiser, is to make sure all the aspects of a particular fundraising event are organized.

Here’s what you do. Pool together a team of capable individuals, and people with different skills, e.g. A Computer technician, Business leader, Social Worker, Administrator, Team leader, etc. A team with more expertise is a team that will inevitably create greater results for your fundraiser. Why? The team has more knowledge and understanding of the process; they have greater networks; they can reach higher goals.

Spend the first meeting setting your objectives/goals. What is the goal of this fundraiser? The goal might be to raise $10,000 for Cancer research. The goal might be to raise $5000 for the local bowling club, and raise awareness of the club to the local community. Once you are clear on what your objectives are, then you are a step closer to moving on to implementing the strategy behind reaching those objectives.

Before you jump into DOING what comes to your mind first, it’s helpful to list all your possible jobs/expectations that will need to be fulfilled for the fundraising venture to be successful. This is when you mind map all your ideas on a whiteboard or some butchers paper. Put a word in the middle of the document, e.g. FUNRUN, then have lines come out of the word noting things that you need to complete. So from the middle word FUNRUN, you might have drawn lines coming out from that word and one of those might say, ‘Advertising’, another might say, ‘Trivia Questions’, etc. From the advertising word you might delve a little deeper and list all the advertising ideas.

Now put all your ideas/points into a table on Microsoft Excel, and assign people’s names to each point, and a completion date. Then sort this Excel document from the earliest completion date to the latest date. Now you have a working document that this Fundraising Project Management Team can use to help organise the event. Grab a hold of Microsoft Project and develop a Gantt Chart (more information check out: for info on Gantt Charts).

Download a free (7-day trial) for project management, with Gantt charts at This is generally equivalent to Microsoft Project.

About the Author

For more information about fundraising, check out our site at:

Peter Brookshaw
16 Transit Cct, Woodroffe, 0830 NT, Australia
Mobile: 0439 033 826

Empower Your Group and Maximize PROFITS!

Ultimate Fundraising Inc. believes that there are many factors that contribute to a successful fundraising campaign. We would like to address how to best increase participation levels, for any of the fundraising campaigns your organization will run, by providing ideas to empower your sellers.

Effective Methods of Motivating Your Sellers

– Insure that each fundraiser has a definite goal amount and clearly communicates to your sellers and supporters what the funds are being raised for

– Include your sellers in the fundraiser selection process

– Along with your fundraising company build a meaningful incentive program that will help to motivate your sellers

– Divide your sellers into teams of 4-8 per team. Assign a team leader who will lead strategy sessions and with the help of the team come up with a marketing plan that will best allow the team to maximize sales.

– Use of progress thermometers provides a visual tool for sellers to track the progress of their team as well as the teams they are competing against.

– Run your fundraisers for no more than 2 weeks and always run one fundraiser at a time. Reward your top selling teams at the end of each week and assign a different team leader for Week One and Week Two.

– Through the use of teams and team leaders your booster club will be working on members leadership skills and empower them. This will result in the sellers taking responsibility for the fundraising programs and more importantly the outcome and reaching the fundraising goal.

– Always do a debriefing session once your fundraiser has concluded that includes all sellers to discuss what worked and what didn`t. This feedback can then be used to strengthen your future fundraisers and the approaches used by your sellers.

Ultimate Fundraising Inc. strives to assist organizations with all steps of their fundraising efforts. We are here to help in the planning stages and throughout your fundraiser. By providing only the highest quality products that are easy to sell and are profitable we are confident that we have everything that your organization would need to reach and exceed its fundraising goals. We offer over 30 different fundraising programs across the United States.

Remember that fundraising is an important part of any organization. Let us provide you with a program that will be structured for your success while empowering your sellers.

Pat Van Hesteren

Ultimate Fundraising Inc. President

888-489-8122 – toll free

The Greatest Incentive

Sponsors of The Fundraising Network provide us with a wealth of information and ideas about fundraising.  I was speaking with All Star 1 Fundraising today, and he told me about what motivates his groups that do fundraising — profits. Here is what he had to say.

The very best fundraiser incentive which is far superior to all other fundraising incentives are fundraisers with huge or high profit fundraising!!!

All Star 1 Fund Raising, offers a total of (8) high profit fundraisers with up to 60% profit fundraising.  That’s up to $7.80 profit per item depending on which fundraiser you do!  All other incentives offered by other fundraising companies such as inexpensive gadgets, trinkets, toys, electronic or high-tech games or merchandise will never compare with our 50% or 60% high profit fundraisers!!!

You can take just a small amount of your profit and buy a ‘whale-of-a-lot’ of fundraising incentives and, still at the same time retain more profit than you would make with the companies that only give you 40% profit.

Look at it this way.  It doesn’t matter what percentage of profit you make.  It all comes down to how many dollars you raise when everything is done.  It is based on how much you make per sale and how many items you sell.  Ultimately, the more you sell, the more you make, and more money made per item means more money raised.

Great incentives provide motivation for your group members to sell.  Think of it this way.  If you were a 6th grader, would you be more motivated to meet a particular sales quota if you were going to receive a cheap radio or a brand new ipod?  There are plenty of cheap “prizes” that many fundraising companies bring in from China as incentives.  What if you made more profit and used a little of it to provide fantastic incentives?  Here are a couple of examples.

You can make $10,000 selling 1000 boxes of fruit with Parker Indian River Groves.  You can offer your three top sellers a brand new XBox360 or your top 4 sellers a brand new Wii and still keep $9000 in your pocket.  Your first thought might be, “But that takes almost $1000 out of our pocket!”  However, how many items would your group have sold without those incentives?  $1000 represents the money from the sale of 100 boxes of fruit.  If your group members sold 100+ boxes more than they would have sold without the incentives, then spending the $1000 makes great sense.  Otherwise, your total amount brought home would be much less without the incentives.

Let’s use All Star 1’s example.  Let’s say that you sell $13 items.  You percentage of profit with many companies would only be 40% — about $5.20 per item.  With All Star 1, you make 60% which comes to $7.80 per item.  If you sell 1000 items, you’d make $5200 with the 40% company and $7800 with the 60% company.  If you are making 60%, you sell the same number of items, use $1000 of your profits to provide really awesome incentives and still make $1600 more than with the 40% company.

(Please note that the above examples are only for demonstration purposes.  They are not actual promises of particular profit amounts.  You need to check with your fundraising company for real profit amounts.)


All this can be a little confusing, so here’s a quick summary.

  1. Rather than considering the percentage of profit, consider the actual money made per item sold.
  2. Figure how much more money can be made by providing great incentives out of your profits that truly motivate your group members to sell than by just settling for the cheap “prizes” that many fundraising companies provide.
  3. If you can make more money by motivating your members with fantastic incentives that you provide out of your profits, then choose to make more money!

All of this can be a little daunting when you first think about it, but take some time to think about how you can make the most money from your fundraiser.  While providing your own incentives may seem like it may be costing you profits, you might find that they actually help you raise more.  The key is finding the fundraising company that pays you more so that the cost of the incentives is covered.

Fruit Fundraisers: Selling Full/Half vs. Large/Small Boxes

In our continuing series about healthy fundraising, The Fundraising Network has been discussing Ortanique fundraisers, a fruit fundraising opportunity that can help groups raise as much as $10,000 or more.  In their ortanique fundraising program, Parker Indian River Groves helps groups maximize their profit by selling full and half boxes rather than large/small.

Most groups simply sell large (40 lbs.) and small (20 lbs.) boxes of fruit.  This is the simplest method as all the fruit comes in exactly the size to be delivered.  However, what if you could increase your profit from $10 to $11 per box.  That’s an additional $1000 profit per full truckload!

When you sell both large and small boxes, you order exactly what you need of each size.  With the suggested markup of $10 per box, you make $10 per box.  Let’s create a hypothetical example.

Large Navel Orange
Your Cost:  $18.00
You Charge:  $28.00
Your Profit:  $10.00

Small Navel Orange
Your Cost:  $10.00
You Charge:  $20.00
Your Profit:  $10.00

Notice above that the small boxes are ½ the price of the large plus $1.00.  Essentially, you are paying an extra dollar for the cardboard to package the small boxes.  A dollar doesn’t sound like much until you think about it being $1.00 per box, what if you could put that $1.00 per box back in your pocket?

Sell Full and Half Boxes – more profitable

A full box is the same size as a large box.  A half box is the same size as a small box.  Instead of selling people “large” and “small,” offer them a full box or a half box.  The reason you offer them a half box is because you are going to order only large boxes from Parker Indian River Groves.  For those who want a half box, you are simply going to split the box yourself when the fruit arrives.  Therefore, for every 2 half boxes for your customers, you order one large box from Parker.

Now look at your profit per box offering the same amount of fruit at the same prices.

Large Navel Orange
Your Cost:  $18.00
You Charge:  $28.00
Your Profit:  $10.00

Small Navel Orange
Your Cost:  2 halves for $18.00
You Charge:  $20.00 each
Your Profit:  $11.00 per half

You are still selling the customer the same amount of fruit for the same price.  However, by decreasing your cost you have increased your profit.  It’s a great way to make much more money with just a minimal amount of extra work!

Top 10 Tips For Fundraising Success

Katherine, Editor – Skratchers Fundraising Inside

1. Sales Techniques For Better Fundraising
Perfect your introduction. Never start with the question “Would you like to buy…” because the standard answer is ‘NO’. Students should introduce themselves, their group and their group goal with major emphasis on the GOAL. What are the donations going to provide? Student volunteers who communicate the organization’s purpose make better ambassadors. Look “professional” & Say “thank you”. A nice appearance and identifying apparel adds credibility and helps make the sale. If possible, wear a group uniform or a tee shirt with your school logo. Remember to say, “thank you for helping us meet our goal”, and restate the goal.

2. The Right Incentive Prize
What could be worse than no incentive prizes? Investing in incentive prizes that simply don’t motivate your participants! Make sure the prizes you get are relevant to your participant’s age group and interests. Ask them what they’d like to receive as incentives given a certain budget.

3. Motivate Team Work
Top Class or Team Prizes: This is a great way to motivate the kids and get them working as a team – perfect synergy! If you’re a small group, you can create teams by putting your participants in groups of twos, threes or fours. If you’re a school you can do it by class and if you’re a league simply do it by team. You can offer the best selling group a free pizza party, a field trip outing to the place of their choice — ask them what they’d like.

4. Reward The Early Bird
You can offer early bird prizes to the first, second and/or third person who reaches a specific objective by a certain deadline. For example: if you launch the fundraiser on Monday, you can have the first three people that generate $100 in sales or more by Friday receive a $15 gift certificate.

5. Set Clear Goals, Firm Deadlines
The key to fundraising success is to establish clear fundraising goals and set firm deadlines for reaching those goals. Identify what you need, how much money is required and how long it will take to get it. Otherwise, your fundraising activity can be never-ending. So simply set start and end dates for all fundraising projects. That way everybody knows that there will be closure and things won’t drag on.

6. Fundraisers – Do a Few and Do Them Well
Most fundraising companies who work with organizations to raise money agree that with fundraising, less can be more. Your fundraising company should be consulting its customers to do only a few fundraisers, but more importantly, to do them well. Not only should schools and school groups be watchful of their own fundraising efforts, many advise that it is good practice to know what other groups in the area are doing to raise money.

7. Know What Others Are Doing
Today children and their parents are fundraising for their schools in addition to raising money for other groups. So it’s important to know what, where, when and how others are doing in fundraising. The last thing we want to do is duplicate the efforts of others and oversaturate the community. Some groups plan at least one year in advance so that they can coordinate fundraising efforts with neighboring teams, schools and other groups (church, scouts, etc.) who may be selling in the community at the same time.

8. Product Quality Counts
The old saying “You get what you pay for” is true for fundraiser campaigns and they’re fundraising products. The quality of the product you sell to your supporter is a direct reflection of your group. It will also have a direct effect the next time you fundraise. Higher quality fundraising products will leave people with a positive image of your cause. It will also make your current and next fundraiser easier because supporters will be eager to buy from you, resulting in higher profit.

9. Fundraise At Your Games and Events
Have you ever considered selling products in the stands during games, tournaments, and other events? Well you should because more traffic equals higher sales. Plus, you can raise more in less time. Some groups are so good at this, supporters look for them at each game and event.

10. No money to buy up-front? No problem!

Does your group have little money to buy fundraising products up-front? Choose an order-taker fundraiser. Getting an order-taker fundraiser started costs you nothing. Take your orders, collect your money up-front and then place your order with your fundraising company. This is a simple way to raise funds without putting any money up-front.

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