The Ultimate Product Fundraising Guide for Non-Profits
Do a quick google search for “Product Fundraising” and you are served with over 49,700,000 results. There are a plethora of options for product fundraisers currently on the market. There are so many, in fact, that choosing a fundraising company to work with can be overwhelming and confusing. So, what’s the best way to filter through all the options and find the fundraising company and fundraising product that is 1) the best fit for your non-profit and 2) will generate the most profit? We’ve discussed Choosing a Winning Fundraising Product for your Team before however there is much more behind successful fundraising campaigns than choosing the right product. This is such an important topic for school administrators, PTO/PTA leaders, and non profit groups that it is worth taking a deeper dive. So, without further ado, here’s the ultimate product fundraising guide for non-profit groups.
The best way to choose a Product Fundraising Program
Before choosing a fundraising company to partner with it is wise to carefully research the options to make sure that the fundraising program will be a HIT and not a MISS.
First Review the Product Fundraising Company’s Reputation & Values
Ask and get answers to these questions:
- Does the fundraising company have a good reputation?
- Can references be provided? Read reviews and testimonials from similar non-profits who have worked with the prospective fundraising company.
- How long has the fundraising company been in business? Choose a company that has been in business at least 10 years and is financially stable.
- Does the fundraising company have a professional website? Is the web content appealing, informative?
- Values- Does the fundraising company care about your goals and partner with you in the process or are they just in it for the sale and THEIR profit?
- Are the fundraising company’s sales representatives knowledgeable, passionate and dedicated to helping your group achieve their fundraising goals?
- How successful have other non-profit groups similar to yours been using this product?
- What are the average sales for similar group types and sizes? A good product fundraising company can provide historical data so you can determine your group’s range of opportunity with the fundraising product.
Next Gather all the FACTS about the Product Fundraising Program
Answering these questions will help you make the BEST CHOICE for a fundraising partner that will deliver RESULTS.
- What is the profit ratio from sales?
- How will the fundraising product be sold? Will it be sold door to door?
- Can the fundraising product be sold online?
- Do they pay the same profit for online orders as brochure orders?
- Is there a fundraising incentive or prize program included for sellers?
- Is there a minimum sales requirement?
- Does the fundraising company provide marketing materials such as sales flyers, brochures, posters, and parent letters?
- Are there any hidden costs?
- Are the fundraising products paid for in advance or upon receipt of orders?
- Do you have to collect sales tax on orders?
- Are there any minimum purchase requirements?
- Does the fundraising company require a deposit up front?
- How does the fundraising company comply with state Sales Tax laws?
- Does the fundraising company offer multiple payment options?
- What services does the fundraising company offer in support of the fundraising product and your fundraiser?
- Do they have customer service available to answer questions by phone and email?
- Does the fundraising company provide product samples for your kick-off event?
- Can and will the fundraising company tailor its fundraising program to fit your group?
Then Evaluate the Fundraising Product
Choosing the right fundraising product is equally as important as partnering with the right product fundraising company.
- What fundraising products are offered in the brochure?
- Is the fundraising product of high quality?
- Is the fundraising product made in the USA?
- Are there any seasonal products in the fundraising catalog that are not offered year round?
- What is the shelf life of the fundraising product?
- Does the fundraising product have a perceived value and is it in demand?
- How are orders fulfilled for back-ordered items?
- What’s the policy on damaged or missing fundraising products?
- Is the fundraising product easy to distribute and/or deliver?
- Does the fundraising product require special handling such as refrigeration?
Finally, Determine your Group’s Goals and Expectations
Proper goal setting is vital in product fundraising and this begins with knowledge of your team’s expectations and abilities.
- How quickly does your group need to raise money?
- Are there any time limitations that would impact the successfulness of the fundraising campaign? Large scale events take months of planning.
- How long does it take for product orders to be fulfilled?
- Is there are “quick ship” option?
- What resources are required? Different product fundraising programs require varied amounts of resources.
- Does your group have enough committed volunteer support to run the proposed fundraising campaign?
- Why are you fundraising? How will the money raised be spent?
- What is your fundraising goal for sales and profits?
- How many fundraising products will each participant need to sell in order to reach your fundraising goal?
Whew, I know that’s alot. 😯 Have I lost you yet???? Still with me? AWESOME! After you have reviewed the fundraising company, gathered the facts about the product fundraising program, evaluated the fundraising product and determined your group’s fundraising goals, you are ready to GET STARTED and SIGN UP to run a product fundraiser. And you can do so with confidence knowing you have chosen a fundraising company with a fundraising product that is the best fit for your group! That’s a home run in our book.
Have you ever “Struck OUT” with product fundraising? Leave us a comment and share your experience with us?
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