The other day a fundraising group asked us how they got paid for doing a fundraiser. Although this may be a basic question for some it brings up a lot of good fundamental questions about which fundraiser might work best for a particular school.
There are basically 2 types of fundraisers that most fundraising companies offer:
Product fundraisers allow groups to purchase products up front at wholesale and then turn around and sell it at a higher retail price in order to make a profit. Typical products that can be purchased and delivered before a fundraising kickoff include:
One advantage that product fundraisers offer is that sellers are able to show the actual item to a potential customer. This allows the buyer the opportunity to see and hold the item prior to purchasing. Providing the actual product to sellers at the beginning of a school fundraiser is also easier on the seller because once a sale is made they don’t have to go back a second time to deliver the merchandise. Sellers also find items like candy bars and lollipops easier to sell because the cost is lower thus more people can afford to buy. Product fundraisers seem to work well with smaller fundraiser groups.
Brochure fundraisers allow groups to show potential buyers items found in a brochure beforehand. Sellers use an order form to collect orders and a money collection envelope to collect money. The price of each item shown in the brochure is the retail amount and the school is then billed by the fundraising company at a lower wholesale price for items that are submitted to the company for processing. In other words, the school keeps the difference between the retail price paid by the customer and the wholesale price paid to the fundraising company. Brochure fundraising typically offers more diversity compared to selling products especially when selling out of a large brochure shopper. Schools also like brochure sales because they only pay for what’s ordered by their customers. Plus, the money is already in hand prior to submitting their order. There is no up front cost to the school for fundraising supplies.
We encourage fundraising groups to consider not only what they think will sell in their community but also which fundraiser they are most comfortable with.