Choosing the Right Fundraiser.

Too often schools delve into a fundraiser without really evaluating whether or not that particular fundraiser meets a specific need. There are thousands of fundraisers on the market, which makes it easy to choose “any” old fundraiser–as long as the product will sell. Obviously that isn’t always the case. I’ve noticed that there are certain fundraisers that tend to work on a more general scope(anyone can use that fundraiser) and there are fundraisers that only seem to work for specific groups. For instance candy bars are popular for a MAJORITY of schools, athletic teams, charities. They’ll always sell, because a majority of the time the candy bars are inexpensive, and easy to sell. Though the disadvantage in selling candy bars is that usually you have to sell a ton in order to raise even a small amount of money. Additionally  the candy bars are usually priced a bit higher than typical Candy Bars (snickers, twix, etc) and so consumers are a bit skeptical about handing over $2 for a candy bar they could easily purchase for 89 cents. There are unconventional fundraisers like “holiday candles”  or “clocks” which could work for some groups, but certainly not for most.

In evaluating which route you want to go-traditional or unconventional–you should have a specific amount of money that you’re looking to raise, a reasonably sized group, a core demographic group(parents and friends) that would willingly purchase items within your fundraiser, and the confidence and ability to sell. It’s especially important that your students, or team, has an affinity or interest in the product as well. While this may seem like “common sense”, you’d be surprised at the number of PTO’s and/or schools that jump into fundraisers that are simply not a good match. Though a fundraiser may sound good on paper, it does not mean that the fundraiser is the right fundraiser for you.

AT PFG we remind our clients that selling stationery is completely unconventional, especially in comparison, to cookie-dough, pizza kits, and so on. And for that reason, w do make it known that selling our product isn’t for everyone. Typically our criteria is that you must be a group of at least 50 members, you must have a goal to raise at least $500, and you must be willing to put in the effort to sell the product since on average it costs a bit more than a “traditional” fundraising item costs. We also make it clear, that while we provide a ton of resources(custom sales tools, samples to offer to clients, guides, tips, discounts, prizes, etc) we still expect the client to do the work. For a group of 20 people, selling PFG would not be a good match. For a group of 60 students, PFG would be a GREAT match.

Not every fundraiser has “qualifiers” that give you insight on whether or not the fundraiser is a good match for you, so it’s up to you to create your own criteria, to ask plenty of questions, and to make sure that your prepared to sell that particular product.

I’d like to know what your experiences have been(especially PTO members) when it comes to choosing the right fundraiser for your school? What process have you went through to ensure that you found the “best” fundraiser? What criteria did you establish before choosing? Did you raise the amount of money that you needed with that particular fundraiser?

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