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Feed Fundraising Success

Fundraisers are a vital component to the financial health and viability of non-profit organizations, schools, and places of worship. So, when you run a fundraiser, success is a must. The pressure is on. The more fundraisers the better, right? Well, not exactly.

Quality, Not Quantity
It’s natural to think that running multiple small-scale fundraisers each year, from car washes, spaghetti dinners to auctions and carnivals, will deliver more money-making opportunities for the organization. The real opportunity, however, lies in conducting one or two larger, more organized fundraising events where at least one of these events features product sales—especially food.

According to the Association of Fund-Raising Distributors and Suppliers (AFRDS), a survey of school parent groups revealed that popular consumer items such as cookie dough and pizza consistently deliver greater results for the fundraising organization as compared to other types of fundraising drives.

“This new research confirmed our suspicions that product sales are still the best option for school groups looking to raise substantial funds in a short amount of time,” said Vickie Mabry, executive director of AFRDS.

This holds true for other organizations, as well. Another aspect of the research showed that groups performing a limited number of fundraisers a year tend to earn more per fundraiser. This may be because supporters expect to make fewer fundraising purchases throughout the year, and as a result, are willing to spend more.

In fact, Jon Krueger, executive director of AFRDS, in response to a survey conducted by AFRDS in cooperation with PTO Today and Time Direct Ventures, said, “Communities are motivated to support school fundraisers but, there is a limit.”

He suggested organizations consider limiting the total number of fundraising efforts each year and focus on the most effective and efficient programs.

Based on the recent experiences of many organizations, it has been determined that larger scale fundraisers run fewer times throughout the year are the way to go. Larger scale fundraisers might include carnivals or other special events, breakfasts, dinners or raffles, but all of these require a lot of manpower—carnivals usually require up to 60 volunteers! This is where product sale fundraisers offer a distinctive advantage, usually requiring the help of less than 10 people.

Says Krueger, “By putting a greater effort into a fewer number of fundraisers with very specific goals and a wider outreach, groups will find that they can successfully raise the money they need and get greater participation in their fundraisers from families and the community at large.”

You Know What, Now Who?
So, you’ve decided to run a larger fundraiser featuring food items. The next step is looking for a partner that will help you see results and meet, or even exceed, your financial goals.

When selling fundraising products, it’s important that people feel good about what they’re buying. Finding a company with years of experience and a strong reputation are good things to look for in your ideal partner. 

Brand recognition: Partner with a trusted brand people know by name. When buyers are familiar with a brand, they’re much more likely to buy, and buy more.

Quality: Ensure the products you sell are of a quality that people will feel good about buying and serving to their families. That way, they’ll be sure to place an order next time, and hopefully a bigger one at that. For example, not every cookie dough brand uses the finest ingredients, such as real butter, Barry Callebaut chocolate, and premium nuts and dried fruit. Sell something that makes it difficult for supporters to resist.

Product type: Be sure that the products you choose to sell are something the buyer will appreciate. Food is high on the list. As stated earlier, supporters readily snap up popular consumer items such as cookie dough, pastries and pizza. Aside from the convenience of simply popping them in the oven, certain baked goods and other quality food items offer easy ways for consumers to feed their families and even entertain. Everybody loves cookies, especially when the dough is conveniently pre-portioned. Thaw-and-serve items also provide convenience. Look for a brand that offers something for everyone and for every time of day from breakfast to dinner to snacks.

Customer service: It’s important to choose a partner who will be just that. Find a fundraising partner that offers step-by-step guidance and support to make the fundraising process as simple and successful as possible.

Spread the Excitement
After you’ve chosen the type of fundraiser you’re going with, you need to make sure you’re communicating to your group about your fundraising goals and keeping sellers motivated and excited. Your fundraising partner should be able to provide a lot of support in this area. For example, some brands provide step-by-step support throughout the entire fundraising process.

Part of this support should include quality selling materials such as brochures and seller packets, provided free of charge. These present the fundraising items in an attractive way using beautiful food photography. Additionally, these pieces communicate to consumers and supporters that you’re working with a legitimate, trustworthy company.

Prize programs are very effective motivational tools that will get your sellers pumped up and selling. It enables sellers to strive toward personal sales goals and choose fun prizes based on their results. Even this part of the process should be made extremely easy for the fundraising organization.

Be sure to use your own online opportunities to your advantage. Through your organization’s website, as well as your Facebook and Twitter accounts, you can easily communicate with both sellers and supporters. Update goals or make everyone aware of your fundraiser’s timeline to encourage more sales. You may even make some sales on Facebook and Twitter just by starting the conversation and engaging with your supporters.

Additionally, hanging up signage around the building, creating bulletins, or posting announcements all aid in creating excitement around your fundraiser.

When implementing a food fundraiser, it really helps to sample the products you plan on selling at a routine organization meeting. Often times, customers bake fresh-baked cookies to kickoff their fundraisers. This naturally gets sellers excited about what they’re selling and allows them to share their experience with supporters. And if supporters are there, then you’ve got a great opportunity to whet their appetite.

When you’re looking for a way to truly maximize your fundraising results without maxing out your resources, food product sales are often the way to go. Because when you start making people hungry, the taste of success is sure to follow.

Part of ARYZTA—a leading manufacturer and distributor of bread, buns, cookies, pizza and other premium food items—Otis Spunkmeyer is the trusted brand name in cookie dough fundraising, recognized by consumers as synonymous with irresistible baked goods. Gourmet cookie dough, pretzels, brownies, and other favorites from Otis Spunkmeyer are the most delicious choice for catalog fundraising programs. Visit us online for cookie dough fundraising ideas at www.otisfundraisingideas.com, or visit the Otis Spunkmeyer brand site at www.spunkmeyer.com.

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Religious Product News