Ask not what you can do for your fundraiser, ask what your fundraiser can do for you. Translation: You are paying a fundraising company to help you raise money, therefore the fundraiser should be easy and efficient for your team. Below are five tips your team should be aware of so that your fundraising campaign runs smoothly and effectively.
1. Check the Profit Margin: It’s all about the companies that give in-kind donations profit margin with team fundraising. Profit margin is the amount of money you actually end up with after the costs associated with your fundraiser are paid. Many sales based fundraisers have lower profit margins due to the cost of the products you are selling. A typical candy fundraiser has around a 50% margin – so you are only getting to keep half the money you bring in. The other half pays for the candy. Your team should look for fundraisers that have a 70-90% profit to them. For the effort you are putting into raising money, you should be able to keep a majority of the money.
2. To Sell or Not to Sell: Selling products such as candy, magazines, and discount cards can be time consuming and take away from your real focus: a successful season. Furthermore, athletes can grow tired of the selling process and sales usually drastically drop off towards the end of your fundraiser. For these reasons, it may be best to utilize a fundraiser with little or no-selling involved. There are many fundraisers out there that involve direct mail and online tools to raise money without selling. These usually have much higher profit margins because the costs associated with their production are low.
3. Watch for Upfront Costs: Many fundraisers that involve sales make you pay a large fee upfront to purchase the products you are selling. This can be a problem because there is no guarantee that you will be able to raise money once you make this payment. Look for companies that guarantee you a profit and don’t make you pay a fee until money starts coming in.
4. How do You Look: A fundraiser is an extension of your sports program – anything you are selling or sending out to potential donors reflects on what people think about your organization. Make sure to choose a fundraiser that makes your program look professional and not commercialized. Does selling cheap candy or discount cards really make your team look top notch? Probably not. Furthermore, make sure your organization’s branding is consistent in all your fundraising activities. Branding is the specific colors, logos and overall look that your team has incorporated over the years. Your branding should be well represented on any marketing materials that are going to be in potential donor’s hands.
5. Check with Your School: Finally, before actually choosing the type of fundraiser you will utilize, check with your school administration on their fundraiser guidelines. You do not want to start a fundraiser to find out that you are not in compliance with the proper procedures. If your fundraiser is done incorrectly, it can take time and headaches to get back on track. Some things to watch out for include: