Tag Archives: fundraiser

Are there any tricks or tips to help my fundraiser go smoothly?

How to Communicate Your Ideas

Image by kevindooley via Flickr

As with anything, the best thing you can do is communicate.  Talk to the organizer before the event and put in writing when things are going to happen when.  I have heard stories of consultants having issues with the organization so putting it in writing and giving each person a copy will hopefully help.

  • Date fundraiser starts
  • What the consultant is providing and if there are costs associated with it
  • The cost of the fundraising supplies if the organization is paying
  • Date fundraiser closes (I suggest a date a few days before you actually want to close due to stragglers)
  • What the consultant expects back and if there are costs associated with it
  • Does the organization give you one big order – 20 A, 27 B, 21 C – or do they give you the small orders?
  • How does payment work?
  • When shipment is expected (will be based on closing/ordering date)
  • Where the shipment will be delivered?
  • Who will be sorting out the shipment?
  • Are there any other things that you think need to be discussed with the organization when doing a fundraiser?
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Should I absorb the cost of the fundraiser supplies or should the organization?

This can be a bit of a hot topic when it comes to fundraising.  Some organizations cannot afford the initial outlay for the supplies required (order forms, possible samples or flyers) and therefore expect the consultant to pay.  But at the same time, the consultant should not have to be out the cost for possibly several hundred dollars if the organization is not successful.

The best solution I have heard to this is to have the consultant charge the organization for the supplies and they will get the funds back in their fundraiser.

For instance, supplies cost $100.  The consultant would get the $100 from the organization to pay for them.

Then, when it comes time to settle up, let’s say the organizations proceeds would be $1000.  The consultant may then choose to give the organization back the $100 for the supplies as the consultant is able to write them off as a business expense.

Another option would be to go half and half.  Using the example above, the consultant would give the organization back $50.

You could also give them a credit for all the supplies they turn back into you after the fundraiser is over.  Continuing with the previous example, if they spent $100 for the supplies, and they gave you back $25 worth of supplies (have to be in new condition) then you would give them $25.  Those supplies could then be used for another fundraiser.

I suggest that the organization pays for the supplies up front as it will be an indication of how serious they are in making money with their fundraiser.  There are horror stories out there of consultants who bring in the supplies for a 100 sellers from their funds and then the organization doesn’t bother or only get a few hundred dollars in orders.

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I want to do a fundraiser, but I have no clue how to get one. Any ideas?

The sky is the limit on where you can find fundraisers but actually landing one is the hard part.  You can also cold call/cold mail/cold email locations, but without following up, you likely are wasting your time.  Regardless, here is a list of places you can try.  Some are free, some will cost you money.

  • Ask people you know if they know anyone who is looking
  • Talk to people you know who are involved in different activities
  • Contact your local schools and churches
  • Make sure to tell customers at your home parties
  • Advertise them when you do events
  • Put an ad up on classifieds that you offer fundraisers
  • Check the classifieds to see who is advertising a fundraiser – car wash, steak night – and see if they are interested in another type of fundraiser
  • Put up posters wherever you can
  • Contact any type of community organization or hall to let them know you do fundraisers – while they may not do them, they may know people who do that they can pass your information on to
  • Get in touch with your local chamber of commerce to see if you can get listed with them
  • Put ads in the newspaper


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How should I approach someone about a fundraiser?

It is a good idea to have a letter that gives a brief overview of your fundraiser that is one to two pages.  This is a letter you can give to anyone who seems interested at all.  You could also put it in your hostess packages and your recruiting packages.  A bulleted list is great for the introduction letter so they can see at a glance what it involves.

  • Organization makes 35% of sales
  • 15 of our top selling products are available to you
  • Product ships to location of your choice
  • Selling packets provided with information about product

From there, a second letter, or information packet can be prepared.  You could give this out with the first letter or you may choose to wait and see if they have an interest before you give them one.  This will be a more detailed letter which explains more about the fundraiser and how the process works.  Some suggested topics:

  • Comparison to other fundraisers (ie. Chocolate bars, popcorn)
  • Different sales levels equal what profits
  • Selling price of products
  • What will be supplied to help organization be successful
  • What the organizations responsibilities will be
  • What your responsibilities will be as a consultant
  • A suggestion for time frame of fundraiser as well as shipping
  • Acceptable payment methods
  • Information about tax exempt status is that is an option
  • Application form is one is required
  • Who pays for the supplies – ie. Order forms

What else would you include?

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What does doing a fundraiser entail?

1)      Getting the fundraiser – You may have to find one or it may find you

2)      Presenting it – Depending on the organization, you may have to do a presentation to their board or decision makers about your fundraiser

3)      Getting materials – You will need to bring in enough materials for the amount of people that they expect to participate

4)      Collect Orders – Pick up the orders from the fundraising committee

5)      Balance Orders – Make sure your numbers match their numbers.  You will want to collect the funds at this point to pay for the order.  They would keep the remainder.

6)      Input Orders – Input orders into the system and get them organized

7)      Receive Orders – Depending on how large the order is, you will either need to receive it at your place or make alternate arrangements

8)      Sort Orders – This is pretty self explanatory.  If it is a large order, have some helpers to assist.  You can also leave this task completely up to the organization, but you may want to include marketing material or re-order labels.

9)      Deliver – If the product is not with the organization, deliver it to them.

How to Create your Own Fundraiser

What a great thing you are doing, I’m sure the organizations you help out will appreciate it!

There are a couple different ways that you can approach this.

1)      Have a Party, Give Commission – The first option is for the organization to basically have a party, and you donate a portion of your commission.  If you make 25%, you might want to offer 20% commission.  If your commission goes up with sales, then you could offer them a bit more as their sales go up.  You want to make sure you get paid as well, so unless the cause is near and dear to your heart, I do not recommend giving it all away.  The other great benefit to this is that you can put some of their items in the host rewards which will increase their proceeds.

2)     Limited Party – If it is a big group that is doing the fundraiser, to make your life and theirs easier, I would recommend that you give them a limited amount of products to sell.  If you can choose 10 or 15 best sellers, offer them those only.  Handle the commissions and hostess credit as noted above.

One of the best things you can do is having the organization add up all their orders, and then you double check them.  Make sure that your numbers agree so that you make sure that you are ordering the correct product.

Make sure you give them a time limit for the fundraiser or you may find that it will go on and on.

Should I attend a trade show?

These are events where there are a variety of vendors in attendance with their wares.  It may be put together by one of the vendors to get exposure or sometimes they are done as a fundraiser for an organization and they ask for you to contribute a portion of your sales.

Attendance is truly up to you and what your business goals are.  If you are looking to increase your customer base, book more events or add to your team, this can be a great way to get out and meet new people.

To help with the decision of whether you should attend or not is based on a few things.

–          Do they charge a fee for the table?

–          Do you have to give up a portion of any sales made?

–          Do they require a door prize?

–          Do they have other reps with the same company?

–          Do they have competing companies there?  (this may or may not be a concern)

–          Have they organized other events?

–          What type of advertising are they doing?

While all these questions may not be important to you, be aware that there tend to be many events out there and you can spend a lot of money on them.

Another great reason to attend these events is that you get a chance to meet other vendors.  Even if you decide that this event is not for you as a vendor, it is a good idea to try and attend and just check things out.