The fundraising industry has evolved rapidly from the dark ages of door-to-door product sales to the embrace of web-based products and online crowdfunding programs by schools, teams and other groups. Although product fundraising programs are known to be successful, the traditional door-to-door strategy is a thing of the past. So, if your participants are still lugging heavy coupon books, clunky gift items or perishable goodies around the neighborhood in search of supporters, you may want to consider giving your next fundraiser a makeover.
Crowdfunding – One of Today’s Hottest Trends but Quickly Becoming an Instant Standard.
Crowdfunding is fundraising done completely online. That means no door-to-door sales and no hard goods to distribute back to supporters after their money has been collected. You and your participants can simply use the convenience of email and social media technology to reach supporters near and far. Best of all, the profitability of crowd-funding is limitless.
When choosing an online crowdfunding resource, be sure to consider the following:
Profit Percentage – Understand how much you make on all donations and avoid flat percentages that take away from large donations.
Giveback to Supporters – A gift to help offset the cost of a donation helps sustain online programs year after year and avoids supporter fatigue.
Site Customization – Choose a platform that allows you to add your logo, pictures and messaging because the more you can personalize your platform, the more successful you’ll be.
Reporting – Make sure you can track donations at the organizational and participant levels so you can set goals for each and check your progress in real time.
Dump the Cookie Dough, Pizza Kits and Wrapping Paper.
Instead of trying to peddle outdated products that supporters would rather you keep, choose a product that is more manageable and offers something of value to supporters. Food products are popular, but rarely meet today’s standards for healthy living. Other products, like candles and wrapping paper, are boring and will not catch the eye of your supporters.
When choosing a fresh look for your product-based fundraiser, consider the following:
Profit Percentage vs. Sale Price – What’s the difference in selling a $20.00 item at 50% profit and a $2.00 item at 75% profit? You’ll have to sell seven of the cheaper product to equal the total profit of the more expensive item. Work smarter, not harder!
Easy Storage and Distribution ¬– Unless you own a refrigerated warehouse or are raising money for a peewee weightlifting team, you, your participants and your supporters probably don’t want to deal with perishable or heavy items.
Value to Supporters – Let’s face it. Your friends and family are getting hit up all the time by fundraisers, so please offer them something they can actually use. For example, online savings cards and apps are great, “non-product” products that usually sell for around $20 bucks and can save supporters hundreds of dollars at local and national merchants and restaurants.
Ask an Expert
Choosing the right fundraising program or company may seem like a daunting task because there are so many options. But if you stay informed and gather all of the facts, it will be much easier to select the best program for your group. Be sure to request information and talk to account managers at the companies you are considering. Ask the representatives what their programs can do to help you achieve your goals. After all, a fundraising company shouldn’t just share your profits; they should share your responsibility to be profitable.
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