There’s a lot to be considered when planning a fundraising campaign: what to sell (if anything), how to sell it, when, and what supporter interest in a product or service will be. The answer is different for every organization or group given their budget, resources, personnel, and money needs. But one of the most important considerations is affordability.
Affordability is a concern for the organization and the consumer.
Can Your Organization Afford It?
Organizations and groups have to choose fundraisers that they can organize and manage given their volunteers’ experience and skills. Sometimes this means weighing whether or not hiring a fundraising consultant might be beneficial for your group. On one hand, consultants will take a cut of the profits, but on the other, groups without a large support base may struggle without one. Hiring a consultant to help plan and run your fundraising campaign may greatly boost your profits.
Another consideration is selling power. Organizations and groups have to know how many volunteers they can count on to take orders and get products delivered. An organization with many sellers can sell a lot of something small and succeed, but a group with few volunteers will have to choose products that can be sold by just these few volunteers. This directly impacts what is sold and if the products have to be sold person-to-person, or from a table or booth for example.
Organizations and groups also have to decide whether they can afford to buy product ahead of time, or if they cannot afford any upfront expenditures at all. There are plenty of fundraising tactics and products that can be sold in either case. If a group cannot afford to buy products ahead of time, their campaign might have to focus on order-taking rather than on-hand or cash and carry sales.
As an alternative to selling products, or planning an event, sending out a donation request letter simply asking for your supporters’ help may also be effective. Keep in mind that an online fundraising campaign can also be started with no or very limited funds. Direct donation requests and online fundraising campaigns can be used at any time when funds or volunteers are sparse, or in addition to your usual fundraising campaign. A simple fundraising campaign that can be held by a group with many or just a few volunteers is at Insider Pages.
Affordability For The Consumer
Every fundraising campaign has to consider product or service affordability when choosing fundraisers. Products have to be priced reasonably and appeal to your supporters. Otherwise, sales will be severely limited.
Supporters are willing to pay a little more than retail for some products in order to give to a worthy organization, but they are not willing to grossly overpay for a product or accept inferior quality.
When choosing a fundraising product or event, consider the following:
– Will there be a large number of sellers or helpers? If so, you can make a lot by selling many low priced items (like candy bars or lollipops), or planning an event that offers low and moderately priced rides or activities.
– Are there a limited number of sellers or helpers? Take extra care to choose products or events with a higher profit margin that are still affordable to your supporters.
When determining consumer affordability, it is helpful to remember that if your supporters are buying a product they will need anyway, the product becomes more affordable to them. For example, coffee is a grocery item that most households buy anyway, so it may have wide appeal; the same is true of other grocery items like snacks and seasonal necessities like wrapping paper.
In addition, it is worth remembering that supporters are likely to be tapped for several groups’ fundraising campaigns throughout the year. Giving your supporters an affordable way to support your group may assure that some of their available funds will go to your group.
Affordability of a fundraiser for your group is a fundamental concern, but your group will benefit if you consider budgets of your supporters as well.