Any fundraising organizer or committee can tell you that there are more fundraising choices than you could imagine; so choosing the best product and process for fundraising can be a chore. But with a little preparation (and advice from your predecessors when available), choosing the right fundraising campaign can be far less overwhelming.
Get To Know Your Group And Supporting Community
Before you can decide on what product or process is best for your group to sell, you have to learn a few things about who sells your fundraising products and how; you also need to make some decisions about who will buy what you are selling.
Some important things to consider are:
- What is the age of your group members? younger children will need simple fundraisers and easy money collection; sometimes choosing something like lollipop or candy sales is best because each item is sold at the same price, for a sum that is easy to count and collect
- What is the size of the selling group? product based fundraisers usually take a lot of people selling in order to turn a good profit; if your group is small, order takers may not net a large return; consider selling items that can be pre-purchased for cash and carry sales in busy locations (such as at other events or storefronts)
- What does your group represent? what you are selling should not conflict with the message and/or goals of your organization; for example, a candy fundraiser would be a hypocritical choice for a dental awareness campaign
- What does your group like? Parents and children will enjoy selling products they like better than those they don’t, and profits will reflect this
- What has sold successfully in the past? Is the support and demand still there to run the same campaign again?
- What is your community receptive to? If supporters would rather hand you cash than buy something they may not have use for, consider a raffle or card sale (such as scratch cards or discount cards)
- How quickly do you need the money? Generally, scratch cards and raffles can be run on short notice, but for product-based fundraisers, large events, magazine drives, and donation request mailing campaigns, more time will be needed
- What is the size and skill-set of your organizing group? The more involved the fundraising campaign, the more people you will need for organization and administration. Likewise, more complicated fundraisers like brick fundraisers may require skilled knowledge and labor (for structural design and construction)
- Will any local businesses or individuals contribute time, skills, equipment, or money to your campaign? Businesses are often willing to support the community and build good relations.
These are the basic things to consider. Depending on the specific needs and abilities of your group, you may have more to add to this list.
Keep in mind, however, that there are a myriad of choices in fundraising techniques and products. Also, consider an online fundraiser:
Not every fundraiser needs to sell something
You could sign up for any of the online fundraising services to ask for cash donations, or create your own website that enables you to take cash donations.
Need more help? Download our checklist that will help you choose a fundraiser!