Frequently Asked Questions

Fundraising with products… what does that actually mean?

Schools and non-profit organizations have been coordinating fundraising campaigns for decades now. Creativity is the key to keep a fundraising campaign to be fresh and profitable!!! In addition to event fundraising, i.e. school carnivals, spaghetti dinners, grant writing and auctions; marketing and selling product to organizations is a certain type of fundraising campaign which is effective and lead to positive financial results.
Believe it or not, product fundraising is a very popular and successful form of fundraising campaign which has been around for a very long time.  The basis of this type of fundraising involves the bulk purchase and re-sale of popular products by a non-profit group selling to their supporters. The nonprofit group who sponsors this sale keeps the portion of the gross sales.   Usually, product fundraising is a popular consumer brand and re-selling it to people. Very typically, product fundraising campaigns are conducted through catalogue, order forms, website sales, etc…
Non-profit supporters pay for fundraising product when the order is placed or upon final delivery.

How and why is product fundraising successful?

In the U.S. non-profit groups annually net approximately $1.7 billion conducting product fundraising campaigns. The upside of fundraising product sales is that they work because results are fast and people like buying products for a worthy cause.
Typically, product fundraising campaigns work together with a professional fundraising company’s sales liaison representative – which coordinates fundraising campaigns between the product supplier and non-profit volunteers responsible for the fundraising drive.

The benefit of working with a professional fundraising company is invaluable.  The non-profit group benefits from services of: advice, trouble-shooting, support, products, delivery, product distribution, and overall guidance and other valuable services that can reduce volunteer time & energy and maximize sales.

Product fundraising sales have so many possibilities of products available.  From Digital Coupons of the Entertainment App to David’s Cookie Dough and Cheesecakes.  The menu of successful fundraising products is unlimited.  But with careful planning, dedicated marketing & project management, all campaigns can be a success!

How can one convince parents, friends and family to participate in product fundraising?

There are three major ways through which a non-profit can convince their peer group to participate in their organization’s fundraising campaigns. One, you need to make sure that you set a clear and organized goals, and attach deadlines to them. Then, you need to talk about dates and progress reports to your parents and friends continuously, to keep them interested.

Second, the organization should be careful not to overwhelm their volunteers and supporters with too many fundraising campaigns.  The product fundraising campaigns should occur every now and then. Sales that occur in preparation of major holidays, Thanksgiving, Xmas & Easter usually are very successful as supporters will generally be more apt to purchase fundraising product, rather than purchasing it on-line or from a grocery store.  The rule of thumb is that when fundraising, the motto is “less is more”.  That is, less many times is more successful.  Generally, fundraising campaigns are best if they perform efficiently and profitably. If you have more than two product fundraising projects annually, your organization, family and friends might lose their interest in your efforts.

Last but not the least, stay informed and know what your friends or other fundraising organizations are doing, so that you can better gauge what your market and organization and supporters will need to raises optimal funds!

What is the share of organization’s profit, in the revenue earned through fundraising?

In most cases, the share of the fundraising revenue, which has been generated, depends on the products which are being sold, the helpfulness of the professional fundraising company and what kind of services which are being offered. Moreover, the non-profit volunteers are also given the opportunity to derive a contract with the professional fundraising company before a sale begins, and choose a percentage they are willing to pay or receive and feel comfortable with.

Ultimately, fundraising organizers need to be concerned about the quality of services & products offered, and percent of profit to be received that will all work together to help the organization meet its total fundraising goal.

What appropriate incentive programing is needed to motivate volunteers during the course of a product fundraising sale?

Typically, an “incentive program” can assist non-profit organizations to reach their financial goals.  Many times the goal itself is enough motivation for some volunteers.  However, prize and award programs may contribute to the success of a product fundraising campaign by encouraging participation and excitement about the sale.  An incentive program may also boost volunteer participation so that the responsibility of meeting the organization’s goal does not fall to a dedicated few.

Today, fundraising prizes actually given are modest tokens (pencils, miniature plastic strobe lights & pencils) to distinguish participation.  Older high school students prefer cash or brochure product raffles. School administrators and parent groups should work closely with fundraising companies to safeguard that incentive programs are appropriate for their student audience.

Do we need to go door-to-door in fundraiser product sales efforts?

The idea which has been wrongly interpreted by people is that product fundraising is a synonym to ‘door-to-door’ sales by kids. However, the truth is that this kind of fund raising campaign is usually carried out between friends, family and neighbors. It does not have to involve young and old people going through the whole neighborhood, selling things. Instead, a successful product fundraising campaign can be carried out by parents, soliciting their co-workers, friends and family.

It is highly suggested that schools and non-profit organizations state in their communication to parents (letters, emails, texts, social media, etc.) to parents that children should NEVER be unaccompanied especially when soliciting door-to-door fundraising sales.

Is it advisable that children participate in product fundraising sales events?

Children are given the opportunity to taste the art of volunteering, when school’s host product fundraising campaigns. If supervised and managed properly by parents, teachers or a fundraising coordinator, kids can actually be a huge help when organizing a successful fund raising campaign, such as a cookie dough, pie or flower bulb, citrus, pizza sales, etc. This can also help in building the confidence and self-esteem of a child.

However, kids are certainly not allowed to participate in a door-to-door campaign, if not supervised by a guardian directly. According to the Association of Fund Raising Distributors and Suppliers, kids are only allowed to participate in fundraising campaigns, if they do it in a safe and supervised environment.

Profitable Fundraising Ideas is a fundraising distributor; why should we profit from your fundraising product sales campaigns?

Profitable Fundraising Ideas provides products and professional services to assist schools and non-profit groups.  Most organizations and schools utilize various professional services.  Profitable Fundraising Ideas provides products and professional services to assist schools and non-profit groups.

Like all other services schools may utilize, Profitable Fundraising Idea’s professional fundraising Idea’s services and consultation does come with a price. But the rewards of a good relationship with our fundraising company is well worth the investment. Much of the portion of the gross proceeds that go to the fundraiser cover our costs of doing business, including: 1) the cost of the products and other materials (e.g. brochures, order forms, parent letters); 2) the costs associated with services such as stocking and handling inventory, packing, shipping and troubleshooting; and 3) a fair profit so that the company can provide service year after year.

In the U.S. childhood obesity continues to be a problem. Is it suitable for schools and other sports and social groups to sell candy and other items containing sugar to raise funds?

School officials and non-profit organizers should be prudent in always promoting the health and well-being of their students and participants of their product fundraising sales.  Organizers can allow candy and sales of products allowing sugar only if they are allowed to by federal, state and local regulations.  Beware the Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control have documented the rise of childhood obesity.   Specifically, they focused attention on child nutrition and physical health.  Schools have been identified as one place to begin to address this important health issue.

Examining food consumption by students at school makes sense.  Improving physical and nutritional education programs also makes sense.  But eliminating choices in school fundraising – where decisions to purchase or consume food items are made off school grounds and largely by adults – will not effectively address the child obesity problem.  Rather it will serve only to further another crisis – inadequate funding of education.  State and federal law and policy makers recognize this and, to date, there are no federal or state restrictions on food or beverage products offered as part of a school fundraiser when the sale of products in intended to take place off the school grounds and after the end of the school day.