Fifty years ago, children were encouraged—in some cases, even required—to make door-to-door sales a central component of their fundraising. Since then, the world has undergone drastic changes. Even if parents know most of the people in their neighborhood, it’s no longer safe for children to approach their neighbors without proper supervision.
In fact, the Association of Fund-Raising Distributors and Suppliers (AFRDS) no longer endorses door-to-door solicitation due to serious concerns for child safety. So how are young students supposed to sell their products and raise money for their schools in the new millennium? Fortunately, there are five safe alternatives to door-to-door sales that are actually more effective.
1. Storefront Sales
Setting up shop in front of a busy store is a great way to ensure a steady flow of foot traffic. Along with the natural flow of customers, your group will also enjoy the benefits of selling in a well-lit area supervised by the store’s own security team. Parents should encourage their children to decorate their sales table and create signs to promote their products. If they are polite and friendly when approaching perspective buyers, their sales are sure to soar.
2. Product Parties
Remember the classic Tupperware parties where neighbors came together to socialize and stock up on plastic containers? The same type of party can breathe life into any fundraiser, allowing parents and children to spend time with their friends while raising money at the same time. The host family can organize icebreakers, games, and snacks to share with the group, and children can raise money in the safety and comfort of their own homes.
3. Virtual Fundraising
Almost everyone is familiar with Facebook and Twitter, and these networks can make it easy for children to fundraise without going door-to-door. Families can post status updates about upcoming sales events and locations. They can also take direct orders online and arrange a time and place to meet for payment. Before you announce the location of a public sale or product party, make sure to check your privacy settings so that you’re comfortable inviting certain people! Aside from Facebook and Twitter, you can also open a free online fundraising store, where the company will deliver the products right to your supporters’ doorsteps.
4. Festival or Concert Partnership
Local festivals and concerts are perfect places to set up sales tables. Since these events are likely to be heavily populated, students will always have a steady flow of customers. Curious buyers are bound to take a look at a well-organized and decorated table near the entrance or exit, and it should be easy for children to sell their fundraising products there. Make sure to check with the venue first to see if a sales permit is required.
5. Yard Sale Fundraising
Since people who attend yard sales are ready to shop, why not take advantage of the fiscal atmosphere? Parents should first check with the family hosting the yard sale to see if their children can set up a table nearby. Most families will be happy to have the additional attention. Young students can then make their own signs and sell their products in a fun, well-supervised environment.