Few people greet school fundraising with a big smile. Most see it as a huge stress. However, it really doesn’t have to be that way. If you choose the right fundraising company to work with, it will be pretty much smooth sailing for you.
The question is: how do you choose the right company for your school fundraiser?
You surely found a lot of companies by doing a “fundraising” search on Google, or through word of mouth. You can start by checking out these companies’ websites and ordering their free information kits.
Free Info Kit & Samples
A good fundraising company will provide you with a color brochure that details all the product info, profits and maybe even a few tips. Select the ones that appeal to you most.
Okay, so now you’ve narrowed your company search down to a select few. Before going further with determining which company to use, you need to decide which product is right for your school. Most schools simply do the same fundraiser year after year for they have so much success with the product. (i.e.Cookie Dough). While it’s okay to repeat a fundraiser that works well and that everyone loves, it’s also good to try out a new fundraiser. Who knows? It might be easier to sell and actually bring in more profits!
It can be exciting to try out a new product, but if you are hesitant, why don’t you ask the company to send you a sample pack? Usually, there is a small fee for samples, but holding an actual product in your hands will not only give you peace of mind that you really are choosing the right fundraiser, it will also give you an opportunity to see the service level of the company in question.
Many people order a few samples and then throw a little sampling party at the school’s next fundraising meeting.
Getting people to sample the various products will give everyone a vote of confidence moving forward with the new fundraiser.
Profit Isn’t All About Percent
Okay, so now you’ve decided on your product, but noticed that there might be 2 or 3 fundraising companies offering the same product. Which one do you choose?
It’s not always about the company boasting the highest amount of profit. Some may say they offer 55% profit but then they charge additional fees for shipping & handling & minimum orders. Sometimes, the company offering 50% profit might actually be more beneficial for they don’t have any hidden fees.
Asking the Right Questions
Good fundraising companies will ask you questions to really understand your school’s fundraising goal and how it can be reached. Here is an example of some questions they may ask:
– Why is your school raising money, how much are you looking to raise and when do you need the money by?
– How many people will participate?
– How many school fundraisers do you conduct per year?
– What is the fundraising background of your group or the individual in charge: programs ran, companies dealt with, successful or not, why?
– How do you communicate with your school fundraising members? Via email? How often do you meet?
– Have you been in charge of the group for a long time? How much time do you devote to fundraising?
Being Comfortable With Your Fundraising Consultant
By asking you the right questions, a fundraising consultant can really help determine the fundraiser that is best for your school. Ensure the consultant you are dealing with is really listening to you, and follows up on your answers with related questions. You have to feel comfortable with him/her and feel that you can easily reach them should you have any additional questions or concerns. It’s amazing the relationship one can develop with their fundraising consultant; after all, you are relying on them to help you achieve success!
Payment can sometimes be a bit sensitive. You have to keep in mind that the fundraising company also wants to stay in business so that they can help you with your future fundraisers. Usually, the way it works for your first order is you can pay with a credit card or get a credit check. Once you get a credit check, you are eligible for a 30 day payment term and your credit check is typically valid for the next18 months.
Prizes and Little Extras
It’s always more motivating when there are incentive prizes!! Ask the company if they offer a prize program. However, keep in mind that prizes can be costly and affect your profit. Always look for a company that offers a little extra. For instance, some companies offer the chance to Win Your Fundraiser, or free eBooks with valuable tips and information that will help you improve the results of your fundraiser. All these little extras demonstrate good will on the company’s behalf, and show that they are truly in this to help you succeed.
So there you have it: the top 7 things to consider when choosing the company to deal with for your next school fundraiser!