Over the years of working with various groups, we have a pretty good idea of what’s going to help make them successful. Some sponsors initially have misconceptions that they assume up front will help their sale, but in reality these things, although they sound logical, have been proven to not make a difference the vast majority of the time.
The hard part is attempting to get people to understand that their views and opinions may not always be correct. We feel it’s important to share what we’ve learned although ultimately it’s up to the sponsor to make their own decisions.
Here are 3 common fundraising fallacies to watch out for that you may initially assume are always true.
1. More Fundraiser Percentage means More Money
Someone once said, “You don’t take profit to the bank, you take money.” This seems obvious to some; however it's probably the most misunderstood concept for sponsors to grasp. School fundraising companies understand how most people think and are therefore promoting higher profit percentages to attempt to lure them in. What companies don’t tell you however is that in exchange for a higher profit percentage you may receive:
- The same brochure but with higher priced items.
- A cheaper prize program.
What’s actually more important than percent profit is ensuring that you:
- Pick the best possible brochure based on what will sell in your community.
- Selecting a better prize program that will motivate your sellers to bring in additional sales.
After all, you can receive the highest profit percentage in the world but if your students don’t sell, having a higher profit percentage simply won’t matter. Groups that receive a higher profit percent consistently bring in less gross dollars than those who receive a lower percentage of the sale. Perhaps it’s because groups receiving a higher percent profit don’t feel that they need to work as hard; or maybe it’s because groups receiving a lower percentage are making up for it with better incentives.
2. Selling Lower-priced items leads to More Profit
It’s definitely true that more people can afford to buy items that cost less, but why should they? Again, what’s more important is selecting a brochure that will appeal to more potential supporters. Keep in mind that you make less money from lower priced items so you will need to sell more to make the same amount. Your sellers will need to work harder to make more sales.
3. Raise Additional Money by Fundraising Longer
If your group sells a certain amount after a couple of weeks; won’t they sell more if you give them a month? The answer is probably not. Most sales are made during the first 3-4 days. Allowing more time than normal won't bring in additional sales. The reason is:
- Students will lose focus.
- They will procrastinate.
- More selling time means less urgency.
When planning a campaign, these 3 fundraising fallacies may appear to give you an advantage, but usually don’t work out that way. We have lots of evidence that supports that the opposite is actually true.