Best School Fundraiser Tips: Selling Discount Cards in 2019

Experience school fundraising success by implementing our complete guide to selling discount cards

Looking for a new fundraising product? You’re not alone. Many schools are. There seems to be a lot of the same stuff out there year after year. Granted, the big fall variety shopper with all the knick-knacks and wrapping paper is certainly effective. Why else would everyone be using it? Cookie dough is still a hot seller, but it’s also a crowded market. And unless you’re the first group out making sales in your community, you’re destined to follow behind several other groups with the same me-too product.

Ok, so what about selling discount cards? You’ve probably heard about groups that have sold them. If you select the right company that builds cards from scratch, you’ve already eliminated one major obstacle. Your school fundraiser will finally stand out from the crowd. You’ll be selling a product that no one else can offer. Only your group’s personalized image will appear on the front, along with popular local vendors, hand-picked by you, offering discounts on the back.

So why else should you consider a discount card fundraiser? To start, here are 4 advantages:

  1. Discount cards expire after 1 year, so you can sell them year after year. This gives you the opportunity to approach the same people that bought them the previous year so they can renew their card.
  2. Deliveries are hassle-free since they come in a small box and don’t break.
  3. They provide added value to the purchaser because they can save them a significant amount of money over time. Each card has an average of 12-15 offers that users can take advantage of every day for a full year.
  4. You’re supporting local businesses by offering them free advertising and increased foot traffic.

Here are some additional school fundraising tips that you should consider.

Establish a Fundraiser Sales Goal

Don’t order any discount cards before determining how many each student can reasonably sell. Do you know how much money you need to raise? First, divide your money goal by the number of sellers. For example, if you need to raise $3,000 and you have 50 sellers, then each student needs to raise $60.

Most discount cards sell for $10 and groups typically profit 50%, depending on the size of your order. Therefore, since you’ll profit $5 for every card you sell, each student will need to sell 12 cards in our example. This means that you’ll need to place an order for 600 cards.

Learn how to find the right deal on discount cards

You may want to error on the side of caution and order additional cards when placing your initial order. This will save reorder time. You can always sell off any extra cards to teachers and staff if necessary. However, if you order too many cards, you’ll be left with even more work on the back end. It helps if you constantly communicate and reinforce your student sales goal throughout your fundraiser.

Discover how to order the right number of cards for your group. See our discount card ordering guide

Commit to a Card Fundraiser Time Limit

Create a sense of urgency by telling your students that they only have a limited amount of time to sell the cards and bring back the money. Don’t just hand them out and simply tell your students to bring back the money when they’re done. The optimal time for selling is one week, depending on how many cards each student has to sell.

It also helps if you set shorter periodic goals. For example, you can divide your sale up into 3 segments and use them as check in days:

  1. Cards sold after day one
  2. Sales made at the halfway point
  3. Turn in day

You really establish momentum when you have your first follow up meeting with your students after the 1st day. Some sponsors will set a goal of 2-3 cards. By the halfway point students should have at least half the number of cards sold. In our previous example, it would be 6. And of course, by the end they should have sold off the rest.

Here is another great fundraising tip. Consider incorporating an extra incentive around your 3 check in days. Learn about our money game

Keep in mind that 1 week is too long for some groups. Football teams have what are called ‘blitzes’. They hand out the cards to their students and tell them that they only have the weekend to bring back their money.

Have a Discount Card Kickoff Meeting

You can’t expect to be successful without meeting with your students at the start of your sale. The kickoff meeting is where you'll be able to discuss your purpose, expectations and goals. It also helps you generate enthusiasm and sales momentum. Each student has to know how many cards they need to sell, and when the money will be collected.

Tell them up front that you'll be checking on their progress. And you’ll need to know how many cards you’ve given out to each student. Before issuing your cards, have your students add their name and number of cards in their possession on a sheet of paper. Better yet, consider using a form that’s design for this purpose. See our discount card sales tracking sheet

Implement a Discount Card Sales Strategy

Unlike catalog fundraising, where buyers simply open up a brochure and place an order, discount cards require a different sales approach. Most people are already familiar with discount cards so your sellers will need to tell them why they should buy their card. Here are some important sales strategies that you'll want to discuss at your kickoff:

  1. Selling is all about the approach, so make sure your students put forth a kind, yet professional demeanor. They need to look the potential buyer in the eye, smile and introduce themselves. Instruct them to introduce the group name and why they're raising money. Learn about our NOW selling method
  2. Then have them hand the potential buyer a card and ask them to highlight which 2 or 3 businesses they would frequent the most*. Inform them that the card will pay for itself after the first couple of uses and after that they'll be saving money for up to a full year.
  3. Make sure your students are familiar with the business offers on the card. More importantly, if they see the value and would use the discount themselves, they’ll be more even more successful. This gives you the opportunity to sell them on the importance of the discounts at the kickoff. You ultimately want them to be internally motivated so they'll want to sell it to their friends, family and neighbors.
  4. Discuss the selling process during your kickoff. Some groups even divide up into groups of 2 and role play so sellers are well prepared.
  5. Before your students start selling, have them create a prospecting list of potential customers.
  6. And more important than anything, whether people buy or not, make sure your sellers treat people with the same respect. No matter what, it’s important to always be professional and thank them for their time. Remember, your students are representing you and your group. Even if people don’t buy the first time, doesn’t mean they won’t buy the next.

How to Make Discount Card Sales Face to Face

* Sales tip: If you reach out with the intent of handing something to someone and assume that they’ll take it from you, they actually will. Try it on a friend first.

How to Handle Unsold Discount Cards

Fundraising companies won’t take back unsold discount cards. Why? Because they’re personalized for your group. So make sure you have a plan in place to deal with any returns. Some sellers will do more than their fair share and sell more, while a few might not sell at all. Make sure students bring back any cards that they were unable to sell. Discount cards have value. Any unsold card that’s not returned costs you money.

To help sell off the surplus, offer any students who volunteer, $1.00 out of the profit for each sold card. It’s a “win-win” because you’re still making a profit, and so are they.

Discount card fundraisers can be an extremely effective way for groups to raise money. By following these simple steps, selling them can be easy as well.

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