Learn why easy fundraising deliveries doesn’t just happen
We’d been working with this one elementary school for quite some time. They had always selected one of our large fall fundraising brochures. However, one year they expressed an interest in selling discount cards instead. We were curious because this was a completely different type of fundraising program from what they’d always done. Order and selling cards that offered discounts at local businesses was a big change from selling novelty gift items out of a brochure.
After exploring a little deeper, it turns out that this school was undergoing a major building renovation and didn’t have the space needed to receive the big brochure shipment that they were accustomed to. They'd never sold discount cards before, but their main reason for trying them was there would be no delivery space requirements. Discount cards come in a small hand-held box.
Was changing their program worth it, just so they could have an easy school fundraiser delivery? It turns out that they made far less money than usual. Elementary schools typically don’t do as well as secondary groups selling discount cards for a variety of reasons. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty. If they had it to do over again, they would have stayed with what was already working.
Here are some things you can do to help ensure a smooth delivery, regardless of your school fundraising product or circumstances.
1. Formulate a Fundraising Delivery Plan
Your most important goal when planning for a fundraiser delivery is to distribute as much of your order, as soon as possible. This requires knowing when your order will be delivered and getting the word out to everyone associate with the school, not just your students and parents. Sending out notices, posting information on social media, as well as simply talking to people ahead of time will be important. This is especially critical if you’re selling a frozen food or cookie dough fundraiser. Avoiding unaccounted-for boxes will make your life much easier.
When looking at any specific fundraising program, one of the considerations should be how the merchandise will be delivered. Ideally, as already mentioned, everyone will pick up their boxes on delivery day, but most of the time there are orders that won’t get picked up. Therefore, you'll need to ask yourself several important questions including:
- How much space will I have available for short-term storage if necessary?
- Will the storage area be temperature-controlled?
- What kind of support will I have at my delivery?
- How responsive will parents be about picking up orders?
Based upon your answers to these and perhaps other questions, you'll want to consider selling a product that will meet your fundraising delivery needs. However, there are other factors to consider as well when deciding on a program.
2. Plan Your Fundraiser Merchandise Storage Options
It will be important to plan ahead to have temporary storage space reserved for those parents who fail to pick up their order on delivery day. What follows is a list of the more common types of fundraisers and what their storage requirements are:
- Gift Items: Temperature-controlled storage (room temperature or below due to chocolate).
- Frozen Food: Freezer space is necessary.
- Non-Perishable Items: Such as sports mugs or jewelry (temperature control is not an issue).
- Discount Cards: No storage is required and temperature isn't an issue.
What kinds of tips do you have that can help group sponsors experience a smooth and easy school fundraising delivery?