Why products raise schools over $1 billion annually
Let’s face it, no one fundraiser works for every school. However, because there are so many products out there, most schools can easily find what they’re need. Just type ‘product fundraisers’ into Google search and you’ll see millions of results.
So why all the options? Well, as with anything else, where there’s a lot of demand, there’s an endless supply of businesses that will step up and meet it.
There are many reasons so many organizations across the United States choose to work with school fundraising companies to help them meet their financial goals. How do you think schools pay for all of those extracurricular activities, like educational field trips and extracurricular events?
We know these funds aren’t coming from the school districts. The harsh reality and impact of budget cuts have put an ever-increasing amount of pressure on schools to find their own ways to raise money. As a result, schools are looking for simple and effective fundraising ideas that will work for their unique circumstances.
And even though there are many reasons schools end up hiring fundraiser companies to help them raise money, we’re going to focus on what we believe are the top 3.
1. No Required Fundraiser Startup Costs
There are 2 primary ways that schools can engage in product selling:
- Direct Sale Fundraising
- Catalog Fundraisers
Direct sale fundraisers, also called ‘point of sale’ fundraising, involves ordering and shipping the product to the school before it’s paid for. Products are then distributed to the students who show the them to potential customers. Most schools can initiate the process by submitting a purchase order to the company. Some examples that we carry are candy bar fundraiser and popcorn fundraiser products, as well as beef jerky, lollipops and discount cards, just to name a few.
The advantage to this form of selling is that people can see the product before they purchase it. And, many products, like candy bars, are impulse purchases that are easy on the wallet. Schools then keep their portion of the profit and mail a check to the company for the difference.
On the other hand, with a brochure, supporters order items that they see inside a catalog. The money is collected with the order and turned in at the end of the sale with the order form to the school sponsor. The sponsor then sends in the order forms for processing.
The company then processes, packs and ships the merchandise back to the school for delivery to the people who purchased the items.
With either method, the school collects money from the customer first, and keeps their profit after paying the fundraiser company. There is no startup costs for products or promotional supplies.
2. Easy Turnkey Fundraising System
How much advanced planning do you think goes into a spring carnival? If you’ve never been involved on the backend, just ask a PTA board member. Carnivals are a wonderful way to bring your school community together for some fun an entertainment. However, there’s a lot of thankless hard work and logistics that goes into it as well.
And of course, you may be able to get people and businesses to donate their resources, but there’s still some upfront cost and organizational time involved.
On the other hand, a fundraising company provides schools with an easy “ready-to-run” system. Student packets arrive collated inside envelopes, complete with sales materials. Easy to follow instructions are provided to the sponsor along with a postage-paid box used for mailing in order forms. Merchandise is boxed and shipped back to the school by seller and teacher. As worthwhile a carnival may be, who has the time these days to plan one? Check out A Fundraising Handbook on How to Succeed
3. Proven Sales Track Record
There’s a big reason so many schools work with fundraising companies. The process works. Product sales are probably one of the oldest method used by schools to raise money as well. Some companies have been around for over 50 years.
And even though some sponsors grow tired of the process and try something else, many inevitably come back because product fundraisers are effective. And with so many choices, there are always new products to try as well.
Here’s the proof. According to PTO Today, school groups raise more than $1.5 billion ever year selling various products. This translates into $30 million per state and $30 for each student in the country. The results speaks for themselves.
There’s a lot of money to be raised by schools, and selling products offered by fundraising companies happens to be their #1 choice.