Is Online Selling Relevant to Brochure Fundraisers?

In years past, the focus of brochure fundraisers had been exclusively on face to face selling. To be effective, you needed to approach people, show them what you were selling and then persuade them to buy.

Approaching people takes time and work. Some don’t mind using their sales brochure and are good at it while others would probably chose another method if they could. Selling online is simple and the entire process can be easy as well as productive. Here are some reasons why raising money online can be a great alternative, or the perfect complement to a brochure sale.

Enhanced Online Selling Opportunities

Advancements in technology and the web have provided new opportunities for schools to also sell online. Initially, online sales made up a small percentage of the total sales. However that trend has changed over time as many people are now comfortable purchasing online. Many schools are leveraging this technology and are reaping the rewards. Even small schools are benefiting. For example, we had a small private school of 150 students raise over $5,000 through online sales alone.

Convincing Slow Adapter Schools

Having the technology is one thing, getting people to use it is another. Some schools are still not convinced of the benefits:

  • Students are able to sell to friends and family nationwide, not just locally
  • Products ordered online are shipped directly to the customer
  • School don’t have to deal with deliveries
  • Students receive prize credit for online sales
  • Schools profit from online sales

It’s up to the fundraising companies to convince groups about these benefits. They also have to do a better job of educating schools on how to incorporate it into their sale. Everyone benefits from having an additional revenue source. Yet, schools want to be able to raise more money without having to spend any additional effort. But that's the beauty of selling online. It won't take anything away from brochure selling, it compliments it.

How Selling Online Works

Most companies give their schools their own unique online access code to provide to their group. This is so sellers can register on online and send out invitation emails to friends and family. The access code is required so sales are traced to the school. This makes it possible for students to receive prize credit as well.

The Key to Successful Online Selling

The key to successful online fundraising is promotion and awareness. The first step is to educate the sponsor and the second is for the sponsor to pass it along to their group. For example:

  • We send step by step instructions to our sponsors. They are instructed to forward the information on to their group. The goal is to register as many students as possible
  • Sponsors are encouraged to keep reminding their sellers to register and send out emails inviting friends and family to visit the online store via:
    • Morning announcements
    • Sending a reminder note home
    • Spreading the word through social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter
  • The access code is placed in the parent letter inside each student’s fundraising packet

Everyone wants to make fundraising easy so this makes the online store a perfect fit.

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