It seems that every day we either get parents calling in by phone, or sending us a ‘have a question’ form. School fundraiser companies should be happy to help answer any question that comes in, regardless of whether it’s an inquiry from a parent or a sponsor.
However, imagine how many parents there are in a group. If the average group size was say 250 students, this would mean at least the same number of parents. If we handled every parent question that came in, we’d probably be overwhelmed.
Parents need to understand that the company's job is to work directly with the school sponsor so they can be better equipped to answer any parent questions directly. There are basically 2 types of questions that fundraiser companies get from parents.
1. Questions about the Fundraising Process
We may receive parent inquiries about a particular item in the brochure, how the prize program works or when orders need to be turned in. Anything questions that have to do with the fundraising process needs to be addressed by the sponsor. Then, if the sponsor is unable to answer a question, they can either refer to their guidebook or contact the company by phone or email.
2. Issues with Fundraiser Merchandise
After the delivery, parents may discover that an item may be damaged or broken. Companies usually handle issues with fundraiser merchandise in one of two ways:
- Contact Customer Service: Inside the student box there should be an instruction flyer that provides a toll-free number for the parent to call in and report any discrepancies with their order.
- Report Issues to the Sponsor: Other companies provide an inventory form to the sponsor so they can submit a single discrepancy report to the company once completed. Parents need to initially report any missing or damaged items to the sponsor.
For companies that require schools to submit a discrepancy report, it’s a good idea for the sponsor to gather additional help and physically inspect the items inside the boxes before issuing them to the students to take home. There’s usually an inventory sheet with a list of the items contained inside each box. This is definitely more work up front, but it can also provide some peace of mind.
Granted, we understand that we’re going to receive inquiries from parents directly. Like other fundraiser companies, we’re here to assist in any way that we can. However, if more sponsors would simply remind parents to contact them with questions, they’ll get their answers much quicker.