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Cookie Dough Fundraising for Schools: Online or In-Person?

By Clay Boggess on Nov 19, 2022
Cookie Dough Fundraising

A Head-to-Head Comparison Between Selling Cookie Dough Online vs In-Person

Cookie dough is delicious, versatile, and loved by many. Whether or not to sell cookie dough is not the question, but rather how to sell it. The better method for you depends on your school's wants, needs, and capabilities. This article provides a head-to-head comparison of cookie dough fundraising.

We’ve been getting this question a lot so we’ll help you answer the following question. Should your school sell cookie dough online or face to face using a brochure?

Cookie Dough Fundraising for Schools Online

The first option we explore is selling cookie dough online. This consists of opening an online store where students and faculty members can register and sell to their families, friends, and community.


The advantages of online cookie dough fundraisers include:

  • No Order Requirements: There are typically no startup costs or minimum order requirements, or shipping fees charged to the group.
  • Quick Startup: Starting an online fundraiser is fast and easy. A virtual store is activated when members register, share the campaign, and the sales start coming into their online store.
  • Order Forms and Money: Online fundraisers require no order forms and no money is collected, saving you time and the chore of filing each product order and payment. This also allows for secure giving with reputable online payment processors.
  • Product Delivery: Most fundraising campaigns deliver products to the school, which distributes goods to each buyer individually. Products purchased through an online cookie dough fundraiser are delivered directly to the buyer. This avoids the hassle of having to manage a large delivery, distribution efforts, and product storage on behalf of the school.
  • Market Reach: Selling online increases your market reach. Potential donors outside your local community can access your campaign, and reach isn't limited to the number of sellers and the amount of time allotted to campaigning.


The disadvantages of an online cookie dough campaign include:

  • Registration: Success is highly dependent on participation. Low registration means fewer sellers and lower market reach, hindering your school's ability to reach its fundraising goal. You can, however, offer incentives that can boost registration.
  • Brochures: Some buyers prefer to hold paper in hand and thumb through a physical brochure before purchasing goods. An online fundraiser does not offer the potential donor this opportunity.
  • Visibility: If no one knows you are selling cookie dough, no one will buy your cookie dough! Online raises require more campaign marketing than in-person campaigns. Social media presence, email marketing, and highlighting the raise on your school website are all vital.
  • Feedback: Online fundraising limits your ability to receive feedback from potential donors. When you interact in person, you hear why the individual may or may not participate and what you can do to help encourage them to buy.
  • Customer Shipping Costs: Due to special packaging requirements to ship a heavier frozen product, customers pay more to have their cookie dough shipped directly to their homes. Learn ways to overcome this by scrolling to the bottom of our online cookie dough fundraiser page. Under ‘Questions about Cookie Dough Online’ select ‘Shipping’.

Cookie Dough Fundraising for Schools In-Person

The second option is in person sales. Face to face cookie dough fundraisers involve bringing a physical brochure to each home and talking with the potential donor about the campaign.


Advantages of using a cookie dough fundraiser brochure include:

  • One-to-One Interaction: Selling in person allows for interaction with the potential buyer. This is an opportunity to share about your school and why you're raising money. It also presents a chance to use sales techniques to encourage buying.
  • Untapped Market: Selling in-person taps another underserved market. Some potential buyers don't buy goods online, or otherwise won't see your online fundraiser. Selling in-person brings your fundraiser directly to their door.
  • Targeted Audience: In-person selling allows you to narrow your efforts to buyers with higher potential: your target audience. For example, neighborhoods with high volumes of students are more likely to support school fundraising efforts.
  • Cash Payments: Some potential donors are uncomfortable sharing their banking or credit card information online. In-person campaigning gives potential buyers the rare option to pay with cash.


Disadvantages of selling cookie dough in-person include:

  • Donor Fatigue: In addition to dealing with the challenges of other schools fundraising, donor fatigue and frustration occur with the constant inquiries, causing individuals not to purchase when they otherwise may have had an interest.
  • Time: Selling in person requires labor and effort. To succeed, your school needs several sellers committing to going out and selling for extensive periods. Your capital raised is a direct result of hours worked.
  • Chaperones: Safe fundraising is crucial. It may be necessary to assign chaperones to accompany students on sales. Not all parents are available to accompany students, which can encumber sales.
  • Unreliable Giving: Schools may have to deal with bad checks and students handling money.
  • Order Requirements: More than likely, schools must reach certain order minimums to avoid extra fees.

Whether online or in-person, cookie dough fundraising can help your school reach its fundraising goals this year. For more fundraising options, news, and tips, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

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