Your school fundraiser delivery can end up being the most overlooked step of your sales campaign. Most people seem to focus on other things, like getting their students excited at the kickoff and then promoting their sale.
While these things are significant, thinking about and preparing for the delivery is usually not top of mind until the orders have mailed off or parents start asking about their merchandise. Or, perhaps a bad experience with a previous delivery now makes you more aware of the importance of proper planning. The big mistake is to assume that deliveries just happen automatically. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
If more people had a basic understanding of how a school fundraiser delivery should work, perhaps they would take the necessary time to plan for it properly. Here are some things that you should know about that can ultimately help you experience a smooth delivery.
Plan for a Smooth Delivery from the Start
Don’t just assume that deliveries just happen. Instead, make a conscious effort to ask the company that you’re working with to inform you of their process. Here are a few questions that you should be asking:
- How are student orders packed?
- Where will merchandise be delivered?
- When can we expect to receive our order?
- Will we be notified ahead of time?
- How do we deal with any missing or damaged items?
The more you think through what questions you’ll need answers to up front, the better prepared you’ll ultimately be for a successful delivery.
What are Your Fundraising Delivery Choices?
Your fundraiser sales will usually determine the type of carrier, and thus delivery, you’ll be dealing with. Larger orders, usually over 300 items, typically ship via LTL freight, which stands for Less-Than-Truckload. This means that your order will ship with other cargo and the truck will cover a specific route with multiple deliveries.
Therefore, you’ll have a delivery window, not an actual time to deal with. This is why we provide our customers with the phone number as well as tracking information once an order ships. This way, the school can contact the shipper closer to the time of delivery to get a more accurate arrival. It’s recommended that unless you’re dealing with frozen items, that you wait until the next day to distribute the merchandise to students and parents. You never want your parents showing up at the end of the day expecting to pick up their boxes before your shipment has arrived.
Many school fundraising companies pay extra in order to provide an inside delivery for their customers. This means that the order will be delivered just inside the closest available door from where they have street access. However, because larger orders are usually shipped on pallets, access to double doors will probably be necessary.
Smaller orders, usually under 300 items, ship via UPS or another similar common carrier. UPS will deliver orders inside the building and are able to provide an estimated date of delivery but not an actual time.
Answers to Common Fundraising Delivery Questions
What follows are 3 questions that we receive from sponsors and the answers that we provide.
- Can we schedule a delivery date beforehand? This can be done; however the most common way is to set up a delivery date once your order is ready to ship.
- What if we need our orders by a certain date? This can definitely be set up in advance. You’ll need to make sure that you start your fundraiser early enough to allow for your order to be processed, ship and deliver on or before your deadline date.
- Can we schedule a morning delivery? As long as you’re not in a remote area, some carriers can arrange for a morning delivery; however they most likely won’t guarantee it.
How to Prepare for a Smooth Delivery
A smooth school fundraiser delivery requires advanced planning and preparation. Once the company informs you that your order is ready to ship, they should contact you about setting up the best date for you to receive your order. Once you have a delivery date you should follow these steps:
- Arrange to have extra help available to help sort and distribute boxes.
- Inform you parents on where and when they’ll be able to pick up their student’s order. Frozen deliveries should be picked up the same day and unless you receive your order in the morning, non-frozen orders should be picked up the next day.
- Plan to have a space set aside for delivery. A fairly large and secure area usually works best.
A little know-how and preparation can go a long way when it comes to experiencing a successful delivery.