Many schools are unsure of what type of fundraiser will work best for their group. They may have tried various types of sales with mixed results and can’t make a decision. Or, perhaps they’re not sure if they should continue to play it safe with an existing program or venture into unfamiliar territory.
Therefore, it may be helpful to discuss the pros and cons of 3 major types of sales campaigns, showing items in a brochure where sellers take orders then deliver the merchandise, directly selling a product, and in-house campaigns like carnivals, concession stands, and walkathons.
Here are some of the differences between brochure and product sales.
1. Buying from a Brochure
Groups show a brochure to potential supporters and ask them to make a purchase. The items are then recorded on an order form and money is collected. When the sale is over, the sponsor sends in the order forms for processing. Once the merchandise is received, sellers distribute the items to their supporters. Brochure programs are ideal for any size group but seem to work especially well for larger organizations like elementary schools.
- No risk of excess inventory because merchandise is preordered.
- Brochures typically offer a wide variety of items and pricing.
- Prize program is provided by the company.
- Items are paid for before the order is placed.
- Order arrives boxed by seller.
- Requires 2 step process by collecting orders then delivering the merchandise.
- May have to deal with occasional broken or missing items.
- Buyers must wait to receive their items.
2. Selling a Product:
Groups can order product at a discounted price then sell it at a profit. The product is distributed to the students to sell to their supporters. Money is collected at the point of sale.
- Items are easy to sell because they are less expensive.
- People can see the product before they buy.
- Requires only one contact with buyers.
- Risk having leftover merchandise.
- Offers less variety.
- Requires inventory monitoring.
- May have to deal with students who don’t turn in money.
We recommend using a sales tracking sheet when selling products
3. In-house Fundraising:
If you choose not to work with a company you can set up your own campaign.
- If people donate food and supplies groups can make up to 100% of the profit.
- Many organizations see this as a way to reach out to their community.
- A lot more work goes into planning and running a do-it-yourself sales campaign.
- Groups can actually lose money if sale is not managed well or promoted effectively.
Once you familiarize yourself with these pros and cons, you can then focus on what to sell.