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4 Ways School Fundraising Companies Are Falling Short

By Clay Boggess on Jun 18, 2022
Fundraising Companies

Warning signs of poorly performing product fundraising organizations

Product fundraising companies can work wonders for your school’s fundraising efforts. They cover a significant portion of the research, the planning, the logistics, and the account-keeping for you. This makes fundraising more manageable than ever. However, they are not all created equal. Many of them are dropping the ball.

If you’ve already narrowed your search down to a few fundraising companies from the many that are out there, be sure you know the warning signs and red flags before making a final decision on the organization of your choice. Don’t end up picking the company that doesn’t measure up in the end!

Listed below are 4 ways fundraising companies for schools are falling short. Read them, memorize them, and implement them in your decision-making process. This could save you a lot of heartache and hassle.

1. Access to Personnel

First and foremost, companies that do fundraising with schools need to be accessible to their clients. If you are trying to retrieve information regarding a fundraiser and are getting bare minimum answers, or it is taking too long to receive a response, take this as a RED FLAG!

It isn’t too far-fetched to think you might hit a snag during your fundraiser. You are going to need support. You don’t want to end up with a company you can’t easily get a hold of, or worse, not be able to get the information you need to move forward successfully with your raise. Ensure your school will receive the support it needs in terms of communication and personnel.

2. Lack of Transparent and Honest Communication

We know that we need prompt access to personnel to communicate hiccups or ask questions about our fundraiser. The next thing to consider is if this communication is transparent and honest. Pricing terms should be direct and straightforward. This includes both cost and when you will need to put the money down, either an upfront investment or a payment at the end of the raise. The representative should tell you exactly what to expect each step of the way.

Transparent and honest communication with your product fundraising company ensures that you are not caught by surprise at any point in your fundraiser. This leads to the best chance for a risk-free fundraiser.

3. Accurate Catalog Descriptions

It may not be your fault that the product doesn’t match the picture or description in the catalog. But the buyer will surely direct their concerns at you- the seller. Make sure that the fundraising organization you choose delivers the quality they promise. Color, size, material, time to ship- these all matter!

Ask to see sample school fundraising catalogs, research the organization, and read reviews from past clients. If possible, try to get in touch with another organization that has used the fundraising company in the past and is willing to give you an honest depiction of what to expect.

4. Lack of Popular Product Choices

Some fundraisers work better than others because some items sell better than others. The company you choose for your school should have a wide variety of product fundraisers. For example, popcorn fundraising is huge right now. If your chosen company doesn’t offer a popcorn fundraiser, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. If customized mugs are big among parents or older students at the moment, you want to ensure there is an option for that with the company you choose.

Find out what fundraisers are hot right now. Take a survey with your community and find out what your buyers want to purchase. Evaluate past fundraisers that did well and those that didn’t meet your proposed goals. Take all of this into consideration when you choose your fundraising organization.

Tips on Choosing a Fundraising Company

Below are some tips to help you choose your fundraising company wisely:

  • Be aware of the profit margins offered by the companies on your list.
  • Look into the student incentives the organization offers.
  • Do they work with other schools in the area? Keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily a good sign! This may create competition if other groups are selling the same products at the same time as you. If you still want to work with them, choose fundraising products for schools that will set your raise apart.
  • Read the contract before making a final decision! Make sure you are comfortable with all of the terms of service.
  • Do your diligence. Read Google reviews and check their listing with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Your fundraising partner should do a lot of the work. But you still need to market! Build support for your product fundraiser locally and virtually for the best possible outcome.

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