How to raise the bar on school fundraising
Most groups that seem satisfied with their school fundraiser are also probably content with their current catalog sales company. The company has met their expectations. Their student packets arrived at the school already collated, their kickoff was a success and the merchandise showed up in good condition with very few issues. In the grand scheme of things, nothing really seemed to go wrong. What more could you expect?
Actually, as is the case with many schools, if you were to probe a little deeper, you just might uncover some issues that could help make your next sale even better. Here are some things that you may also want to consider.
Ask the Right Fundraising Questions
On the surface, everything seems fine. Yet if you were to dig a little deeper, would you find things that might cause you to question your satisfaction? Here are some questions that probe a little deeper:
- What would your customers say about the quality of the merchandise they received?
- How excited are your students about the prizes they won?
- Are you really satisfied with the amount of money that you made?
- Have your sales trended up or down over the past few years?
You might be surprised at the answers. Many people receive cheap merchandise that's much smaller than they thought. Most students get less than desirable prizes. Schools are satisfied with the money they've made because they're used to it.
The Effects of Merchandise on Buyers
Companies attempt to justify the lack of quality in their merchandise by saying, “It’s a fundraiser. People will understand.” Unfortunately most people understand what that really means and usually end up playing it safe by purchasing the lower priced items. They see it as a donation. Yet, what if instead brochures actually offered good value merchandise comparable to the retail stores?
The Affects of Prize Programs on Students
When it comes to the prizes, most students are initially excited about the bigger and more exciting prizes. However, they soon realize that they have to sell a lot of items in order to win those prizes. They often become discouraged or their parents refuse to sell that many items. As a result, most students don't reach these bigger more worthwhile prize levels. This can adversely affect future sales because people become skeptical and end up not participating.
Once people learn there are actually better school fundraiser programs out there, they no longer want to be the big fish in a little pond.