Companies should do more than try to entice organizations with seemingly irresistible giveaways and signup bonuses. Some sponsors fall for this trap; others can see right through it. The reason this is offered is to get you to sign up early; however you shouldn’t be pushed into a commitment before you’ve had time to review your options and decide which program will work best for your school.
The school fundraising signup bonus shouldn’t be your focus. Instead, concentrate on the selection and quality of the merchandise being offered as well as the type support materials you’ll receive. In the end, if your sale doesn’t go well, you're not going to be thinking about your signup gift. And worse, you’re probably paying for it somewhere else but don’t even realize it. Here are some things that are much more important:
1. Sales Brochure Performance
If you like a particular brochure, make sure that you look closely at the following:
- Average Pricing – The brochure should contain a good selection of products at or below $10. Since many people are looking for the lowest priced item, the brochure should contain plenty of variety in the lower price range. Attempt to compare the pricing of similar items in multiple brochures. However, make sure to compare items that are the same size and quality.
- Quality – Don’t just look at the design of the wrapping paper. Find out what the weight is and if it's two-sided. Are the kitchen items plastic or stainless steel? Does the brochure company feature name brand items or knockoffs?
- Quantity – Most of the bigger brochures offer a large selection of merchandise to choose from. You should look for a brochure with at least 100 items. The more items that are offered, the more likely people will find what they are looking for. Also, make sure that there are plenty of categories to choose from like jewelry, kitchenware, candles and wrapping paper. Some companies focus mainly on wrapping paper, for example. Not everyone wants to buy wrapping paper.
2. Prize Program Options
Does the company only offer traditional prize programs or do they also have other options that may work better for some groups? The prize program is important, so being able to pick from a variety of incentive plans may mean the difference between a good sale and a great one. Besides traditional prize programs, consider companies that offer:
- Events or Parties – Most parents and students find that being able to go to an event or party as a reward for selling is much more exciting than just winning a basic prize
- Sportswear or Cash – Most high school groups prefer alternatives that promote school spirit or group unity. Sportswear also works well with elementary schools because many parents prefer quality incentives as opposed to a cheap prize.
3. Company Service & Support
Anyone can sign up a group to do a fundraiser but following through with the proper service and support is another matter. Will the company be available if there is a problem or question? How soon will they return your call or respond to your email? Make sure that the company has a full-time customer service department dedicated to answering your calls and responding to your questions.
What kind of support material will you be receiving from the company? When will you receive your student fundraising packets? Will they offer some sort of sales guide? Do they provide additional incentives that can help you further increase sales?
When choosing a company it’s important to look at the entire process, not just what they’ll give you if you work with them.