Why mixing multiple fundraisers yields less than the sum of their parts
We received a phone call the other day from a school who is interested in working with us; however they asked if it was ok to work with another fundraiser company at the same time. They informed us that their school wanted to sell two completely different programs. They attempted to assure us that there would be no potential for duplication. The reason why some groups consider combining fundraisers is they are limited by the number of sales they can have and they believe that more buyer options will bring in additional sales.
However, attempting to work with more than one company at a time creates multiple complications and adds additional work to your plate that you may not expect. To top it off, you may not raise any more money. In fact many groups end up raising less. Why?
1. Procedural Mistakes & Misunderstandings
Every company has their own policies and procedures that must be followed in order for things to work properly. Having to keep track of the requirements of more than one company at a time can be difficult and confusing. This is where mistakes often occur, which can result in minor inconveniences if you’re lucky, or major problems.
2. Seller Confusion & Phone Calls
Students and parents will have to juggle and keep track of orders for multiple brochures. Since companies use their own item codes, buyers may accidently place orders on the wrong company’s order form. Orders that get placed on the wrong order form get submitted to the wrong company. If this happens you can expect to receive unplanned phone calls. And this is only the beginning. Imagine having to sort through all of the order forms to find the mistakes.
3. Brochure Overload & Buyer Turnoff
People don’t have much time, so if your sellers are approaching them with multiple brochures they may be tempted to run the other way. Most buyers appreciate simplicity and being able to find an item to purchase as quickly as possible.
4. Why Make Fundraising Harder?
Your goal is to find ways to make your sale run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. You're better off putting your effort into working with one company at a time rather than combining fundraisers. Instead, find a brochure that offers the best selection for your specific area.