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Managing a Fundraiser
by Cris Vosberg
One of the most common questions I get is, "How can I make the most amount of money with the least amount of effort?" I have here a 5 Step process that will you help you to be more successful with any fundraising opportunity.
Step 1. Get Organized
Ask yourself what you are raising the money for? How much am I trying to raise and how many participants will it take to make this happen? If you come into this project without knowing the answers to these 3 questions you could fail in your efforts. Offer incentives if you are raising money for something other than what people are going to personally benefit from. For example: If the fundraiser is to raise money for athletic equipment, it would be feasible to offer your highest earning participants with either a cash prize, pizza party or gift certificate (etc.). Whatever the prize is, it needs to be announced at the beginning of the sale. Do not wait until the end of the sale to announce what you are going to give away.
Remember people are goal oriented. If they are trying to win a coveted prize they will perform better. Some people will not even help unless there is something in it for them. This is really important for Schools. Parents today are so overwhelmed by fundraising, they are raising funds for School, Scouts, Youth Associations, Church, Work, the list goes on and on. There are so many organizations that have to fundraise in order to survive. Offering prize incentives will not only make happy participants but increase your sales as well.
Step 2. Finding the Perfect Product
Fundraising Success will depend on your product. Find a product which interests EVERYONE. Have an open mind when searching for products. Do not close the door on a fundraising company until all of your questions have been answered. Be thorough, missed or uncommunicated information could lead to a longer turn around time and unhappy results.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
Make a list of 10 questions that you plan to ask each company. Stick to your list and get the answers you want. The following are a few sample questions to consider. When making your list you can add more questions as you think of them. A well informed Director will be a successful Director.
How much will the supplies cost?
Will we have to pay for shipping?
Do you have a guarantee on your product?
What is the percentage that we make?
Do we have to purchase the product up front?
What is the turn around time to receive the product once we turn in our order?
Can we turn in additional orders after our sale is over?
Is there a minimum order required?
Will the orders be pre-sorted?
Do you have a prize program?
Step 3. Enthusiasm is a MUST
One of the most compelling strategies that any Director can have is enthusiasm. Each group has different needs. However, if you are excited about your product and the potential financial gains that your group can earn, they will be caught up in your enthusiasm. If you are excited and knowledgeable about the product you are selling everyone else will follow your lead.
Step 4. Dependability
Make certain the company you are dealing with is dependable. You should be able to contact the Company or a Representative of the Company at any given time. They should offer support for you and be there to answer any questions you might have.
Step 5. Be On Time
If there is one crucial piece of advice I can give you. It is to turn your orders in on time! I have seen groups that start off selling for 2 weeks and then it turns into 4 weeks then drags on for 6 weeks. Not only will you be stressed, you will have unhappy customers as well. Customers want their orders as soon as possible. If you drag out your fundraiser, you jeopardize any future activity with your customers. Most Companies have a 2 week turn around time so by the time the customers get their order that 2 week fundraiser is actually a 4 week fundraiser.
Remember it is vital to keep your customers happy. If customers are happy with the product and your service, they will be willing to purchase from you time and time again. If you follow the steps above, not only will you have happy customers, but your success will be much easier to attain. Success is not a final destination that we arrive at, it is our journey along the way. Happy Fundraising!
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ISSN 1530-6127 - Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA
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