Fundraiser Ratings Explained

This Fundraiser Ratings Section contains an impartial yet subjective ratings system for all the main fundraising categories.  I’ve used a common methodology to provide an overview of what’s involved and created a ranking system that assigns a point value to the major components of each type of fundraiser.

FundraiserRatings guide to various fundraisers

More than 170 types of fundraisers are profiled in separate pages related to my book, Fundraising Success.  This information will help you determine which fundraiser is right for the current needs and capabilities of your organization.

What information is provided?

Each rating page is comprised of five sections. They are the description, the financial aspects, the pros & cons, the commitment required, and the overall rating.

The description section provides an overview of this type of fundraiser. It will tell you the following:

Description: A paragraph or two with the gist of this particular type of fundraiser’s main features.

Category: Donation, Immediate Sale, Catalog Sale, or Event

Best Suited For: Small, Medium, Large, or All groups

Prospective Customers: Notes on the customers targeted and the relative size of that market

Comments: Any additional relevant information goes here

Feel Good Rating: My assessment of how everyone involved feels about this particular fundraiser.

The Feel Good Rating relates to the overall quality of the offering and the reception that it receives from prospective customers and from the participants themselves. The higher the rating, the more enthusiastic your sales group and clients will be about the product being offered.

Enthusiasm translates into results.  Ratings are of course subjective, but relevant to your organization. A five star rating is our highest level.

Explanation of numerical rankings

Numerical values have been assigned to categories comprising each fundraising concept’s financial aspects, pros & cons, and the commitment required.

Here’s what the Financial Aspects section looks like:

Financial Aspects (1 – 10 scale):
Profitability Ranking8
Average Unit Price7
Dollar Volume Per Participant6
Percentage to Organization5
Total Dollars to Organization4
Subtotal (maximum of 50)30

In the category of Financial Aspects, the number on each line is representative of the revenue and profit generating capability of this fundraiser.  The higher the number on each line and in the subtotal, the greater your potential fundraising success.

This category rewards up to 10 points per line, and then combines them to a maximum of 50 points for the entire category.

Profitability Ranking: Rewards points for the profit potential of all the offerings of this type of fundraiser.  It’s a catchall for a number of factors.

Average Unit Price: Rewards points for higher unit prices up to a certain level. You make more net profit on higher priced goods, but sales drop off above $10.

Dollar Volume Per Participant: Rewards points for sales multipliers like multiple popular offerings, wider customer appeal, good range of price points, etc.

Percentage to Organization: Rewards points for higher percentage payout up to a certain point. No bonus is earned for anything above 50% due to higher markups lowering item’s appeal or approaching pure donation fundraising.

Total Dollars to Organization: Rewards points for potential total net profit. Subtracts points for fundraisers with lower potential.

Subtotal (maximum of 50): Cumulative total for all financial aspects

Fundraisers that produce a larger revenue stream will ultimately put more in your coffers when all is said and done than those with a smaller revenue stream.  A large subtotal number for this category means that it will be a great fundraiser for a well-organized group.

Here’s what the Pros & Cons section looks like:

Pros & Cons (1 – 5 scale):
Community Impression5
Organizational Impact2
Quality of Deliverables4
Risks3
Hidden Costs (freight, etc.)5
Subtotal (maximum of 25)19

In the category of Pros & Cons, a high number is again indicative of the quality and the ease of doing business with this particular fundraising concept. That means that for this line item, there’s more pro than con to this fundraiser.

This category rewards up to 5 points per line, and then combines them to a maximum of 25 points for the entire category.

Community Impression: Rewards points for items or events that make a positive impression on your community.

Organizational Impact: Rewards points for items or events that have a positive or light impact on your group.

Quality of Deliverables: Rewards points for higher-quality goods. Subtracts for shoddy products or excessive markups.

Risks: Rewards points for items or events with little risk of loss and low upfront costs.  Subtracts if items can’t be returned

Hidden Costs (freight, etc.): Rewards points if there are no possibilities for unpleasant surprises. Subtracts for having to buy sales literature, etc.

Subtotal (maximum of 25): Cumulative total for all the Pros & Cons

 

Here’s what the Commitment Required section looks like:

Commitment Required (1 – 5 scale):
Preparation Time4
Selling Effort3
Collecting Funds2
Processing Orders3
Delivering Goods2
Subtotal (maximum of 25) 14

In the category of Commitment Required, once again a higher number reflects a program that is easy to run and if it involves merchandise, has a smooth ordering and delivery process.

Some fundraisers don’t require a lot of time to get them going or they continue to raise money without a lot of effort.

This category rewards up to 5 points per line, and then combines them to a maximum of 25 points for the entire category.

Preparation Time: Rewards points for items or events that are easy to ramp up for.  Subtracts when prep time is excessive (more than two weeks).

Selling Effort: Rewards points for popular items that are easy to sell.  Subtracts for things that are hard to sell due to price, limited appeal, etc.

Collecting Funds: Rewards points when the money handling aspects are easier. Subtracts points when things are more complicated.  Considerations include percentage of sales made in cash, size of checks, complex order sheets, etc.

Processing Orders: Rewards points for easy order processing, reorder friendly, uncomplicated tally sheets, etc.

Delivering Goods: Rewards points for easy delivery up to a point.  Subtracts points for special handling needs, long wait for delivery, custom made goods, etc.

Subtotal (maximum of 25): Cumulative total for all the Commitment Required

Here’s what the Overall Ranking section looks like:

Overall Ranking:

63

(On a scale of 1 to100)

The overall ranking serves as a bottom line for this fundraiser category. It sums up the three numerical rankings into one total that provides guidance as to this fundraiser’s ultimate effectiveness.

So, what’s it look like when it’s completed? See the next page for our ranking of Pork Products.

Example: Pork Products

Description: Catalog sale of pork-related products including barbecue, barbecue sauce, country hams, pork rinds, dried chitlins, pickled pigs feet, dried pigs ears, pigs in a blanket, etc.

Best Suited For: All group sizes.

Prospective Customers: People that appreciate country cooking.

Comments: Some people may not like pork. Survey your team first.  Dried pigs ears are offered as doggie treats.

Feel Good Rating: Three stars

Financial Aspects (1 – 10 scale):
Profitability Ranking7
Average Unit Price7
Dollar Volume Per Participant6
Percentage to Organization5
Total Dollars to Organization5
Subtotal (maximum of 50) 30

 

Pros & Cons (1 – 5 scale):
Community Impression3
Organizational Impact3
Quality of Deliverables3
Risks4
Hidden Costs (freight, etc.)4
Subtotal (maximum of 25)17

 

Commitment Required (1 – 5 scale):
Preparation Time4
Selling Effort3
Collecting Funds3
Processing Orders3
Delivering Goods3
Subtotal (maximum of 25)16

 

Overall Ranking:

63

(On a scale of 1 to100)

Related Pages

Fundraiser A – C: Fundraiser Ratings for Americana through CD’s (37 categories)

Fundraiser C – D: Fundraiser Ratings for Cheesecake through Donor Walls (37 categories)

Fundraiser: D – L: Fundraiser Ratings for Doughnuts through Lollipops (36 categories)

Fundraiser: M – R: Fundraiser Ratings for Magazines through Recycling (37 categories)

Fundraiser: R – Z: Fundraiser Ratings for Religious through Wreaths (36 categories)

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