Fundraising Success #10 Fundraising Success – Issue #10 – Article: “School Fundraising Ideas”; Supplier Spotlight: School Fundraising Solutions; Free ebook: “20 Little Ways”
Welcome new subscribers and regular readers. We’ve added 2,000+
subscribers in the last three months. Lots of referrals and
ezine site signups have us expanding around the world. We now
have readers in South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Russia,
Germany, England, the Netherlands, Australia, and quite a few
other exotic locales.
Too bad summer’s almost over here or I’d be hitting up some of
you for an invitation to come visit!
As usual, there are some new fundraising ideas for you in this
month’s issue along with another free e-book: “20 Little Ways” by
Joanna Javons. The subtitle is “A guide to less stress and more
joy in your life.” I love the tip about rewarding yourself
with a nice hot bath for whatever reason you want.
As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome.
Drop me an e-mail and let me know what you think.
IN THIS ISSUE
=> Kimberly’s Corner
=> Subscriber Soapbox
=> Feature Article
=> Fundraising Spotlight
=> SiteSeeing, freebies & more
=> We want you in an upcoming issue
=> Subscribe/Unsubscribe information
Well, it’s been a rather eventful month around here. First, our
Chocolate Lab puppy, Mad Muffin, hurt her hip and needed surgery.
No sooner was she home mid-month, recuperating and styling with
her new “punk puppy” look (oddly shaved and stapled), than Max
(the big 15 year old) got hurt in the first varsity football
So now he’s hanging around with his arm in a sling while his
separated shoulder heals. They say bad things happen in threes,
so I’m waiting for one more goofy summer injury to liven things
up even more.
Come to think of it, maybe that was Zach’s (the 12 year old)
torn rib cartilage due to an inadvertent belly flop from the
high dive two months ago. Ahh, the joys of summer vacation!
Round here, the school year is not far off. Our kids start
anew in exactly two months, so this issue focuses on guess what?
My article This month covers three school fundraising ideas.
Since I’ve written several articles recently about event ideas,
this one focuses instead on some high margin product offerings
that are easy to sell, offer good value, and produce excellent
The Fundraising Spotlight is on School Fundraising Solutions, a
friendly supplier in West Virginia run by an ex-educator. I’ll
have to confess to a certain lack of impartiality when it comes
to recommending suppliers who’ll bend over backwards to make you
a satisfied customer.
On another note, we had a strange newsletter glitch last month
where all the Earthlink subscribers didn’t receive the issue. A
little digging found that Earthlink was blocking the SparkList
server where we are hosted because another list on the same
server generated a SPAM complaint.
Geez! This SPAM stuff is getting ridiculous. Experts are saying
that the volume of SPAM has tripled in the last three years. I
think it’s tripled in my mailbox in the last three months!
So, in my neverending quest for peace of mind, I’ve included a
link below to a very useful anti-SPAM tool. Now, if there is
an anti-injury tool out there, I’ll be all set.
Who doesn’t hate seeing SPAM in their mailbox?
I don’t see any hands raised, so here’s a great
piece of free software called MailWasher that
screens your mail and “learns” what to reject
based on your rules.
Another nice feature is that it bounces unwanted
email back to the sender as if your mailbox didn’t
exist. That way, the spammers drop you from their
lists. Score one for the little guy (gal?)!
Get your free copy of MailWasher here:
SUBSCRIBER SOAPBOX: Readers Sound Off
Kimberly, what’s the best way to boost our results without
changing fundraisers or suppliers? We want to do our same
pair of school fundraisers again this year. – Amy D.
Amy, you mentioned in your email that your school has been
doing a fall gift wrap catalog and a spring carnival for the
last ten years and that you’re concerned about declining revenue.
One piece of advice is to make sure the parents know exactly
what the proceeds of your PTO fundraiser will be used for and
what they can do to help. An increased “awareness of need”
and a heightened “awareness of offering” are what your group needs.
Send home a one-page letter to parents with a short “bullet”
list of planned expenditures that emphasizes the benefits.
Example: $5,750 – Classroom supplies – $250 per teacher for
paper, books, glue, pencils, markers, and other non-budgeted
items. (that’s your “awareness of need”)
You also need to increase your volunteer base and expand your
reach into a larger segment of your community than just the
students’ families. Each of those topics is a whole chapter
in my book and I don’t have that much space here.
For more volunteers, recruit early and often. Provide full
details of time commitment needed (less time = more volunteers).
For more customers, the list is endless: sales incentives, set up
merchant tables, offer volume discounts, seek publicity, ask for
help, have a supervised door-to-door sale on a Saturday, etc. Do
whatever it takes to get the word out and reach more supporters.
(that’s your “awareness of offering”)
All this and more is explained in my book, Fundraising Success!
If you can’t afford the $17 price (a reimbursable expense),
then take advantage of my 50% Off offer or read it via the free
trial listed below.
At the very least, read my other articles either on the website.
FEATURE ARTICLE: School Fundraising Ideas
Looking for a good school fundraiser idea?
You are not alone. The good news is that there are other
options besides coordinating a major fundraising event or
conducting a catalog-based fundraiser that often overwhelm
your supporters with multiple products that aren’t everyday
items for most people.
In this article, we’ll take a look at three simple products that
your group can offer that provide these benefits:
1) They are easy to sell
2) They offer good value
3) They produce excellent results
The three products are discount shopping cards, pizza cards, and
prepaid phone cards. Each has benefits that are easy to explain
to your supporters, they have widespread appeal, and each can
be offered for immediate sale or sold via a simple brochure.
What exactly is a discount shopping card?
It is a wallet-sized card packed with a selection of prearranged
discounts at local and national merchants in your area. Most
usually contain a dozen special offers that save the bearer
either a fixed amount or a percentage discount.
Each card usually retails for $10 and provides for unlimited
usage of the special offers. The only exception is when you
custom design a card to feature a special one-time only
discount from a sponsoring merchant. This type of premium
offering is often worth half the purchase price all by itself,
such as a $5 discount from a national oil change company.
Other money saving examples include free drinks with a fast food
order, $1 or more off on a submarine sandwich, savings on video
rentals, haircut discounts, free ice cream, and other special
Because of their high perceived value (what family doesn’t
want to save money these days?), discount cards can often
produce impressive unit sales per participant. It’s not unusual
for each seller to make five or more sales.
Another interesting benefit is the unique customization of the
discount card. Many suppliers can place your schools’ name and
logo on the front side of each card, thereby firmly affixing
your group’s value proposition in their minds for the next time
Cards are usually good for a one year period and bear an
expiration date on the front. This creates a built-in market
for repeat sales.
In the supplier cross-reference section of my book, Fundraising
Success!, I list 27 suppliers for these cards. As with any type
of fundraising product it pays to do more than a little supplier
research. Costs for 1,000 unit batches begin at $6 with many of
them and drop considerably lower with the best suppliers.
What is a pizza card and how is it different?
A pizza card is a discount card with an offer tied to a single
merchant, usually a national chain. It often provides a two-
for-one offer on every order and is tends to be priced at $10
for a card good for a one-year period.
Offers vary with most being tied to either a single location or
a small group of outlets for a national chain. Pizza Hut cards
are good for eat-in dining while most others are aimed at the
take-out or delivery market.
The cards for Pizza Hut and those for some of the other chains
place a limit on the number of times you can use the card,
often 21 times. That is an awful lot of free pizza for $10.
Usage is tracked via holes punched in marked spots on the card.
Some of the offers also specify that your initial order must be
for a large pizza while your free pizza is a medium size. When
you think about it, that works well for most adults because
they usually want a different set of toppings than what their
Like the discount card, pizza cards can be obtained from many
suppliers. Most offer the same set of national chains and
prices can vary widely, so it pays to shop around.
What do I need to know about prepaid phone cards?
Phone cards can be used for fundraising purposes just like the
discount cards. Several suppliers offer a $10 card that can be
customized with your group’s name and logo. For an extra fee,
you can even get custom artwork on the front of each card,
thereby reinforcing your “brand.”
Prepaid phone cards are also available in different face values
with variations in minutes included, international rates, access
charges, etc. Most common are denominations of $20, $25, and
Profit margins on prepaid phone cards are similar to other
fundraising products. The trick is to source ones that offer
excellent value to your supporters.
Think in terms of potential users, i.e. families with college
students, distant relatives, people that travel frequently, or
individuals who make international calls. Look for features and
offerings that would appeal to these user groups.
What you’ll usually find is that you can’t equal the best deal
offered by mega-retailers like WalMart, Target, and K-Mart while
still maintaining 40% profit margins. So, you face a choice of
staying with a $10 card that offers decent value or leveraging
the best offerings available in the retail market.
Consider putting together a one-page brochure based on the AT&T
phone cards offered by WalMart. Instead of a 60-70 minute card
that sells for $10, think about reselling the AT&T 120 minute
card for $15 while playing up the value of being able to add
additional minutes in the future either through WalMart or AT&T
at a great per minute rate.
You can make a three or four choice brochure with profit margins
in the 25% to 35% range and still offer excellent value and name
brand recognition. A 120-minute card costs $10, a 250-minute
card costs $18, and a 500-minute card costs $30.
Use your brochure for order taking and try to arrange a special
bulk discount with your local WalMart. They are fundraiser
So, what’s the bottom line on card sales?
The excellent consumer value of all these cards makes them an
easy sale. Their $10 price point makes a cash purchase a
simple transaction yet a higher amount than most fundraising
items. Size, weight, and no special handling requirements make
selling them a breeze.
Most suppliers will provide the discount and pizza cards to
your group on easy credit terms. That allows you to offer
them to your supporters as an immediate sale item, simplifying
the delivery process tremendously.
Instead of relying on your supporters’ discretionary
purchasing power in these tough economic times, why not tap
into your supporters’ everyday spending on commodities like fast
food and communications? They’re not quite necessities, but
they are an ingrained spending habit with many families.
Selling discount cards and prepaid phone cards positions you for
a better chance at a larger portion of your supporters’ spending.
And, because of their high unit volumes, hefty profit margins,
and ease of sale, they can produce exceptional fundraising
Make sure your group gets your share!
FUNDRAISING SPOTLIGHT: School Fundraising Solutions
(Excerpt from my book, Fundraising Success!)
Supplier: School Fundraising Solutions
Phone: (304) 489-2465
Address: Triangle Farms o Rt. 1, Box 6
City: Mineral Wells
Description: The small fundraising company with a big heart.
Your group keeps 40% to 50% for everything sold. If your group
has total sales over $5,000 you earn 50% profit, for sales over
$2,500 you earn 45% profit, for sales under $2500 you earn 40%.
Offers the “Scratch To Give” card with a cost of only $8.
Filling all 50 spots is worth $103 with spots priced in
increments of $0.25 to $3. Provides enough free game cards to
cover your cost. Can personalize with your group’s logo for an
extra $2 per card.
Cookie Dough is the standard 3 lb. tub that retails for $10 and
offers profit margins of 30% to 55% based on volume.
Offers the Charity Mania sports sweepstakes customized with your
organizations name and logo.
Educational CD’s retail for $10 and offer 40% to 50% profit
depending on unit volume.
Product Lines: Candles, Cards – Scratch, CD’s – Educational,
Cookie Dough, First Aid Kits, Pizza, Pretzels, Safety Kits,
Terms: Net terms available to qualified organizations
Notes: Shipping is free.
PLACES TO GO, THINGS TO SEE, FREEBIES & MORE
SiteSeeing Tip – Regular readers know I’m a big fan of search
engines that offer something special, so it comes as no surprise
that I’ve got another one to recommend. Search-22 is a nice
resource for those who want to do metacrawler searches as well
as specific searches via 22 search engines at once. They rule
when it comes to searching for quotes!
What makes it even more interesting is that Search-22 has a
search subset entitled “Kids & Teens” that restricts its
results to sites that are not only kid-friendly, but kid-
focused as well. Again, it uses 22 search engines such as
Atomic Teen, Kids Click!, and Factmonster to produce results
that you know will be safe and relevant.
PLACES TO GO:
Surfing the Net with Kids
A family-friendly site that hosts monitored chat rooms, Harry
Potter games, science experiments, and all sorts of fun stuff.
They have a fun newsletter with all sorts of interesting
There’s a fascinating exhibit on Chinese dinosaurs at the
Australian Museum online. See the pictures of the best link
between dinosaurs and birds, the feathered Protarchaeopteryx.
THINGS TO SEE:
Big savings on all the great brands. They’ve got electronics,
jewelry, home & garden, home office, and more. My favorite is
the BrandsMall Blowouts.
Club Mom Red, White, & Blue Trivia Contest
Win a digital camera or a DVD player! Test your Red, White,
and Blue IQ. Play the daily trivia in ClubMom’s Salute the
Red, White, and Blue Sweepstakes. (US and Canada only)
FSBO Real Estate Secrets 2004
Don’t enter into the largest financial transaction of your
life without knowing all the facts so you can save your hard
earned money. Find out how to sell your house for thousands
more. Learn twelve easy ways to spot serious problems in
homes for sale.
FREE YEAR OF E-GEAR MAGAZINE
If you love staying abreast of the latest technological
marvels, this is the magazine for you (or your teenager). Top
notch reviews of gadgets, computers, phones, and more.
This month’s free ebook is by Joann Javons. It’s
32 pages in the universal PDF format. The file size is 219kb.
The book offers short tips on how to reduce stress and put more
joy into your life. Each tip is succinct in how to take some
time each day to create a soothing environment.
That’s all for this issue. See you next month.
WE WANT YOU IN AN UPCOMING ISSUE
We’re always interested in hearing what you have to say
about fundraising. We’d love to publish your article, your
question, your success story, or any other relevant topic
Full instructions are on the website. Click on this link:
Thanks for sharing!
Copyright 2004 Kimberly Reynolds
Fundraiser Help – Great Fundraising Ideas
Maximize your fundraising success!
Nonprofit Fundraising – Tony Poderis describes how any nonprofit group should raise funds.
Non-profit Fund Raising – Organizational tips – Four ways to boost your non-profit fund raiser results.
Capital Campaigns – Capital campaign strategies for non-profit groups to increase their donor base.
Donor Recognition – How to use donor recognition to increase your capital campaign results.
Fundraising Ideas – Ideas for fundraising that focus on the best activities for high school, elementary school, sports teams, and youth groups to raise funds with events, activities, programs, projects and products.
Fundraising Events – Three profitable event ideas for small group or school fundraisers – Fundraiser events that are quick and easy – Fund-raising event ideas you can do in a month and that work anywhere from Canada to Australia.
School Fundraisers – Easy fundraising ideas for schools that consistently produce excellent results. Includes articles on cheerleading fundraisers, high school football fundraiser, soccer fund-raising, band fund-raiser, plus more great youth sports team activities and events for other high school groups.
Thank You Letters – Seven tips on writing thank you letters, notes, or simple donor recognition phone calls.
Fundraising Letters – See what fund raising letters work for other non-profit groups.
Fundraising Letter – How to generate the best response with your donation request letters.
How To Write A Fundraising Letter – Advice and tips on what works and what doesn’t.
Fundraising Software – Listings and descriptions of popular software programs for nonprofit groups. Donor tracking and recognition programs, nonprofit accounting, and capital campaign support.
Church Fundraisers – Church fundraising ideas for capital campaigns – Church fund-raising through donor recognition – Christian fundraiser charity activities and events that produce quick results.
Articles – Full list of articles on high school fundraisers, nonprofit fund raising, and great event ideas.
Cancer Fund Raiser
Donor Fund Raising
Relay For Life