Fundraiser Evaluation Criteria – Continued:
Get firm pricing upfront on what freight charges the supplier covers and what constitutes an expedite charge payable by your organization. Be sure to get it in writing if it’s not part of the supplier agreement.
Most items are paid for in advance. The reason for this is most fundraising organizations are not businesses with credit histories and offices. Expect to pay for all items before shipment, including any expedited last minute shipments.
A reputable supplier should have no problem supplying references upon request. Most will have generic references posted on their web sites. Take the time to get the numbers and verify results, problem resolution, quality of goods, etc. Always ask if they’re still using them as a supplier.
How long in business
Longevity is often an important indicator of financial stability. If they haven’t been in business for more than three years, ask for bank and/or trade references.
Find out where the supplier is shipping from and who pays the freight. If the supplier quotes you FOB Destination, it means that you pay the freight. Oftentimes, there is another supplier offering exactly the same product or catalog with more favorable freight terms.
Review all written statements from suppliers on how they handle the inevitable snafus. Check the supplier’s references for information on how well they’ve handled problems such as missing items, damaged goods, etc.
Don’t forget to maximize your results
Remember that you can always use a supplemental catalog sale or any type of discount card on top of any other fundraiser. Capture something for everyone through offering something different like a pizza card after you’ve pitched your regular items. These usually retail for $10 and cost as little as $2. That’s a great percentage payout and has a different appeal than what you’re already offering.
Alternatively, you can offer a $10 discount card featuring local merchants that might cost you $2 or less. If your sellers can add one of these to half their sales, then you’ll enjoy a significantly higher net. Don’t forget that most of your sellers will approach less than 10 prospects.
Just be sure not to offer it until after your regular fundraiser has been offered or you will just be taking revenue away from your primary offering, not supplementing it.
In closing, when choosing the right fundraiser, be sure to weigh all the criteria. Read the Section on the Best Sellers. Choose what will work best for your group based on the results needed, resources available, and the size of your group.
Equip your sales group with the right tools. Quality selling materials and a well thought out sales script are essential components of a successful fundraiser.
Incent your participants in the most practical and effective manner. Keep the fun involved, particularly with younger children.
Execute your organizational plan with an eye on maximizing revenue. Tally all numbers twice and then check them again. If you’re delivering merchandise, be sure to have enough help for the mission critical delivery day.
When you’re finished, remember to communicate your results and say thank you to everyone involved, particularly your customers. Good luck!
Click Here for Selecting the Right Fundraiser – Part 4