Holiday Fundraising – Part 1

Many schools, youth groups and sports teams can benefit from holiday fundraising. By supplying items that people will purchase anyway, everybody wins.

Here is one idea on holiday fundraising that can bring big profits to your group: a Christmas Tree and Wreath Sale.

Christmas Tree and Wreath Sale

There are dozens of suppliers for trees and wreaths in most areas. Trees can be delivered by the truckload or half truckload to your site. The key is to start planning early. Line up your supplier no later than September, earlier if possible. Using a portion of a parking lot, playground, etc., saves having to rent space to sell your trees.

If your location has good visibility from a well traveled street, much of your advertising is free. If you do need to advertise, don’t skimp. Having your customers know you are there is paramount to your success. Post easy to read signs, publish in your group’s newsletter, send an email to your group’s supporters, the possibilities are endless. Early in your advertising plan, call for volunteers to help.

You will need volunteers to help sell the trees, unload the trees and set them up, load the trees on customer’s cars, and so on. Don’t forget to ask volunteers to bring chain saws for trimming stumps and lower branches. Also, remember to make your tree lot visually appealing with holiday decor like twinkle lights or holiday yard decor.

To make more profit on wreaths, call on volunteers to make them. You’ll need to supply chicken wire, florist wire, and ribbon. Set up picnic tables and use the tree trimmings to make the wreaths. This is almost pure profit. Be sure your sellers recommend the purchase of a freshly made wreath to every customer.

Be aware and price your merchandise competitively. Find out what other tree lots charge for various sized trees and wreaths. Make sure your prices are in line with your competition.

Remember to include the bait on all signs and advertising: “Your purchase goes to a good cause!”

Tell your prospective customers that you are raising money for new youth choir robes, that their purchase goes toward new sporting or playground equipment! Who can resist that?

Another note about volunteers. Allow volunteers to sign up to work in shifts at your tree lot. Two or three strategically scheduled weekends should bring the profits you need to make your effort a success.

You’ll need at least two sellers, two wreath makers, and one or two cutters/loaders for each shift.

When all the work is finished, host a hot cocoa party at the tree lot for all of your valuable volunteers. Any left over trees can be taken to retirement homes, homeless shelters, or to people who would like to have a tree but for whatever reason is unable to get one.

Make a party out of it. Sing some carols and deliver some good cheer!