School Fundraising Ideas

Looking for good school fundraising ideas?

You’re not the only one. The good news is that there are other highly profitable school fundraising ideas besides conducting a catalog-based fundraiser.

Catalog sales often end up overwhelming your supporters with multiple fund raising products that aren’t everyday items for most people and don’t provide good value for the money spent.

Lets take a look at three school fundraising ideas:

These are 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
  • Prepaid phone cards

Each of these school fundraisers 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.

School Fundraiser: Discount Card

What exactly is a discount 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 almost 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 offers.

Because of their high perceived value (what family doesn’t want to save money these days?), these are excellent fundraisers.

Discount cards can often produce impressive unit sales per participant. It’s not unusual for each seller to make ten 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. This firmly affixes your group’s value proposition in their minds for the next time around.

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.

As with any type of fund raising product it pays to do more than a little supplier research.

Costs for 1,000 unit batches begin at $4 with many of them and drop as low as $1.00 from the best suppliers.

Among school fund raising ideas, discount shopping cards are a perennial favorite. They also make a good overlay or add-on item for a catalog fundraiser.

School Fundraising Ideas: Pizza Card

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.

Given how popular pizza is with younger children as well as teenagers, pizza cards are excellent school fundraising ideas.

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 children enjoy.

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.

All in all, pizza cards are among the top school fundraisers for profit and ease of sale.

School Fundraising: Prepaid Phone Cards

What do I need to know about prepaid phone cards?

Phone cards can be used for fund raising 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 $30.

Profit margins on prepaid phone cards are similar to other school fundraising ideas that are product-based. 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. Because of the variety, customization, and large market, phone cards are great school fundraising ideas.

What you’ll usually find is that you can’t equal the best deal offered by mega-retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and K-Mart while still maintaining a desirable 40% profit margin.

So, in evaluating school fundraisers like phone cards, 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 Wal-Mart. Instead of a 60-70 minute card that sells for $10, think about reselling the AT&T 120 minute card for $15.

While putting together your sales pitch, play up the value of being able to add additional minutes in the future either through Wal-Mart or AT&T at a great per minute rate.

You can make a flyer with three or four choices with profit margins in the 25% to 35% range. The phone cards 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 Wal-Mart. They are fundraiser friendly!

Phone cards are also among the top school fundraisers for overall profitability each year.

Fundraising Cards Recap

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.

Small size, light 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 makes them great school fundraisers because you can offer them to your supporters as an immediate sale item, thus 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 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, healthy profit margins, and ease of sale, they are excellent school fundraisers because they’ll produce exceptional profits.

Make sure your group gets your share!