choosing the Best program
There are a number of fundraising programs on the market today. They vary not only in the products offered, but also in how they are marketed, sold, packed, delivered and distributed.
Groups can order products and programs through sales people who represent national or regional companies; local fundraising companies who market exclusively in a particular area or region; direct mail catalogs; or the Internet. There is no single preferred source for, or type of, fundraising program.
Often, it is the fundraising coordinator's experience and resources that determine what programs are most appropriate. Consider the features of each program option and choose the one that best meets the needs of your organization.
DIRECT SALES PROGRAMS generally involve the following: schools or groups order an inventory of products; products are distributed to volunteers who sell products directly to the consumer; funds are collected at the point of sale; schools or groups pay for products sold.
Requires only one contact with individual consumers;
Programs are generally shorter in length (an important consideration if funds are needed quickly);
Consumers can examine the actual product(s) before making a decision.
ORDER TAKER PROGRAMS involve the following: consumers select from a variety of food and gift items products from a brochure; volunteers record the order; all order forms are returned to the fundraising company; the company fills the orders and ships products to the school or organization; products are distributed to volunteers who deliver products to the consumer. Funds may be collected at the time of selection or upon delivery of the product to the consumer.
Other mechanics of order taker programs can vary widely. Some programs require the school or organization's volunteers to tally orders, calculate collections and sort merchandise upon delivery. Or, the cost of programs may include computerized tallying and delivery of products that are pre-sorted and custom-packed.
No guesswork on how much product to order;
Brochures allow the group to offer a wide variety of products and range of prices;
Convenient format allows parents and adults to participate in fundraising effort.
ONLINE FUNDRAISING PROGRAMS are emerging as a cost and time efficient way to run a school fundraising drive. Some programs can be carried out entirely online. Others use online components to support more traditional product fundraising drives.
With the click of a mouse, family and friends can easily support schools in other parts of the country;
Supporters of the program can order what they want, when they want, beyond the drive's limited timeframe.