Are Unique Fundraisers Effective?
“We are so tired of the same old fundraisers”. We hear this comment everyday. And, it’s a very understandable concern of fundraising groups. Some groups have been doing the same fundraisers for years and things tend to get stale. It is a good thing to mix things up each year. Fresh ideas breed enthusiasm. And enthusiasm raises more money for your group!
However, there is a catch to mixing things up. New ideas and fundraising programs are useful, but you must be careful not mix things up too much. We hear from fundraising groups that they want new and unique ideas that have never been done before in their community. But sometimes, the unique ideas that are available are too niche for most people. There’s a reason why cookie dough, auctions, carnivals, coffee, wrapping paper, magazines, etc. are staples of school fundraising programs……….because they work! They are proven money makers and are appealing to a wide audience. Niche products are just that, they appeal to a niche audience. And if a product doesn’t have a wide appeal, then your fundraising potential is limited.
A good example our company went through was with our gourmet beverage program. When we first offered this, it was only a coffee fundraiser. Sales were ok, but the feedback we got from our groups was that some of their community didn’t have an interest because they weren’t coffee drinkers. They had a point. Why buy a product if you didn’t use it? That’s why we re-did this program and added non-coffee products such as hot cocoa, teas and smoothies which appealed to a wider audience. Now our gourmet beverage fundraiser is one of our top sellers.
The best way to mix things up is to change your fundraisers yearly. But do your due diligence first to gage your community on what programs they would have an interest in. Do informal polling at meetings and school events. Ask for product samples from fundraising companies so you can bring them to your meetings.
We pride ourselves on our offering of products. We feel we have a good mix of newer programs as well as the old stand by programs. Fundraising trends will always be evolving, but many fundraisers will never go out of style!