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The Benefits of Fundraisers
Written by Guest MyMommyBiz Author Rachael Hoffman

Many direct sales companies and home party plans have solid fundraising programs in place. Through their fundraising program, they offer a product for a group or organization to sell and the representative handling the fundraiser takes a decreased profit margin so that the group doing the fundraiser can also make money on the sales.

So why would anyone in their right mind give up a large percentage of their profit margin and do the work required to work with a group on a successful fundraiser? There are many reasons. While the rep usually gives up a larger portion of their commission, they usually still make some money on the fundraiser sales. Since the group or organization will be selling via many members and are expected to sell a larger volume, that smaller portion of commission can often add up to be a decent amount that benefits the representative, as well as the organization.

Aside from the monetary benefits, there are other reasons. Most times, a fundraiser counts towards the sales volume of the representative for the company. This can help the rep reach higher sales volume levels, earn awards and prizes that they may not have been able to attain without a fundraiser to help boost their sales.

Another great reason is exposure. The representative is getting to expose an entire new base of people to their products and company. Often times, representatives will mark products with re-order information or include business cards or catalogs in the bags to be passed out to fundraiser customers. The hope is that the fundraiser will also bring in some new customers for the representative when it is time to re-order or when they want more of the line the company carries.

Of course, these aren’t the only reasons party plan and direct sales representatives fundraise. There is also a great sense of pride in helping a good cause reach a goal for a new playground or other big-ticket item.

So, now that you know all the benefits, how do you land a fundraiser? IT isn’t as hard as one may think, but it does take a bit of work. The best place to start is by making a list of organizations that are always looking to raise funds. They can include, but are not limited to:

  • Day-cares/ Pre-schools
  • Public or Private schools – all grades
  • Sports Teams
  • School Bands
  • Cheerleading Teams
  • Booster Clubs
  • Youth Leagues
  • Fire Departments
  • Civic Clubs
  • Community Organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus, Women’s Club, VFW’s, Kiwanis, Rotary Club, etc.
  • Churches
  • And many, many more.

Once you have a list of the organizations in your area you wish to approach, you need their addresses to mail them information. Call the organization and use a line like, “Hello, I would like to mail you some potential fundraiser information. I need to know who to make that attention to in your office (and address if needed) ”. This gives you not only the correct person to mail information to, but also gives you a name to ask for when following up by phone.

Next, you will want to mail out information on your fundraising program to the groups. You want to keep costs low. A simply letter or flyer explaining the benefits and an example of the fundraising product. You can give an example by having a picture on the letter, or if cost effective, by mailing a sample fundraiser brochure with the letter. Be sure to list your contact information and comes across as professional as possible.

About a week after you send out the letters, you will want to call all of the organizations and ask directly for the person in charge of fundraising (the name you made the letter to the attention of). You can say something like, “Hi. This is Your Name with Your Company. I was just calling to make sure you got the fundraiser information I sent out, see if you have any questions and if this might be something your organization would be interested in doing”.

Try not to wait any longer than a week to follow up, and never just wait for them to contact you. People get busy and can forget – or maybe they don’t want to do it now, but are thinking it might be ideal for five months from now. If you assume because no one calls after the letter that no one is interested, you could be short-changing yourself and losing a potential fundraiser that can help your business.

Rachael is a work at home mom to two children and is adding a third to the mix soon. She is an independent fundraising specialist for Home and Garden Party doing fundraisers for all sizes and types of groups. Rachael can be reached through her website at http://www.fundraisingwithcandlefundraisers.com or by email at rae@fundraisingwithcandlefundraisers.com

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