Sales vs Donations

Thank you for taking the time to read the blog. This article aims to cover a few objections I have about fundraising and the direction we’re heading. I also share some helpful information about donation fundraisers vs product sales.

Are you one of the parents that would rather give money vs buying a product to help a kid raise money for their school? If so, you’re not alone. I too feel the same way. I believe this happens because we’re overwhelmed with fundraising, not just our schools but every group in town is trying to raise money. This is where donation campaigns have really taken off. I feel like I get donation requests regularly and fewer products are being offered. Do you see this as a good thing?

Donations have been such a big hit that several companies have emerged to take part. Their software works great, the simplicity of gathering donations and record-keeping online has drastically reduced the workload. What’s more alarming though, the percentage of participants is dropping.

As I share this most companies that help schools (K-12) raise money via donation aim to keep 30% of the money collected. For example, when Grandma donates $100, groups typically receive $70. When we look at participation percentages dropping, we have to understand we’re losing the attention of those that opt in to helping. Why? Perhaps we are not including enough incentives to encourage participation but the software companies would fix that if it meant more money. Would you be surprised if I told you it’s based on who donates to the program? Family members make up a majority of those that give and as we mentioned before, we’re overwhelmed with fundraisers. Some families feel bad asking family to help support their school with a donation so they opt out of the participating in the fundraiser.

Sales. As a participant in a fundraiser, there’s a lot to be learned in helping your school raise money. In a way, it’s a selfless act that teaches students a lot about life. How to interact with people enhancing out communication skills, simple math, accounting and if I’m not getting to ahead of myself it teaches them about running a small business. Donation campaigns have made the process so easy that I fear what it might be doing to our kids will have negative long term effects. Lower grades might not be missing out on these details but the older we get the more we’ll need those skills.

As we continue navigating fundraisers and what it takes to help a group make money we’ll be focusing on what makes a fundraiser reach more people. Catalog/products sales have come a long way and now have the ability to ship directly to our supporters. Donations have been on our radar as they continue to gain popularity. They have our attention because we’ve started working on software that collects donations and gives the school 100% of the money donated. If you can hybrid a donation campaign with a product sale you’ll be able to capture sales from family members, family friends and your neighbors.

Stay tuned for more information about our 100% profit donation fundraiser. If you have questions or need help getting your fundraiser off to a healthy start. Don’t hesitate to contact me.