Anyone who’s been involved in a school in any way—including as a teacher, a parent, or even a student—knows that fundraising plays a significant role in keeping critical programs running. And while the future of teaching is changing, it’s clear that fundraising will be an important part of schools for years to come.
If you’re on the fence about hosting a product fundraiser, these five key reasons should help you make up your mind in no time. Product fundraisers are a fantastic choice because they:
- Boost school spirit
- Can be held virtually
- Bring in significant revenue
- Help build supporter relationships
- Carry no financial risk
Are you ready to dive into each benefit of these strategic school fundraising endeavors? Let’s get started.
1. Product fundraisers boost school spirit.
One of the most obvious benefits of hosting a product fundraiser for your school is the school spirit it brings. And when you boost school spirit, you drive student engagement as well.
By selling branded merchandise complete with your school’s logo, mascot, and/or color scheme, you can raise money for your school while also increasing a sense of community among students, teachers, parents, and neighbors.
Then, you can encourage your school’s supporters to sport their new apparel (including t-shirts, face masks, hats, and more) to any upcoming school events. It’s a win-win!
2. Product fundraisers can be held virtually.
According to Snowball’s virtual fundraising guide, “A virtual fundraising campaign boosts convenience for both the giver and the receiver, to maximize use of the valuable time on both ends.”
Since many schools have turned to digital education (whether partially or in full), it makes sense that you would seek virtual fundraisers as well. This way, you can raise money for your school while maintaining a safe social distance and keeping your buyers and sellers protected.
Here’s how a virtual product fundraiser typically works:
- You’ll partner with a product fundraising company that creates a branded web store where you’ll sell your items online.
- You’ll encourage students and parents to share the link to your web store with family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
- Supporters will make their purchases online by inputting their payment information in a secure form and selecting the items and quantities they’d like to order.
- The fundraising company ships the items to buyers contact-free, usually within 2-3 weeks.
Above and beyond the convenience and obvious health benefits of a virtual school fundraiser, it also means that you can expand your potential reach indefinitely. For example, your students can easily sell your branded merchandise to their grandparents even on the other side of the world!
3. Product fundraisers bring in significant revenue.
Of course, the main reason behind any fundraising endeavor is the ability to raise money for your school. And with a product fundraiser, you’re sure to bring in tons of much-needed revenue for your programming.
For example, ABC Fundraising’s discount card fundraiser encompasses one of the highest profit margins in the industry—up to 93%. That’s because the product itself is low-cost to create and purchase wholesale, while your supporters are willing to pay big bucks for the exclusive discounts included with this fundraiser.
And it’s not just the discount card, either! Many product fundraisers (including branded apparel, food, coffee mugs, and more) are known for the high-profit successes that they bring to schools and other fundraising organizations. When you host one of these campaigns, you should get ready to receive a significant amount of fundraising revenue for your school.
4. Product fundraisers help build supporter relationships.
Another key benefit of product fundraisers is the mutually beneficial relationship that they offer supporters. Instead of traditional fundraising efforts that only collect donations from generous givers, product fundraisers allow supporters to make a purchase that both benefits your school and results in a tangible product to themselves.
That’s why it’s a fantastic way to get supporters involved in your fundraising efforts—especially those who might be on the fence about giving for the first time.
Then, be sure to add buyers to your CRM to keep track of and engage with supporters over time. You can collect information like their name, contact information, and the items they purchased to get a better feel for who they are and why they care about/want to support your school.
As your next fundraiser approaches, you can look back on the wealth of valuable donor data collected in your CRM and reach out to individuals who went above and beyond to support your school in previous years. When done right, you can build and foster relationships with supporters that last a lifetime, rather than a single fundraising season.
5. Product fundraisers carry no financial risk.
The last reason to host a product fundraiser for your school concerns the ease with which you can get started without a ton of upfront costs.
For example, when you host a custom face mask fundraiser, your fundraisers take orders via a branded order-taking form or online web store. Then, once you’ve concluded your selling period, you submit your order to your product fundraising partner. They’ll create and ship the right number of branded masks, and you’ll receive the previously discussed profits.
This way, you don’t have to worry about buying your masks in bulk and hoping they all sell (and wasting money if they don’t). You also don’t have to shell out tons of your hard-earned dollars towards expensive fundraising software to create your online store—because your fundraising partner does it for you!
That’s why product fundraisers are a great choice for fundraising organizations looking to raise a ton of money for their cause, even if they don’t have a ton of capital to invest in the beginning. Plus, the lack of financial risk makes it easy to get the rest of your administrative or fundraising teams on board to get started with this idea.
All in all, product fundraising campaigns offer a win-win situation for fundraisers and supporters alike. When you take these benefits into consideration, you can see that selling branded merchandise for your school is a fantastic way to boost school spirit, increase virtual engagement, bring in much-needed fundraising dollars, and build supporter relationships—all with little to no financial risk for your school.
When you understand the reasoning behind these powerful campaigns, the question you ask yourself won’t be “should we host a product fundraiser?” It will be “which product should we sell for our school today?” And if you’re looking for more powerful fundraising ideas, this guide can be a big help as well. Good luck!