Ordering supplies in bulk

Ordering Supplies in Bulk

Every domestic goddess (I met one once!) knows that one way to stretch the family budget is to order supplies in bulk – buy non-perishables in large quantities. That same economic principle applies to fundraising events – what you save on outgoings you can add to your earnings. And in fundraising land, that’s PROFIT.

How does it work?

Fetes or festivals are made up of numerous stalls. Chances are a number of those stalls will have similar needs. For example:

  • The café decides to use takeaway cups—regular and large—for its coffee. It also uses paper plates for the sandwiches and slices, paper napkins and wooden stirrers for the sugar.
  • The BBQ serves up its sausages with on a paper napkin, its burgers on a paper plate with a napkin. Both, most likely, with tomato sauce.
  • Tomato sauce is needed for the hotdogs.
  • Kids (and adults) love to cover their hot chips in tomato sauce.
  • The drinks stall sells cans of drink.
  • A kids’ activity game offers a can of drinks as one of its minor prizes.
  • Another kids’ activity station requires wooden paddle pop sticks for an activity

Each of these stalls has a different coordinator. They could go off individually and buy what they think they need (or know—based on the Handover Report, and the fete treasurer will receive a ream of receipts).

But there’s a better way: a buying power way. Use our Bulk Supplies Order Form. Every stall holder indicates what supplies they need for their stall. You’ll be surprised how many needs they have in common.

Total them up. Now, with substantial buying needs, you have also been elevated to the status of having buying power!

Where to buy

To the uninitiated, the most likely place to go for paper plates, napkins and disposable cups, selling in quantities of 20 or 50 is the supermarket. That’s backyard entertainment quantities, not a successful fete! Source your local packaging, party and catering suppliers, for example. Some have online ordering but a visit is worth the time: the stock now carried is amazing. Just remember to stick to the list!!

Buying in bulk means the more you want, the smaller the unit price. For perishables, like bread, ask your local baker for the ‘best deal’ for your quantity. Likewise, your local butcher. Or go to a bulk meat outlet. Or your canteen supplier (ask for donations here!!).

If your group or a committee member has an ABN, you can access wholesalers for non-perishable goods (including drinks) at significant savings.


To accumulate the soft drink cans for your drinks stall, run a couple of ‘spot’ days in the lead-up to fete day. Children donate ‘a can of soft drink’ (invariably some will bring a six-pack at least!). For each can, they receive a numbered spot. At the beginning of lunch, a ‘lucky spot number’ is called and the winner gets a free ice cream or treat.

Originally published 2 February, 2019

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