Do you sometimes wish a genie could make your fundraiser’s administrative tasks simpler? Ask the right questions when choosing your fundraising supplier and—hey presto—you might just find your wish has come true!
Increasingly fundraising suppliers see the advantage of providing more than just product to fundraisers.
Typically the support comes in the form of:
- promotional collateral
- telephone support and advice
- administrative systems
It is to their benefit really: the more helpful and easier fundraising suppliers can make your task, the more likely you are to turn to them again.
So ask upfront: what supports do you provide to help our group’s sales succeed?
Presentation counts when relying on sales via brochures and order forms. Ask whether order forms are supplied free, or need to be copied (a cost for you).
“Order forms that are in full colour, professionally created with high resolution photos of the products will create more interest and therefore increase sales, which in turn results in greater profits for your group,” says Bill Gaydon.
Some fundraising suppliers also provide promotional posters with professionally designed pizzazz (another job your fundraising team won’t have to do!). For the promotion and sales side of things Crazy Camel provide parent order forms, posters for display at school, as well as teacher checklists to help keep things organised.
Telephone support and advice
The Fundraising Handover sheet is a valuable reference tool but not every group has such useful background information on past fundraising efforts.
Being able to talk to someone with experience can be handy too.
“Websites try to offer as much information as possible, but it is always nice to be able to talk to someone and get to the heart of any uncertainty that you may have, before, during and as you’re about to finalise the fundraising drive,” says Bill Gaydon, better known as Billy G of cookie dough fundraising fame.
“We’re always happy to help with any questions about the process, give tips for artworks or just bounce around ideas about how to do artwork and display it to parents,” adds Gareth Scarfe from popular card, diary and calendar creators, Crazy Camel.
TIP: Some fundraising suppliers have FREECALL numbers; others supply a 1300 number. These can add up to considerable phone savings for you during your fundraising campaign.
Keeping administration in order
“Fundraising organisers should look for well-established companies that put time into customer service and have developed clear and effective systems to make the fundraising process as smooth as possible. We also provide an index sheet when the order is returned showing a thumbnail sized picture of each artwork with the child’s name and detailing what has been made from each artwork. This helps immensely with distribution of the order, and is particularly important with products where each item is personalised,” advises Gareth from Crazy Camel.
Increasingly, fundraising providers include easy-to-use tally sheets to keep track of orders.
Some, like Australian School and Club Fundraising, provide specially-developed tally software which automatically calculates orders.
Then there are specific ‘added extras’, based on your suppliers’ experience and understanding of your need to keep outgoings down to maximise your profit margin. Take Gareth Scarfe’s approach as an example: “Crazy Camel supplies art paper for the children to draw upon, art ideas and lesson plans”.
Never be afraid to ask “what more can you do for us?” Your genie could be waiting to realise your fundraising dream.