Candle Fundraiser Information
Note: At the end of this information, there is a customer review area. We encourage you to add your comments, suggestions, and expert advice to this section.
In this class, I will tell you how to go about getting organizations to do fundraisers for you, how to choose your product line, how to price your products, how to properly market your products, and how to properly compensate those organizations that choose your company for their fundraisers.
1. The very first thing you need to do is Figure Out What Products You would like to offer in your Fundraiser Program. These are the items we offered for our fundraisers: 16 oz. apothecary jar candles, 10 oz. apothecary jar candles, a 32 oz. Tub of Scented Bath Salts, a Flower pot Trio (glass flower pots with lids filled with candles-We would let the customer choose which 3 scents they wanted), and a Hexagon Sampler (this sampler was made up of (4) - 1.5 oz. hexagon candles- we would let the customer choose which fragrances they wanted in this 4-pack). We also made Triple-Layer candles with the school colors and a school logo on the label. These were VERY GOOD SELLERS! Click here to find out how to make them.
2. Next, decide which fragrances you would like to offer your fundraiser customers. We always chose 20 of our top-selling fragrances. Here's a list of the scents we usually offered: Apple Pie, Blueberry Cobbler, Cucumber Melon, Cafe Caramel, Vanilla, Cherry Crumb Pie, Strawberry Shortcake, Lilac, Juniper Breeze, Mulberry, Red Hot Cinnamon, Cinnamon Buns, Victorian Rose, Banana Nut Bread, Plumeria, Gardenia, Honeysuckle, Coconut Cream Pie, Hot Fudge Brownies, Watermelon.
3. Next, decide how much choice you want to give your customers. Do you want to carry flowerpot trios where the customers are free to choose which scents they want? Experience has shown me that if you allow customers to choose which scents they want in these trios or sampler packs, they will tend to buy more of them!
4. Next, figure out your total cost per item that you wish to sell. To come up with your Sales Prices, Take your cost and multiply that by 4. In other words, for fundraising, you will be selling your products for 4 times the amount you paid to make them.
5. Next, decide on how you want to display your products in a photograph. When we first started doing fundraisers, we went to the Goodwill store and bought a huge piece of satin material (I think I paid .50 for it). We used this for the back-drop and to put our products on so that we would have a nice-looking photo of our products. If you take small boxes and place them under the material, you will be able to display your products in a more attractive, multi-dimensional way. Take your photo (make sure you leave enough space by each product so that you have room to put item numbers and prices next to them when you do your computer graphic work).
6. Using a graphics program and a scanner, scan your photo into the system and put item numbers and prices next to each item. I have always used Printmaster Platinum for all of my graphic work because it is very easy to learn and use. Your finished page does not have to be in color; you can easily have this page photocopied in black and white.
7. Next, make an order form for your customers. Make sure it has a list of the available fragrances, a list of all of the products offered, and a place for them to enter their name, address, phone number, item#, quantity, and prices.
8. Next, decide how much you are willing to give the fundraiser participants for choosing your company for their fundraiser. Experience has shown me that 35% of the total sale is the amount to go with. I have also learned that you should not get involved with the "Top sales" prizes. The reason for this is because you will find that the top seller you come up with may not be the same top seller that the person in charge of the fundraiser comes up with...Get My Drift?
9. Next, type up a letter that you will give to the person in charge of the fundraiser. Here's a sample letter: Dear Ms. Smith, I would like to take the opportunity to present your organization with a Fundraiser Program that has been quite successful for other organizations in your area. Hand-Made Candles and Bath Products are quickly becoming the "Fundraiser of Choice" by many organizations because the products are easy to sell, and the rewards greatly exceed those of the traditional fundraiser involving candy sales, wrapping paper, ect. Our candles are triple-scented, long-lasting, and affordably-priced. We offer your organization 35% of the total sales. An average fundraiser involving 20 participants is $3000. Please feel free to burn the enclosed sample of our wonderful candles, and contact me if you would like for our company to sponsor your next upcoming fundraiser. Thank you! Mike Ward
10. Next, sit down and write down every single person's name that you can think of. Go through your address book, don't miss anyone! From this list, place a check mark next to each person who has children, anyone who is affiliated with any type of organization (cub scouts, girl scouts, church groups, band, cheerleaders, sports groups, etc.) Contact each person to find out the name of the person who is in charge of fundraising. Contact these people and make sure you give them a sample of one of your candles or bath products. If you can arrange to speak to these people face to face so that you can allow them to smell all of your candles, your success rate for booking a fundraiser will increase!
11. What to tell the Person in Charge of Fundraising: (1) Candle sales exceed candy sales because your typical market is women who would rather buy a product that compliments their homes. (2) Their organization earns 35% of the total sales. (3) The kids are to collect the money at the time of the sale. At the end of the fundraiser, the Person in charge of the fundraiser will make a check out to YOU for the total amount of the sale. (4) All of the merchandise will be delivered 3 weeks after the check is received. (5) In order to make it easy on your organization, we will break down all of the orders for you according to individual customer purchases. This way, all of the time- consuming sorting will be taken care of. (6) When the merchandise is delivered, we will present your organization with a check for their 35% earnings. (If the organization would like to Book another fundraiser for a future date, tell them that if they want to go ahead and book a date, you will give them 40% earnings instead).
12. Now, let's say that you have an organization that has a fundraiser, and they present you with a check for the total sales amount. Remember when I said in Class #2 that you don't have to use your own money to make money? Well, here is an example of just that! Take a portion of this money to buy your supplies that you will need to make the candles. Allow for 1 week for your supplies to arrive. Now, you have the next 2 weeks to make the candles that you need to fill your fundraiser orders.
13. Once all of your candles are made, go through all of your orders and pull each child's orders separately. You will want to pull each customer that each child sold to. I realize that you may be thinking that this would be expensive because you will have to buy bags to separate each of the orders....but, the reason you want to do this is....In Each Bag You will be putting a coupon for 20% off the customer's next purchase with your company! You may also want to include information on the coupon as to How to Properly Burn Your Candles. This is called Rear-End Marketing My Friends! (Well, at least that is what I call it!). Now, when the customers receive their candles, and they desire to purchase more, they will not have to wait until the next fundraiser to buy them...they can just give you a call and use their 20% off coupon! Presto....MORE SALES! By the way, you will want to write the name of each child along with the name of each customer on each bag. If a customer has 2 or more bags, just write (eg) Matthew Cool #1, Matthew Cool #2, etc. on the bags, Along with the name of the child that made that sale.