Get Your Fundraisers Going Now! Start Earning Immediately!

By: Paulina Roe

Fundraisers - it's the perfect time to figure out which items or
services you will be promoting. Very few are running fundraisers
in the summer - it's a great time to get started before the
competition hits! At least you should figure out your strategy now,
even if you are waiting for the end of summer to get started. You
might find you are better off to try a new product, instead of
selling the very same ones you always sell, and everyone else
sells. Don't dilute your potential - try something different that
no one else if selling.

The first item you must address is whether you want to, or have the
funds to, purchase products first, and then sell them. This strategy is
a bit of a concern, since there is no guarantee that you will sell all
of the items. If you can return them unsold, then it is more of a safe
deal. Pick the product line that is in demand in your area - don't
just think of how "cute" something is - ask around to see if people
would actually want to buy it. Test it around, and if there is demand,
go for it, but don't order much more than you are certain to sell.

If you don't want to invest funds up front, you will need to decide
on the approach you want to take - do you want to carry order forms
or catalogs to people to have them place orders from? Or do you want
to hand out fliers and then take orders? Do you want to pass out fliers,
brochures or cards with a website address that people can order from?
Any of these can be effective, but the website link will not work for
everyone - not all people are Internet connected, and not all want to
or can be connected to a computer.

If you choose this route, make sure
to give them a good phone number to call for assistance with the
products, otherwise your handout will get thrown away. Any time you
hand something out for people to respond to, when you are not actually
going through the order process with them, you will need to make sure
that the ordering instructions are clear and easy to follow, you must
make sure to specify UP FRONT and as the first thing - that you are
raising funds for your group, and this is the medium you choose. Set
your brochure apart from the junk mail people get. Your best chance
to make a sale is to physically speak to people, and guide them through
the process. Many will not act on a brochure or notice, and willplace it
in their junk pile, never to be seen.

Now you need to pick your fundraiser product - do you want the same
product that every school sells at the same time? The wrapping paper
that is sold by thousands of kids in your area? Or do you want to try a
fresh approach and offer people something different? Many schools
and organizations are having great successes with long distance and
cell phone products - which offer savings to the buyer, and brings in
residual income to the group. This type of program can end up on
auto-pilot, per se, because as customers build up, so do the funds
coming in. Monthly income programs with automatic payment
option can be very lucrative. People are more willing to make a
service switch if they are approached by a fundraiser, rather than a
telemarketer or stranger. Phone services are products with a daily need -
people always need this, so it's easier to sell. There are shopping
programs in which people have total flexibility to choose their products,
and can shop there again and again after the fundraiser period is over.
This is one that is set up for the Internet - so they will have access at
all times to the shopping. Boy Scout troops and other organizations
are having great response to these. Think of the possibilities, and get
started, at least with your strategy. For more information and programs
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