What if your school or organization could fundraise 15% more this year than you did last year… with only putting in 5% more effort? What could you do with 30% more?
Fundraising campaigns sometimes feel more like charity than business events, but many business principles work with fundraising—and your organization should be taking advantage of them.
Here are four business techniques that you can apply to your next fundraising campaign to raise more money while just putting in a little more work.
Teach Your Fundraisers Some Basic Selling Skills
Chances are, your main sellers are going to be kids—and kids are notoriously bad at selling. People still buy from kids because they’re adorable and they want them to succeed, but a few selling skills can actually go a long way in raising more with little extra effort.
Here are some practical skills we suggest teaching them:
- The Elevator Pitch — We’ve all seen a timid kid come up and ask if we want to buy something without any story or introduction. It’s cringy and awkward—and not good for selling. Teach them how to introduce themselves and your organization, explain why they’re fundraising, and describe the basics of what they’re offering.
- Benefits, Benefits, Benefits — Kids can easily learn the features of a product (fresh ingredients, high-quality), but people don’t buy features. They buy the benefits. Fresh roasted coffee means customers will wake up excited to drink the best coffee they’ve ever tasted. Low-sugar ice cream means customers can enjoy a bowl guilt-free now and then.
- Ask For Referrals — There’s no harm in kindly asking happy customers to send their friends your way. The worst they can say is “no”, but if they agree, you’ll have people coming to you (or your online store), which means less door-knocking but more selling.
- Make It Relational — Ultimately, fundraising happens because people care about the mission and the people involved. Sprinting from one person to the next doesn’t foster that relationship, but taking a few minutes to talk to customers develops connections that will last for years (and will probably cause them to spend more on your products).
These four basic skills will boost the effectiveness of your campaign dramatically, but it’ll also teach the kids involved valuable life skills that they can take with them beyond your organization.
Cross-Sell Complimentary Products
You know those checkout-line products that always seem to catch your attention while you’re waiting for the next register? Those are designed to increase the average order. You go in for one main thing and you come out with two smaller things as well.
Fundraising can work the same way. Friends and family really want the fresh coffee beans or cookie dough, but once they see the chocolate bars or coffee filters, they find themselves buying more. It’s like being offered ice cream in a cone instead of a cup, or having the chance to add a drink to your meal for just $0.99.
Cross-selling isn’t some skeevy tactic—it’s simply giving your customers the opportunity to buy add-ons that will enhance their experience of the main products.
Tip: Offer customers 3-5 “add-on” products that they can purchase to enhance their experience of the main product.
Enable Online Fundraising For Increased Reach
Door-to-door selling is the go-to for most organizations—and it’s something you should stick to—but it makes it very difficult for friends and family in other towns or states to participate.
And every business knows one of the keys to success is to make it as easy as possible for customers to order.
For many people, online ordering is just simpler. They can do it on their own time, pay with a credit card, and don’t have to wait until they see a seller in person.
Tip: Partner with a fundraiser that has an online store customers can purchase from to make buying easier for people both in-town and far away.
Shoot For A Fall Campaign
It’s no secret in the fundraising world that the first people to arrive at doors or offices typically get the most sales. And this is true for you personally as well. You probably buy from the first person who asks, but not the second or third.
You would think this makes the Fall the best time for fundraising—and you’d be right.
For both smaller school fundraisers and big charity organization events, September through December are the best months for raising money (but for some reason, most organizations still plan their campaigns for the Spring).
Fundraising may feel like charity, but if you treat it like a business, you’ll find it’s a whole lot easier to raise money.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do for your organization is partner with a fundraising program that will empower your sellers and make it easy for customers to buy (rather than just giving you a packet of products and leaving you to do the rest).
That’s our goal here at Driven Coffee: give you not only a product your customers will love, but also the tools and guidance you need to thrive.
Learn More About Coffee Fundraising