Choosing a School Fundraiser Product or Business

How to Select a Money Raising Project for Australian Schools

There are many issues to consider when choosing a product for a school fundraiser. Price, variety, quality, competition, need and appeal are all significant factors.

Offering a variation on familiar fundraising projects can help a school fundraising group such as a P&F or P&C committee to increase revenue, but it is important to ensure that the new company or product will be suitable.

Questions to Ask about Fundraiser Businesses

When approaching new businesses with fundraising requests or ideas, it is important to make sure that the company offers good quality products and customer service.

Research new suppliers carefully, obtaining written details of their terms and conditions before making a commitment. Answers to the following questions can be useful when assessing and comparing the suitability of a new company:

• How long has the business been operating?
• Can they provide samples of their products?
• Do they offer a refund and/or replacement for damaged items?
• Do they cover the shipping for refund/replacement items?
• Are orders placed directly with the company or is a single group order placed through the school?
• Are orders delivered to the school or to individuals?
• Will orders be packed for each individual purchase or in bulk?
• How long does it take for items to be delivered after the order is placed?
• What is the policy for supplying an ordered item that is out of stock?
• How much effort will organising this fundraiser require from school administration staff?

Money Related Fundraising Questions

The ultimate objective of fundraising projects is to raise money for school equipment, facilities and activities. It is important to know what the costs and expected income from a particular project will be. Consider the following questions:

• Are monies collected by the school or are payments made directly to the business?
• What payment methods are available – cash, cheque, credit card?
• Is there an additional charge for shipping?
• Is there a shipping cost for returning unsold stock?
• What commission is offered on sales? How is this calculated?
• How and when is the commission paid?
• Does the cost of individual items represent value for money?
• Do they supply bulk letters, order forms and/or catalogues for parents? Is there an additional cost?

Important Fundraising Issues to Consider

Parents quickly become tired of constant requests for donations. Try to limit school fundraising events and activities to once per term. Consider other charity support involvement by the students such as canned food drives at Christmas, Cancer Council fundraising, novelty fundraising ideas like scratch cards, MS Read-a-thon, child sponsorship (eg Compassion, World Vision) and sports team fundraisers.

One large scale fundraiser each year, such as a school fair or fete, and two or three smaller fundraisers help to prevent parents from feeling bombarded by requests for money.

Parent will be more likely to support a fundraiser if they know how the money raised will be spent – equipment or supplies for students, improved school facilities, landscaping or beautification projects etc. Be as specific as possible.

To collect ideas for needs, approach the school principal or heads of school for larger colleges to ask for suggestions. Ask them to provide suggestions for small, medium and large cost items.

Parent Involvement in School Fundraising

Whether organised by a school parent support group or by the school administration, fundraising projects give parents, family and friends of students the opportunity to contribute and improve school facilities and equipment for the benefit of students and teachers.

By carefully selecting a product that will appeal to school families, offer value for money and provide the school with a significant commission, it is possible to run a successful fundraising activity that will please and benefit both the school and parents.