Working in the fundraising industry, I am often asked: “what is the best fundraiser?”. Asking for the best fundraiser is like asking “where is the best place to live?”, “who is the best doctor?”, and “do these pants make me look fat?”. The answers you get will be all over the place and will depend a lot on who you are asking.
When you are looking for the best fundraiser for your group, you need to define a couple of criteria that will greatly help you narrow down the field.
First, do you want to use a brochure fundraiser that is typically free to start, or do you want to do a direct-sale where you buy inventory before the sale begins? That question alone can cut your fundraising program options in half.
The next thing you want to ask yourself, and your group, is do you want to do a traditional fundraiser or do you want to look for new ideas? If you go with a traditional campaign you will be selling products that people are used to buying for a fundraiser like candy, cookie dough, and wrapping paper. This can make selling very easy.
However, because so many groups do traditional sales, it can be difficult to sell when your customers are being bombarded with other groups selling the same products.
So, you’ve answered 2 questions and should be close to finding the best fundraiser for you. If your group has a theme, you can look for fundraising programs that match that theme. For example, many Boy Scouts Troops have started doing earth-friendly fundraisers because the ideas of the program are very similar.
Besides choosing the fundraising program your group wants to do, you can also affect the outcome of the fundraising making it the best fundraiser ever by doing some groundwork before the fundraiser starts. It has been shown that if you pick a financial goal and raise money for a specific cause, you will be much more likely to have a successful fundraiser.