Thursday, March 23, 2017

CATALOG & DIRECT SALES - Fundraisers for Baseball & Softball, Part 2

Fundraising. The never-ending story. We practically play ball year-round in my house so we are constantly raising money. You’re pretty safe if you’re playing rec ball (though they will shove a box a chocolate or a stack of discounts cards at you at some point and tell you to sell them or don’t come back). But once you get into all-stars, club ball or travel ball, the need for cash becomes imperative.

Before softball, AB did competitive cheer for seven years. I have been a Team Mom or managed fundraising in some capacity for almost 10 years so I have learned which fundraisers work and which don’t.

I am doing a 4-part series about running successful fundraisers for you team sport covering:

SPIRIT NIGHTS (click the link - it's live!)
CATALOG & DIRECT SALES
YARD SALES & CAR WASHES and
SPONSORSHIPS

Today’s post is on CATALOG & DIRECT sales. The difference in the two is that with Catalog Sales, you take orders for a product then fulfil the orders when the product comes in. With Direct Sales, you have the product with you and sell it in real time.

PROS & CONS
Catalog Sales PROS:
  • Many catalog sale fundraisers also offer a way for shoppers to make their purchases online which is great for kids who have friends and family out-of-town or who prefer to buy with a credit card.
  • There are no up-front charges.

Catalog Sales CONS:
  • There are often shipping charges and/or sales taxes.
  • You will likely have to sort all the orders. The merchant will send a bulk shipment that must be sorted for each seller.
  • Parents or players will have to deliver the product.

Direct Sales PROS:
  • Once the sale is made, you do not have to return to deliver the product.
  • There are no orders to submit or sort.

Direct Sales CONS:
  • You must pay for the product up-front.
  • You will be responsible for any damaged product.
  • You may not be able to return any unsold product.

How to run a successful fundraiser for your team and maximize profit.


SELECTING THE RIGHT FUNDRAISER
Chose one with at least 50% profit. Most sales fundraisers pay 35%-55% of your total sales. Find one that pays at least 50% (there are plenty out there – you just have to look for them). The only exception I make to my “50%” rule is if the items we’re selling have good brand recognition (therefore will sell better) or if the average sale will be over $25.

Fundraisers I have successfully used in the past:
Coffee Beanery
Krispy Kreme
Magic Melts
Otis Spunkmeyer 
Rada Cutlery 
Sanders Collection Sheets 
Spirit Cups
World’s Finest Chocolate
Yankee Candle

RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISER
  • Run the fundraiser for two weeks max. Set a firm ending date and stick to it. Running a short fundraiser A) ensures excitement and energy stay high B) creates a sense of urgency for the sellers and C) encourages buyers when they know they will get the product quickly. 
  • Be sure the person running the fundraiser is organized and communicates clearly. 
  • Use social media to advertise your fundraiser. Create an image with the fundraiser details for your parents to post on Facebook (especially in neighborhood groups and on the team’s page) and share on Instagram and Twitter.

GIVE CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS
Type up a letter or email with the following information:
  • Due Date
  • Who to make checks payable to (if applicable)
  • Whether or not to charge sales tax - if so, how much?
  • Who to submit orders to
  • How you want the orders submitted (ex: tally all columns, place money in a sealed envelope, etc.)
  • How, where and when product will be distributed (when dealing with cookie dough or candles, this can be crucial in the hot summertime as you will need parents to get the product ASAP)

Here is an excerpt from the letter I typically use (dates and names removed). Some of this may seem excessive or obvious but when you have to tally up and account for every order and half the people didn't bother to add anything up (so you have to) or they just shoved a bunch of loose checks, cash and coins in with their order form (so you have to account for and count it yourself), it can make for a long, frustrating night. Feel free to copy/paste and make it work for your fundraiser ;)
Be sure to note the following:
  • All orders due NO LATER THAN _____________.
  • Each seller is to turn in their brochure packet (with white order form and money envelope) to _____________.
  • All checks should be made payable to _____________.
  • We do NOT have to charge sales tax.
  • So long as we sell 350 units as a group, shipping will be free. If we fail to sell 350 units, shipping charges will be prorated and subtracted from each seller’s profit.
Filling out your order forms:
  • Each seller is to clearly print the following on their order for A) Child’s first and name and B) Parent’s phone number
  • All entries must be legible. You must review your customer’s orders for legibility and redo if illegible.
  • All totals must be completed at the right and bottom of the order form or your order will not be submitted.
Submitting your Brochure Packets
  • Enclose your properly completed order form.
  • Enclose a separate sealed envelope with all money collected. Write the total dollar amount enclosed on the front of the envelope.
  • Clearly print the requested information on the packet.
  • Retain the yellow copy of the order forms and your catalog for your own reference for order delivery.
Delivery:
  • Orders ship 2-4 weeks after all orders have been entered (delivery likely to be the week of _____________.
  • You must pick up or arrange for someone to pick up the items when they arrive as they are refrigerated. _____________ is not responsible for any items not picked up on the delivery day.
Profit: You will earn 50% of all sales less any applicable shipping fees.

How to run a successful fundraiser for your team and maximize profit.

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