Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Varsity Gold Discount Cards and Cookie Dough School Fundraisers
I posted previously about the Bankruptcy of Varsity Gold. In our little fundraising community it was pretty big news. In reality, Varsity Gold was probably the nations number one fundraising company and they have a number of past customers that now have to look elsewhere for their school and group fundraisers.
It's been over a year since my previous post and schools are still searching for Varsity Gold Fundraisers online. They are looking for the Varsity Gold fundraising discount cards as well as frozen cookie dough fundraisers they were known for.
Alas, they cannot be found.
The bankruptcy of the company did not provide an opportunity to re-establish or otherwise save the brand. Former employees dispersed into different lines of work or began to represent other fundraisers.
Of course, I am a bit torn. Varsity Gold was a very successful competitor in a way. We did offer some of the same fundraisers but the majority of their business was discount cards which we don't offer. They were a considerably larger company than us.
The thing is, they sold a lot of frozen cookie dough which we continue to offer - see frozen cookie dough fundraisers for more info. Point is, they were very successful and it was a shame to see something that worked fail for reasons not related to the actual fundraisers they offered.
Also, they had a number of fundraising representatives that were out of work as a result. These hard-working folks were left holding the bag in many instances for fundraisers that were underway and I am sure many left the business as a result. This resonates with me because I run a company here and find that fundraising representatives are a hard-working group of people that put the needs of the schools they work for first.
There are alternatives
So, what are schools doing searching for them more than a year later? Chances are, they are looking to do a fundraiser with Varsity Gold and now need alternatives.
With respect to the discount cards, it's not clear if there is an obvious runner up. There are no names in the industry that are close to as dialed in as them as far as I know. I will post any fundraising discount card company with a solid reputation here if you comment me. What I do know is that most fundraising companies are offering groups the option of creating their own card and acting as more of a printing company to create cards that look legitimate. This can be done obviously without a fundraising company if you are doing all the work yourself by finding a printer who will make short-run cards available to you.
Regarding cookie dough, you can do your due diligence as far as who to use. There are good companies out there. I would recommend you use a company that offers a cumulative prize program. Companies that offer free product or nothing at all often lose sales and participation as a result.
My company, Believe Kids offers frozen cookie dough fundraisers along with a slew of tools, incentives and freebies which create high participation but there are others. Regardless of who you use, compare apples to apples. Things like how many prizes students get at different prize levels, if billing happens to the case or to the piece, if there is free shipping and what extras are offered are all important.
If you compare apples-to-apples you win!
If you can find out how one company performs vs. another company, you have all the proof you need and they should tell you their sales averages and what they would expect you will raise or they are hiding something.
Thanks for taking a look at my article here and if you offer services that Varsity Gold previously offered or you have a need that Varsity Gold Fundraising used to offer you and want to air it out, please leave a comment for me below!