Monday, June 25, 2012
How Much Do Schools Get for Profit from the Fundraiser?
Every fall during fundraising season, several customers email me asking how much profit the school gets from the school fundraiser. It's an interesting one because the question itself has meaning beyond it's original meaning.
People are looking for something more than just a percentage.
The question itself implies that the consumer is looking to find fault in what we do or to discredit it in some way. It implies that the schools would be better off without a cut going to the fundraising company. What they need is the confidence to purchase knowing that they are not being taken. In a way it all makes sense.
There are two reasons for this in my opinion.
The first is a down and dirty resistance to charitable giving. More precisely, it's a response to being asked for something someone really didn't set out to do on their own. It makes someone want to gain control back. I hope I don't offend anyone by saying this but this is most commonly expressed in comments like... 'I'd rather give directly to the school'. The key there is the 'I'd rather'. It would seem that giving through the fundraiser or giving direct are the choices when really, there is no choice. People are always able to give directly so the question is really just to support the fundraiser at hand or not.
Which brings me to the second reason. There has to be a valuable exchange in which the school benefits and the fundraising company does not. The fundraising company is very likely viewed as the bad guy - the necessary evil and they should not gain. Why this is, I am not sure. The fact is, people don't get all that bent out of shape with typical retail where companies profits are their own and they don't give the majority of their income away.
What most people forget is that school fundraising isn't a matter of 50 cents on the dollar going to the school. There are product costs and shipping and prizes and promotions and consulting and marketing materials and catalogs and order forms and websites and warehousing and a bunch of other stuff involved. There is consistency and security and trust too.
Schools get a lot of benefits from using good fundraising companies.
Ok, until next time...