Elementary School Carnival Ideas

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fundraising Profit Percentage - How Important is Profit Percentage?

How important is your school fundraiser profit percentage?  

Probably pretty important right?

You can gauge your fundraising on any metrics you want.  You can decide if your fundraiser was a success based on any reality you choose.  Ultimately, you have the freedom to gauge it by how it feels, how easy it was or even how you think parents liked it.

Plenty of fundraisers are gauged by emotional metrics.  There's nothing wrong with that necessarily because how people feel is paramount.  In fact, at the heart of today's marketing successes you find many companies that put the customer at the center.  It is right to wonder how their experience with your fundraiser was.

But, there's just one more element to fundraising that we need to get out of the way.  The business end.  We really need to look critically at the profit itself generated from the fundraiser.  If you gauge the fundraiser success on just the feeling of it, you may be missing the point. 

School fundraising today is a balance where the challenge is to fundraise LESS but MORE EFFECTIVELY.  In that vein, paying closer attention to the profit from the individual fundraisers is perhaps the first consideration we should make.

Consider this, some schools ask for a donation at the beginning of the year for as much as $375 per family.  If they are persistent enough, they will get it.  So... if you make a persistent effort at one main fundraiser, you too can reach your goals.  Having said that, knowing what fundraisers work and what don't is going to matter in a big way.

Fundraiser Profit Percentage

If you look at the numbers, fundraisers that work and what doesn't will become apparent.  Just know, there is a huge difference from one fundraiser to another and one school year to another.  The challenge is to agree that one main fundraiser should raise a significant amount of those dollars. 

Then the percentage comes into play.  All other things being equal, given a concerted effort, a higher profit percentage will lead to a higher return.  Naturally, you'll want to go for the higher profit percentage.

But if things are not equal, you have to run the numbers.  A higher percentage of nothing is still nothing.  Yep, bear with me.  If you can't sell something, your profit percentage doesn't matter.

Again, the idea of balance comes into play.  You can maximize your returns if you find a product or service that has a high profit percentage and also a product that is in demand enough to sell. 

If you've read this far, you deserve a secret.

You can ask any fundraising company for their average dollars raised per participating seller (in your area) and then multiply that by the number of sellers you have.  This provides a better idea of where you'll stand when all is said and done.

As if this post weren't long enough, I'll leave you with just one more sentiment.  Sometimes taking a slightly lower profit percentage will lead to a better outcome!  Sounds a bit counter-intuitive but consider this.  A frozen cookie dough elementary school fundraiser at 40% profit including a prize program and a bunch of extras will outsell a candy bar sale at 50% by literally thousands and thousands of dollars.  So, it's not a bash on candy bars, it's just that gaining 10% of what could amount to 50% less sales (or whatever number you want to insert) isn't going to make financial sense.

Hope you find this illuminating.  Feel free to share or comment either below or on twitter.

Ok, until next time!


frozen cookie dough fundraiser

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