An easy way to double your schoolprofits
The demand for online fundraisers continues to grow. Especially in the midst of a pandemic where social interaction is being restricted. Most brochure sales campaigns now include a webstore option. The process is easier and less invasive so many parents prefer it over in-person selling.
Many also feel it’s a safer alternative. Plus, having to sell to family and friends directly may not be all that enjoyable. Even if payback is in order.
Being able to promote 2 ways to raise money is always better than 1. Participants can show the brochure in person. But they can also go online as well by inviting people to an online product store. Many have reserved this option for out of town friends and family. But in 2020 at least, it may become the norm.
In 2018 online selling accounted for 25% or more of the gross sales for 40% of our schools. One school raised over 65% of their total sales online. They raised $12,633 online out of a total of $19,346.
Top performing schools always raise a significant amount online. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. 23% of our lowest performing schools in 2018 had zero online sales. Too many schools are still leaving money on the table.
We also found the type of group also was a factor. Most of the schools that also used the internet were elementary schools. The majority of those who didn’t tended to be smaller high school groups.
When we spoke with our sponsors about online fundraising, we found that they fall into one of 3 camps:
- Sold on Online Fundraisers. Sponsors in this category want to know how everything works. They understand the potential. Thus they usually have lots of questions. How do students register? When do customers receive their merchandise? Many of these types of sponsors would rather their students sold online only. In other words, they see the value.
- Selling Online is Optional. Some sponsors only offer the store as a courtesy, or supplement, to selling out of the brochure. They understand that some parents may prefer it.
- Face to Face Selling is Better. These sponsors believe that online selling is still too impersonal and less effective. They feel that person to person selling is still the best way to raise money. Others don’t want to take the time to learn about or promote it. These sponsors tended to be older.
It goes without saying. We’ve come a long way very fast. You’re showing your age if you can remember calling up grandma for an order. We’d have to describe the item and let her know how much it cost. Then she’d put a check in the mail. Fronting the money was the only option. Then you’d have to bring her items to her at Christmas.
Today’s technology is completely different. Although grandma may not be up to speed on how it works. Once students register, the online store makes selling much more convenient. Online selling is a viable complement to selling in person with a brochure. In fact, many groups are choosing to sell 100% online.
The hurdle used to be getting people to use it. Now, no one can live without it. The brochure can even show up on your phone. Simply tap the items you want to order and proceed to checkout.
Like many things offered online, it works for you in the background while you go on about your day. You can send out mass emails to friends and family and let technology work. Post your fundraiser on social media and reach a larger audience. And the convenience of texting your store link makes outreach a breeze
The online store allows your sellers to access those who don’t have physical access to your brochure. Most stores have a letter template that enters the seller’s name and email address.
Many groups still use a long-trusted dual strategy. Let your sellers approach people who live close by with the brochure. The online store brings extra sales from out of town family and friends. With the exponential advancement of technology, selling out of a brochure may soon be a thing of the past.