Have you ever been asked to organize a fundraising campaign? Where would you even start? What will you sell? How will you sell it? How much will be donated to your charity or organization? The questions may be quite overwhelming at first, but hopefully this article will help you simplify the process, and show you how easy it can be to set-up and run a campaign. First, we need to think about what you would like to sell/advertise, and what your goals are for raising money. Are you wanting to raise enormous funds for a political campaign, or a smaller focus such as $3,000 towards a cause near to your heart? Either way, did you realize that there are websites out there that actually figure this all out for you? One popular example of this is the www.gofundme.com website. This can be commonly seen on Facebook when pets are injured and the owners are trying to raise funds in a short time-frame.
For simplicity, here’s an example of how you can use a website tool to set-up and run a campaign from start to finish. I’m going to focus on the concept that we’d like to sell clothing to raise money for a local charity.
One of my favorite tools for driving such a fundraiser is a website called www.bonfirefunds.com. Have any of you used or heard of this site? This is a website that allows you to sell clothing items for profit. You are allowed to either choose art from the site’s own database, or upload your own personal designs. If you stay within their guidelines (minimal colors- up to 8), you are able to create and upload your unique design to a variety of clothing items such as fashionable t-shirts, hoodies, etc. You can even include text to further emphasize your brand.
Once you’ve uploaded your design, you can play around with the calculator tool. This allows you to see how much your profit will go up when your sales increase.
Drawbacks to the site? There aren’t many based on my experience, but I would say the biggest is that you need a minimum order of 20 pieces of clothing for actual production. If you have a large group to target, and your prices are reasonable, then this should be a non-issue.
I mentioned the fact that prices need to be appealing. Does that mean you are able to fix your prices? You sure can on this site. This particular company sets the price for each article of clothing based on simplicity of your design and article type. If you print to only one side or have minimal colors, your cost goes down. Obviously, this is beneficial if you want to get the most out of your fundraiser. If a more detailed design is required, or lettering on both sides, your cost will go up per article of clothing, and profits will, in concept, decrease. Not to fear, this only means that you will need to sell more!
I also mentioned the need to advertise. How are you able to advertise this campaign and what other elements are required for set-up? This site will generate a link that allows you to advertise on any social media platform. You could post on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, etc. Where there is a social media avenue, there is a way to advertise. The site allows you to add the following items to make your campaign look appealing and professional:
- Campaign name/title - Be creative as this will draw attention from your followers
- Designated charity
- Fund description - This can be as detailed and as much information as you’d like that will allow you to sell your items
- Links to YouTube for video upload
- Links to Facebook to display charity pages
- Personal images. Do you have a story to tell? Share your images.
The site is very credible and you are asked to pay for your items via Paypal or a major credit card source such as Visa or MasterCard. Administrators to the site are notified when orders are placed and are constantly updated on how profits are increasing with sales orders. If the issue occurs that the minimum order is not met of 20 items, then the customer is not charged and all participants are notified.
How do you know how long to run a campaign? This is totally your call and is required for entry in the initial set-up. One can run a campaign for up to 21 days and there is no cost for running the campaign the full 21 days. There must be a catch, right? Maybe it’s the shipping costs?
This site is even awesome with their shipping capabilities! They use a flat rate of $5.00 per order, inside of the U.S., and $11.00 for International orders, and there is no limit to how many clothing items can be ordered to receive those rates. Order one or one hundred, and you still only pay $5.00. Orders are also shipped directly to the customer, so no need to worry about inventory or deliveries.
This is just a brief illustration of how websites such as www.bonfirefunds.com and www.gofundme.com can be fabulous tools, with minimal set-up, to kick-off a campaign and rack up the profits for your organization. If you know of others, we’d love to hear your feedback! Feel free to also share your campaign success stories.