Deciding when to start your fundraiser is a very important factor in how successful your fundraiser will be. Choosing the right start and end date does matter! Please take a few minutes to review the information below. It's a small investiment of time that can reward you with you with not only more money earned for your organiztion but also a better experience.
Spring Fundraisers - Be the first organization to start a spring fundraiser. For higher participation and higher sales, beat the PTA/PTO fundraisers, spring sports fundraisers, spring trip fundraisers, etc. February and March can be great months to sell with less competition and with tax returns, you can achieve higher sales. Also, by starting early, you can promote Easter and Mother's Day sales. Start early so you needn't worry about receiving your delivery before the end of a sports season, end of the school year, Mother's Day, etc. Most fundraisers should run for approximately 2 weeks. Be sure to close early enough to allow enough time for late orders to be accepted, for your orders to be entered, time it will take the company to process, pack, ship, and deliver your fundraising order. We also suggest taking a month break after the holidays before starting a fundraiser to allow your supporters time to catch up financially after holiday expenses. Also, some fundraising companies are still printing their spring brochures.
Why starting early in the fall season matters - For a fall fundraiser, the earlier in the fall you start the better your results will be! Organizations will achieve significantly higher sales when they start their fundraiser early September, followed by October, and then November. Why? It's because of competition and burnout. Beat the competition and the tremendous volume of fundraisers that are held in the fall. Families and customers are eager and willing to participate in their first fundraiser and quickly become less willing to ask friends and family to keep purchasing again as additional fundraisers are kicked-off by PTA/PTO fundraisers, club fundraisers, sports fundraisers, and other youth organizations. With each week closer to December, we see sales progressively decrease in participation and we see the average sales per seller decrease as well. Many organizations believe that waiting to start a fundraiser in November will bring in higher sales because people will shop for holiday items. But end results show overall sales are significantly less. Although you can certainly fundraise in November, here are some reasons to consider starting earlier:
Requesting Information – We highly suggest reviewing the information in your packet and then call us with questions, choose a fundraiser and let's get started asap, if possible. Additional information on our other programs can be found on our website, Best-Fundraising-Ideas.com. If due to scheduling, you can’t start a fundraiser until a later date that's okay! We recognize that not all groups can start early. It’s better to fundraise in November and raise money for your organization than it is to postpone your sale! The only time we do not recommend starting a fundraiser is in the month of December.
PS, And there’s more! Start in September, or as early as possible, while enthusiasm is at its peak and families are more willing to participate. You'll achieve higher participation and higher sales. Supporters are less willing to purchase later in the fall after they have already donated to other fundraisers and their holiday expenses are rising. And if they do purchase late fall, they will generally buy less.
Don’t risk brochures being out of stock or sold out - Don't miss out on your favorite fundraising brochure. Some programs do sell out and once the brochures are gone, it's too late for some programs. And sometimes companies end up needing to order more earlier in the season or experience printing delays, especially in October when a company discovers they need more brochures than what they had printed.
Consider how long each company takes for processing your order, packing, shipping - Some programs such as our candle fundraisers, if needed, can run through Thanksgiving for Christmas delivery. With that said, however, whenever a repeat organization runs their fundraiser earlier in subsequent years, they see a dramatic increase in sales. With candle fundraisers, participation and sales averages are always much higher the earlier they start in the fall season. Shipments for candle fundraisers can take just a few days in the early fall but later in Oct and Nov, plan on up to 5-10 business days, depending upon the volume of orders being processed. Other programs such as Otis Spunkmeyer and Heartland, there are early cut-off dates as soon as early Oct for Thanksgiving delivery and early Nov for Christmas delivery. Plus, if you want a faster turn-around to receive your shipment, orders that close in Sept will ship in about 3 weeks after the orders have been received but can take up to 6 weeks when placed in Oct and Nov. September is NOT too early to promote stocking up for holiday gift-giving. For fundraisers with our Winter Wonderland, Gourmet Goodness, and Happy Spring, the same holds true for higher participation and sales for Sept fundraisers and orders can be shipped sooner. With cut-off dates the end of Oct for Thanksgiving and around the 3rd week of Nov for Christmas delivery, we encourage starting in Sept followed by early Oct for these brochures as well. View our website for updated cut-off dates for each program. Plan on up to 3 weeks or so for the order to ship. For Snackin’ in the USA, allow 3 weeks for orders to ship following receipt of payment.
Plan enough time to deliver the items – Your fundraiser doesn't end on your closing date. Allow more time for distribution. Remember, although some programs can ship within a few days, others require 4-6 weeks to ship during the peak season in November when the largest volume of fundraisers are closing. Also, your participants need additional time to distribute items to their supporters. For any program, your orders will be packed and shipped sooner when closed earlier in the fall simply due to the lower volume of orders being packed and shipped. Also, you want to start your fundraiser early enough to give everyone the opportunity to receive and enjoy their holiday items! For supporters who do purchase holiday items, allow time for them to wrap and share their holiday gifts, to burn their holiday candles during the holidays, to share their food items at holiday parties, etc.
Shipping takes longer during the holiday season - Shipping, has always taken longer as the holidays approach, but has particularly been the case in the last several years. Start your fundraiser early to shorten how long your shipment will take, to lessen the risk of shipments being delayed or boxes being lost in transit, and to eliminate the stress of worrying about getting your delivery before Thanksgiving, before Christmas, or the end of a sports season or the start of a winter break. With frozen/refrigerated items, fundraising companies contract with common carriers that transport food with refrigerated trucks. But, in its journey, refrigeration is only running while a truck is in transit and is not available if the truck has no driver at the next stop. As the fall continues, sometimes there are increased risks for shipments needing to be delayed due to possible lack of trucks available, lack of drivers, and delays occurring due to volume. The company reserves the right to delay a shipment if they are aware of shipping issues. You can decrease these risks by starting your sale in September.
If you are locked into your selling dates - Call us and let's discuss your dates, the number of participants, what products you have interest in selling, how much time will be have to receive your order once it has been placed, etc., and we can offer suggestions on which programs may work best for your organization.