My suggestion is to promote two different strategies to an organization: selling inside and selling outside. Inside campaigns focus on folks affiliated with the organization; outside campaigns target those not directly affiliated with the organization.
Selling inside the organization is a much simpler approach but limits the number of potential customers. Create an exciting design using a graphic, team photo, church or school picture, custom text, or whatever makes an impact. Next, select a list of appropriate products and imprint them with your design. Present your products to the organization and have them select one or more to offer during the campaign. Once chosen, the selected products can be made available for placing orders and collecting money. A sales flier to hand out as well as an e-mail helps promote the fundraiser. I see at least three choices regarding product strategies:
- Offer a single product like a license plate.
- Offer multiple product choices such as a bag tag, hoodie, or floor mat (with three different price points).
- Offer product bundles such as a lapel pin, keychain, or coffee mug.
A soccer team, for example, could be offered a $39 product bundle consisting of a license plate or frame, round light switch plate cover, and a round keychain. The organization’s cost of $27 (30% discount) gives the organization a profit of $12 and you a profit of $18 (assuming your cost of about $9, which includes the product, freight, paper, and ink). There are many great product ideas for selling inside an organization.
When selling outside the organization, I recommend using the customer’s digital photograph as the artwork. The process would begin by setting up/defining a campaign. Put together basic information such as the organization name, products to be offered, and customer codes.
Provide the organization a packet that illustrates examples of the product choices and a letter detailing instructions on how the customer can send the digital photograph to you. The organization then sells the packets and collects the money in advance. The customer redeems the packet by visiting your website, entering their unique code, and uploading the image. You visit the website to collect the images and information. You then sublimate the digital photo onto the selected product and return it to the organization for distribution to the customers. That’s it.
The organization should be expected to pay for all packets not returned, and an expiration date should be established as a deadline for uploading an image. Like many gift cards and rebates, a percentage of donors never redeem their packets.