Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The fall fundraising season showed some trends

The fall 2007 fundraising season is almost history. We have one
program to deliver and that happens tomorrow. Now it's just collect
the accounts and pay the bills, plus do any adjustments and order
corrections that are needed.

Some trends started to appear or become clearer this fall. Sales of
gift items, candles, cards, wrapping paper and other "hard goods"
have continued to decline, as people have less disposable income. On
the other hand, sales of frozen food items continue to increase, with
strong sales in pizza, cookie dough, and desserts.

A disturbing trend is that every organization is doing more and more
fundraisers with less and less return on each one, mostly caused by
market saturation. The traditional advice "do one big fundraiser and
maximize your profit on it" is still true, but more and more
organizations are not following that plan. The result is parent and
community burnout.

Product sales continue to be the strongest source of funds for
schools, sports leagues, daycares, and youth organizations. Some
organizations, however are going into projects in a way that
guarantees defeat. The organizers believe strongly in the cause, so
expect every member of the organization to believe in the cause,
which will never happen. Promotion, prizes, and incentives are
necessary. Enthusiasm created by kick-off pep rallies is essential
to success. Over emphasis on time-on-task in schools has caused many
organizations to eliminate the incentives and pep rallies, resulting
in decreased sales, resulting in more projects, resulting in
community and parent burnout.

The recipe for success is still... do one project, do it well,
promote it heavily, thank everyone, and give everyone a rest until
next year.