Fundraising events usually take a break around holidays. The competition for time in everyone's lives doesn't usually make it worthwhile to schedule a fundraiser. That is except for Valentines Day.
A big hit in school for Cupids day is computer matchmaking for the students. It combines mystery with the possibility of romance. This can be done in high schools or small colleges. It can also work with other groups, like youth groups, if they are big enough. You must have permission from the administration for this event.
The typical matchmaking event requires the organizers to sell questionnaire forms to students for $1 to $2 (some pass out questionnaires to everyone and make students pay for individual results). These questionnaires will have from 15 to 35 questions on them that the computer will use to determine who is the best potential love interest for each participating student. Some answer sheets will print out the 15 best and 15 worst matches along with the most compatible staff member and friend.
Some matchmaking program suppliers sell software so the organizers can run the program themselves. Other suppliers furnish questionnaires and do the computer work themselves, returning the results in about two weeks. Some companies supply posters to help raise the level of interest in the event. Some suppliers can tailor the software for recent events or issues relevant to your school to increase participation.
Make sure to evaluate each program extensively before you commit to one. To have a matchmaking event this Valentines Day you will have to move rapidly.
Flowers For School Fundraisers
What woman can resist flowers - or man. In this day and age it's the woman who is doing the buying as often as the man.
The flower fundraiser works great for schools. Get permission from your school administration first. Then contact a local florist and discus price and availability of flowers. Carnations are often used because of their abundance at a reasonable price. Think about other colors in addition to red and pink. White is a good neutral color. Make sure your florist gives you a cut off date for your order (most likely will be about a week before February 14). Make sure you buy extra flowers for last minute impulse buyers (but not too many, you don't want to eat up your profits with unsold flower).
Advertise the flower event starting on a day at the end of January. This year a good day to start is January 29, which is a Wednesday. This gives your group a week and one half to pre-sell. Make posters to put around the school. Ask permission to make announcements on your school PA system. Plan ahead for an ad in your school newspaper.
A good selling price is one carnation for $1 or 6 carnations for $5. Sell one dozen for $10. Think about charging for delivering the carnations and a card or message to someone in school (clear this ahead of time and don't interrupt classes unless you have permission). Offer carnations before school and at lunch on Valentines Day for impulse buyers. After the lunch hour when you have sold to the last of the impulse buyers, give your leftover flowers to the administration officials who helped you out. This will guarantee permission for an event next year.
Flowers For Other Groups
Flower sales also have great potential for other groups. They can be sold to members of the group or they can be sold to the public.
Decide what kinds of flowers you want to sell. Roses by the dozen or singlely are the traditional favorite. Carnations by the bunch are also great. Think about other colors in addition to red and pink. White is a good neutral color. Make sure your florist gives you a cut off date for your order (most likely will be about a week before February 14). Do not buy extra flowers for impulse buyers.
When selling to the public, advertise the flower event starting on a day at the end of January. This year a good day to start is January 27, which is a Monday. This gives your group two weeks to pre-sell. Try and advertise to concentrated groups of people. An office building may let your non profit distribute leaflets to it's workers and post a flyer on the employee bulletin board. Another non profit may let you talk to their group. Post notices at the mall and Laundromat. Be creative.
When selling to your own group you will have to advertise at the last meeting before Valentines Day. It that is too far in advance or too close to Valentines Day to be effective you and a group of volunteers may have to call the members individually or mail to them.
Price your flowers competitively with local florists. Try and sell below their retail price but not too far. Remember, everyone buys their significant other something for Valentines Day. Give them a good reason to make it your group's flowers.
Valentines Day gifts can be a whole lot more than just flowers. Of course candy is always a favorite. Chocolates, cinnamon hearts, suckers and lollipops, gourmet coffee and mixed nuts all make excellent products for your group to sell. Like the flowers above, you can sell to the public, your fellow school students or to the members of your own nonprofit group.
Other favorite gifts to sell are teddy bears, bath soaps, health and beauty products, personalized T-shirts, plants, personalized trading cards and custom temporary tattoos.
Valentine Coupon Books
"Personal Valentine" Coupon Books:
These are coupon books that hold coupons for personal services and gifts from the giver. Individual coupons can be for anything from "I'll be your personal servant for the day" to "One TV free day from the giver". Other favorites are, "Take me out to dinner", "You do the dishes", "Take the kids and go to the movies, Now!" and "Responsibility Free Day". Books can be tailored to all kinds of themes. A very popular theme is the "Adult Valentines Gift Theme". These can be can be as tame or a racy as your group can handle.
These coupon books can be very simple or elaborate. They may be composed in a computer program, printed on the computer printer and assembled and stapler bound by your group. Your local printer can also handle the whole thing or parts of it for very professional looking books. Depending on who your selling to and how expensive the books were to produce, they may sell from anywhere from $1 to $5,
"Romantic Nights Out" Coupon Book
This type of coupon book holds coupons for reduced priced meals and entertainment. From champagne dinners to Sunday brunch. Comedy shows to the theater. Carriage rides to roller coaster rides. A night at the local hotel to a weekend at a country bed and breakfast.
Your group will have to contact the potential businesses in your geographical area and arrange for their services. Match your coupon businesses to your targeted buyers. This coupon book will have to be professionally printed and bound.
Last year Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the Leukemia Society of America raised $10,000 selling this kind of coupon book for $1 apiece. Each book held 7 discount coupons from one restaurant. This year they have two restaurant and hope to raise $40,000.
"Make Over" Coupon Book
These coupons can be from one establishment or can combine several businesses. Discounts can be for total "make overs", to a simple hair cut. Getting your nails done to a body massage. Facials to pedicures. Fashion and cosmetic make overs are popular to. Glamour photography is very hot right now. Tanning salons and health spas are other possibilities.
As in the previous coupon book, your group will have to contact the potential businesses in your geographical area and arrange for their services. Match your coupon businesses to your targeted buyers. This coupon book will have to be professionally printed and bound.
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