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Troubleshooting a Fundraiser!
Why you Need A Professional

by the AFRDS

When choosing a professional fundraising company, it's important to look for someone with a successful track record offering quality products and useful services at a fair price. The fundraiser should be familiar with your school and extended school community and come with excellent references. Hiring a pro is your best choice for a successful, headache-free fundraising program.

However, with any important undertaking, snags can and will occur during the course of a fundraising project. And that's when you can truly appreciate a professional fundraising representative and a company that stands behind them. Here are some real life examples to illustrate:

After a successful pizza sale, a California elementary school working with a trusted fundraising company had scheduled product delivery early in the afternoon so that children leaving on school buses would have time to pick up their orders before going home. Unfortunately, the truck was late and parents had to come back to the school later in the evening to pick up their orders. But, according to the school's principal, "we were working with a great fundraising rep who jumped right in," donating 10 pizzas and preparing them for busy families to snack on as they arrived at the school.

A parent in Washington recalls the time a teacher forgot to turn in $150 worth of order forms from her class. "She discovered her mistake on the day of delivery after everyone else had received their orders. Our fundraising rep had the order to us in a day."

A new Florida school with 1,400 students and a loosely organized group of well-meaning, though inexperienced, parent volunteers learned a lot from their fundraising rep. Reports the school principal: "He showed personal interest in our success. He showed us everything we needed to know and he sweated right along with us. It was one of the most successful fundraising programs I've ever had the pleasure to watch."

A printer's error in Texas led to a series of goodwill gestures between a school, their fundraising company and that company's supplier. A brochure mistakenly offered a $5 item for $4. The accompanying envelope correctly listed the item at $5. Rather than jeopardize future relationships, the fundraising company honored the lower price listed in the brochure but awarded profits that the school would have received at the higher listed price. When the supplier learned of the embarrassing misprint, they offered to adjust the fundraising company's invoice. No hard feelings. Everyone wins.

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About the Author:

This article is from the Fall 1997 issue of the Fundraising Edge, an online publication of the Association of Fund Raisers and Direct Sellers and is reprinted with permission. Visit their web site at for more information and a look at the complete issues of the Fundraising Edge.

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