Fundraising has gone through many changes over the years and in particular has evolved greatly as technology has allowed the Internet to be the vehicle through which millions of people are reached. Regardless of how the masses are reached, the selection of the fundraising product remains vital to the success of the program.
Choosing a product that can be accurately used for online fundraising is not difficult. The main aspect is choosing one that potential customers will accept as a top quality product without having put their hands on it or seen it in person.
One way to find products that will be successful in an online fundraiser is to read customer reviews and try to contact actual organizations that have used the product.
Another bar by which to measure how well a product will do online is to investigate their web presence. If the company has a website that allows orders to be placed through it either by the team leader or by the team leader and individual customers then the chances are pretty high that it is more reputable than other companies who do not.
Successful fundraising products are products that provide the customer with something they use, not something they purchase just for the sake of donating to the fundraiser. A good example of this is pasta product fundraisers like Fun pasta. Because the majority of homes have pasta in one form or another, customers don't mind purchasing this from fundraising groups.
The product must also provide value. This basically means it should not be so overly priced as to be a gimmick for raising money. For example, coupon book fundraisers and discount card fundraisers are value added products; the customer will ultimately save more money than the cost of the product.
Fundraising products vary greatly from company to company. There are edible products that range from chocolates and candy to staples like pasta and fruit. These can be catalog sales or point-of-sale and are great fundraising ideas.
Other fundraising products include gift-wrap, novelty items, coupon books and discount cards. Discount cards and coupon books typically do well while gift-wrap and novelty items should be seasonally used to coincide with a gift-giving season such as Mother's Day or Christmas.
Ultimately it will be up to group leaders to determine the product that they will use to raise funds. If they are attempting to fundraise electronically they may be more limited in their choices but will still be able to create a successful campaign.
There are many ways to use the Internet to have an online fundraiser no matter which product is chosen. The first and perhaps easiest is through the use of e-mail and an email blast that will alert recipients to the fundraising project.
These emails can contain links to the product's website if there is one as well as electronic versions of catalogs and order forms.
More advanced online fundraising can be done by setting up a website that features the product being sold and also information pertaining to the organization that is holding the fundraiser.
There are some fundraising products that offer a website with their fundraising project packages. These are customizable, short forms of the products website where visitors can learn about the product and the fundraiser as well as place their orders online. Fun Pasta is one such fundraising company that offers an online presence to the fundraising organization.
Fundraising products are as varied as the many different organizations that use them. The ultimate goal of the fundraiser is to raise enough money to meet its needs.