This post will give you some general information about donating a raffle item for a fundraiser put on by a non-profit organization, church, or school. Information about a raffle drawing you can do at your table or booth during a vendor fair will be available in another post.
Donating items for a fundraiser is a great way to get exposure and expand your client list, if done the right way. There are 3 important things to consider:
Include plenty of marking materials with your donation.
Always have a call to action.
Never give away something without getting anything in return (like a contact email).
When I am asked to donate an item for a fundraiser, I will usually put together a basket. First, I ask what the fundraiser is for and what the monetary value minimum is, if any. Sometimes they have no minimum and tell you to just dontae whatever you can. Secondly, I ask details about the fundraiser. Is it an auction, silent auction, a random ticket drawing in which the winner does not get to choose which item they want, or a raffle drawing in which the ticket purchasers get to choose which items they want to enter in to win? Usually the fundraiser will fall into one of these categories, but there are others.
When asked to donate a Miche raffle item, I will put together a "basket" consisting of a base with one shell, along with a gift certificate to get a second shell at half off when they sign up for my newsletter, or free if they book a party. For my downline, I sometimes recommend giving away just the shell or base, with a gift card to get the other at half off or free if they sign up for her newsletter, or offer the base as the prize and include a gift card for TWO free shells once they book and hold a party. I try to keep my team members--especially when just starting out--from giving too much away unless they are getting something in return, like an email address. the more successful you become, the more you can afford to give away. And giving to charity is always a good practice, especially when you have been blessed with a successful business!
If you don't want to give away product, or don't have product to give away, you can just offer a gift certificate in a decorated envelope. Gift certificates also work best when you don't know what to give or you don't know the demographics of your audience (mostly men? senior citizens? children?). If your company doesn't offer gift certificates you create your own. Below is a gift certificate I created yesterday for a customer who's husband wanted to get her a gift cert for Valentine's day. I made it using Microsoft Word.
You can offer a flat monetary amount like $10 or $25, or offer an "amount off", like $20 off any purchase over $50. Miche offers bundle packages starting at $47.95. I suggest to my team that they offer something like $20 off any Starter Bundle or $40 off a Prima Starter Bundle. When you know you may get a little of it back, you can be a little more generous with your donation. You could add to it and offer perks, like $20 off any Starter Bundle PLUS a free Purse Charm with the purchase of an additional shell. This usually works better at vendor events than fundraisers. With a fundraiser, the focus should be on the cause or charity. You know the money is going to help out a worthy cause, whether or not you are able to generate a lead. At vendor shows, however, the focus should be on capturing the lead. More about that will be discussed in an upcoming post.
Another fundraising option you can offer is an online party. I am currently running a fundraiser online for a good friend of mine who has been nominated for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Man of the Year. His son, RJ, was diagnosed with Leukemia and he is heading up a campaign to raise $50,000 for LLS. I have an open party on my Miche web site called Team RJ Fundraiser. I have offered to donate 100% of my commission from the sales of this party to my friend's campaign. I also plan to use the hostess credits to purchase a Hope Collection bundle that I will raffle off to raise additional money that I will also be donating. When running an online fundraiser, be sure to include all the details in your monthly newsletter and through your social media outlets.
Whatever you offer, make sure you leave a call to action (sign up for my newsletter, host a party, etc.) and a reason for them to come back to YOU (gift certificate redeemable only through you or your web site). The last thing you want to do is give away something free and then have them never come back, or worse, go to someone else for more product. Make sure you package your donation (whether basket or envelope) with plenty of marketing materials--your catalog, hostess brochure, recruiting brochure, and your business card. And definitely make sure ALL your marketing materials are labeled with your current contact information.
It might be a good idea to ask the fundraiser coordinator how they will be marketing the event, how long it will run (like in a school newspaper), or if it will be a one or two day event at a physical location, and if so, how many people they are expecting to attend. Is it an annual event? How many people attended last year? If you can include your contact information in THEIR marketing materials do it. Often times they will only offer this option to those who donate higher valued items or make cash donations, but you should always ask. If it's worth it to you, given the answers to the questions at the beginning of this paragraph, you may want to consider donating more.
Finally, be sure to get the organization's federal tax ID number so you can track it in your records as a donation. You will need this information in order to write this off as a donation at tax time. Often times you can have someone in the organization give you a letter thanking you for the donation that includes the donation amount or value and the organization's tax ID number.
For more information about Team RJ and why I am raising money for LLS, visit http://pages.lightthenight.org/sac/Sacra11/TeamRJ
For more information about my Miche business, visit www.CoolestPurseEVER.com.