Compare the Top Fundraising Ideas
See how your current fundraiser compares to our online Read-a-thon program
Cookie Dough Fundraisers
Lots of PTA's and principals sell cookie dough as their main school fundraiser every year. In fact one of our other companies is one of the largest suppliers of fundraising cookie dough in the country. So, we know that the typical school will sell between $5,000 and $15,000 of cookie dough during a typical fundraiser. If the school makes 50% profit they will make half those amounts in profits. Many of the top cookie dough brands, though, offer on 40% profit which would further reduce the amount of money a school actually makes.
The biggest problem with cookie dough, though, is that you can only sell it to people who live close by. That in and of itself is very limiting. Grandparents who live in a different state aren't potential cookie dough customers because of where they live.
Now let's compare that to Read-a-thon. Last year, our average elementary school received more than $12,500 in profits. One repeat customer has set $80,000 as their goal for next year. As you can see, the potential is much higher with our program.
Unlike cookie dough, there are no geographical limitations with our program because you aren't delivering a physical product. Last year schools received donations from 10 different countries. It is very common for a student on the East Coast to receive donations from the opposite coast and vice versa. In fact, we even had a school in Guam that used our program and most of their donations were from people all over the United States.
So, when you compare Read-a-thon to cookie dough fundraising, you find that most groups raise more money and the pool of people that can support their fundraiser grows astronomically.
There are lots of companies still pushing magazine fundraisers, so let's compare that fundraising idea to our online Read-a-thon.
Years ago, magazine sales were soaring because the typical household received one or more magazine subscriptions. But that's no longer the case. Huge publications like Newsweek have failed and you would be hard pressed to find too many magazines with growing circulations. And, although the top magazine fundraising companies tout their prices as up to 90% off the newstand prices, very few people pay newstand prices anyway. The magazines themselves even compete with magazine fundraisers because they inundate subscribers with the best deals as expiration dates approach which really limits renewal sales.
While magazine sales falter, the focus on reading and education continues to grow. More people will support your child's participation in a reading event than will purchase a magazine. I would challenge any of you to identify an elementary school that raised $12,500 or more recently with a magazine fundraiser.
But, while we are comparing the two, let's take a quick look at one of the tools we offer that you won't get with a magazine fundraiser.
Magazines, like many other programs, are sold with brochures. Most schools hold a kick off and send their students home with the brochures. Two weeks later the students are supposed to turn in their orders. But you have no visibility into which students are participating and which aren't.
Our read-a-thon program provides real time reporting so you can see exactly who is participating and who isn't long before your fundraiser is done. We also provide actionable tools to increase participation every step of the way.
Gifts, Wrap, Jewelry and More
We've lumped these items together because they basically work the same way. A company puts together a catalog or brochure with a selection of overpriced imported items and then recruit your kids to become their sales people. They hope your kids will show friends and family the catalog and those people will buy some of the items.
People will certainly purchase these items. But think about it for a second. You're home and the doorbell rings. You look at the window and see an adult standing by your mail box and a child you barely know standing at your door with a fundraising brochure in their hand. Truthfully, don't you wish you had the courage to simply not answer the door? And, if you do answer, don't you look for the least expensive item and buy it out of guilt?
Is that really the best school fundraising idea for your school?
So why is our read-a-thon system better? First of all we help each reader identify the best potential sponsors. We walk them through a 10-step process that suggests who would make the best possible sponsor. Unlike the gift catalog, you can identify people that don't live anywhere near you. That's not the case with gift wrap. With the gift sale, you probably have to knock on doors. That dramatically reduces your customer base.
Our read-a-thon provides state-of-the-art tools to communicate with the sponsors you've targeted. We can grab email addresses from your contact lists. We provide email campaigns with compelling text asking for donations from people that know your child and want to help them become better readers. We also offer single click social media widgets and even provide custom flyers if you really want to know on doors for support.
We believe that time is better spent reading rather than peddling gifts door to door. What do you think?
Candy Bars and Lollipops
One of the most popular ways for sports groups and school groups to raise money has been by selling candy bars and lollipops. For years those products sold well. After all, who wouldn't give a kid a dollar for a candy bar or $.50 for a lollipop?
But then the government starting blaming childhood obesity on candy and other unhealthy foods and that kind of pulled the rug out from candy sales - especially on school campuses.
Even before school districts started banning those items, many schools came to the realization that you had to sell a bunch of candy or lollipops if you wanted to raise any serious amount of money. Those items work well if you want to raise a couple hundred dollars, but not if it's your main school fundraiser.
Comparing our program to candy bars is a little unfair because you'll make so much more money with less effort while focusing on reading instead of selling an item school districts are banning. But let's look at some numbers.
Once again the average school raised $12,500 using our program. And that was before we introduced some of the cool new tools we now offer. Instead of raising quarters our readers average donation is just under $30. In fact data shows that each student who gets at least one sponsor will average raising $90.07. Each child would have to sell a few hundred candy bars or lollipops to make that kind of money
So how much can you raise with a Read-a-thon? While we can't know how any readers you have we do have a fundraising calculator for you to see how much money your school can raise. Click here to check it out.