Choosing the right fundraising company is a critical step toward your program’s success.
In some areas, dozens of companies offer fundraising products and services. Though the competition may create certain advantages for the fundraising organizer, it also increases the need to completely evaluate a company before choosing a program. It is a good idea to pare the list of candidates down to two or three companies before scheduling appointments to allow ample time for thorough interviews.
A critical consideration when evaluating a company is service. Let the company explain what they will do to make your fundraiser a success and, importantly, make your job easier. Allow them to demonstrate their expertise and professionalism. To help you and the company determine whether or not your group requires a full-service program, know up front your financial goals. The company will also want to know the age and number of your volunteer force.
Armed with answers to the following questions, fundraising sponsors can make solid decisions for their group:
1. How long has the company been in business?
2. How many years of experience does the company representative have in fundraising?
3. Do they listen to your needs and are they easy to work with? If so, then they will help you later if problems arise.
4. Are the their products of high quality? If so, then your fundraiser will raise more with less hassle.
5. What is the percentage profit of sales? Although the percentage profit is important, there are many other factors that need to be considered (product quality, shipping included, time saving help).
6. What services are available to save you and your volunteer’s time and energy? Does the company provide checklists, collection envelopes, tally sheets and pre-sorting?
7. Are products paid for in advance or upon delivery? Will they work with you on a fair payment option?
8. Is there an incentive or prize program? If so, who pays for it?
9. How are products shipped and when? Who pays the freight?
10. What is the policy regarding damaged or unsold product? What about back orders?
11. Can the company provide references?
Article courtesy: The Fundraising Edge from The Association of Fund-Raising Distributors & Suppliers