I get this question ever so often, what are the best fundraising items. Fundraising is just another form of selling so it really just depends on what your market will bear. With that being said, there are some fundraising items that do better than others because of profit and ability to produce recognition for the campaign. For example, some people have great experiences selling generic signs. Signs may not be the best fundraising item unless the sign can adequately promote the campaign in which you are selling, think of the signs that some put in their front yard proudly displaying that their kid is in a football program. Here we will explore some of the best small fundraising items and a general idea of what you can expect with them.
Let’s just go ahead and get the obvious out of the way, t-shirts. Many will buy a t-shirt, some will even wear it. T-shirts are usually the most profitable, the problem is that you must buy enough of them for it to pay off big time. If you are doing a smaller run, less than 30, you will spend more in time, but it’s all for a good cause, right?
Bags, Caps and Other Apparel
Sort of like a tshirt, but not. Where you might sell a family a set of shirts, the same family might only purchase one or two bags. They are typically not as big of sellers as shirts; however, bags do not have the same size restrictions as shirts either. You can get bags as add ons to a shirt order and not have to worry as much about the odd sizes out.
I have been to events where caps would have been the best “HOT” item. However, most of the time, while caps are useful, they only appeal to a portion of the population. Caps are typically more expensive which requires more cash upfront. If you are hosting a large event, caps are still going to move, just make sure you are not too heavily invested in this being a great mover or profit turner.
This is another item that everyone “could” potentially use, well, utilize. At less than $7, it promotes the cause and has great return. However, unless the person is immediately tied to the cause, they might be less likely to purchase a decal.
Some people call them k**zies, but we do not unless we are specifically using the k**zie brand. (The ** do not indicate anything profane, just an acknowledgement to the brand.) The great thing about can wraps is that you can buy a bundle at a low price. Given the right market, you can ask $5 or more for a decorated can wrap, especially if you are doing this during a BBQ where others immediately want to show off their support of your endeavor. These should be a hit with the participants!
Keychains/ Coasters/ Tchotchkes
Key chains and other tchotchkes come in several different forms. Either way, they can usually be made fast, are rather inexpensive and appeal to a good group of individuals.
Towels come in many different forms depending on the market. Rally towels and golf towels could be popular at sporting events. Dish and hand towels are an easy everyday item. These are like caps in that it is not something everyone uses, so profitability is could be risky.
All of these items may require some design time. You might have even volunteered yourself to design something for the group. Do not underestimate the design effort, especially when volunteering for it. Design can take an incredible amount of time. This can be compounded by those that are just not familiar with design a therefore cannot communicate their desires, or those that cannot decide or even worse, those that are making a decision by committee. Committee decisions are the worst as everyone comes to the table with a slightly different idea of what they might want.