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9. Fundraising: Donated Products


 Selling products is easy and usually inexpensive to set up.  You can easily organize sales by asking people to donate things and then selling these items at a profit, but you need to make sure you can get a reasonable number of donations first. You will need a space to store donated items, volunteers to sort and sell items, and a place to sell the items.  Sales are a good way to generate fundraising money for a short-term project, although some groups have success in hosting regular sales that contribute plenty of money continuously.  One advantage of sales is that there are many types that your group can organize:

  • Gardening Sales: If your group has a green thumb or a green theme, you can sell seedlings, seeds, bulbs, or other items for people's gardens at an outside sale.  In many cases, volunteers can raise plants on their own or get plants donated from gardening centers or other people's gardens.  This is a popular sale theme in spring and early summer, when many people are starting to work on their gardens and are looking for plants.
  • Craft sales: If members of your group like creating crafts - knitting, sewing, wood crafting, then creating a craft sale to sell these items is often a good way fundraiser.  Craft sales tend to do especially well in tourist areas during the summer and in all locations before the holidays (when people are looking for gifts for others).  Many small craft items can be made quite quickly, and it is often best to try to make lots of smaller items for such a sale along with a few larger items (such as quilts). 
  • Children's Sales: Selling items specifically for children - such as toys or books. Children's clothes, and children's books - can be a good way to draw people and donors for a children or family-related non-profit.  These sales are often quite popular because many people like to buy things for their children without spending a lot of money.  In many cases, items can be donated by stores or donated by volunteers.  Volunteers will need to check carefully to make sure that all items are in good condition, however.
  • Bake Sales: Bake sales are quick to organize and inexpensive to set up.  All a group needs to run this type of sale is some people willing to bake some items and a small area to sell the items.  It is important to choose a good place for a bake sale.  This is the sort of sale your group will want to organize at some event (such as a picnic) since few people are willing to travel out of their way to buy baked goods.  A bake sale can bring in extra fundraising cash, though, if you set up your sale someplace where people already are. If you are organizing a bake sale, you will want to set up sign-up sheets so that your sale has several varieties of baked goods.  In general, volunteers should be encouraged to make baked items that are finger food.  Baked items that are very gooey or require a fork to eat are often too fussy for many bake sales. It is also a good idea, along with the item name, to list the ingredients in the baking , in case of allergies.
  • Book Sales: If you live in a town that has a college or several used bookstores, you generally have the buyer base to hold a book sale.  Book sales can bring in plenty of fundraising money, because many book fans are enthusiastic about reading and will gladly buy books in larger quantities.  Plus, many people are attracted to book sales because the book prices are so much lower than the prices at book stores. You will need to find book donations by appealing to the public and will want to set prices fairly low in order to attract lots of buyers. 
  • Flea Markets: There are many people who like hunting for lost "treasures" at flea markets, and these people can make a flea market fundraising idea very attractive.  Flea markets usually charge an admission fee but have a similar range of items as jumble sales.  At flea markets, however, it is possible to find "higher-end" items such as antiques as well as the usually assortment of used goods.  Flea markets often have several sellers and sometimes offer larger items and collectibles as well. Organizing a flea market is similar to organizing a jumble sale. However, many flea markets are successful year round.  In fact, many non-profits benefit by hosting regular flea markets on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Home or art sales: Sales that offer art works or items for the home (such as decor or furniture) often do well because people are always looking for these items.  If your non-profit can create art or find used furniture and used art pieces to sell, this sort of sale can be quite profitable.
  • Jumble Sales: Jumble sales are very popular, as there are plenty people who frequent yard sales in the summer - and jumble sales are just larger versions of the usual garage or yard sale.  Jumble sales often take place during the summer, and are easy and inexpensive to organize.  You will need to collect donations of used goods, organize them, price them, store them, and then sell them at a large sale.  To do this well, you will need a storage for items, selling space,  plenty of volunteers and good advertising.
  • Manure sale: In spring, my daughters used to help with a manure sale which raised funds for the track and field team to travel to their meets. The manure was dumped in the parking lot of the school, and the team dug in, bagged the manure, sold some from the parking lot, and delivered hundreds of bags which were pre-ordered, these orders having been collected by team members ahead of time.
  • Plant or planter sales: My daughters regularly held plant sales to support their volleyball teams, and at Christmas sold lovely poinsettias and, in time for mothers day, they put together some beautiful planters of different sizes with a selection of different plants,with the help of a very dedicated athletics teacher.

Next page: 10. Fundraising - Bought Products

Practical Fundraising Ebook - Table Of Contents

  1. Fundraising - The Basics 
  2. Fundraising - Terminology
  3. Fundraising - Money
  4. Fundraising - Where to Find Donors and How to Reach Them
  5. Fundraising - Targeting Your Donors
  6. Fundraising - Research
  7. Fundraising - Your Donors' Needs
  8. Fundraising - Ideas
  9. Fundraising - Donated Products
  10. Fundraising - Bought Products
  11. Fundraising - Marathons
  12. Fundraising - Lotteries, raffles and more
  13. Fundraising - Fairs, Auctions and Bazaars
  14. Fundraising - Fun Events
  15. Fundraising - Drives
  16. Fundraising - Services
  17. Fundraising - Tips for Choosing a Fundraising Idea
  18. Fundraising - Your Plan
  19. Fundraising - Your Team
  20. Fundraising - Staying Organized
  21. Fundraising - Communicating With Your Donors
  22. Fundraising - Advertising
  23. Fundraising - Letters
  24. Fundraising - Emails and more
  25. Fundraising - Person to Person
  26. Fundraising - Thank You Notes
  27. Fundraising - Grant Proposals
  28. Fundraising - Press Releases
  29. Fundraising - With Computers
  30. Fundraising - Secrets to Success
  31. Fundraising - Problems
  32. Fundraising - Conclusions


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