Glow Fundraising Made Simple and Effective
Fundraising with glow products is quickly becoming an extremely popular fundraising method, due largely to its great profit potential and small time requirements. Often in a single night of fundraising you can earn what could take weeks with other methods or merchandise. With glow products available as cheaply as $0.04 each, and able to be sold at events for $1-$3, it’s easy to see the potential profits. To help with the basics of organizing and running a successful glow fundraiser we’ve compiled a guide with some helpful hints and things to consider.
Picking an Event to sell at:
- Preferably choose an event held after dark.
- It should be a festive event with large numbers of people attending.
- An ideal event would attract families and plenty of kids.
- If no kids are attending the event, choose an event where people are out to have a fun time.
- Events where people are in costumes or out of there usual element are perfect events to sell at.
- Some popular fundraising events include 4th of July Fireworks shows, evening parades, New Years events, sporting events, carnivals, Halloween parties, etc.
Do some homework on the event:
- How many people will attend the event?
- Will there be families and kids present?
- Will there be enough after dark time to sell product?
- What time will the sun set?
- What time will the event end?
Can I sell at an event?
- Make sure that it is alright for you to sell at the event. Call the local chamber of commerce or event organizers. Don’t be scared to sell your glow products. In most cities and towns you can sell the glow products without a permit or business license, especially if you are fundraising for a non-profit. Remember, the glow products are fun, positive, and help keep people safe at night. Sometimes there is no way of knowing if you will be allowed to sell at an event until you simply start selling.
- Don’t be concerned about the police. Usually the police are busy trying to stop underage drinking, crime, fights, etc, to be bothered about someone fundraising with glow products, even if it normally not allowed.
- If you are selling at an event where vendors pay for space to sell merchandise make sure that you sell away from their sales area. The vendors that pay for space and store owners who pay shop overhead are the main people you want to avoid while selling at public events.
Getting a team together:
- If the event you are attending is very large you will want to get some help selling.
- If the crowds are large selling in teams of two can help decrease the time it takes to complete a transaction, and as a result allow you to sell to more people. Have one person handle the product and the other handle the money.
- Keep track of the amount of product that your sales teams take with them to sell, and how much actually ends up getting sold. This will allow you to know approximately how much money they should have collected, and to help you plan for the demand at future fundraisers.
Where to set up and sell:
- Arrive at the event about ½ hour prior to sunset to observe the crowd and get ready. Sales prior to dark can still be very good in some situations, especially since it is easier for people to see that you are doing a fundraiser (make some signs ahead of time, or use some recognizable symbols for your cause such as kids in Boy Scout uniforms).
- Set up in the middle of the event or in an area that is highly visible such as near the restrooms. A central area is an ideal place to set up and sell if you have official permission to sell at an event. You can set up a table that makes it easy to quickly manage the transactions. To get noticed if the crowd is large, it is helpful to have someone standing up waiving the glowing product in the air. Our Glow Vending Apron with flashing EL badge also helps to make it clear you are selling glow products.
- Another way to sell is to walk the event. This is a great way to reach every potential sale but it takes lots of energy and effort and can become tiring if the event is over a couple of hours long. Again our Glow Vending Apron helps make this option much easier and more efficient.
- One of the best ways to sell is to set up at the entry and exit points of an event. This way everyone sees the product on their way to and from the event, and they know where to easily find you. This is the best place to sell if you think that you might not be allowed to sell inside the event or near the vendors who have paid for space.
Get your pricing and sales pitch down and stay consistent:
- Make sure that everyone knows the pricing and that you are fundraising for a specific cause. This will make them much more likely to buy from you, and even be willing to accept slightly higher prices if they know the profits are going to a good cause.
- Keep it simple. Use prices that make it easy to give change.
- People are often very successful with one necklace for $3.00 and two necklaces for $5.00.
- Often you are able to sell to groups of people or families. Many people carry $20.00 bills, so it’s a good idea to have a couple family specials where you give them an assortment of products, such as 12 glow necklaces for $20.00.
- If competition arises, match their price, or make it very clear that you are fundraising for an organization, and not just your own personal gain. Try not to undercut the competition’s price, as this can lead to low margins, and often not significantly increase sales.
- Do not barter with people when they try and haggle on the price, simply tell them all your pricing is fixed. Haggling leads to everyone wanting a deal and quickly makes things less efficient.
- Considering using the word “donation” in your pitch. For example offer a 22” glow necklace for a $3.00 donation. This helps reinforce the idea that the proceeds are going to a good cause, and might event result in some people letting you keep the change as an extra donation.
Displaying and carrying the product:
- The general public is used to seeing vendors waiving activated glow necklaces above their head. It’s a good idea to activate about 25 necklaces at a time and waive them over your head. Our Glow Vending Apron with light up flashing “Glow Sticks” EL badge also helps to make it very clear you’re a vendor.
- Everyone is used to buying glow necklaces at events, and these will be very popular. As a good sales option promote the necklaces and then up-sell people on other glow products (i.e. sticks or bracelets) when they come over to make their purchase.
- The best way to carry glow products to sell is in our Glow Vending Apron, but other alternatives include a duffle bag that has a shoulder strap, or even a child stroller. Whichever method you choose just try to make it’s as clear as possible that you’re a vendor, not just someone personally using glow products at the event.
What to Wear:
- Our Glow Vending Aprons are ideal, but if this is not an option try to wear dark clothing, as it helps highlight the product. Another good idea is to wear clothing related to your cause (breast cancer pink ribbon, Relay for Life purple, uniforms for Boy Scouts, etc).
- Make sure that you dress appropriately for the weather.
- Carry a fanny pack or other pouch to just hold money (this should be worn on your front side), or our Vending Apron with its built in money pouch.
- Comfortable shoes are a must.
What to expect:
- Expect children to do the majority of the parental selling for you. Watch in amazement as the little ones find out the product price and then go and give fantastic sales pitches to their parents. Expect to see this regularly.
- Expect some people to complain about price, but then still make a purchase. This is normal. Help limit this by making it clear that you are fundraising for a cause, and not personal gain.
Money and change:
- It’s normally a good idea to send people out with $100 in change. The breakdown typically used is 50 – One dollar bills, 6 - Five Dollar Bills, 2 - Ten Dollar Bills
- Keep your money in a safe place. People have sold all night only to lose or have their money pouch stolen.
- Make sure that you know exactly how much product all your helpers have to sell. While not normally a problem, this helps keep everyone honest and helps you be able to account for everything sold.
- Only have people help with the fundraiser that you trust.
- Offer incentives to people helping you sell, such as special rewards or bonuses for the one who sells the most, or even special recognition from the organization you are supporting.
- After the event do an inventory and count all the money raised. This makes it easier to remember everything that happened during the event, and plan for the amounts of product likely needed for future events.
Tips to Help Increase Sales:
- Make it obvious that you are fundraising for a cause, and not your own personal gain. This can be done with banners, signs, and simply word of mouth in your sales pitch. When this is made obvious (such as Boy Scouts selling in their uniforms) sales will typically go way up. People are much more inclined to buy from a vender selling for a cause, rather than someone just selling for their own personal gain. Additionally people who might not normally purchase glow products will do so just to help support your cause.
- Be as many places at once as possible. Having multiple people helping you sell can directly increase your sales. You can only sell to people who you are near, so having more people spread out at an event greatly increases your sales possibilities.
- Focus on funnel points. If you only have limited number of people selling, try to focus on points where people have to funnel through, such as walkways leading away from the parking lots, restrooms, etc. If you cannot go out to them set yourself up in a place where they have to pass by you.
- Keep your prices simple. The less time you spend making a sale and making change means the more time you have to be out and selling to other people. The quicker you can make and complete a sale the more sales you will be able to make.
- Have enough product on hand. It can be hard to estimate your sales at an event the first time, but it’s always better to have too much product than too little. If you run out you cannot make any more profits for your cause, but if you end up purchasing too much product you can simply save it for a future fundraising event (our glow products have a 3+ year shelf life). The possible upside of having more product than you think you’ll need is normally way higher than the potential downside of ending up with some leftover, especially with the low relative cost of the product.
- Focus on families with kids. If you have to make the choice go to areas with more families and kids. While everyone loves and will buy glow products, families represent a larger sales possibilities (every child will need at least one), and the kids are great at convincing their parents to make the purchase.
- Sales are typically better after dark, but sales prior to nightfall can be especially good for fundraisers, as it helps to make it more obvious that you are there selling for a cause