Band leaders, music directors, teachers, and parents supporting a youth band struggle to find a fundraiser that brings in enough to sustain their activities. Here, we explore the advantages and issues with door-to-door fundraisers.
Many bands have tried cookie dough fundraisers, beef stick sales, candy, small items like fidget spinners, and large items like mattress sales.
Pros of Door-to-Door Fundraising Bands
It gets everyone involved. The kids learn sales presentation techniques. The parents often drive them around. Sometimes kids sell in pairs or small groups which bonds them together in the experience. Sometimes kids sell on their own, teaching them independence.
Options are broad: Cookie dough fundraisers, beef stick sales, small items like fidget spinners, or classic candy bars.
Cons of Door-to-Door
The band members usually are competing with each other for limited customers. Since schools typically draw their students from the area around them, there’s a limited number of households that can be sold to. Few door-to-door fundraisers define and limit areas where the participants sell, and the same house can have several kids asking them to buy the same thing. Very disappointing for everyone involved. More than one school or band in the area? It becomes even more disappointing.
Cost of Goods:
You have two options, depending on how you are selling. Some companies, including most food sales, require up-front payment for items that the school hopes they’ll be able to sell. Some groups simply can’t afford the out-of-pocket expenses for things that might or might not sell.
If your band members simply take orders to be delivered later, buyers may be more skeptical. Even willing buyers might not have cash on hand to make the purchase. Bounced checks are a nightmare. Assuming that all goes well, there’s the significant issue of delivery, trying to read handwritten addresses and get the right product to the right buyer.
And all this to keep only about half of the funds raised. The remaining money goes back to the cookie or beef stick company.
For consumables like cookie dough or candy, kids often get a “no” because of food allergies or dietary restrictions. It’s worse for groups that try to sell big-ticket items. How many people will actually buy from your school’s mattress fundraiser? SleepFoundation.org says the average lifespan of a mattress is 7-10 years. Therefore, how many mattresses do you believe your donors would purchase over the years your student is enrolled?
Hard for Extroverts; Painful for Introverts:
Jennifer Granneman on QuietRev.com points out that 30-50% of kids are introverts. They feel stress in even friendly social engagements. They require more time to get used to situations with crowds or strangers and observe them before needing to interact. Selling to strangers door-to-door is a nightmare.