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What is the Suggested Time Line for a Fundraiser

The overwhelming majority of people who are placed in charge of a fundraising program have never headed up a fund raiser before. That means that there is a pretty steep learning curve to overcome so that you can feel confident you know what you are doing. We’ve put together some helpful tips in our “how to do fundraisers” series of articles and here we will explain the suggested time line for a fundraiser.

In a nutshell, the idea is to plan everything out so that you know when to order your brochures or items; when to start and end the fundraiser; when you plan to turn in your order; when you expect to receive the order; and when you plan to pass out the items. It’s all 100% up to you, but there is a pretty standard formula that the most successful groups use and there is a lot of logic behind it.

First, when should you order your brochures or your items. For the most part, we ship all of our items via UPS with most shipping within 24 hours of your ordering them. You can figure 1 week or less to receive brochures and 2 weeks or less to receive products. The only exception is with customized shopping bags which can take longer.

Second, when to start and end your fundraiser, or in other words, how long a fundraiser should last. A 2 to 3 week sale is usually ideal. Any less than 2 weeks and you just don’t have enough time to get much selling done. But if you extend it out past 3 weeks, your sellers can start procrastinating and that can be equally bad for sales. You also run into the issue of the customers who order at the beginning of the sale waiting a very long time to receive the products they buy which isn’t good.

For any group of more than 3 or 4 people, we suggest you plan on turning in your order to us a full week after your fund raiser has officially ended. That gives plenty of time for any stragglers to get their orders in and for the person coordinating the sale to get everything organized. This tip is especially important for school fundraisers as young students are notorious for turning in late orders.

You can expect to receive your items around 2 weeks after payment for your order is received. Remember, we can’t ship any order until it is paid for so please factor that in to your time line if you are planning to mail a check or money order.

Distributing items should be done as soon as possible but you should plan for 5-7 days of time to sort and organize the order.

In summary, the suggest time line for a fundraiser goes 1 week to receive brochures, 2-3 weeks for your sale, 1 week to gather and turn in orders, 2 weeks for delivery, 1 week for sorting. All told, that means you should plan on spending around 8 weeks on your fundraising program.

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