Many organizations debate about the best way to raise money. Is it through a fundraising event? Or perhaps discount card fundraisers would be a better option. This article will review both options to help you determine which is best for your next fundraiser.

Fundraising Events

Fairs, dinners, car washes… we’ve all experienced fundraising events in an attempt to raise money for our organization. While you may bring in some funds, you’ll soon see that events are the most inefficient fundraising method. Why? When you consider the cost of the event itself, the manpower, and the time involved, you may even be losing money with fundraising events.

James M. Greenfield, an expert on fundraising techniques, has determined that events cost fifty cents on every dollar raised, which when you come down to it, is money that could be used elsewhere. Certainly there are more profitable ways to raise money for your organization.

The Board Members

The board is sometimes unfamiliar with the financial side of fundraising and often overlooks the time involved in making events successful. It’s unfortunate, but events often put pressure on staffers and volunteers to spend their time and energy in both preparation and actual realization of the event.

Board members are also sometimes unaware of other options beyond events, except perhaps through catalog sales of candy, baked goods, or collectibles.  Discount card fundraisers are fundraising done for you. Instead of selling overpriced items, the idea is to sell discount cards for stores and brands that people regularly use.

While board members may be used to turning to events as what they feel is the best option for fundraising, it’s possible to openly discuss discount card sales as a preferred fundraising method.

Three Reasons To Stop Fundraising Events

If your board needs reasons, here are three to start with that will help them see that events are not the best fundraising option available to your organization.

  1. Events are not the best financial choice. As mentioned above, the return on investment from an event is only half of what you could make on a sale that requires no out-of-pocket expense.
  2. Events are time consuming. Your hard-working staff can quickly be worn down with one night of volunteering or assisting at an event. Most individuals who help out are volunteers and already have full-time jobs. Staffers already have a full plate of activities and many events are after regular business hours.
  3. You can raise more money with discount card fundraisers and just have one major event instead of several smaller events each year. With only one event, you have time to put your all into it, while still selling — and earning — more.

Benefits of only one yearly event:

  • Volunteers and staffers can focus on generating attendance and getting the word out for the event, because there is only one a year.
  • Staffers have the necessary lead time to identify donors and make adequate request for sponsorship.
  • With only one event planned, you’ll experience greater attention and attendance from your supporters.
  • You’ll be able to raise more money overall, since most of your fundraising efforts will be elsewhere, focused on more efficient strategies.

Discount card fundraiser

What is a discount card fundraiser? This is a unique, high-return fundraising option in which your students or members sell discount cards to buyers. The buyers then receive special coupons and deals at a number of different merchants. Your organization will receive the cards to sell and then keep up to 80% of the profits.

Discount cards offer savings for things that people already buy, at over 220,000 locations across the United States and over 400 national brands, not to mention thousands of local businesses. Some of these places include:

  • Walgreens
  • Red Box
  • Papa John’s
  • IHOP
  • Olive Garden
  • Claire’s
  • The Limited
  • Sea World
  • and much more!

Hands-off Fundraising

With discount cards, you are provided with everything you need to run your fundraiser. Done For You kits include:

  • Beautifully-designed, high-quality cards
  • An easy-to-follow sales script
  • Step-by-step instructions on organizing the fundraiser
  • PDF tool kit
    – Accounting sheet

– Brochure that explains how to register and use the mobile app

The Done For You program will arrive in approximately two weeks and shipping is free.

How’s It Work?

Donors will receive the thick plastic discount cards, each which are customized to include your organization’s name. Upon purchase, the user simply registers the code listed on the discount card and the exclusive mobile app will direct him or her to the best deals in the area.

For individuals without smartphone access, simply visit the website, register, and print off coupons directly from there.

There is no outside expense, to time constraints, no preparation required. Clearly, discount card fundraisers are the simpler, more effective fundraising choice.