Fundraising with candy and candy bars has long been one of the most popular and profitable ways for churches and religious organizations to raise money for their parishes and causes of choice. Candy fundraising is especially good for congregations with strong youth groups or lots of children, as these youngsters are often the best sellers of sweets and other confectionary delights. With a strong cotillion of volunteers on board, a candy bar fundraiser can raise thousands of dollars with just a few weeks of effort!
How Candy Fundraisers Work
The basic principle behind candy bar fundraising is simple -- groups buy candy and resell it at a profit. Oftentimes, churches will contract with a fundraising company, many of which are specifically in the candy fundraising business.
Working with a company is a good bet for many reasons -- the company will provide carrying cases and display boxes, variety boxes, envelopes for money collection, and sometimes "front" the product to your organization. This means no start-up costs for you! The company gives you the candy to sell, and then takes a percentage of the profits at the end of your fundraising drive -- 50% seems to be the magic number, though you may find companies willing to compromise on a slightly lower take. Other companies will sell you cases of candy for anywhere from about $50 to $125 US.
When planning your candy fundraiser, think about the time of year people will be most likely to buy from your volunteers -- right after Halloween, Christmas, and Easter are generally not the best times, as people are already stocked up in the sweets department. Likewise, summertime may make your chocolate melt, so think about spring for a great selling opportunity.
Popular Candy Fundraisers
In general, the most popular fundraising candies are brand name candy bars. They're most often sold for a dollar a bar, though you can choose the price point at which you'd like to sell -- some churches opt for two dollars a bar, especially if the cause for which the funds are being raised is particularly vital and important.
When choosing your price point, think about what people are willing to pay for products -- if your church is located in a city, for example, your community members may be more accustomed to paying higher prices than those in a small town.
The two most popular brands for candy bar fundraising are M & M Mars and Hershey's. Below, you'll find lists of the best-selling candies these two sugary corporations have to offer.
- M & M Mars:
With Hershey's, in particular, sellers receive family coupon books, and customers receive coupons for "buy one get one free" deals. The company also provides advertising fliers for download and print via its website.
Tips for Volunteers
Since it's probable that most of your volunteers will be youngsters, keep a few important safety tips in mind:
- Use the Buddy System when selling -- never sell alone!
- Don't enter the homes of people to whom you sell unless you know them.
- Don't carry large amounts of cash while selling -- just enough to make change.
- Ask friends, family, and classmates to buy first.
- Always be polite, and be sure to thank those who contribute.
Stressing these guidelines at your volunteer meeting will help keep you kids happy and safe.
Additionally, think about throwing an "End of the Drive" party for your volunteers. They've worked hard for you -- show them how much you appreciate it with a pizza party, ice cream social, or trip to a local beach or swimming hole. Try to make sure the experience ends on a high note so they'll be enthused about selling again in the future.