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Cooking Up Successful Fundraisers

Contributed by: NAPSA

(NAPSA) - A number of non-profit groups have found the best way to supporters' hearts may be through their stomachs. Fundraising efforts that involve food have proven to be some of the most popular charitable initiatives nationwide.

They haven't always been profitable, however. While school and church bake sales do promote a community atmosphere, the time, effort and ingredients required tend to make bake sales a poor fundraiser when it comes to profits.

But all this has changed with the introduction of gourmet frozen cookie dough for fundraising.

Experts say the success of a food-centered fundraising program depends mostly on two key ingredients: Profitability and taste. Gourmet frozen cookie dough provides the quality and taste of home baked cookies with high profit margins that you can't get from a bake sale.

For example, several groups have had success selling gourmet cookie dough.

The frozen dough can be sold for 10 to 12 dollars a tub and profits can range from 30 to 55 percent (the more dough that's ordered, the higher the profit tends to be).

Equally important, however, is the popularity of the product. Different types of cookie dough (including Snicker Doodle Surprise, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and Chunky Candy Delight with M&M's) are available and the cookies are easy to make-Moms and Dads need only scoop and bake dough that can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two months.

If you plan on holding a cookie dough sale, try these tips:

  • Start the sale on a Friday and end on a Monday. This way, the sale includes at least two full weekends.

  • Write your sellers a "quick sell" sheet. Have the sheet explain how much you need to raise and what the funds will be used for. Sellers can refer to the sheet when they are talking with family or friends about your sale.

  • Find a refrigerated or frozen storage facility as soon as possible. Work with school cafeterias, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. It's important to have a place to keep the cookie dough at the time of delivery.

  • Create a "speedy call" system to help get organized on delivery day. Create a phone tree for sellers, so that customers can be reached quickly.

  • Let customers defer their payments until they receive their orders. Your organization stands to raise more money if it does not ask for money up front (some groups suggest you can actually double your money with this technique).

  • Motivate your sellers. Studies show that sellers raise more money when rewards are offered to all sellers who participate, not just the person who raises the most funds.

  • Involve area stores. Ask retailers to donate additional prizes for your group. Explain that it can be a win-win situation-great publicity for the store and increase funds for your group.

  • Help sellers have fun. Thank each seller before and after the sale. Sellers who feel a part of the team tend to sell more.

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