Fundraiser (1) Lessons learned

When I came up with the idea for my first fundraiser - selling home-made pancake mix - I was really just trying to find a simple way to get things started.

A friend of mine suggested that I do something for Mother's day (thanks again Isabelle!) and as I racked my brain for ideas I remembered an activity I participated in at a women's retreat that I attended last fall (with Charlene!). We made pancake mix to give away. It was simple to make, the person I gave it to (Jamie!) appreciated it and passed it on to other women, who also appreciated it... and presto... the idea for my first fundraiser was born. Before going ahead and announcing it, I asked around at work to see if people would even buy some if I made it. The response was pretty good so I decided to go for it.

I honestly thought that I would sell something like 20 jars and make about $100. I was blown away by the response. FIFTY 1-litre jars at $8 a piece ($400) and TWENTY 500-ml jars at $5 ($100). My expenses (jars and ingredients) came up to about $100 so this fundraiser has officially raised $400 for my project. AWESOME.

READ THIS for more about the recipe and my take on the pancakes.

Before I go into my lessons learned... I have to say a few thank you's. Thank you to everyone who bought a jar, spread the word or encouraged me with comments on facebook or twitter. Thank you to those (like Magalie!) who put in big orders and will giving the jars as gifts this mother's day. Not only have you encouraged me with your generosity and support, you'll be passing the word about my project to others - priceless.Thank you to those who passed on the information (like Julie) and got me extra orders from people I never would have thought to approach.

So... my lessons learned...

(1) Start earlier and get sponsored. Grocery stores require a request for "sponsorship" in writing and about 2 weeks to respond.

(2) No margarine or butter next time. There are a gazillion recipes for pancake mix, not all of them require margarine or butter - the most expensive ingredient in my mix - and most people weren't expecting anything more than the "dry" ingredients.

(3) Shop at Costco (which I did). Flour is almost 1/2 the price. A 10 kg bag goes for $5.99 instead of $10. Amazing find!

(4) Charge a little more. Several people said I should have charged $10 for the 1-litre jars. An extra $2 a jar would have give me an extra $100 towards Kilimanjaro.  I'll consult more people about what I should charge before my next sale!

I think that about sums it up. My mind is now spinning with ideas for my next fundraiser.

If you have any comments, ideas or suggestions - please share them with me. I need (and appreciate) all the help I can get.

Thank you for helping me take the first step towards reaching the summit for their wishes!



Aimée said...

Proud of you!
Wow, you have cool friends. :)

We'll brainstorm tomorrow.

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