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The main way to hit your fundraising goal is to keep your expenses low going into your event. The main expense for this event is the cost of the candy bars so if you can keep the price to purchase them from the company as low as possible, you’ll be setting your club up for the best fundraising event possible. Please keep in mind that this is a guide that can be applied towards any candy fundraiser, not just candy bars so feel free to adjust as you see fit. You’ll also find a little math in this guide but don’t panic. FutureFund will walk you through it step by step. If candy bars aren’t your food of choice you can check out our other food fundraising ideas.
Step One: Research Candy Bar Companies
Make sure to compare the candy companies before deciding on any one in particular. Notice the ones that will charge you less per box the more boxes you order and who has free/decreased shipping for larger orders. Once you decide on a candy bar company, encourage the students who will be selling the candy to become familiar with the ingredients so all of your volunteers will be able to answer questions about your bars if anyone asks.
Step Two: Assess Your Volunteer Force
Hopefully you’ll be able to utilize your club members as your volunteer candy sellers but if you can’t, you can ask other volunteers to help out.
Step Three: Decide To Be Stationary Or Mobile
Both of these options have their costs and benefits: if your candy sellers are mobile, they’ll be able to go out and find as many patrons as they can while a stationary booth is confined to those that find you. However, if you have a booth, your patrons will know exactly where to find you and your candy sellers won’t have to lug any candy bars or money around with them from place to place. Feel free to create a hybrid version of these two options, where you have a booth AND mobile candy sellers or just the booth in a high traffic area plus a group of candy funnels, who will let passersby know about the booth and point them in the right direction. Either way, the choice is yours!
Step Four: Calculate Your Price
Once you’ve found a few companies with pricing that you like, calculate the price that you’ll have to charge for each bar. A good profit margin to start with is 50%-60% of the price that you paid for the candy bars, meaning you add a 50%-60% mark up to each bar before selling them to your patrons. Also, and for the sake of your candy sellers, try to keep your per bar price rounded to the nearest dollar. That way they’ll be able to keep their candy loads as light as possible while getting all the bars sold. The calculation is pretty simple to do! Follow these steps:
- Divide the price that you’ll pay for the box by how many candy bars are in each box. Ex: the box of candy bars cost $10 and there are 10 bars per box. $10 divided by 10 bars is $1 per bar. You bought the bars from the candy company for $1 each ($10/10 bars= $1 per bar)
- To mark up your candy, multiply each bar by 1.5 for a 50% margin and 1.6 for a 60% margin. Ex: $1×1.5= $1.50 per bar, OR $1×1.6=$1.60 per bar. This means that for a 50% markup, you would sell your bars for $1.50 each and for a 60% markup, you would sell your bars for $1.60 each.
- Round the individual bar price up to the nearest dollar. Ex: $1.50 rounded to the nearest dollar is $2 per bar. $1.60 rounded to the nearest dollar is also $2 per bar. If you paid $1 per bar, your markup costs rounded to the nearest dollar would mean that you would sell each bar to your patrons for $2 a piece.
NOTE: to mark up your bars by 50% or 60%, you’ll ALWAYS multiply 1.5 or 1.6 times the amount of money that you paid for 1 bar.
Step Five: Order Your Bars!
Once your organization is comfortable with the price and shipping cost, order your bars! Make sure to store them in a cool place until your event to keep them as fresh as possible.
Step Six: Scout a Good Location
While waiting for your bars to arrive, check out several locations for high traffic areas full of hungry patrons. Also, consider the time of day that would be best to sell the chocolates. If your club plans to sell them while at school, tell your candy sellers to be on the lookout for patrons during lunch, between classes, or before/after school. If your club plans to be away from campus while selling, pick areas that are busiest around times when people are hungriest: around subway and bus stations after work, in busy parks or other outdoor places around lunch time, etc.
If your club is going to be around a bunch of private businesses, make sure to pop in and let the businesses know when your club plans to be there. If these businesses also serve candy and other sweet treats, you may need to ask permission to do so in the general vicinity, or just not let your students sell too close to the front of the building. If you’re unsure about your community rules, feel free to call your local community leadership to get the specifics about what your candy sellers can and cannot do.
When it comes to the event itself, look for an area that’s pretty well shaded. Not only will this area keep your volunteers cool, it’ll keep your bars cool as well. Nothing is worse than reaching for a bar to hand to a hungry patron only for it to squish under your fingertips once you get your hands on it.
Step Seven: Advertise/Display the Product
If your club plans to stick to selling on campus, your advertising can be as simple as an announcement from the main office a few mornings before the sale or it can be as elaborate as posters with blow up versions of each bar/featuring every bar that will be for sale. However if you plan to sell out in a booth, your club would benefit from making a few posters/fliers to go around your community. That way, as many people as possible will be able to catch your event and come to support your club.
Step Eight: Hold Your Event!
Get the party started! If you go the mobile route for your candy sales, remind your sellers to stay out of the heat as much as possible, for both their own safety and the sake of the candy bars. If its a particularly hot day, you may want to just hand each mobile candy seller a few bars at a time while keeping the rest in a cooler or have them carry the bars in mini coolers while they’re selling them. Also, try to assign the sellers in groups of two or three if they’re going to be mobile, again for their own safety.