Ok, as I mentioned in my post about basketevents.com, I am involved with a few different organizations in my area, (fire departments, animal rescues, my old elementary school)
Fundraising is a super easy way to boost sales every so often (Note: be sure you know the rules of your company before setting off on a fundraising adventure, certain companies limit the kinds/amount of fundraising you can do) and they get your name out in the community.
My specialty is Basket Bingo, but there are lots of other options, for one, the baskets that you can customize the colors and tacks, my Branch leader just had a bit of success by having the main trim strip as black, the smaller as red, and the tacks were fire trucks, she also offered a special engraved lid (through a company in maryland). The lids were engraved with a maltese cross with the department number on it and a special message if they so chose. These make great gifts for the company for their members, and also great raffles for the community!
Most companies offer specific catalogs/flyers for their fundraisers and those are a good option to, it's also worth considering offering a bit (or all, depending on your loyalty to the group) of your profit to bring in just a little bit more money for the organization.
So how do you become a fundraising machine?
1. Start with organizations you're involved with, for my BL and I, Fire Departments were a natural choice (our entire family is involved with our local volunteer company) but it's also worth considering day care centers, animal shelters, police departments, little leauges, elementary schools, girl scouts (basically anyone that would come beating on your door trying to sell baked goods ) tell them about what your organization offers and tell them you'll walk them through everything, tell them why your company is better than any other.
2. If you want to do a bingo or a raffle, read over the charitable gaming laws for your area (I know in VA it's a certain monetary limit to how many bingos you can have without having a gaming license click here for a great site about laws by state.
3. Don't forget to tell your friends, maybe their in an organization you didn't know about, bring it up at every book show, home show, or contact you make with people (I may be organizing one with the equestrian team on my campus, apparently those little outfits are expensive!)
4. Use some of those sale items for bingo- $10 grab bags + some cute donated items = great bingo game.
5. Help the organization get donations, for bingo this means having baskets sponsored (get out to local businesses and ask them if they would be willing to pay for a basket or fill it) make sure you get enough business cards or flyers to go in each prize, as well as their information to put on a sponsors list that you will give to everyone who comes, great way to get their info out! We've had everything from freshly ground hand bagged coffee to a fireman doll to wineglasses and crackers..
6. Have fun with it, if the fundraiser is more fun than delivering cold pizzas or walking door to door to sell cookies in January (As a lifetime member of the girl scouts, i can tell you, January is cold.) they'll come back to do more.
7. Try to make contact with the customers, offer to deliver some of the product yourself, or donate a basket and fillers so your business cards are in the basket, have the organization announce you as their consultant... show up and wear your "Consultant" t-shirt and have your bestest basket ever with you.