Raise more money with product samples

Image shows Equal Exchange chocolate bar, tea and coffee on a table for sampling.

Fundraising with fairly traded, organic and delicious products? Here’s an excellent tip to help you raise more money… let them taste it!

As the fundraising campaign organizer, it’s up to you to come through for your cause. You make sure your community knows exactly what your organization needs the money for and why you partnered with Equal Exchange to help raise it. Great work! Now, it’s time to boost your fundraising efforts by offering samples.

There are two different groups of people who have a stake in your fundraiser. Each plays a different, yet important, role in your campaign. Identify them, then give each what they need to raise the most possible.

Fundraising Participants

The first group is your team of organizers and fundraising participants — the people who are passing out catalogs or soliciting orders. They are the ones who sell to their sphere of contacts. Your participants need to be passionate about your cause or project. Their passion gets their friends and families excited. They need to be able to talk about what the funding means to them personally. It’s up to you to get them jazzed up to generate excitement. 

Image shows a smiling man participating in an interactive art project while holding an Equal Exchange coffee cup.

Your team also needs to know – and love – what they’re offering. You, of course, share Fair Trade and organic information with your participating children and adults to let them know the fundraiser also supports small farmers. Giving them a taste of the delicious products will let them describe “delicious” in their own words and help boost their individual sales.Image shows supporters shopping an Equal Exchange fundraising catalog.

Fundraising Supporters

The second group is the people who ARE your fundraiser. They are people your participants know — friends, family and coworkers.  They may buy an item or two but if you train your team to offer a taste of decadent chocolate, a sip of freshly brewed organic coffee, or an inhale of aromatic steeping tea it’s likely order sizes will increase. Samples help you raise the most money possible throughout your campaign.
How to Order Samples For Your Equal Exchange Fundraiser

Small team? Let your group experience the quality of products in our sample variety pack. It includes a bag of coffee, a box of tea and two chocolate bars. (Items may vary.) The organic sample pack is $22.99, but fundraising organizers can order it 50% off when they sign up for an Equal Exchange fundraiser, or by calling 774-776-7366.

Large team? Browse the products that will be in your fundraiser and decide what you’d like to sample. (All are best sellers so you can’t go wrong!) Then, take advantage of lower discounted pricing when you order product by the case online.Image shows samples of Equal Exchange's fairly traded, organic coffee, chocolate and tea.

The purpose of sampling is to raise more money. It will cost approximately $30 for a case of 12 chocolate bars. Unopened product can be sold in your fundraising campaign. If you calculate properly, you could even pull a small quantity from a case to use as samples, sell the rest at catalog prices and break even. (Example: 8 chocolate bars sold at fundraising prices can pay for a case of 12. Use only 4 chocolate bars to sample and sell the rest.)  You can also plan to use products as incentives for your top sellers, thank you gifts for volunteers or supporters, and even silent auction items.

Ask for help. 

You are in need of money so ordering product by the case before starting your fundraiser may be difficult. Reach out to a few specific supporters and ask for their help directly. Your email could look something like this:

Dear Supporter,

As you know, we’re kicking off our Equal Exchange fundraiser soon! When people taste the delicious, organic products we’re offering, they’ll purchase more and we can raise more money. Would you be so kind to donate a few cases of product that we could use as samples? You can keep some for yourself! Here’s what we need…

Then, make your sample wish list and include product links to make it easy for them to help. If you ask a few people, consider requesting different products with each request.

 Ideas for Successful Sampling

Image shows an Equal Exchange chocolate bar broken into bite size samples.

  • Use Chocolate Minis – Sampling made simple. One box of minis contains 150 individually wrapped pieces of chocolate.
  • Make a recipe using any product that is in your fundraiser. Need ideas? Check out our recipes.
  • Host a Hot Cocoa Bar
  • Brew coffee or tea and share with those looking over the products in your fundraiser.
  • Bring samples to a community event and start taking fundraising orders.

How have you offered product samples to help with fundraising?

Share your ideas and experiences here or with other Equal Exchange Fundraising Organizers on Facebook so all can raise the most they can for their important causes.

About The Author

Sandy Davis

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