One of the most important elements of a successful fundraiser is, of course, motivated sellers. A common motivational tool utilized in fundraisers is incentives prizes for either the top sellers, or all sellers who reach a specific goal.
We spent much time considering this concept, and how to make it work with our Rally model.
At first, the discussions centered very much around our personal feelings about this type of incentivization. Honestly, I have a really hard time with this type of motivation. Oftentimes, a seller is going to realize a direct personal benefit during a fundraiser. For example, a high school band in Minnesota may be raising money to fund a trip to New York, and a portion of each student’s sales may be allocated directly to that student, to offset their fees to participate in the trip. I don’t personally believe that the organization should have to provide additional motivation to that student in the form of incentive prizes.
That said, I also understand just how powerful incentive prizes can be, and how they can benefit an organization. For example, my youngest son is very much a natural born salesman, and is motivated by anything that will benefit him personally, especially ‘things’ of any sort. At the age of 11, it is hard to make him understand how selling raffle tickets for the wrestling club’s operating checking account benefits him. However, he will (and did) knock on every door in a 2 block radius and spend his own money to reach the specific sales amount required to win a Trojan Wrestling cinch sack. There is no doubt that the wresting club benefited from the motivation provided by those prizes.
Additionally, there are many fundraisers in which there is not a direct personal benefit to the seller, it is simply a fundraiser for the organization as a whole. Certainly, in those fundraisers, there may be a need to provide some extra motivation.
Rally Beans’ Incentive Options
Regardless of our personal feelings about incentive prizes, the decision whether or not to make them a permanent piece of our Rally model really came down to dollars. We designed our Rally model with several ideals to which we are committed – we want our Rallies to be wildly successful for our fundraising partners, and we want our profit formula to be easy to understand, consistent and transparent. We don’t want to negotiate prices, and we don’t want Hawley to feel as though Dilworth got a ‘better’ deal. In order to do that, we want to use the same profit formula for every single Rally. And that formula, which is $3, $4, or $5 per bag of beans to the organization depending on volume, is as generous as we can be. Today, our fundraising partners can earn a greater profit per bag than we can.
So we don’t have any room in our current profit formula that would allow us to also provide incentive prizes. And we don’t want to change our base profit formula to allow for prizes, because that wouldn’t be fair to those organizations that don’t need to provide them. A high school band that doesn’t want to provide incentive prizes should make a greater return than a PTA that gives away pizza parties and iPods to their top sellers.
So, in keeping with our commitment to be consistent and transparent, we offer assistance in sourcing incentive prizes as an option during our Rallies, for an additional fee on the invoice to the organization for the coffee. This way, the decision to offer incentive prizes rests solely with the organization. Rally advisors can decide whether or not the additional benefit provided by incentive prizes is worth the additional cost. Organizations that choose to not provide incentive prizes still receive the highest profit possible per bag, because the formula is not designed to subsidize incentive prizes.
This decision also gives the Rally advisor a great deal of autonomy in deciding which incentive prizes should be offered. For example, a Rally advisor can always opt to source their own incentive prizes. We have some great ideas to share for incentive prizes, whether the organization plans to source them on their own or plans to ask us to do that for them.
To get more information about how Rally Beans can help your organization raise money, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org today. For all the latest happenings at Rally Beans, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.