Fundraising FAQs

  • What is fundraising?

    Product fundraising has been around a long time. It involves the purchase and re-sale of popular consumer products by a non-profit group. The group sponsoring the sale keeps a portion of the gross sales. Products can be purchased in bulk and build in advance by the organization, then re-sold to supporters. Products may also be ordered using a catalog, order forms and other methods. Supporters pay for the product when the order is placed or upon final delivery.

    Schools, school groups and other non-profit organizations find many creative ways to raise funds -- from bake sales, spaghetti dinners, auctions and school carnivals to more aggressive advertising, affinity programs, grant writing and straightforward donation requests. But few fundraisers are more reliable for reaching specific fundraising goals than a good product sale.

    Who are product fundraisers?

    Product fundraisers are companies that provide products and services for fundraising. These companies have the knowledge and expertise to help groups select safe, effective approaches to fundraising. There are large national companies that specialize in fundraising as well as many smaller, family owned businesses that collectively employ thousands of men and women who justifiably take great pride in helping schools and other organizations raise money. Product fundraisers are also sometimes referred to as fundraising distributors.

    Why is product fundraising effective?

    Product fundraising involves a professional fundraising company - and often a sales representative - which serves as liaison between the product supplier and volunteers responsible for the fundraising drive. These companies provide advice, trouble-shooting, support, products, guidance and other valuable services that can reduce volunteer time and energy and maximize sales. Product sales work because results are fast and people like buying products for a worthy cause.

    Do you require any money up-front?

    Typically there are no upfront costs to you or your organization however, each professional fundraising company is different and it’s always best to ask that question up front.

    What percent of fundraising sales should my organization receive?

    Sales percentages offered to non-profit groups vary depending on the type of products being sold and the services offered by the fundraising company. Volunteers should focus on how the combination of product quality, company services and percent of profit to be received will all work together to help the organization meet its total fundraising goal.

    What kinds of support materials do you provide to help me sell more Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough?

    We are committed to your success and offer a line of support materials. Our eye-catching materials include posters, catalogs, and more. We also offer a step-by-step guide and a library of documents like volunteer request letters and reminder letters. Visit and click on the menu for fundraising information.

    How do incentive programs work?

    Organizations eager to reach their goal often add an "incentive program" to their fundraising effort. Prize or award programs can contribute significantly to the success of a program. Incentive programs encourage and reward participation and add an element of fun, encouraging broad participation of volunteers. Indeed, the majority of fundraising prizes actually distributed today are simple tokens (stickers, pencils) to recognize participation. It is important that school administrators and parent groups work closely with fundraising companies to ensure incentive programs are appropriate for their students.

    Does product fundraising require door-to-door sales?

    For some people, product fundraising has mistakenly become synonymous with the term "door-to-door sales." Most product fundraising sales are made to family members, friends and close neighbors. A successful product fundraising drive does not require volunteers - young or old - to canvass neighborhoods. Parents are usually involved with these programs, often soliciting support from co-workers.

    Is it appropriate for children to participate?

    School fundraising drives are often a child's first taste of volunteer service. If presented and supervised properly by a parent, coach or teacher, a fundraising project to support school or extra-curricular activities can build a child's confidence, self-esteem, sense of responsibility, good manners, planning and budgeting skills, to name a few. However, children, should never be allowed to sell door-to-door unless directly supervised by a parent or responsible adult.

    What if there is something wrong with an order?

    Product fundraiser companies that provide products and services for fundraisers should be your first point of contact. Work directly with the representative that assisted you with your fundraising event or the company. These companies have the knowledge and expertise to assist you with whatever problem you may encounter throughout your event.

    Are the items packaged by seller or do the volunteers need to group items?

    Most product fundraising companies offer to prepack orders by seller but may offer bulk deliveries. You can ask if there is a discount on bulk deliveries.

    How is the delivery scheduled?

    Product fundraising companies will provide a timeline for each step of your fundraising event and do their best to accommodate delivery times by offering delivery window options.

    What are your best-selling varieties of cookie dough for fundraising?

    Chocolate Chip cookie dough is the all-time favorite among our gourmet fundraising products. Next in line is the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookie dough. New this season, Loaf Cakes are destined to become a fast favorite!