Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gift Baskets & Gift Certificates – How to profit 10 times the retail value

We are lucky and extremely fortunate due to the fact that we are asked to assist charities all over North America, assisting well over 1200 charities each year.  With that amount of exposure to charity events, our collective knowledge has grown dramatically.  I am a student and a “Big Time” fan of charity fundraising.  I love to see successful fundraising while also interested in what fails to rise to the same level.  Honestly, I look for the failures and spend hours, days and weeks determining how to improve the outcome but using a different method.

Probably the best example of the above is two of the most prolific items, donated items found at nearly every single charity fundraising event across North America – Gift Baskets & Gift Certificates.

Charities spend days putting gift baskets together while investing in the supplies to build them.  However, commonly, gift baskets receive very low bids in Silent Auctions.  When I meet with (either in person or via a conference call), I ask them this simple question “How many gift baskets did you give away during the holiday season to your family or friends?”  99.9% of the time, I only hear laughter because the answer is “None.”  However, charities invest a lot of time getting these donated while also spending time for the materials to make them.

Along those same lines, Gift Certificates are next.  In order to better understand the success of gift certificates, we have to step outside of our role as the charity and look at it in the role of the guest potentially bidding on the certificate.

Understanding that your charity is attended by local people with the certificate donated by a local business, if your guest truly wanted it, they would have gone to the business and purchased it themselves.  Furthermore, truly everyone is looking for a “Deal.”  Charity guests regularly bid only 1/2 of the Retail value.

Ponder this – when your donor donated the above two items, do you think they would like to hear it only brought in half the retail value?  No. 

So how does a charity get the retail value or much more for these two highly popular items?  By placing them in a raffle or game.  Remember, people love to win….and also enjoy even having the chance to win something.  By placing these items in a Raffle or Game Setting such as a Stretch or Balloon Raffle, charities will make 10 times the retail value while providing a fun atmosphere for your guests.  Plus, your donor will enjoy learning the items they provided brought you an incredible profit. 

At your next event, try our suggestion above and watch how it will greatly impact your fundraising events success.  If you would like to learn some great raffle or game ideas, contact BW Unlimited CharityFundraising today at

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