During your time with Otra Cosa, you’ll probably be involved in a fundraiser to support one of the projects. Typically they take the form of an open mic night, karaoke or pub quiz, where we take over one of the local bars to sell food and drinks. These events are incredibly important as they can make upwards of S/500 for our programs.
The science behind a profitable fundraiser
As part of a small, active and young charity, it’s exciting that there are plenty of opportunities to implement new ideas. We’re currently refining the event fundraising process to make it more scalable and reliable. The goal is to be able to roll out an event and accurately predict the return, based on the resources invested. For example, knowing that if we make 20 burgers, we are guaranteed to turn a net profit of 80/S because enough people will buy them. When you have a steady stream of new volunteers arriving, it’s especially important to have a template for success.
Finding the sweet spot
For a profitable fundraiser, focus on selling items that are guaranteed to sell out, cost the minimum to produce and be sold for the maximum. In other words, those that have a good gross margin.
Once you find something that is popular, it’s a case of refining the price, cost to produce or quantity to boost the gross margin. For example, we know that brownies are very popular, and cost only 10/S to make. When we sold 12 at 3/S each – we made a net profit of 26/S. But by dividing the mixture up into 15 or even 18, and selling them for the same price, we could make an additional 9 – 18/S.
It’s important to get the balance right between selling all of your stock (making sure the perceived value of the product matches the price) and yielding the biggest margin. When you find something popular, you can improve on the margin a little more each time.
On the other end of the spectrum, we found that buying a cake for 25/S, cut into 12 pieces each sold at 3/S was only going to make 11/S (and only if we sold them all). 3/S is a hard sell for a small piece of cake. Compared to the brownies, the difference in net profit is over double and therefore the choice for the next fundraiser is a no-brainer.
Interested in volunteering as a fundraising coordinator for us? Have a look at the role description here