Fighting health issues with better fundraising options

SND18-wk4-Fundraising1The increasing focus on what our children are eating and growing concerns about the alarming obesity rates among young New Zealanders are having flow-on effects in one particular area of school activity – fundraising.

Selling bags of sweets and packets of biscuits is being seen as less than ideal and in many instances such products have been replaced with healthier or more practical alternatives.

The Village Press

Marketing manager for olive oil producers The Village Press Ltd, Maureen Startup, says they originally got the idea of promoting their extra virgin olive oils as a fundraiser through Sileni Estates Winery, who she says had been doing it for some years with great results.

“For us, offering the olive oil as a fundraising option for schools came about because, with the huge amount of fundraisers available to schools and clubs, we believed there was room for a healthy food option,” Ms Startup says.

“We also wanted to give something back to the community and we have done this in several forms – a good cash back for every product sold and also with our partners, Student Horizons, we offer schools the chance to have Brett McGregor, New Zealand’s first Masterchef, in their schools for a cooking demonstration. This has proven very popular with Wairoa College and Rangitoto College.

“As a small company we were also being asked to donate cash or product for various fundraisers. This has grown over the years, so we now offer our fundraiser option, which has the support of local communities.”

The Canterbury Company

Among the healthy fundraising options available to schools, bottled water offers a number of advantages. Underscoring the health and hydration benefits students and teachers get from of drinking plenty of water throughout the day, is the fact that it is an ongoing fundraiser – new supplies are continually required.

The Canterbury Company, which has been in the water- bottling industry for over 40 years, supplies bottled water under the brand name Waimak Water. Schools make about $1 profit on every bottle sold, with the tuck shop, sports events and the school gym all potential outlets for selling the water.

For specific fundraising events, such as a school disco, cartons of bottled water can be pre-ordered, with discounts given for bulk orders.

Another option, suggests company owner Sean Cuttance, is when the school rugby team is fundraising for a trip away, for example. The students take leaflets home to get orders for bulk carton lots from family and friends and the water is then paid for on delivery – again at the discounted price.

However, there is another important arm to the Waimak Water fundraising opportunity, which is the key to fundraising success, and that’s customised labelling of the bottles, Mr Cuttance says.

“This enables schools, school sports teams or other school groups to promote their own message by custom-branding the water bottles with the school logo, or publicity for an upcoming event.

“A fun way to do this is for schools to run a label design competition between years, with a winner picked from each year. Our professional designer will work with the students to create the designs, and we will print the winning labels and place them on the bottles.”

Delivery of the water is within about 10 days, anywhere in the country. The minimum order is 10 cartons, which is 180 bottles in the 750ml size or 240 in the 500ml size. The bottles are BPA free, so are 100 per cent recyclable.

First Aid Plus

Health and safety product distributors, First Aid Plus, have several strands to their fundraising opportunity, with the product being a first aid kit for the home.

“The First Aid Plus ethos is to assist in overcoming childhood obesity utilising first aid kits as fundraisers to help schools with worthwhile projects such as having solar panels installed, buying sports equipment or taking students on school trips,” national sales manager Tim Davies says.

“Our vision is to see as many New Zealand homes as possible with a functional first aid kit.”
Schools make a $10 profit on every kit sold. They don’t have to pay any money up front and there is no minimum order, Mr Davies says.

“Our kits provide an alternative to pies and chocolate sales, which rely heavily on the ‘sympathy’ purchase, as buyers know they could get the same product cheaper elsewhere. Chocolate also contributes to the unhealthy eating habits leading to obesity – we know students often sell the chocolate to other students at school. Plus, they’d have to sell a lot of chocolate to make the same profit.”

Mr Davies says the idea for providing the first aid kits as a fundraiser came about after a rural school approached the company for fundraising ideas, and they decided on a mid-range first aid kit.

It has been very successful for schools, he says, with one rural school, for example, selling 120 kits in two weeks, raising $1200 – a cash incentive is offered for volume sales.

The kits are OSH approved and are compliant with workplace Health & Safety guidelines. They contain a range of items for use in a variety of situations, including bandages, wound dressings, plasters, an instant ice pack for burns and muscle strains, tweezers, scissors and antiseptic wipes.

Glowsticks Ltd

Another fundraising option that many schools use, not only because it is an effective fundraiser, but also because children enjoy the product, is glowsticks.

Distributed by Glowsticks Ltd and designed for the disco, these ‘tubes that glow’, can be worn as bracelets or necklaces, and are interactive so they keep the children running and jumping around, says company spokesperson Vincent Fletcher.

“We recommend that schools hold a disco with a small donation or gold coin as entry fee, then sell our products to raise additional money. They can also sell food and drink at the event to raise more funds.”
Schools make about 80 per cent on most Glowstick products, Mr Fletcher says.

“For instance, we sell our Glow Bracelets for 15 cents each, and often the schools can resell them for $1, so that’s an 85 per cent margin. The minimum purchase is the size of one pack; for example, our Glow Bracelets come in packs of 100, so that’s $15. Most of our products are like this.”

The company offers a range of other glow and paint-related products that can be sold as fundraisers, such as fluro and UV reactive paints and LED products.

“Pretty much, if it glows, we stock it,” Mr Fletcher says.

“Face paints are a really popular way to raise funds because for $20 schools can purchase enough paint for 100-plus kids’ faces, so if this is offered at the disco, with a parent who can do the face painting, the school can bring in a lot of additional funds.”

Glowsticks Ltd has been operating in New Zealand since 2006 and has sold products to more than 500 schools in the last three years. The results of a survey of 100 schools in 2009 showed that the products sold well and worked successfully to raise additional funds, Mr Fletcher says.

Rosie Clarke

Rosie is the managing editor here at Multimedia Pty Ltd, working across School News New Zealand and School News Australia. She has spent 10+ years in B2B journalism, and has spent some time over the last couple of years teaching as a sessional academic. Feel free to contact her at any time with editorial or magazine content enquiries.
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