Many of our nonprofit clients hold reusable bag fundraisers and most think they want cheap reusable bags to resell. After all, buying the most bags you can get for your money makes sense, right? At first glance, it might seem that way. However, this is not usually the way to maximize a return on your investment.
We understand that money is tighter than ever before. There is a lot of competition between equally worthy organizations for that money. While not all nonprofit demographics will support a $10 or $20 per-bag fundraiser, finding a “sweet spot” between initial cost and return will yield a much more successful fundraiser than you think.
Don’t believe us? Consider these three examples:
1. An elementary school PTA wants to raise funds for field trips. They have a budget of $400 to spend, and want to purchase cheap reusable bags, put their school mascot on them, and resell them in the community.
They look at the Big Thunder Grocery Tote (a GREAT inexpensive grocery bag, by the way). Their budget will buy them 150 bags, setup for a one color logo, and shipping. The nonprofit discount doesn’t start on this bag until 250 pcs, but they don’t have enough money for 250 bags, even with the discount.
The school thinks it can sell the bags for $4 each, resulting in roughly $1.50 per bag in profit, all in. So, if they sell all 150 bags, that’s a nice $225 in their pockets! Great! Or is it…
2. An animal shelter wants to raise money for new dog beds. There’s been an increased awareness in their area about choosing reusable bags and they think a bag fundraiser would be well received by the shelter’s supporters. While they don’t have a set budget, they need to maximize their return because they’ve noticed that people are reluctant to purchase goods to support the shelter’s programs more than once or twice a year.
They look at the Medium RuMe Bag because of the immediate brand awareness (RuMe is a retail brand). The Board also likes that it’s a folding bag, and it’s high-quality. They believe that choosing high-quality products extends their organization’s messaging and creates a more favorable opinion of the shelter.
They purchase 100 Medium RuMe bags with their three-color logo printed on one side and spend about $875 with setup and shipping.
Since these bags can be purchased with no logo in stores for $10, they figure they can sell their “limited edition” animal shelter bags for $15 each. This results in approximately $6.25 in profit per-bag. When they sell out of all 100 bags, they have made $625.
3. Finally, consider the nonprofit cancer organization. They choose our popular PET Folding Carry All because it’s made from recycled materials, folds up into a pouch, and is available with a nonprofit discount at all quantities. They order 250 bags with a one color imprint and spend approximately $650 with setup and shipping.
The organization sell the bags for $5 at their headquarters and at community events, for a $2.40 per-bag profit. When they sell their last bag, they have made $600 in profit!
Your organization may decide to sell your reusable bags for more or less than in our examples. Whatever price you set, it’s relatively clear how opting for cheap reusable bags ultimately made the least amount of money.
When considering your reusable bags fundraiser, keep these in mind and remember that cheap reusable bags don’t necessarily mean the greatest return on your investment. While these bags are great (our staff uses them all the time), spending a little more money upfront will likely yield greater results in the end.