Christmas ornament, Christmas wreath, wrapping paper or poinsettia fundraisers are excellent ways to raise money for your school, church or non-profit. The keys are proper planning and execution. Let's look at how to pull of these events.

Ornament Fundraisers: Handmade v. Manufactured
There are two ways to approach this: handmade ornaments or manufactured ornaments. Handmade ornaments are crafted by your team of volunteers. These need to be of good quality so you can sell them at a price that will give good profit margins.

Manufactured ornaments are made by specialty companies. You can customize these. For example, a brass ornament with your organization's logo. Or maybe a shatterproof acrylic ball with your group's picture on it.
Choose styles that will have a broad appeal and are timeless. You want supporters to see these ornaments as collectibles, something to look forward to purchasing every year. Avoid designs with a year.
Most ornament companies require a minimum order of 100. Costs per ornament are as low as $2.50 each. Price them anywhere between two and four times your cost. Balance the price between what is fair for your community and what your monetary goals are.

Christmas Ornaments & Poinsettias Fundraiser

Poinsettia Fundraisers
Did you know these Christmas plants were named after the first U.S. minister to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett? He introduced the U.S. to these flowers native to Mexico in 1835. The poinsettia's association with Christmas dates back to the 16th century.

To hold a successful poinsettia fundraiser, you'll need to plan well in advance. The deadline to order from many plant providers is October 31. This means you should start planning several months before that to ensure enough promotion and selling time.

Other poinsettia fundraiser considerations are color (they typically come in red, white and pink), size (6, 8 or 10 inch), and whether you want them wrapped in foil or not.

Profits for poinsettias average between 45% and 55% depending on the volume sold.

Wrapping Paper Fundraisers

To increase your revenue even more, you can also integrate selling wrapping paper as part of your seasonal fundraiser. There are several large companies with defined programs for selling wrapping paper for a fundraiser. Sell wrapping paper is a very small niche so you won't be competing against other organizations with your fundraiser. It can also save people time since they typically have to buy new paper every years (if they didn't get it at the end of last year).

Christmas Wreath Fundraisers

Another seasonal fundraiser is Christmas wreaths. Christmas wreaths are an easy sell because most people feel more generous around the holidays. If you can, keep it local. Partner with a local farm for the wreaths. In volume, you can typically negotiate a 40% discount on the wreaths. This way, you can help your organization and support a local business while helping the environment.

Decide what your fundraising goal is.

Appoint a fundraising coordinator to collect money raised and to oversee the sales activities. This person should be organized and enthusiastic.

Divide your volunteers into sales teams and promotions. Collect their phone numbers and email addresses so you can keep in communication.

The promotions people will be responsible for getting the word out to family, friends, and the public. Sales people will be selling directly to these same people.

Brainstorm with your volunteers. Make a list of all the people and places (prospects) you think you can sell your ornaments or poinsettias. Come up with a rough estimate of numbers.

Prepare a sales flyer listing the Who? What? Where? Why? How? When? of your Christmas ornament fundraiser or poinsettia fundraiser. You'll want one to print as well as one for the web.

Selling and Promotions
To get a good idea of how much you may sell, run a test. For a week or two, have your team sell. What percentage of their sales were from their prospects? You should be able to a good idea of future sales from this test. After the test, meet and discuss your team's successes and challenges. This is a good time to set sales goals for individuals and teams.

To advertise, go to local newspapers, radio and TV. Newspapers will usually run a small ad for non-profits. Radio stations will run a short PSA (public service announcement). TV stations like local human-interest stories.

Use the power of the web—Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, to get the word out. Email friends and family. Some of the larger manufacturers will even provide your group with its own website.

Distribute your sales flyer everywhere—schools, churches, public offices, community centers, grocery stores, etc. Ask parents to distribute at their employers.

Set up a booth at a local sporting event, community event, fair or busy mall. Piggyback off another event whether it's a fundraiser or commercial event. Fall festivals are perfect for this.

For local businesses, poinsettias and Christmas ornaments make excellent gifts for their clients.

Holding a Christmas ornament, wrapping paper, Christmas wreath or poinsettia fundraiser is sure to make your organizations money with a little planning and promotion. Ornaments are items that can be enjoyed year after year. And poinsettias add beauty and cheer to the holiday season.