Subscribe to Email Updates

Latest Blog Post

Scrip, Gift Giving, Holiday Shopping

Last-Minute Gift Giving with eGift Cards

There are two ways to earn on your last-minute gifting: use eGift cards (ScripNow®) when you’re shopping for the final gifts on your list or send one as an eGift. Over 400 top brands offer eGift cards that you can order and redeem immediately—no planning necessary.

Louise Sanderson
By Louise Sanderson
on 12/20/18 8:30 AM
   

Candle Fundraising: The not so hot way to raise money

Louise Sanderson
by Louise Sanderson on 1/15/17 1:00 PM

Candles arranged on a coffee table

In the throes of winter, you might want nothing more than to snuggle up in a blanket on the couch, turn on a movie, and light a candle. Now, take a second and think about where you bought that candle. Did you get it at the grocery store? Maybe at the specialty candle shop in the mall. Or maybe, you even purchased that candle from a kid selling them for a fundraiser.

Let’s talk about the latter of the three options: a candle fundraiser. 

Selling candles to raise money has grown in popularity over recent years. Although it’s a product fundraiser, a candle is much more substantial and practical than some of the knick-knacky items sold in other product fundraisers. The National Candle Association found that candles are used in 7 out of 10 U.S. Households, so it’s fair to say candles seem like a good product for kids to sell.

But therein lies one issue with candle fundraising: kids, or more realistically, the parents, have to sell these candles. There is a small tinge of irony that parents always tell kids not to play with fire— a valid and newsworthy concern thanks to things like exploding candles —and then turn around and help them to sell the same product they tell them to avoid.

As with other product fundraisers, though, what starts off as the kid's project quickly becomes yours. So then you’re taking the order forms to work or sending them to your family members, or sharing the fundraising campaign code all over Facebook in the hopes that someone will purchase a candle. It can be burdensome, to say the least.

Another detractor of a candle fundraiser is that if someone does purchase a candle, your organization will likely only see 50% of the profit. One of the bigger candle fundraisers with Yankee Candle only gives your group 40% of the profit. This might not sound bad, but when the candles you’re selling cost anywhere from $14 to $30, it’s going to take a good deal of selling to make a decent profit. The one upside is there aren’t any upfront costs with many vendors, so you don’t have to worry about selling enough candles to break even.  

There are certainly parents out there who are willing to put in time and effort to sell as many candles as possible, albeit there aren’t many, but there is one thing to consider with a candle fundraising business pitch: you’re trying to sell a scented product without the prospective buyer smelling it.

Now, some people know the kind of scents they prefer, but it could be a gamble for people to pick out a candle without knowing how it will smell. The National Candle Association found that more and more frequently, people are purchasing candles for aromatherapy-like relaxation and stress reduction. That doesn’t sound like a purchasing mentality left up to chance, which is what you get with a candle fundraiser.

As with most any fundraiser, there is the good and the bad. Candles do make great presents for others, they warm up any house, and they can even help reduce stress. So if you can handle the stress of selling a stock of candles, this could be a profitable fundraiser for you. You might just have to light a candle of your own and cozy up at home when it’s all said and done.

Next Steps:

  • What are your thoughts on candle fundraising? Leave us a comment below!
  • Check out a no-selling fundraiser where you earn 100% of the profit: scrip fundraising.

New Call-to-action

Leave a comment

Louise Sanderson
Written by Louise Sanderson
Attending public schools all her life and being a three-sport athlete, Louise is no novice to fundraising. When she's not writing copy for Great Lakes Scrip Center, Louise can be found playing recreational sports too competitively, or spending quality time with her dog.

Related posts

Comparing One-Off and Year-Round Fundraisers

With the back-to-school season in full swing, there’s no doubt that you’re starting to brainstorm and plan fundraising ideas...

Louise Sanderson
By Louise Sanderson - August 9, 2018
4 Tips for Choosing the Right Fundraising Company

For many families, a new school year means cleaning out backpacks, buying gym shoes, and getting a fresh start. But for PTO...

Seth DeHaan
By Seth DeHaan - July 25, 2018
School Fundraising on Spring Break

A few weeks from now, you and your family could be in a much warmer place, soaking up the sun and enjoying a much-needed...

Louise Sanderson
By Louise Sanderson - March 7, 2018
Sub Sandwich Fundraising: The greatest thing since sliced bread?

November 3rd is National Sandwich Day. While there are tons of great deals set for the day, let’s get to the real meat...

Louise Sanderson
By Louise Sanderson - November 3, 2017