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”There are a handful of companies that still work directly with fundraising groups.”

CHAPTER 6

Suppliers and Distributors

Something else to consider when choosing a fundraiser is whether you should work with a supplier or distributor (a middleman to assist your efforts). One option is the Association of Fund-Raising Distributors and Suppliers (AFRDS). This is an international association of companies that provides products and services to non-profit organizations to assist in product fundraising programs. Members of AFRDS include:

Distributors

Companies that sell and deliver products to non-profit to be resold in a fundraiser.

Suppliers

Companies that make these products and sell the to distributors.

Affiliates

Companies that provide services to fundraising groups like graphic design, consulting, printing and publishing.

Advantages of Working with Suppliers and Distributors

Suppliers and distributors complicate the fundraising process, but depending on the size of the fundraiser, can make things easier for you. If you are choosing to work with a distributor or supplier, looking for affiliation with AFRDS is similar to checking the Better Business Bureau for a contractor. AFRDS holds its members to high standards of practice.

Disadvantages of working with suppliers and distributors

Both the suppliers and distributors need to make a profit in the fundraising process, so working with them means the goods they sell can seem to be on the expensive side and sometimes contribute to the general public’s perception of not getting much for their dollar when supporting a fundraiser. Suppliers and distributors add layers to the supply chain, sometimes causing less effective communication and confusion.

Advantages of working directly with fundraising companies

There are a handful of companies that still work directly with fundraising groups. Enter: Rada Mfg. Co. We make and distribute the products that fundraising groups sell, so there is no middleman. This means fewer layers and less confusion, better value for the fundraising customers as well as typically a more reliable supply chain.

Disadvantages of working directly with fundraising companies

Working directly with companies can de-clutter the process and create more value, but it doesn’t guarantee success. It depends on the company’s ability to keep promises for product delivery relating to your timelines and the quality of the products themselves. Research the company you’re considering working with to find out if a supplier and distributor will be needed for your fundraiser and whether that’s the route you’d like to take.

Chapter 6 Wrap-up

Now that you know a little more about the fundraising supply chain, you’ll have to decide what process will work for your group. Remember, there are some companies that will work with you directly, like Rada Mfg. Co.

  • AFRDS is to product fundraising suppliers and distributors as the Better Business Bureau is to contractors.
  • Suppliers and distributors can help you get your products on time, especially with large fundraisers that require more hands on deck.
  • Suppliers and distributors can also complicate the fundraising supply chain and make products more expensive. Your customers might be turned off by this.
  • Some companies still work directly with fundraising groups, which can simplify the supply chain and lower product prices.

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