Case Study: Field Hockey Canada
Junior Women's World Cup Fundraiser
Field Hockey Canada ran an online fundraising campaign to raise money for the Junior Women's team travel to the Junior World Cup in Santiago, Chile. The purpose of this report is to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign and to highlight the areas that could have been improved.
The idea presented was to offer supporters the opportunity to sponsor a jersey of one of the athletes. Each Jersey sponsorship was priced at $75.00 and included a limited edition commemorative -T-shirt, a lanyard, a signed picture of the team, a 6x4 picture of the athlete sponsored and a $20 tax receipt.
Screenshot of the Jersey Sponsorship in The Field Hockey Canada Store
Other levels of sponsorship were added;
- $50.00 for a Maple Leaf Member (did not include tax receipt).
- T-shirt Only for $20.00
- Lanyard Only for $7.00
The Jersey sponsorship was the biggest seller with over 40 sales at this level of sponsorship. The costs incurred included some updates to Field Hockey Canada's already existing web store, the cost of t-shirts and printing. Shipping, taxes and the cost to process credit card transactions were included in the flat rate of $75.00 as well so these costs had to be accounted for.
Strengths of the program:
Timeliness: The fundraiser was designed around a specific event, the Junior World Cup and the timeliness of the event created a sense of urgency amongst supporters.
Offered Different Giving Levels: Response rates increased because the supporters had a choice of what level they wanted to give at: $75.00 Jersey Sponsor, $50.00 Maple Leaf Member, $20.00 t-shirt or $7.00 lanyard.
High Margin: The cost to put together the each Jersey Sponsorship package was about $20.00 with all expenses factored in (printing, shipping, t-shirts, lanyards and credit card processing.) The product was marked up by almost 300%. The high intrinsic value of the package allowed for such a high mark-up.
High Intrinsic Value: The sponsorship worked well because of the intrinisic value felt by sponsoring an individual athlete. The sponsorship was made more personal to the supporters because of the interactivity of sponsoring an individual athlete.
Field Hockey Canada E-news Service and Web Site: The team was able to promote the fundraiser on the Field Hockey Canada web site and even more effectively via the Field Hockey Canada e-newsletter. It was a simple, fast, and effective way to promote the fundraiser to everyone in the Field Hockey Canada's email database. They were able to reach 800 supporters with the click of a button.
Recognition of Supporters: A supporter page was created to recognize those who supported the team. Supporters enjoyed being recognized for their contribution and having their name displayed on the Field Hockey Canada web site.
Screenshot of the Thank You Page on the Field Hockey Canada Website
Weakness of the Program:
Amount of Time & Effort Involved: There was a lot of time, energy and effort involved in making the fundraiser a success. Each purchase through the online store had to be manually packaged and sent to each supporter. Additionally, all of the credit card transactions had to be approved manually.
Left-Over Inventory: The T-shirts had to be purchased in mass quantities so unfortunately there was some leftover inventory. These items can still be sold but at the moment they are sitting in inventory as unsold items and included as an expense of the fundraising effort. The unsold items reduced the profitability of the campaign.
Logistics: It was impossible to anticipate the success of the program or know what quantities of each size of t-shirt to purchase. As a result a number of the t-shirts went on backorder when the popular sizes sold out. There were numerous headaches involved with the ordering and distribution of the t-shirts and lanyards. The goods were purchased in Vancouver and then had to be sent to the head office in Ottawa and then onto the supporters. There were delays in shipping the items to the supporters and a number of orders were cancelled because of these unfortunate circumstances.
Limited Promotions: The team didn't use every avenue at their disposal to get the word out about the campaign. Most of the promotion was aimed at Field Hockey Canada's membership and word of mouth. If each of the girls had run their own email campaign the results could have been substanially improved for little or no cost.
There are free services available online that can offer an organization the ability to create a custom storefront. These free services also offer fullfillment of the products you place in your custom store. They stock your store, handle the online transaction, print and create the items you want in your stores and they even handle the shipping directly to your supporters. There is no risk on the team's part of excess inventory and there is no cost at all to the team for the shirts. Most are US based but can ship items worldwide.
The above case study is just one example of how the internet is now playing a major role in helping groups fundraise online. Read our article on 9 Reasons Your Group Should Be Fundraising Online to learn more about the unlimited potential of web-based fundraising.