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What Is a Coffee Fundraiser?

By K. Kinsella
Updated Feb 09, 2024
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A coffee fundraiser is an event organized by a business or nonprofit group in which funds are raised by selling coffee. Volunteers purchase large quantities of coffee at discount prices and sell the coffee to individuals or businesses for a much higher price. Typically, volunteers generate sales by making door-to-door sales calls or by marketing the coffee to friends, family and co-workers.

Wholesalers of coffee and coffee products often market fundraising programs to charities, schools and other non-profit groups. Wholesalers sell coffee to these groups at the same price that retailers typically pay to obtain supplies of coffee. Non-profit groups have lower operating costs than retailers since these groups sell coffee through volunteers and do not have to rent out commercial space or pay the taxes that retailers pay. Consequently, a group organizing a coffee fundraiser can sell the product for less than retailers and generate large quantities of sales.

Youth groups often use coffee fundraisers to generate money to buy new equipment, to cover the cost of group outings or to fund new community initiatives or programs. Normally, the group organizers provide each youth group member with an order sheet and a coffee catalog. Group members allow prospective customers to peruse the catalog and orders are recorded on the sheet. Funds are typically collected upon delivery of the coffee. Other organizations use the same process to raise money for different kinds of events.

During a coffee fundraiser, some organizations only sell one blend of coffee. In other instances, organizations market a wide variety of different coffee blends. Luxury blends typically generate the greatest profits because the fundraisers can sell these blends at the highest price. Many organizations focus on selling low-cost generic blends of coffee since more people can afford to buy these blends than luxury coffees. The committee organizing the coffee fundraiser must decide upon a sales strategy that will likely generate the greatest number of sales.

Generally, non-profit groups only take possession of coffee supplies as and when orders are received. Consequently, these organizations do not have the contend with finding storage space for inventory or disposing of excess supplies. A coffee fundraiser, provides an organization with a low risk way of generating revenue and also provides coffee wholesalers with an additional distribution source. Consumers benefit from fundraisers since they gain access to blends of coffee from different parts of the world that are not commonly sold through retailers. Additionally, many small coffee producers partners with wholesalers during these events and this enables these small firms to generate increased revenue and expand operations.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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