In the springtime, birds begin to sing, flowers begin to bloom, and self-respecting suburban gardeners everywhere begin to spread mulch.

The band boosters at Vandegrift High School in Austin, Texas, led by band dads Kirk Gravely and Kip DeGilio, saw an opportunity.

Why not sell and deliver bags of mulch to local homeowners?

Originally inspired by a Boy Scout fundraiser, they needed to scale up. WAY up, as it turned out. Where the Boy Scout sale had resulted in one and a half tractor-trailers filled with bags of mulch, they now had 18 tractor-trailers filling parking lots all over town!

We caught up with them to find out just how they pulled it off for the second year in a row.

The fundraiser sounds simple: deliver bags of mulch to area homeowners. Easy peasy, right?

Not so much, actually. Let’s take a look at what it takes.

First, do a little digging to find out what the going rate is for bagged mulch in your area. Check local hardware stores, garden centers, and big box retailers.

Once you have an idea what the going rate is, you’ll know what you might be able to charge for a bag of mulch. You don’t have to have the least expensive price, but your price should be competitive: within about 50 cents of the going rate.

Next, find a supplier. Vandegrift considered several local suppliers and determined which one offered the best combination of product and price. Once you find that supplier, let them know that you’re reselling it as a fundraiser. The goal is to get it from the supplier for about 75 cents to a dollar less per bag than the going rate you’ve established. That’ll be your profit. A few internet searches should go a long way in finding those local providers.

Next, begin sales. Not only will you provide your customer with bagged mulch at a reasonable price, but it will be delivered to them at no extra charge!

After that, all you have to do is deliver it when you said you would.

Join AMP today for the full details on how Vandegrift H.S. pulled off this ambitious fundraiser. You’ll get access to the written article plus the video recording of the webinar which also featured the Broken Arrow H.S. 5K fundraiser.

The best fundraisers are those in which an organization spots an existing need in the community and moves in to fill it. That way, the community can support your organization while getting things done all at the same time. It’s great PR for the group because you’re successfully delivering a product or service. I’ll bet that even if they’d never heard Vandegrift play, half the town knows who they are: the “mulch” kids. Take a look around and think about all the ways in which your organization can be of service to your community. You never know how it might pay off!