What’s involved in popcorn fundraisers?
That depends on how much work a group wants
to put into the project.
There are basically three levels: Easy, Moderate,
Let’s look at each one of these levels.
The Easy Level basically has three steps:
1. Buy popped popcorn in bulk
2. Bag it in smaller bags
3. Sell the smaller bags
The Moderate Level has a few more steps:
1. Buy un-popped popcorn
2. Pop the popcorn
3. Bag the popped popcorn
Sell the bags of popcorn
The (really) Difficult Level has lots of steps and takes a long time:
1. Grow the popcorn
2. Harvest the popcorn
3. Dry the popcorn
4. Pop the popcorn
5. Bag the popcorn
Sell the bags of popcorn.
Now that’s a LOT of work. But one school
district has done just that.
Pender High School is a rural school located in Burgaw, NC. The school grows popcorn on its campus. They also process it—some 700 pounds of popcorn!
For more information about Pender High School's popcorn project click here.
Let's take a closer look at some basic steps that are needed, no matter which level you choose.
One of the first questions to determine is what is the purpose of the popcorn fundraiser?
It's important that everyone involved in the fund raiser knows exactly what the purpose of the fund raiser is.
It also helps in advertising to explain the purpose of the fund raiser.
Another matter is who needs to give permission for the fund raiser?
How will the person be approached?
Who will be responsible for getting permission?
What permits will be required? Who will be responsible for getting the required permits?
Which level will you use:
Now you need to look at finances.
Who will make the decision as to which level you will use (buy popcorn or kernels)?
How will the decision be made?
Another consideration is who will be in charge of acquiring the popcorn?
If you are using level one (buying popcorn in bulk), where will you stuff the smaller bags? You need to be sure the area is clean; the smaller bags are new; the workers are wearing plastic, disposable gloves; and the scoops used are clean.
If you are using level two (buying kernels and popping the popcorn), where will you pop the popcorn? Who pops the popcorn? Who will provide the popper and what type will it be? Again, you need to make sure the area where the bags are filled is clean; the bags are new; the workers are wearing plastic, disposable gloves; and the scoops used are clean.
If you are using level three (growing your own popcorn), you may want to contact Pender High School for their suggestions.
Another area for consideration is advertising. Will you have students make posters? Will you need to advertise on radio stations that advertise community events? Will there be any funds for advertising or will it all be free?
How will the students sell the popcorn? Will there be a booth in a central location--like at school? Will students sell at lunch time? Will students sell on their own--like setting up tables in shopping malls? If students are selling on their own, please be sure there is at least one adult with them.
How many bags will be given to each student selling? Where do they take the money after selling?
Once the selling time is over, there are still more questions to answer.
So many things to consider. There are dozens (maybe even hundreds!) of Popcorn Fundraiser Vendors who will help you if you want to go that route. But they will take a share of your profits, so choose carefully.
If you have had experience with a popcorn fundraiser, or have more suggestions, please tell us about them.
To download your Popcorn Fundraiser Check List, click here.