When the weather warms and the sun starts to shine, spring fever strikes. People practically pour out of their houses, eager to start the season off right. Plant nurseries become crowded on the weekends, as gardeners hurry to plant their flower beds and vegetable gardens, as well as adorn their yards with hanging baskets and colorful planters. If you’re like me, you’ve noticed the plant based fundraisers that pop up every year, at schools and in parking lots. They always seem to draw crowds – and thus, lots of money, but what are the logistics behind them, and are they profitable?
If you have a greenhouse, orchard, farm or nursery near you, they may offer a spring plant fundraiser you didn’t even know about – so, if you’re interested, it’s a good idea to start looking for information there. Based on some informal research, different nurseries offer different ranges of plant products. Most offer hanging baskets, which could certainly make for a very successful fundraiser, as they’re hugely popular. The hanging baskets can usually be ordered with various flower combinations in them. One company, for instance, offered four varieties of hanging basket: a Pansy mix bowl, a Snapdragon mix bowl, a spring surprise combo and a trailing pansy hanging basket.
One great idea? Consider partnering with one of these nurseries for a hanging basket fundraiser in the weeks prior to Mother’s Day. Many people enjoy giving and receiving beautiful hanging baskets for this particular holiday, which would make for a high sales volume and happy customers.
Many nurseries who offer spring plant fundraisers go beyond hanging baskets, and offer several other options for non-profits to sell that allow them to sell more and to a broader audience. Some offer flats of beautiful annual flowers, such as marigolds, impatiens and begonias. These are great for gardeners who prefer planting a different selection of flowers in their flower beds each year. Perennial flowers are also an option that some nurseries offer for their fundraisers, such as Echinacea flowers or delphinium.
Of course, vegetable and herb gardeners are a market that any spring smart fundraiser wouldn’t want to miss out on. That’s why some nurseries offer vegetable and herb selections in their fundraisers, as well. Some of these come in set “starter kits” while others are individual plants.
So how much can a spring plant fundraiser be expected to bring in for your non-profit? The answer varies according to a wide range of factors, but there are some estimates. One hanging basket fundraising site estimated that the non-profit should bring in approximately ten dollars in profit per basket sold. That’s pretty impressive! Many of the nurseries recommend raising the prices fifty to one hundred percent over the wholesale fundraiser rate to optimize profits.
If you’re looking for a “fresh” fundraiser for spring, a plant fundraiser collaboration with a local nursery might be a great (and profitable) experience for your organization. You’ll be selling something that’s hard to resist to people who would likely be buying anyway – and that’s always a win-win combination!