Frequently Asked Questions
FarmRaiser is healthy fundraising company that connects local farms and food artisans to schools and organizations raising money for important causes. Students sell healthy, local products instead of the usual suspects (junk food, wrapping paper, pizza kits, etc.) and advocate for the importance of supporting local food systems. We’re a great way to raise money for your cause, teach kids about the importance of healthy, local food, and strengthen your local economy.
- We’re focused on helping you raise money for your cause. Schools and organizations keep a guaranteed 45% of every sale, with an average of 53%.
- Our campaigns are mission focused. Students become ambassadors for healthy, local food and use their FarmRaiser as a way to speak with customer-supporters about the importance of supporting their local food system.
- We use technology to ensure your sale is a success. Say goodbye to old fashioned paper sales--students sell from our online farmers’ markets and our mobile app, making it easy for them to spread the word about their FarmRaiser campaign on social media.
- Our campaigns support classroom learning, school wellness policies, and special programs and opportunities. Let us know what you’re looking to accomplish in your school and we’ll structure our training and support to help you meet your goals.
We offer three ways to raise money with every campaign:
- Local product sales—students sell healthy local products and your cause keeps a minimum of 45% of every sale.
- Cash donations—your supporters can opt to give a cash donation and your cause keeps 90% excluding any credit card fees.
- Community Basket—students identify a charity (e.g. food pantry, homeless shelter) and ask supporters to donate money towards purchasing products for those in need. The school will receive 50% of every community basket sale, and the remainder will be used towards purchasing goods for the charity.
Think of FarmRaiser campaigns as a month long cycle. Students will typically sell products for two weeks, then when the sale ends, we give our partner-producers another two weeks or so to fulfill the order. Distribution Day, the day you distribute products to customers, will occur about a month after the day your sale begins. Your Cultivator will work with you to determine the best day for your campaign to start, decide how long it will last, and select a Distribution Day that works for both you and the partner-producers.
There are no upfront cost associated with starting a FarmRaiser. FarmRaiser charges a 5-10% fee from gross sales for most campaigns plus the actual credit card and any shipping/handling fees, which never exceed 5% of gross sales.
For product sales: Starting with the retail price of an item, or 100%, we subtract actual costs as follows:
- Actual cost of the good, which goes directly to small businesses and communities
- FarmRaiser Fee to help us continue to support and enhance the platform
- School or cause is left with their proceeds. You have control over your profit margin! Your exact profit margin is up to you since you set your retail prices.
For Cash donations: 90% percent of the donation (excluding any credit card fees) goes to your school.
If you're intersted in getting a FarmRaiser started for your organization, here are some great resources that you can share with your team:
Our one-pager, a quick source of information to share with your team
Our Quick Start guide about the life cycle of your campaign
The Master Packet of information full of everything you need to get your campaign up and running
A quick presentation about all the great things that FarmRaiser can do for you and your organization
and a Masterpost of helpful resources on our blog!
Are there no suppliers near you? email our chief cultivator Lauren Smith at email@example.com with any suggestions for suppliers you may have, and we'll work to partner with new local vendors in your area! Have a vendor in mind? Show them our supplier flyer to give them more information about becoming a FarmRaiser partner! We find that local vendors can sometimes respond better to someone within their community, so here's a great resource on our blog about reaching out to local vendors and finding great product along with a sample email template.
The beauty of FarmRaiser is anyone can start a campaign. Our Cultivators have helped parents, teachers, clubs, students, nonprofits, and all kinds of organizations start FarmRaiser campaigns. If you’re wondering if we’re a good fit for your needs or you’d like to talk through what your FarmRaiser campaign might look like, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We like to have 3 to 4 weeks of lead time before beginning a new campaign, but we’ll work with your schedule, so just let us know what your needs are. See our sample timeline for more details.
We let you choose your products! FarmRaiser will offer options from within about 30 miles of your school, then you’ll pick 3-5 products you love. Great options include apples, seasonal veggies, homemade jam, honey, dried cherries, maple syrup, bread, coffee... and so much more! Find out what great hyperlocal products and vendors you have in your area with out partner list! Have a vendor whose products you're interested in? Give them more information about becoming a FarmRaiser vendor with our vendor flyer! Local vendors often respond better to members within their community, so here's a great resource and email template on our blog about reaching out to your local vendors!Contact our chief cultivator Lauren Smith at email@example.com to get more information about healthy local products around you.
Products get to your school in one of three ways:
- Volunteers or parents from your school go to the farm/business on Distribution Day, pick up the products, then bring them back to your school or designated location for pick up.
- Farmers/business owners who are supplying your campaign will deliver your products to you.
- Volunteers from the school will meet the farmer/business owner at a convenient location like a farmers’ market or co-op, pick up the product, and bring it back to the school.
How each product gets to your school can vary, so make sure you have a couple of volunteers who are willing to help pick up products if needed. Your Cultivator will make sure everyone is clear on delivery details.
FarmRaiser relies on students and parents to pick up and deliver products on distribution day. On occasion, some items may be picked up by the supporter at a local destination, such as u-pick crops or fresh pressed cider from a local cider mill.
Items purchased for the Community Basket will be shipped directly to the identified charities without additional help from the school, unless students want to be involved as part of their community service experience.
In order to sell online and using social media, each student needs an online profile, and the profile will need at least the student’s name. Posting a picture on the profile is optional, but we’ve found that profiles with pictures and custom messages are most successful. Profiles must be linked to an email address or Facebook account. This can be done using parents’ information for younger students.
Parents who wish to opt-out can allow their student to sell using only paper forms.
FarmRaiser believes that incentives can be a critical anchor to your campaigns' success and can also increase your fundraising financial targets. FarmRaiser will help you determine what incentives might be most useful and encouraging to the students at your school. We will also help in providing some of those prizes as an additional option to your campaigns. Ask a FarmRaiser Cultivator or consult our guide on successful fundraisers for more information.
FarmRaiser is dedicated to helping build healthier young people, stronger local economies, and a better food system -- all by reinventing an industry that traditionally relies on the sales of non-local junk food.
- You will help great local causes and create new local sales and marketing channels for your business.
- FarmRaiser will provide you contact information for every customer that chooses to support the cause through a purchase of your product – a very inexpensive and tangible way to grow your customer base.
- FarmRaiser will also promote your products on our website, include your promotional material with every order delivered, and provide help telling your story and capturing great photos of your products.
Follow these steps to arrive at a great price point for one of our campaigns:
- Start with how much it costs you to grow or make one unit of what you would like us to sell;
- Think about current market conditions – don’t ask retail price for an in season good that can be bought wholesale for much less;
- Consider how much it is worth to you to add a known, paying customer to your mailing list – selling an item at near cost could be seen as the cost of gaining a new, potentially loyal customer for your business.
- Keep in mind the retail price that customer/supporters will be asked to pay – FarmRaiser sets the retail price by at least doubling what we pay you. Ask yourself: will a customer/supporter get value for their purchase? The goal should be leaving them feeling good about supporting a cause and your products.
- Talk pricing with FarmRaiser staff – they’ll help you arrive at a price that is good for everyone involved.
Fulfillment of the order (packaging and delivery to school) will be determined when you sign-up with FarmRaiser. If you can deliver product, those costs should be figured into the cost of the product. If you are too busy or would prefer not to do delivery, FarmRaiser will arrange for product pick-up at a specified date and time.
FarmRaiser makes l0% on all product sales excluding any credit card fees which are paid by the customer. Our costs cover creating and sustaining the local vendor network in each market, on-boarding schools and champions, maintaining our technology intuitive solutions, and finally reconciling and settling payments with all parties. Our goal is to return to the school, on average, at least 45% of every dollar spent while creating a new locally responsible and healthy fundraising environment.
You must be a licensed business with a Federal tax ID number to partner with FarmRaiser. You will be asked to certify that you have appropriate licenses and permissions to sell products from your place of business. For any good that is processed or preserved, you will need to be operating from a certified commercial kitchen.