The Warm Glow Of Fundraising: Candle Fundraisers

Candle selling is a 2 billion dollar plus industry (not including accessories). That’s a huge market that is definitely worth tapping to raise funds for your organization.

Candle sales consist primarily of the sale of the very popular scented candles consumers buy to make their homes a better place to be. Scented candles are available in the traditional paraffin variety, and also now in soy-based waxes which are said to smoke less and be more environmentally friendly since petroleum is not needed to produce them. There are advantages and disadvantages to both soy and paraffin wax candles; candle suppliers are well-versed in the pros and cons of each type, and will be more than happy to discuss them with you.

Running A Candle Fundraiser

Candle sales can be run as catalog-based order taking campaigns or as “on-hand” selling events.

Catalog Order

In a catalog order fundraiser materials will be supplied by the candle supplier. Customers choose the size and scent of the candles they want and payment is collected upfront. Upon delivery by the supplier, orders are sorted and distributed.

Disadvantages of catalog sales are:

– Sellers cannot see and smell the candles.
– Distribution is more time consuming.

Advantages of catalog sales are:

On the upside, however, consumers have a wider variety pf both candle scents and sizes as well as accessories available through catalog sales. Also, your group has no upfront investment in product.

On-Hand Direct Selling

On-hand candle selling consists of your group spending money upfront to buy candles at wholesale price from the distributor, then selling them at one or more candles sales.

Disadvantages of on-hand candle selling events include:

– Need for the group to purchase candles upfront.
– Need to staff sellers at tables for several hours during the event.
– Need to store and transport large number of candles to sales events.
– Limited inventory depending on what the group purchases upfront.
– Group may be left with excess inventory which they either keep at a loss or return to the company; before buying, make sure you know the company’s return policy, including shipping charges.

Advantages of on-hand candle selling events include:

On the upside of on-hand sales, candles can be tested for size and scent by the customer at point of purchase. Groups also have the advantage of the convenience of cash-and-carry and impulse buys, without the need for sorting and distribution. Profits are also immediately available to the sponsoring group.

Whatever route your group decides to take for candle selling, a candle sale, particularly near the holidays, can net great profits. Whether through a catalog sale, cash-and carry event, or combination of the two, candle sales are an excellent way to raise sizable funds in relatively short amounts of time.

Sponsor Link: Candle Fundraiser at the

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  1. Posted by Gail 12th July, 2008 at 8:20 am

    You’re right, the biggest disadvantage to a candle fundraiser (or selling online or even via catalog) is the problem of “what will this smell like and will I like it?”

    It’s somewhat easier in the holiday season, when “Christmas scented candles” often appear. Scents like Christmas Tree, Bayberry, Sugar Cookies and the like become “known quantities”.

    The rest of the year can be iffy, as the various companies view scents in a different way. One company may choose a true vanilla, while another mixes it with floral, andother with fruit, and so on. How do you know what’s good, when you can’t take off the lid and smell it?

    Still, scented candles are a wonderful gift, as well as a wonderful purchase for the home. A richly scented fragrance filling the home sets a cozy atmosphere.

    So take a chance, and buy that candle in the fundraiser! You may love it more than you think.

  2. Posted by Church Fundraising Ideas | Fundraising Ideas 20th July, 2010 at 7:36 am

    […] amount of planning, if you’re going to solicit pledges for each pound of trash collected. • Candle fundraisers. The latest in church fundraising. People will buy candles anyway; why not buy them for a good […]



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