Billy G’s Gourmet Cookie and Biscuit Dough is a frozen cookie dough in a range of flavours that are sold in 1kg tubs, enough for 40 cookies. The dough can be thawed, scooped and baked, and the remaining dough re-frozen or refrigerated.
In a nutshell
Fundraising ideas: frozen cookie dough
Suitable for: schools, sports clubs, churches, playgroups, workplaces etc Australia wide
Profit: 27% (between $3.50-$4.00 per tub sold)
Billy G’s Gourmet Cookie Dough is an Australian made frozen cookie dough that comes in ten flavours (including gluten free and a cheese dog biscuit). Each tub is 1kg (minimum) and will make approximately 40 cookies. The dough can be thawed and refrozen multiple times, or can be kept in the fridge for up to four weeks.
Costing and payment info
The standard flavours are sold for $13 a tub, the dog biscuits $14 and the gluten-free choc chunk is sold for $15. Profit to your group ranges between $3.50 and $4.00 per tub.
No money is required upfront by the fundraising group. Payment is taken from customers at the time of ordering. Once the final order is made, an invoice will be sent which must be paid by direct deposit or cheque. The remainder of the money collected is your profit.
Remember that there may be delivery costs (up to $80) associated with your fundraiser depending on how many tubs you order, although ‘early birds’ who book their next fundraiser within certain dates are often provided with free delivery and other incentives.
Ordering/start up process
There is an online booking request form where you complete the details of the group, expected time frame, and necessary contact details. In 2016, a new online store component was added, which does not cost any extra for the school, but vastly improves the potential success of the fundraiser. Assistance is provided in setting up the online store, and it means you can more easily promote your fundraiser online – either through social media such as Facebook, or through links in emails and newsletters – and it reduces the need for students to have to deal with cash sales.
The new online store complements the traditional paper forms which you will still receive, together with information packs and posters. Depending on where you live in Australia, make sure you allow at least a week for the forms to arrive. You will be given login access to the website where you can download the accounting software and templates for letters, posters and newsletter items.
Allow an hour to go through the information pack and download the accounting software. I did not end up using any of the template letters provided, but they are a great place to start and will help save you time. You will be provided with a step-by-step guide to the process and the software is easy to use.
Dough must be ordered in multiples of 8 (can be mixed flavours), so you may find you have to order extra tubs to fill the final carton. Order popular flavours and sell them cash in hand on the day you distribute to your other customers.
The Cookie Dough practically sells itself, as it is a unique and useful product. Any of the following techniques would work:
- Door knocking
- Setting up a sales booth at school, sports matches, before/after church, fetes etc
- Email/social media campaign with a link to your online store
It is important to remind sellers that money must be paid at the time of ordering and there will be a delay of 2-4 weeks before customers will receive their dough.
Timeliness of process
Booking the fundraiser and receiving the order forms: approx. 2-3 weeks
Sales period: 3 weeks (including two weekends)
Final ordering, paying the invoice, receiving the dough: 2-3 weeks
Very friendly and helpful phone staff.
Prompt and polite email response.
One major issue is convincing customers to pay in advance for a product and then having to wait weeks to receive their cookie dough. Sellers (particularly children) can lose interest as there is no immediate reward (however, the incentive of the prizes helps considerably here).
The logistics of distribution is also a major issue, and you should put careful thought into arranging delivery of the dough on an appropriate day, and give customers plenty of warning so they can collect their dough as soon as possible after delivery. The dough is delivered frozen and can take hours to fully defrost [the website says the dough can stay out of the freezer for up to 8 hours and still be safely refrozen], but you need to be conscious of weather and also be prepared with lots of eskies or access to a fridge/freezer.
Keep in mind that each box of frozen dough weighs at least 8kg each. Transporting and moving hundreds of kilos of dough is a potential OH&S issue that you need to consider.
You should ensure you have plenty of volunteers and a very clear process to ensure everyone gets the dough they have ordered. I personally made little flyers with people’s name and taped them to the tubs so we can easily see them. This was painful enough for 100 tubs. If you sold 1,000s this wouldn’t be an option and you would need to make a comprehensive plan.
If all sales are made through a school/sports club, then delivery is relatively straightforward – just arrange a single pick-up time and day such after school. If your sellers are door knocking in their neighbourhood or giving forms to parents to sell dough at work, this should be taken into account when planning distribution.
Positive points of difference
There are lots of incentives offered to both the people selling the cookie dough and potential customers. Registered sellers (via the software program) can earn prizes from selling only one tub of cookie dough. Prizes range from a slinky (selling 1 tub), to remote control cars (20 tubs) to Razor scooters (100 tubs).
Selecting and ordering prizes is done at the same time as ordering the dough online and is a simple process. Prizes are received separately from the dough.
Anyone who buys or sells a tub of dough can go into the draw for a family holiday to Bali. Australian Fundraising offers one holiday per year, to the value of approximately $5000. This is a game of skill, not chance, and the prize is awarded to the most creative response in 25 words or less to a set question. This can be used as a selling point when trying to make dough sales, or you can use it as a ‘thank you’ when distributing the dough. I made small flyers telling customers how much money we raised, provided the details for the competition, and gave a recipe suggestions for using the dough to make ice cream baskets.
The cookie dough is Australian made, all the ingredients are clearly available on the website, and they are rated Amber in the School Canteen Traffic Light System.
Each tub of dough sold earns you between $3.50 and $4. Therefore to make $100 you will need to sell approximately 28 tubs of cookie dough.
We had a very small group of children selling the dough – on average they sold around 15 tubs each with around $50 profit each.
Frozen Cookie Dough is a great fundraiser as it is relatively easy to sell, has no upfront costs, and it is unique. Kids love it because it is fun and food but parents don’t really mind either (because it’s not bags of chocolate) and they have a greater degree of control over when it is consumed.
The baked cookies are yummy and I had a lot of compliments in the weeks that followed from families who were enjoying their biscuits.
Due to the frozen nature of the product, the logistics of distribution makes this one of the more challenging fundraisers.
This article was updated November 2016.
For more information
Visit the website at http://www.australianfundraising.com.au/