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The Ultimate Guide to Cookie Dough Fundraising

cookie dough fundraiser

Cookie fundraisers are one of the most popular ways groups and organizations can raise money. Schools, churches, and various nonprofits have all utilized cookie dough fundraising or cookie fundraising to varying success. The most notable example is The Girl Scouts of America, who make over $800 million from cookie sales each year.

But are cookie fundraisers the best way for your organization to raise money? 

Learn more about the effectiveness of fundraising cookies and discover a popular alternative in this useful guide. 

The Ins and Outs of Cookie Dough Fundraising

Cookie dough fundraising is an example of a classic fundraising strategy: selling products to receive a portion of the revenue. 

Here’s how cookie dough fundraisers typically work:

  1. Organizations take cookie dough or cookie orders from fundraiser participants and collect money upfront. Depending on the provider or supplier, they’ll have a specific product catalog from which customers can order.

  2. Once all the orders are in, the organization will purchase and distribute the cookie dough and cookies themselves, either through pick-up or delivery.

  3. Organizations keep the profit from the sales. For example, Girl Scout cookies are about $5 per box, and the troop keeps $0.80 for each box sold.

Did you know? There are many different types of cookie-related products you can sell for a fundraiser, aside from ready-to-eat boxes of cookies. Some popular ideas include:

  • Frozen cookie dough tubs – This is probably what you first imagine when someone mentions cookie dough fundraising. They’re liked by many because they’re easy to store for whenever you want to whip up a batch of cookies. 
  • Frozen pre-portioned cookies – This option is even more convenient because customers will know exactly how many cookies they’ll be able to make. There’s also very little preparation involved—just plop them on a tray and into the oven.
  • Cookie mix – Cookie mix can be a good option for customers who aren’t sure when they’ll be making cookies, but it does require them to purchase other ingredients like eggs and milk. 

  • Cookie dough coupons – This option eliminates a lot of the hassle that comes with selling physical products. Instead, customers can purchase coupons to be redeemed online, and the cookie dough provider will ship their order directly to them.

While there are many cookie fundraiser cookie dough options, let’s look at how profitable they are. 

The Earning Potential of Cookie Dough Fundraisers

The success of your fundraiser relies heavily on volunteer power. The more people you have selling, the better.

Costs and profits will also vary depending on which provider you decide to use, but the general numbers you need to keep in mind are:

  • Cookie dough cost per tub/box
  • Profit margin per tub/box
  • Shipping costs, from the provider and/or to the customer
Cookie dough prices can range from $10 to $16 for a tub or box. Profit margins usually fall between 40 to 60%, meaning your organization will earn between $6 to $8 from each sale. 

Don’t forget to factor in shipping costs, too! Weight can quickly inflate shipping prices. Some providers include free shipping, but only if you sell a certain amount. Spend time comparing providers to find the best deal. 

box of cookies for a cookie fundraiser

Pros and Cons of Cookie Fundraisers

With a solid understanding of how cookie fundraisers work, it’s important to consider the advantages — and disadvantages — of organizing one. 

Let’s start with the pros:

  • Cookies are well-loved – Many people enjoy eating cookies. Pre-made cookie dough is great for those with a sweet tooth who aren’t necessarily the best bakers.

  • Precedence – There are lots of examples of successful cookie dough fundraisers, and there are many cookie dough companies well-equipped to handle your orders. 
Despite these pros, there are some cons that you should consider before kickstarting a cookie fundraiser:

  • Storage – Cookie dough needs to be kept in a freezer to maintain freshness. If you’re a large organization with access to freezers, this may not be an issue, but smaller groups might not have the proper storage space. 

  • Competitors – Because cookie dough fundraisers are so popular, there may be other groups doing their own, which would decrease your sales.

  • Requires extra time and effort – It takes a lot of work to execute a cookie dough fundraiser. For instance, you’ll need multiple volunteers for both selling and distributing. Smaller organizations might not have the numbers to make a substantial profit. Remember, you’re only earning a small portion from sales. 

  • Health concerns – While cookies are universally loved, they aren’t the healthiest snack. Similar to candy fundraisers, cookie fundraisers could deter folks who are on diets or regulating their sugar intake.

Cookie fundraisers are generally still very effective. After all, this fundraising method has been around for years! However, it might be worth exploring alternative fundraising techniques, such as RaiseRight gift card fundraising, that you can use in conjunction with cookie dough sales.

RaiseRight gift card fundraising takes the pressure off of fundraiser organizers to sell products. Instead, your fundraising participants can buy gift cards from the brands they shop at every day, with a percentage of each gift card purchase going directly back to your organization.

Essentially, participants can support your cause while dining at restaurants or shopping for items they're already buying. What’s better than that?

Find a Better Way to Fundraise With RaiseRight

With RaiseRight, you and your families can purchase eGift cards or order physical gift cards for home delivery. They can shop gift cards from hundreds of brands they know and love, and your organization gets to keep up to 20% of each gift card sale. 

Ready to start earning?

Here are some next steps to get the ball rolling:

  1. Learn more about how gift card fundraising works.
  2. Download the Gift Card Fundraising Playbook and share it with others in your organization.
  3. Start a free program by completing a short, online enrollment form.  

If your organization is already earning with RaiseRight, you just need your enrollment code to create an account and begin fundraising right away.

alternative to cookie fundraising