We are your resource for Fundraising!

Cool Springs Nursery brings you the ultimate in fundraising opportunities. As a leader in our field, we bring you the best product and service, accompanied with our ability to maximize your profits while allowing you to maintain little to no overhead! Learning how to sell Christmas Trees and Wreaths is the easiest and most profitable way to raise money for your organization.

Fraser Fir Christmas Trees and Greenery are a fabulous way to raise money for nonprofit organizations for several reasons:

1. IT MAKES MONEY!

The Boy Scout district in Birmingham, Alabama raises over $100,000 dollars each year for Scouting through their Christmas Tree Sales. There are few fundraisers that can annually raise this amount of money. The key is to get started and watch the profit grow over the years as you sell excellent trees and develop a reputation for quality and service.

2. Low to No overhead or expenses for fundraisers 

If you teach your group how to sell Christmas Trees, it often makes the sales lot and labor free.  Also, if you pre-sell the trees and/or wreaths, there is no upfront cost.

3. Lots of potential customers

Nonprofit organizations often have many people associated with them who want to support them through their fundraisers. Frequently people will sign up to buy a tree even before it arrives.

Cool Springs Nursery Fundraising program is easier than ever with our new online fundraiser website.

Note: For the best possible information and a sales plan tailored to your organization, call 828-963-4600. We can help you learn how to sell Christmas Trees and develop a plan that is custom-fitted to your needs.

Take a moment to review the following information.  It will help you understand all the options and give you a better idea of what is involved in setting up a fundraiser.

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Step 1 - Commitment to Fundraiser

Meet with and get a commitment from the leaders of your organization to take on this fundraising project.  Get a commitment from each person in your leadership team to work hard to make this a success.   You cannot do this alone.  After your leadership commits, then put each person in charge of certain elements of your fundraiser (pre-sell, advertising, tree and wreath ordering, lot set up, volunteer manager, etc.)

As a Committee decide which fundraising option you are going to pursue.  Here are some choices:

1.  Sell trees and wreaths or wreaths only (wreaths only is recommended for smaller groups or groups that time or space to handle trees.  Learning how to sell Christmas Trees will bring in more money but does take more effort. )

2. Run a full- blown lot like many civic, church and Boy Scout organizations do. These are primarily open evenings and then all weekend or just weekends. All members of the organization are scheduled to work the lot with their families (great group building time). Get people to pre-buy wreaths and trees (we have a Soccer team in Atlanta that pre-sells over 150 trees sight unseen and distributes them in two hours) or at least get a commitment that they will look at your trees first.  You WILL have the best trees around, so the sale is pretty much a sure thing.  Run the lot for only 1 to 2 weeks AND let people know that they need to buy their trees early.

3. Do a pre-sell fundraiser for trees and wreaths, and possibly partner with another organization.

Have a brochure and collection sheet for your members to take with them as they pre-sell the trees and/or wreaths to the community. Possibly have posters advertising you are doing this and where to get more information or to buy a tree. Collecting the money up front is highly recommended.

IMPORTANT!!!  If you have never done a pre-sell before, you will most likely not sell as many as you think, so plan to also do a retail lot to move the rest of your product…we do have min orders.

An example of partnering with another group: Hook up with a large realtor with 50 or more agents, if you have such an organization in your town, or even the realtor board. Have the agents buy trees and wreaths as Thank You’s to customers who have bought houses from them.  Sell them the trees at retail and use the mark up for a humanitarian cause that your club, Realtors, and customers want to support.  Customers bring gifts when they pick up their tree on a Saturday morning first Saturday in DEC. and gifts are given to needy families and children.  Ray Bergy has done this very successfully with his realty company and sold three hundred wreaths and three hundred trees, having just done it two years.  It takes time to grow these events into huge numbers.

Example of one of the options:

We have a football coach fundraising for athletics and he is pre-selling Fraser Fir Wreaths and Christmas Trees at football games. We sent them a tree sample as well as a wreath sample and they set up by the concession stand with great advertising to sell and to support the team. Fraser Firs are pre-sold for full price and are delivered during one morning.  The customers often pick the trees up unwrapped (baled); sometimes the trees are set up in a tree-lot fashion for only one morning when the customer can select their “prepaid for” tree.

Figure out how to sell Christmas trees the best way for your group. Most people start out with 150 to 200 Fraser Fir Christmas trees and lots of pre-sold Fraser Fir wreaths and build it up significantly over the years.

Step 2 - Commitment From Team

Get your organization behind you and your committee. Get a commitment from members and if possible family members to work the lots and sell Fraser Firs to their friends and neighbors. Get them to work up their own personal list of people they think are very good possibilities as sales prospects.

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Step 3 - Sales

Pre-Sell trees and greenery or get “pre-commitments” to look at your trees first. Many people (even when helping an organization) are not overly excited about buying a Christmas Tree “sight unseen”. By asking them to commit to coming to see your trees first you seal the deal. We are confident in our trees and if they are priced reasonably we are convinced the quality of the tree will sell itself.

Step 4 - The Lot

Decide how to sell Christmas trees in your area- whether you are going to do a classic Christmas tree sales lot or whether you are going to have a one-day pick-up event (pre-sales). If you are going to do a classic Christmas tree lot, we can consult with you on how to sell Christmas trees, guide you through your lot setup and offer advice on all aspects of retailing trees and wreaths. We have had fifteen years in retailing in the Virginia Beach, Va. area before we started selling Fraser Fir Christmas Trees strictly wholesale.

Step 5 - Building your customer base

Stay in it for the long term: the bigger money is raised after several years of building up the popularity and reputation of your fundraiser . Commit to selling the trees at a lower price in order to build your customer base. If your customers think they justify buying your trees because they are a high quality tree at a reasonable price while still being able to “support your cause”, you will have a customer for life. Co-op other groups to help you make it bigger and better.

Step 6 - Make it more than a purchase... Make it an Experience!

Make it a “Fundraiser to Remember”. A great draw is to do a drive - through Christmas Light Show. These are done around the country and are huge. It will also draw lots of people to your sale. Other ideas are a live nativity, petting zoo, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus or elves . . . use your imagination. Consider selling pumpkins and/or mums in the fall and lilies in the Spring as additional fundraisers to build your base of people helping your organization do great humanitarian things.

Step 7 - Post-Fundraiser Meeting

All great companies continue to develop ways to better their product, service, and marketing. Make an effort to meet with all the members involved in the fundraiser after the event. The closer to the event the better. Do it while it is fresh in everyone’s head. Appoint someone to take notes…this will prove vital and helpful for the next year.

Where do I get all the necessary materials?

Depending on what type of route you choose to go for fundraising with (Pre-sell or Lot) you may need certain materials. Here are a list of things you may choose to accompany your project:

1. Lights: The best lights are 100′ strings of work and safety lights (buy at local electrical supply store) that can be hung from 12 foot 4×4’swhich are put around the lot, if on a grassy area. If on pavement, spot lights or work lights can be used. You can build stands for light poles and hold them down with sand bags.If there are parking lot lights, they can be used but it is good to have additional lights.

2. Display supports: There are many options here. The cheapest is 3/4 rebar pounded into a grass lot. The normal lot displays around 80 trees at a time though you can do more and fewer, depending on your overall numbers to sell and your space limitations. Wooden sawhorse - type supports can be used to lean the trees on for display purposes. Both of these are relatively inexpensive. A more expensive, but better, option are metal racks that are 5×5 feet with pins on each corner where you place the trees. This system requires a stand - straight drill press which will cost around $550. Instead of the 5×5 racks, you can use stand - straight stands (approximately $9/stand) to display the trees and then you sell the tree with a stand (about $18 retail for stand). This works good except where the ground is uneven or if there is a lot of wind in your area.

3. Chainsaw (electric or gas): This is needed to put a fresh cut on each tree. Trees must be placed in water within a couple hours otherwise a new fresh cut is required to hydrate the tree. If you don’t have a chainsaw, remember to tell you customers to do that a home.

4. Shade structure and water: This is to keep inventory fresh. Water is not absolutely necessary but excellent to have.

How to Sell Christmas Trees

Optional, but “good - to - have” items are: (These apply especially to the Tree Lot)

1. Manual tree netter: This puts netting around the tree for easy transport. The machine costs $300, and netting runs 5 cents per tree.

2. Signs: Use these to advertise your lot and/or for pre-sales information.

3. Price tags: This allows you to price trees individually if you have different sizes and grades of trees.

4. String: This is good to tie trees on car. It is better to let customers take liability for tying trees on car but provide string for them.

5. Accessories to sell: Many tree buyers also want wreaths, roping and stands. These are the main sellers and it is rare that you can make money off other items the first year out. There is a lot of competition from many stores. Though your group may make money on food, crafts, and unique items, especially for a fund raiser.

CHRISTMAS TREE LOT ACCESSORIES, STANDS, LOT BALERS, WREATH ACCESSORIES, LIGHTS BANNERS: www.kelcomaine.com, www.pursellmfg.com,and our favorite local supplier Fraser Knoll at: http://www.fraserknoll.com/Web%20Page%20-%20Catalog%20Listing.htm