- Locally Owned since 1996!
- Tennessee Based Company!
- Over $43M in Profits Raised since 1996!
- Offering ONLY American Made Products!
- Exclusive AFG Product Lines!
- Less overhead, greater profits to schools
- Progressive / Innovative / Cutting Edge
- Exclusive AFG Prize Programs!
- Trademarked Mega Party Prize Package!
- Local Service / Local Delivery!
As a fundraising company, we are primarily focused on creating new ways to increase your sales volume so that you ultimately earn more profit. And, the only way to increase the revenue is to provide new & better incentives and products to increase the desire for students and parents to participate in our program! In fact, it is our responsibility to help your school earn more profit than you have before, otherwise, there would be no point in talking with us! Furthermore, we firmly believe that we have the absolute strongest and most effective fundraising program in the entire industry, and we look forward to working with your school!
- Jim Pollock, President A.F.G.
Three Ingredients to a Successful Fundraiser
Have a Question?
Our community has been adversely affected by the recent downturn in the economy. In times like these, what type of program would be best for our school?
Simply stated: In tough economic times, people still eat! With that said, it’s not hard to understand why people feel like they’re getting more value for their dollar with an edible product that they’re already purchasing at the grocery store than a trinket or import item that they may not really want in the first place. Food sells! And, it’s becoming more and more prevalent in our industry, particularly as the numbers become increasing favorable over hard goods. For several years now, our flagship program has been our simple 10-item cookie dough brochure, however, in this current climate, our new “American Made” brochure has tremendous appeal not only with its’ content but with its’ character. American sentiment is at all-time peak, and we believe this 100% Made in the USA program should produce all-time numbers this Fall!
How do I know what product lines are best for my school to sell?
First and foremost, an exclusive product line is preferred. You certainly don’t want to sell the same thing the feeder school or the school down the street is selling. And, since most all fundraising companies buy a majority of their products from the same suppliers, many of the brochures will contain many of the same items. However, if you can access a company with an exclusive, custom brochure, and be the only school on the block selling that line, you’re in good shape. That’s one reason our exclusive new “American Made” brochure is far & away the leader in Fall bookings. This one-of-a-kind, custom program will undoubtedly be our top producing program for Fall 2020!
When is the best time of year to do our fundraiser?
The very beginning of the school year is undoubtedly the best time to do a school-wide sale. At that time, parents and students are always more excited about the new school year and therefore more willing to participate. Even though nearly every school does a sale at that time, all of them will receive their due market share, and provided they are properly motivated, will be surprisingly successful as well. In fact, most successful fundraising companies conduct their campaigns during the first few weeks of school, and by the end of September, most of the sales are over.
Our neighboring school sells nearly twice the amount that our school sells. How can there be such a disparity with schools so close in size and make-up?
The economic base of a community obviously impacts the sale, but the most important ingredient in a successful fundraising program is the incentive package. If students and parents are motivated to participate, they will. If they’re not, they won’t. It’s really that simple, unfortunately, many fundraising companies don’t understand this simple philosophy. This is not rocket science here. We simply try to create prize programs and unique incentives that are going to get the kids excited. Rather the the run-of-the-mill prize flyer that they’ve seen for the last 15 years, let’s try a “MEGA PARTY” with giant inflatables…maybe a VICTORY TRIP in a Stretch LIMOUSINE… or what about a professional DUNK SHOW! Now you’re getting their attention!
Other companies have offered our school higher percentages than A.F.G. Isn’t the highest profit percentage always the best option for us?
On the contrary, actual cash money in the bank is far better than a certain percentage. In fact, one company’s 40% program (with a far better prize package), can be considerably better than another’s 50-60% program! Many companies don’t understand that you simply must invest a substantial portion of the revenue to ensure motivation. Consequently, the first thing an inferior salesperson/company does is lower their price (i.e. higher %) and compromise their prize program. This, however, has time and time been proven remarkably ineffective.
Some parents have suggested selling cookie dough. What do you think of selling food items in an elementary or middle school?
Without a doubt, Cookie Dough the fastest growing product line in fundraising. However, many schools have been reluctant to sell it, due to the volatility of frozen foods. Our “Smoky Mountain Gourmet Cookie Dough,” however, is the only recipe in the industry that boasts a 21-day shelf life at room temperature once it’s thawed! This is truly a wonderful thing for schools. While every other cookie dough company has to have their dough back in refrigeration in 24-48 hours, ours can literally sit on a shelf for three weeks! You no longer have to panic trying to get the order distributed before it thaws! In addition, our Cookie Dough can be thawed and re-frozen, and is also good for up to a year in the freezer and six months in the refrigerator.
Do you recommend cookie dough in the tub form or pre-portioned?
Our manufacturer tells us that tubs outsell pre-portioned (pucks) by 3:1. Although, we carry both tubs and pucks, that little statistic tells me which to recommend to our customers. Not only does tub cookie dough sell better, it tastes better as well. Our manufacturer also tells us that pre-portioned dough contains 70% less water than cookie dough in a tub, therefore, it bakes into a much dryer cookie. Not to mention the fact that people like to scoop & bake different sizes of cookies, and many even eat the dough right out of the tub! But, given the reason we do fundraisers to begin with, I would always recommend tub cookie dough over pucks simply because it will make a school more money.r
Should we collect our money as we sell or when we deliver?
Pre-collecting is the absolute worst thing a school can do on a fundraiser. Unless you’re in a 90%+ free/reduced lunch school with a real tough economic setting, I would always recommend post-collect. The reason is simple: You sell about twice the amount on post-collect sales! Yes, you will lose some money on post-collect (the rule of thumb is 2-3% in theft), but the increase in revenue will far more than cover your losses. You just have to treat those losses as a “cost-of-doing-business.” You also need to objectively look at both options and weigh the differences. Post-collect is more work as well, but if you’re conducting a sale for the purpose of making the most money possible for your school, the best choice by far, with all things considered, is post-collect.
Do you recommend a “Mega Party” or a standard Prize Brochure?
In past years, we also offered this “choice” to our schools, however, we are now proud to offer our “Mega Prize Package,” which actually includes both! We firmly believe that the stronger the prize package is, the more successful the sale will be. With that in mind, we purposely invest in a more expensive overall prize program in hopes of driving the sale. Consequently, as most fundraising companies are in steady decline, Mountain Empire has been able to grow substantially every year by continually improving and altering the incentive program to motivate our customers.
How does your “MEGA PARTY” differ from other “Mega Parties?”
We didn’t invent inflatables, but we did invent the “MEGA PARTY!” In fact, Mountain Empire created the name & logo in 1996 and has held the federal trademark since. And, although many companies now use the phrase, “The Mega Party” as a “trade term,” the various parties available in the market are vastly different. First of all, we employ our sister company, “The Fun Factory, Inc.” which owns over fifty inflatables of all types (and weights up to 1600 lbs!), to conduct our Mega Parties. Each Party includes up to (8) inflatables (including large unique rides you won’t see anywhere else), a DJ, Money Wheel, Money Machine, Cash & Prizes, Snow Cones for all the kids, plus Games & Contests! Our Party is much more than a rental situation. Ours is billed as more of an event! We entertain, we tell jokes, we interact with the kids, we referee the obstacle course, do hula hoop contests, etc. etc. We want people to remember our Party so that they look forward to coming back to it the next year!
What else can we do “in-house” here at school to help the sale?
The more involved the school is during the sale, the better the results will be. Daily announcements, daily prize drawings and words of encouragement can do wonders. Many schools have video capabilities in each classroom and can periodically play our Mega Party DVD during the sale. Of course, there can be unlimited reminders, Mega Party posters all over school, reminder notices and prize drawings throughout the sale, but the results will always be the greatest with the most active teachers and parent groups.
Guaranteed Profits, Statistically
|School||Students||Fall 2021||Product||Avg. Per Student|
|Appling Co. Elem.||600||$35,868||AM||$59.8|
|Jefferson Ave. Elem.||200||$25,766||SM||$128.8|
|John Hay Elem.||300||$30,879||AM||$102.9|
|New Market Elem.||305||$23,757||AM||$77.9|
|Stoney Mill Elem.||450||$25,312||AM||$56.2|
|SM:||Smoky Mountain Cookie Dough|