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Candle Fundraising - Online Guide

Fundraising

Candle fundraising works in a similar way to candy fundraising , cookie dough fundraising and many other kinds of product-based fundraising. The basic principle is that you buy the candles in bulk and sell them on at a profit.

Why candle fundraising?

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When you're using products in your fundraising, there is a great advantage to using consumable products such as candles and cookie dough. When you are selling objects designed to be kept for a long time, such as ornaments or books, you may find that buyers are unwilling to purchase more than one. (Would you want two macaroni picture frames in your house?)

Candles burn with a cheery flame and can create a romantic atmosphere. Scented candles fill the room with a beautiful fragrance. Also, candles can be extremely useful in a power cut.

On a more spiritual level, candles have a symbolic value. If you are raising money for a cause which could do with a little hope as well as money, candles will symbolize that hope. Others connect candles with faith.

Christian candle fundraising

Botika Candles sell Walk with Jesus candles. You can choose to have Faith, Grace, Love or Hope printed on the container label in funky lettering, along with appropriate Bible verses. Click here to go to the Botika website, but be aware that many other companies sell Botika candles too, and may be able to offer you a better deal. For more Christian fundraising tips, see our page of church fundraising ideas or our page on Christian fundraising .

How to choose a candle fundraising company

The good news is that there are many companies in the US selling candles to fundraisers; far too many to list here. The bad news is that you may find it difficult to narrow down which one to use. Many of the companies claim that their particular kind of candle is better than others, and it is easy to be persuaded by one company that only one kind of candle will do, before contacting another and changing your mind completely! If you can make up your mind about your priorities before getting in touch with the companies, this will stop you getting confused and making the wrong decision.

Ask yourself:

  • What do you want the candles to be made of? If you are raising money for an environmental charity, you should steer clear of paraffin wax candles, which produce a lot of soot and are a product of the petroleum industry. Soy candles are a better option in that case. Beeswax candles have connotations of luxury; you may have to pay more for them, but your buyers may be willing to pay more too, increasing your profits.
  • Do you want scented candles? Can you make the scent relevant to the cause you're raising money for? If you're raising money for a healthy eating drive, perhaps candles which smell of fresh fruit, like those from Ewe's View, are a good option. (Click here to go to the Ewe's View website.) Or maybe you're raising money for a project in the tropical rainforest. If so, a tropical scent will remind buyers where their money is going. Or perhaps price is your only consideration, in which case unscented candles are usually the cheapest.
  • Do you want your candles to be personalised? Some companies allow you to have the name of your organization printed on the containers, for example. Do you want to be able to choose the packaging? This will drive up costs, but may be worth it in terms of extra sales.
  • What kind of container do you want? The two main choices are glass and tin. Glass is more easily recyclable, but many of the companies who make candles in tins boast of the "keepsake" value of a tin container.
  • What kind of wick do you want? Some wicks contain lead, while others are 100% cotton.

Armed with these ready-made decisions, you will be able to call around the candle fundraising companies and negotiate the best deal. If you know in advance which decisions are definite and what you are prepared to compromise on, you will be better equipped to get what you want for a good price.

Can I make my own candles?

It is possible, but it is difficult to achieve good results without a lot of practice, and your first few attempts may well look quite amateurish. It is also a process which requires a lot of care, as the hot wax is dangerous. Some of the items required, such as scales and a thermometer, you may already have in your home, but you will probably need to purchase items such as wax, molds and dye, as well as a safe double boiler system. Never use a microwave or direct heat to melt candle wax.