In Search of the Elusive B2B Fundraiser

Most of the fundraisers with businesses I write about on my blog are consumer facing, which means the participating business sells directly to consumers (e.g. department store, coffee shop, restaurant). They’re called a B2C or business-to-consumer.

B2C fundraising dominates because it targets a large and lucrative audience: everyday consumers. After nearly two decades in fundraising, I’m convinced that there is more money and opportunity in a business’ customers than there is in most company checkbooks.

That said, whenever I talk about B2C fundraisers I’m invariably asked about fundraisers for businesses that sell to other businesses (B2B), not consumers.

I usually don’t have a good answer, except for the occasional employee fundraiser at the accounting firm.

But I recently found a good one, thanks to the anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength.

An innovator within its own industry of hygiene products, SCA Tork sought the same reputation in fundraising when it launched the company’s first B2B fundraiser for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry.

The fundraiser involved SCA Tork’s Xpressnap Dispensers. A cool name for a napkin dispenser.

For the last four months of 2012 the dispensers were discounted from $8 to $2 and $1 per dispenser was donated to No Kid Hungry. The company promoted the campaign through a trade press release targeting the food service industry, e-blast to its distributor network and direct sales conversations – all with information on No Kid Hungry.

The fundraiser surpassed SCA Tork’s goal by $3,000. It also doubled the average monthly sales of Tork’s napkin dispensers!

The lesson from SCA Tork is that B2B’s sell stuff just like B2C’s. They just sell it to businesses instead of consumers. When you look at it in these terms you can see many of the same fundraisers for B2C’s can be used with B2B’s.

For example, there’s a wonderful garden center near my house, but I can’t buy my plants and shrubs there. It’s only open to approved gardeners and landscapers – credentials I don’t have. But they have a cashier and register and can do a point-of-sale fundraiser. The challenge will be to adjust the fundraiser to fit these “special customers.”

Do you have examples of B2B fundraisers? Share them in the comments below!