Through speaking to our clients about their schools, we’ve heard many times that PTA's/PTO's, sports teams and non-profit organizations spend so much time on fundraisers that don’t always bring in adequate revenue. Similarly, we know that many schools and organizations have been seeking something different than the “same old” fundraising campaigns. Our solution to this is our portrait fundraisers. Our fundraisers are a great opportunity because they raise money in a way that is desirable, enjoyable and affordable. Every family wants beautiful, professional portraits of their children, and our fundraisers often times make this accessible for many. Since 2011, we've successfully worked with a wide variety of private, public and charter schools and organizations throughout the Capital District.
how they work
Portrait fundraisers are unique, easy and appealing for organizations and families alike. They are a well appreciated departure from run of the mill fundraisers...as opposed to magazine subscriptions or cookie dough, the products families walk away with are portraits that will last a lifetime. While custom portraiture is becoming more readily available, many families either do not have the time or extra funds to book an independent session. Family portrait fundraisers allow families to obtain the classic yet fresh images that they desire, while at the same time supporting their school, team or organization. It’s a true win-win.
how do fundraisers work?
Each spring, summer and fall, we host one or two fundraiser days, typically on Saturday mornings or evenings in the summer. These dates are hosted at various locations throughout the immediate Capital Region that are easily accessible, conveniently located and emphasize the best of the season (think simple locations with a mix of greenery/foliage and architecture). Each fundraiser date can accommodate up to 3 schools or organizations. Each group reserves a (1) hour time blocks, which can accommodate up to 10 families. If this hour fills, an extra half hour time block that can accommodate 5 additional families will be offered.
why fundraiser days?
Fundraiser days are a perfect option for schools or organizations who are working with us for the first time, or for smaller groups . They allow for an ideal "trial run" to gauge the amount of interest that your families have in portrait fundraisers. Because we work with several groups on our fundraiser days, this allows us to work with groups of every size and fundraising ability due to the fact that they have no minimum number of families required to participate, as well as work with more groups every year.
what if more than 15 families are interested?
Typically, the maximum number of families that we can accommodate per group on a fundraiser day is 15. Because portrait fundraisers are a more specialized event with a higher price point than broader reach fundraisers, we find that the average organization brings in about 8-15 families during their first fundraiser. This average is how we determined the best set up for our fundraiser days. If the fundraiser is a blockbuster success and there are more families interested, we will maintain a waiting list to accommodate them as best we can. A high level of interest means a private fundraiser may be a great option for the next go round.
what about private fundraisers?
For future fundraisers, schools and organizations are welcome to book a private fundraiser if they so choose (meaning, a fundraiser that takes place on a day and at the location of your choosing and involves just your school). Private fundraisers require a minimum of 20 participating families and a maximum of 30. We can help your school determine what the best option is for your individual organization. Often times, the buzz and word of mouth starts to circulate after the first fundraiser, necessitating a private fundraiser for the next time.
what happens before the fundraiser?
Once you have determined that a portrait fundraiser is a great fit for your school, team or organization, we handle almost everything! We will discuss with you our upcoming fundraiser dates and all of the details you will need to guarantee success. Once the details are determined, we will provide you with an PDF flyer for you to print, send home in backpacks, email, post on social media, etc. We will also provide you with comprehensive tips for booking and scheduling the sessions, as well as a suggested timeline.
The booking process is simple. Your group receives a custom booking website in which families sign up for 10 minute, back to back spots. Each 1 hour time block can accommodate up to 10 families, as two photographers work to double shoot the event. Based on the size of your group and the amount of interest, we will help you to determine if you should book one or two hours. A session fee of $30 is collected from each family via our simple online booking system at the time that they book their time slot. Your group receives 100% of the profits from session fees collected.
what happens during & after the fundraiser?
When the fundraiser day arrives, we find that the process runs smoothly and seamlessly. Your group will be responsible for selecting a representative to be on site during your school's time block(s). The representative will greet families, explain the process, and is a valuable asset in keeping the time flowing.
Sessions last about 10-15 minutes, and we focus on individual and sibling images with a goal of presenting 5-8 finished images to each family. Because of the condensed time frame of these sessions, we do not focus on full family portrait sessions, but a family shot or two is always welcome. 2-3 weeks after the portrait day, we will email all of the families to let them know their images are ready to view on our website. Each family has their own private, password protected gallery to view and share. Families have a one week ordering period to make their selections. Fundraiser pricing is steeply discounted from our normal portrait pricing, and focuses on high resolution digital images for printing & sharing. We also offer wall prints, both framed & unframed. We handle the entire process, from answering questions to processing payments. Digital images are automatically emailed with a digital download link for ease and so that families can immediately begin enjoying their images.
how much money does a typical fundraiser bring in?
The overall success of a fundraiser depends on the school or organization actively promoting the event and encouraging interest and participation. Once families have signed up, the rest is up to us! We find that the vast majority of families are thrilled with their images and we have a very high rate of orders and average sales. The majority of families tend to order the full set of digital images ($150.00) but we assume a $100.00 average. Here's a few scenarios.
- Fundraiser day w/ 8 families participating
- 8 families x $30 session fee = $240.00 = $180.00 (profits after operating expenses removed)
- 8 families x average sale of $100.00 = $800.00 = $80.00 (10%)
- Total: $260.00
- Fundraiser day w/ 15 families participating
- 15 families x $30 session fee = $450.00 = $337.50 (profits after operating expenses removed)
- 16 families x average sale of $100.00 = $1600.00 = $160.00 (10%)
- Total: $487.50
- Private fundraiser w/ 25 families participating
- 25 families x $30 session fee = $750.00 = $562.50 (profits after operating expenses removed)
- 25 families x average sale of $100.00 = $2500.00 = $250.00 (10%)
- Total: $812.50
Curious about numbers from actual fundraisers? Here are totals that from recent years. These numbers reflect the total amount of funds that the school or organization received from us.
- Fundraiser A: $682 (private fundraiser)
- Fundraiser B: $752 (private fundraiser)
- Fundraiser C: $964 (private fundraiser)
- Fundraiser D: $1115.00 (private fundraiser)
- Fundraiser E: $649.00 (fundraiser day)
- Fundraiser F: $860.00 (fundraiser day)
- Fundraiser A: $683.00 (fundraiser day)
- Fundraiser B: $575.00 (fundraiser day)
- Fundraiser C: $658.00 (private fundraiser)
- Fundraiser D: $681.00 (private fundraiser)
- Fundraiser E: $520.00 (fundraiser day)
- Fundraiser F: $861.00 (private fundraiser)
- Fundraiser G: $998.00 (private fundraiser)
- Fundraiser A: $411.00 (fundraiser day)
- Fundraiser B: $463.00 (fundraiser day)
- Fundraiser C: $557.00 (private fundraiser)
- Fundraiser D: $825.00 (private fundraiser)
- Fundraiser E: TBD (fundraiser day)
- Fundraiser F: TBD (fundraiser day)
clients & testimonials
Shenendehowa School District / East Greenbush School District / Bethlehem School District / No. Colonie School District / So. Colonie School District / Saratoga Springs City School District / Ballston Spa School District / Averill Park School District / Niskayuna School District / St. George's School, Clifton Park / St. Mary's School, Waterford / St. Pius School, Loudonville / Albany School of Humanities / Montessori School of Schenectady / Niskayuna C0-op School
"I have been fortunate to work with Ashley for over 9 years both as a direct customer and now, as Chairperson of the Okte Elementary School PTA Family Portrait fundraiser. Ashley has given me the greatest gift ever...documenting my son's development in beautiful simplicity over the span of his 9 years. It was completely natural for me to want to share my "best-kept secret", with others! Now our Okte community is benefitting from her artistry and the fundraising that Ashley Brown offers! This is a complete no-brainer for anyone wanting to offer quality photography for their school with the added benefit of fundraising. First, the photos are TREMENDOUS and UNIQUE. Ashley and Kristen are not only artists but also true professionals when working with children and families. Second, Ashley does all the organizational work for you! From setting up the scheduling and payment through an easy-to-access website, to optimizing opportunities for fundraising, to helping with promotion, she makes this SUCH AN EASY FUNDRAISER. And it's a fundraiser that parents actually support, because they love these photos. We have had multiple schools see our results and they're using Ashley too!! It's not a matter of "if" but "when" to sign-up!" - Mary Colleen Liburi
"Ashley Brown has been working with Slingerlands Elementary School on a fundraiser for Family Portraits for the past 6 years. It is always a HUGE success. Ashley and Kristen are incredible with kids of all ages. They make the process easy and fun. People are always amazed at how many beautiful images they are able it get in such a short time frame and parents are happy about not having to spend so much time getting them. The fundraiser is also very profitable and without a lot of work on the schools chairperson at all. They do everything from the booking, collecting the money and delivering the images. Their images are unique and contemporary, one of a kind. I personally have been working with them since they started, and would never think of going anywhere else." - Bridgette McGowan
view a sample fundraiser session
what you can expect from us
We are committed to making our family portrait fundraisers a smooth, easy, and financially beneficial event for your school. To do so, you can expect that we will:
- Guide you throughout the process, from setting a date to finalizing the session schedule
- Provide you with a smooth, easy booking process, where we will keep yourrepresentative aware of progress and how many remaining sessions are available
- Support your organization in publicizing the event, through customize flyers or information sheets for widespread exposure
- An exceptional, customized experience for each family within a short session
- Affordable and flexible pricing options including prints & digital images. No order is ever required! We offer digital images a la carte for $30/ea., or the full set of images (5-8, plus black & white versions) for $150. The full set of digital images is our most popular option. We also offer wall prints, starting at size 11x14, both framed & unframed.
what we expect from you
You know your organization and the families in your district best, and we will need your assistance and dedication. For a successful fundraiser, we expect that you will:
- Receive the necessary approvals and support from principals and all decision-makers involved, to ensure they are committed to supporting the fundraiser.
- Appoint one point of contact to be in contact with us throughout the process.
- Secure permissions for the location of the fundraiser (private fundraiser)
- Actively engage, excite and encourage families to book a session for your school’s fundraiser; The more families involved, the greater the income generated.
- Promote the fundraiser as much as possible via printed flyers, email and social media.
- Openly communicate any questions or concerns from the organization or families interested in being a part of the fundraiser.
- Providing one representative to remain on site for the duration of the fundraiser, to help manage the schedule and families arriving.
- Touch base with any families who have not placed an order once the ordering deadline has passed.