Fund Raiser Ideas: Potted Flower Bulb Sales

Fundraising can turn into FUNraising with this great moneymaker.

Whether you are a member or a leader of a civic group, church league, or non-profit group, you have probably been faced with the daunting task of raising funds for your organizations. Bake sales, car washes and boxed dinners are all proven moneymakers. However, there are other ways to make cash that can be very popular with your members and, with careful planning, you can ensure your success.

One way to raise funds for your organization is through the sale of flower bulbs and rhizomes. There are several ways to have a successful plant sale.

In early spring, many people long to see the colors and smell the flavors of summer. This longing will lead them to purchase flowering plants that are not typically available in the spring. If you have members with green thumbs, you can take advantage of their need for green and make some money for your organization.

Start by purchasing several varieties of bulbs and rhizomes that are out of season. You can check with your local nurseries and garden centers for advice or you could contact a mail order catalog to see what varieties are available. Each plant should come with directions to "force" the bulbs to bloom. Tulips, daffodils and other spring bulbs make great forced gardens and are delightful to the eye. Forcing usually involves placing the bulb in a cold place, like the refrigerator, for a specified length of time. This fools the bulb into thinking that winter is taking place. When the forced winter is over, the bulbs can be planted in pots and they will flower well before the spring months.

Set up a table at your local businesses where there is a lot of traffic, like a grocery store or home improvement store. Display your bulbs that have already been forced and are blooming and also sell some that have not yet bloomed. People will want to see what they are purchasing so having some that were forced a few weeks earlier is always a good idea.

Another way to make money with bulbs and rhizomes is by having members of your organization clean out their overgrown gardens. Iris beds and buttercup fields must be thinned every few years so that the beds do not become overcrowded. Overcrowding can lead to unhealthy plants and a poor blooming season. Have members donate their extra rhizomes and bulbs and have a sale. If none of your members have iris beds that are in need of thinning, get together some volunteers and offer to work on the beds of elderly people in your community. Most people will donate the extra rhizomes and bulbs in exchange for the work that is done during the thinning process.

Iris rhizomes can be sold on eBay and other online auction sites. Be sure to take a picture of your blooms while the plants are flowering so that you can show people what they will be getting. Don't dig iris rhizomes until after the bloom has died back for more success.

Place ads in your local paper advertising your event. The call of spring in the fall and winter months can be a great way to make money for your group. Be creative when displaying your goods and advertise in places that will draw a crowd. Make use of all your volunteers. People who can't help dig can help sell the items.

With some thought and persistence, you can make money for your group. Be creative and your bank account will flower like the bulbs in the spring.

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