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Case Study: Candy Bars

Here’s an imaginary case study of coach Bill Smith, a coach of a regional club team in New Hampshire who needed to raise some money for his club’s trip to a tournament in Virginia.

Coach Smith selected a candy bar fundraiser as the best way to earn the $3,500 his team needed. He reasoned that everyone loves candy so the potential market was enormous. Also, the team could sell the candy at school and around town for only $2, making the fundraiser affordable to sponsors.

To reach the goal, each of the 18 players needed to sell eight boxes of candy bars (25 bars per box). Coach Smith believed that selling only 144 boxes among the entire team was definitely doable. He charged the $3,600 ($1 per bar cost) to his credit card and gave his players two weeks to sell them all. Since Coach Smith’s credit card bill wouldn’t be due for 30 days, he figured he’d have plenty of time to pay from the collections.


The players worked hard for 10 straight days and sold 54 boxes, an average of three per player. Nevertheless, the fundraiser was a huge failure and only raised $788. Since food items are non-refundable, Coach Smith was stuck with 90 boxes of unsold candy in his garage. Luckily, he recouped some of his expense by reselling them for $.75 per bar to another school group that also needed to fundraise.


A few things, actually. First, Coach Smith assumed each player would make 200 sales at $2 each – an unrealistic goal. Plus the profit for candy bar was minimal anyway. He didn’t realize that most players hate to sell. On top of that he pre-paid for a fundraiser and assumed 100% of the risk and probably lost an opportunity to generate more money from a donor – some donors would have given $20 or more if they were asked.

My Sports Dreams

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My Sports Dreams

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