Make Candy - Make Money

By: Valorie Craig

It's Autumn, the time of year that is filled with warm colors and warm memories of holiday gatherings. It's also the beginning of the most popular time of year, the holiday season. During this season, organizations are stretching their dollars to the utmost, trying to make sure that all projects are completed and everyone feels a part of the larger scheme of things. These groups are looking for innovative fund raising projects for a minimum cost. As this is the time when people's hearts are the most open toward helping organizations and charities, what better product to sell than candy?

Candy is a gift that can be inexpensive and elegant at the same time. With relatively little effort and expense, delicious treats can be made and sold to increase the bottom line, and set up sales for the next several years with repeat customers! Some of the best moneymakers include peanut clusters, chocolate covered pretzels, haystacks, chocolate covered cherries, chocolate covered peanut butter crackers, and many, many more.

When deciding on the perfect candy for your group, several things must be taken into consideration. First, be certain that there are enough volunteers to make the treats. Next, make sure that the ingredients are affordable enough for your group. Decide on packaging for your treat. Will a paper plate suffice, or do you need decorative tins? If you use tins, will you need a liner, plastic wrap, foil, or wax paper? Where will your candy be made? Where will your sale be held, or will this be a sale by order? These issues need to be decided prior to making your candy. Let's begin to explore some of these issues.

One of the best ways to raise money with candy is to take orders. Make the decision as to what kind of candy you will offer and their prices. Gather information on your cost of ingredients and figure out how much candy you can make with one increment of your ingredients, i.e., one pound may cost $3.00 to make. Obviously you will need to charge more than this to make money, so, will you sell your candy in 1/4 pounds, 1/2 pounds, 3/4 pounds, or 1 pound packages? Divide your one pound charge into these increments, and then mark your candy up an appropriate amount, such as 40%, which would make your candy sell for $4.20 per pound. This would be a very reasonable amount and should bring in great sales!

Make up slips, with a carbon copy, which include names, addresses, phone numbers, and amount of candy wanted, as well as a date and place when candy can be picked up or when it will be delivered. (The information collected with these slips can be saved for next year by keeping one copy of the slip. Your organization can contact this year's purchasers for repeat orders next year. This is a service that is appreciated by many customers!) Set a date when you will no longer accept orders and stick to it. By taking orders ahead of delivery, you can help keep your costs to a minimum by purchasing only what you need, with little surplus. Be sure to allow yourself ample time for ordering supplies that need to be shipped.

Next, set a date for making the candy. Give volunteers plenty of notice so they are able to schedule this into their calendar. This helps to prevent "no shows." People love to help, if given enough time to schedule.

Now you are ready to purchase your ingredients. Whether using chocolate confectionery coating, chocolate chips, or colored confectionery wafers, check out the selection at They have many different choices of ingredients as well as equipment to help make your candy making easier and more enjoyable!

If purchasing chocolate confectionery coating for your candy, choose a high quality chocolate such as Mercken's Confectionery coating, which comes in wafers and are already tempered, eliminating one step in preparation. These coatings are prepared with the thought of giving your candy the richest, creamiest taste available. A wide variety of colors are available through Kitchen Krafts.

When the day comes for making the candy, gather everyone together, and make assignments for each person. It's best to keep everyone busy! Assignments can include melting the coating, mixing the other ingredients, dipping the centers or spooning out the product on wax paper. Once a tray of candy has been allowed to set up, someone can weigh the product, and someone can label the packages. (Labels can be made from simple address labels printed with your organization's name, address, and motto.) There are a variety of attractive labels available at Kitchen Krafts. An appropriate choice would be the Homemade Candy Label.

Kitchen Krafts also has a wide selection of packaging options available such as candy boxes, cello bags, bag closures and candy pads.

The last part of the fund raising comes with delivery or pick up of the treats and collecting money!

By organizing your fund raising activity, you have a wonderful system for making money this year, and a fabulous beginning for the fund raising season next year!

Whatever choice of candy you make for your next fundraiser, keep it simple and inexpensive, yet delicious and eye appealing to entice repeat business next year! This year's planning can set your organization up for winning fund raising seasons for many years to come!