We had a great time hosting our 3rd annual Things 4 Good Fall Fundraiser. We raised nearly $6,000 in donations for our four non-profits. A fun thing for me about the fundraiser is it lets us play the role of a retailer for a weekend.

This year we had 55 candle purchases which compares to 52 in 2022 and 51 in 2021. On average people purchased 4 candles. However averages don’t always tell the story. Most people get two candles, and then there are a smaller number of people that get a large number — usually as gifts for the holidays.

We had some new scents this year, and had more scents than we have had the previous two years. The first year we had only four scents, and last year six. This year we had eight different scents. As the number of scents go up we need to be more planful with inventory. For the first time this year we tracked which scents people picked so that we could get better insight for future years. Here is a look at rolling inventory.

Some observations:

  • Winter Wonderland is always the most popular scent and we started with more than twice as many of those as any other scent.
  • Old Fashioned was a very popular new scent this year and was the first to sell out.
  • Plain Jane, also a new scent, had a lot of early sales and then slowed down a lot. This scent was most popular when someone bought a lot of candles as gifts.

I fed the transaction data into ChatGPT and used its data analysis mode to make a run at doing inventory planning for next year. It did a reasonable job but with such a simple dataset I could have gotten most of the way there on my own. It recommended a 30% increase for True North and 20% increase for Old Fashioned. Even though it was a simple use case, it highlighted how powerful it could be at that use case.

We offer folks a number of ways to donate and again Venmo was by far the most popular method, twice as popular as cash. I’ve offered the ability to pay with crypto for all three years, and this year we had our first donation made with Bitcoin via the Lightning Network!

Interesting data for us which will help us with next years event. We are already keeping notes for things we want to do to make next year’s Things 4 Good Fall Fundraiser even better. Send us an email if you have any suggestions!

Also see 2023 Fall Fundraiser Results.