As we enter decision season for fall fundraisers, let me share with you my least favorite way of measuring a fundraiser's success: by its profit percentage.

Far too many groups insist that they won't even consider a program if it's not 50 percent profit. That kind of statement tells me clearly that a group isn't thinking broadly enough. Your goal with any fundraiser is to help you do your important work well. And that comes from gross profit (how much total money your group keeps when all is done), not from profit percentage.

Anyone can offer you 60 percent profit if they jack up the price to your parents and hold back on the support and prizes and product quality. There's a small chance you might make more money this year going with profit percentage over all else, but probably not next year when you try to sell to those same parents.

I have a lot more on this topic in my piece called "Good Fundraising Is More Than Just Profit."   And we have tons of additional fundraising resources, including: