Hands-Off Approach Takes Work Out of School Fundraising

February 29, 2024

Otsego Local Schools in Bowling Green, Ohio has benefited from a relationship with Stoller Fundraising for the last seven years. For Jon Rife, Junior High Principal and tour coordinator for middle school trips, the word “relationship” is key to Stoller’s success.

When Stoller’s sales representative, Derek Fry, first dropped samples off at the school, the two quickly built a rapport that has only grown since they started working together. In between sales orders and fundraiser planning, Rife and Fry regularly banter back and forth about their Michigan and Ohio State loyalties. 

“Derek is a great guy to work with, very personal,” Rife shared… even if he is an Ohio State fan. But that’s one of the great things about working with Stoller—the personal touch that makes the relationship far more than just a business transaction. Stoller’s staff truly cares about their customers, from friendly team rivalry with their contacts to sharing photos and stories about each other’s families. That kind of relationship makes doing the day-to-day business of fundraising easy and enjoyable.

Fundraisers Help Make a Way for Middle School Students to Experience the World

The school district relies on Stoller Fundraisers primarily to offset the costs of various student activities. They first began raising funds for their students’ trip to Washington D.C.

“Everyone who tried the sale for the first time raved about the product,” Rife said.

They’ve since expanded their fundraising efforts to help the kids that aren’t able to travel to D.C. attend other experiences while the trip is underway. Proceeds from fundraisers have also been used to offset the costs of a trip for the 6th and 7th graders to visit the courthouse and an art museum. The money raised is used to cover extra costs, like buying lunch or paying for admission.

Hands-Free Fundraising

“One of the great things about Stoller is that they make things so easy,” said Rife. “We just come up with the date. Then Derek comes and does a kickoff for us. He ships the promotional materials prior to the kickoff so that they’re ready to go.”

Stoller added online fundraising options in addition to the paper method sometime during their relationship with Otsego, which only increased the degree of accessibility and convenience for students and families. Now, students can send friends and family a link to the order page, where they can select the student and place their order, automatically applying credit to that particular student.

Once the sale is over, all of the orders are boxed up and sorted individually by number affiliated with each student, and delivered to the school for parents to pick up. The process goes very smoothly, with very little error.

“They make it so easy, essentially doing everything for us,” Rife said. “It’s one less thing that I have to worry about throughout the school year.”

Stoller’s Star Products Make This Repeat Fundraiser a Huge Hit

Two products that seem to be particularly popular are the Butter Braid® Pastries and Amish-made pretzels. 

“People rave about them,” said Rife. “Sometimes we have families that buy in bulk and keep them in their freezer for family members. We’ve even had some families after the sale who wanted to buy a couple hundred dollars more worth of products, and Derek made it happen.”

The quality and popularity of these products contribute significantly to the success of this fundraiser year after year. People actually look forward to fundraising season.

Rife highly recommends Stoller to other groups looking to raise money. The ease of working together, the continuous communication, and the streamlined process make it an easy and effective fundraising solution.

“Derek made it so easy to work with Stoller,” Rife shared. “They’re cooperative and they tailor their sale around our needs. We’re able to raise a few thousand dollars, which directly benefits student activities.”


Stoller’s partnership with Otsego Schools isn’t just about raising funds; it’s about fostering relationships and creating positive experiences for students, parents, and staff alike. Are you interested in what a Stoller Fundraiser could do for your organization? Access our Group Earnings Report or schedule a call with our team today! We can’t wait to help you meet the fundraising goals for your organization.

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Creston, OH 44217 

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