chocolate dipped strawberries pretzels fundraiser idea

21 February 2018

Hello! My oldest daughter is trying to earn money to go on a humanitarian trip to Mexico this summer and so for Valentine’s day we did a chocolate covered strawberry / chocolate dipped pretzel fundraiser. It was very successful and it would be great for Mother’s Day as well so I thought I’d share what we did. We also did it again for my next daughter, Hailey and have updated it with some things we learned. 

chocolate covered strawberries fundraiser

We offered 6 chocolate dipped strawberries for $10 and
3 caramel chocolate dipped pretzel rods for $6 with delivery on February 13 or February 14.
*Note: we now only do chocolate dipped strawberries to keep it simple. We offer 6 for $10 or a dozen for $18. Scroll down to see the pretzel/caramel instructions if you would like to see those.

She made up a little digital flyer on PicMonkey

and then texted it to all of our neighbors, church friends, her friends, teachers, leaders, co-workers, etc. Small business owners are great to contact as well to see if they would like to order for their employees. We were going to do some paper flyers but everyone responded really well to the text and email. She received most payments through Venmo and kept track of the orders on a chart.

Here is an updated video on Instagram stories showing the whole process. To keep it simple we only do strawberries and we put them on the mini cupcake liners in the clear hinged container. To see the pretzel rod instruction, scroll to the end. 

Here are the supplies you’ll need:

- strawberries (we found the best at Sam’s Club and Costco) – you’ll want to check out who has the best and be ready to buy the day before or morning of. Buy extra because not all strawberries in the package are pretty or ripe.

- milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips (we love Ghirardelli from Sam’s but Nestle Tollhouse work as well) see recipe below.

- coconut oil or shortening. We prefer coconut oil but make sure you get the refined (unflavored) kind because some don't like the coconut flavor in the chocolate.

- white chocolate for drizzling. We just use white chocolate chips and these simple funnels to put into little squeeze bottles made it a breeze to drizzle. 

- clear hinged containers – we used these from Amazon since we had almost exactly 50 orders, if you have more these are your best deal at Sam’s Club. We use the 5X5 size for 6 count orders and the 8X8 size for dozen count orders. If your strawberries are big you may have to do another layer of a few strawberries so make sure they are deep enough. The ones I linked too were great for us.

- ribbon – I have a huge ribbon stash that we used but this is a good deal on red sheer ribbon or we have found some fun Valentine ribbon at the dollar store. We have also used baker's twine with a cute heart gift tag

- we now use the mini cupcake liners to place the strawberries in. Our strawberries were huge this year so we also used some of the foil standard size or Walmart had some cute red and white Valentine ones in their Valentine baking section for the same price. You can also do some fun paper on the bottom if you want but it's not necessary. We have used red and white polka dot wrapping paper from Hobby Lobby and we secured it with a few small pieces of double stick tape. Scrapbook paper would also work and we also have used red heart doilies from the Dollar Tree.

chocolate covered strawberries dipped

1. Day/night/weeks before: order supplies online and in stores, cut ribbon, line containers with paper (optional), map out delivery route and let them know what time you’ll be coming. Do a test run to make sure you’ve got the caramel, chocolate, and dipping down.

2. Morning of delivery: rinse all berries and set out to dry on paper towels. They must be completely dry to dip. Separate the pretty berries and save the not so pretty ones to freeze for smoothies or to make jam. We tried to do 2 big strawberries and 4 medium ones per package.

3. Make chocolate dip

Get a large glass microwaveable bowl. Add:
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups milk chocolate chips (or whatever combination you like best.)
4 tsp shortening or coconut oil
Microwave, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds until melted OR you can melt over low heat in saucepan. Don’t overcook!

4. Dip strawberries about 2/3 of the way up, set on trays lined the mini cupcake liners. Let cool in garage, fridge, or freezer (don’t let them freeze though, just enought to cool!)

5. When the chocolate on the strawberries is set, melt the white chocolate in the microwave. We just put a bag of white chocolate chips in a glass bowl, add a Tablespoon or so of coconut oil and melt in microwave. (1 minute, stir, 30 seconds, stir, keep going until it's smooth) and then immediately pour into squeeze bottles with a funnel like this or in a Ziploc bag with a tiny corner cut off and drizzle away!

6. When they are all completely cooled and set, package them up! 

packaged chocolate covered strawberries

A few other tips here:

- as I said before we have learned a lot in our years of doing this and only do strawberries now and just do one day of delivery (usually Valentine's Day right after school but we let them know we are available to deliver to offices as well) and that cuts down on time immensely. If Valentine's is on a weekend that will give you a lot more flexibility or you may want to do it on that Friday. We wash the strawberries first thing in the morning (7 a.m.) in  colanders and give them a couple of hours to dry spread out on paper towels and prep everything else in the meantime: set up tables in the cool garage, cut ribbon, get delivery route ready, etc. Start dipping around 10 a.m., white chocolate drizzle around 12, packaging around  1-2 p.m. and then begin delivering at 3 p.m. and try to be all wrapped up by 5 p.m.

- I mentioned earlier to do a trial run! Everyone has different microwaves, pans, chocolate chips, etc. so it’s good to get it down so you know what you are doing the day of. 

- Friends are great to help – be sure to have them pull their hair back and wear gloves! We had people dipping, drizzling, running pans back and forth to the garage, cutting paper, packaging, tying ribbons, separating for delivery.

- If you are doing a LOT it may be helpful to have a procession line and have crockpots on warm and keep filling them with melted chocolate.

- You don’t have to offer delivery but most of ours were right in the area around our house. You could also have them come pick them up. It is a perfect fundraiser for Valentines or Mother’s Day!

Good luck! It is a lot of work for the 2 days but she ended up making $900 after supplies (people were very generous to donate extra since it was for a humanitarian trip) so it was well worth it. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

**** Pretzel Rod Instructions *****


- pretzel rods – we had great luck with Snyder’s, very few were broken. We just bought them at Wal-mart.

- caramel to dip(see recipe below)

- chocolate dip (see recipe above that we use for the strawberries)

- holiday themed sprinkles, if desired

- Buy extra supplies and make extra pretzels! You are going to break some pretzels while dipping and packaging and you don’t want to be running to the store in the middle of it all.

Caramel Recipe we love:
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk – we like Eagle Brand best
Mix all ingredients in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, constantly stirring. Bring to a boil and cook for about 4 minutes or until you drop some in ice water and it forms a soft ball that you can bend. Pour into a crock pot on warm setting or into a tall drinking glass (perfect for dipping)

caramel chocolate dipped pretzels

Dip pretzels in caramel, lay on wax or parchment paper to cool and take them out to the garage immediately. (if it’s cool out there, otherwise it helps to put them in the fridge or freezer immediately to help them set. It was about 40 degrees here so the temperature in the garage was perfect)

When the caramel on the pretzel rods is set, dip the pretzels in the chocolate. Again, chocolate in a drinking glass is perfect for this. Now is the time to add sprinkles if you would like. We saved some to drizzle with white chocolate and you could also do nuts.

Be super careful with the pretzel rods, they can break easily.

chocolate caramel dipped pretzels

chocolate dipped pretzels fundraiser


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