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Passing the Torch

6 Oct

It’s a common occurrence. One day you have a key point person in your organization and the next day he/she is gone and the organization is left scrambling trying to pick up the pieces. If you’ve ever been unlucky enough to take the helm of a group or its fundraiser with no preparation, no records, and no help, you know how important smooth leadership transitions are.

Find Your Replacement

• Recruit potentials actively! This will give you time to test the
waters to see how much the person can handle and quickly learn

• If your organization does not have a structured team in place, make sure you have a back-up in place even if it’s a family member

Train Your Replacement

• Invite successor to attend any ‘wrap-up’ meetings for current fundraisers. This allows the person to be involved in discussions pertaining to successes, improvements, and issues

• Assign a task that is important, such as recording and tallying sales or distributing orders to get their feet wet. Ideally go through a dry run so they are prepared for their upcoming role

Keep Good Records

• Include essential information and responsibilities which can serve as a check off list. Items can include an event calendar, guideline outlining each step of the fundraising process from beginning to end, and past fundraising sales figures

• Keep an address book of contacts that the new coordinator can use as resource

Be Courteous

• Alert your preferred vendors of the coordinator change

• Introduce the incoming coordinator to key contacts as often as you can, even if it’s via email or phone

 

 

Fundraising with a Computer

14 Sep
The computer has allowed all types of organizations to elevate traditional marketing approaches and keep organizations on top of minds among donors, volunteers and the community, before, during and after our event.Best of all, many tools are free or require low investment. Whatever you choose, make sure that people stay connected to the organization throughout the year.

Internet

    • Post reminders onyour Facebook page. Or create a separate Facebook business page dedicated to your event. Upload photos, post videos, and network!
    • Choose a Twitter hashtag for your fundraiser or event. Use the hashtag to keep followers informed about how much money was raised, announce order pick up dates, recruit volunteers, etc
    • Create a Facebook poll or survey. You never know what kind of interesting information you can discover!

Web Page

  • Show what your organization does. The stories most likely to inspire action are those that leave feelings or create images in the audience’s mind. Illustrate the benefits your organization provides to the community.
  • Create a blog using Google’s Blogger (it’s free). Have your volunteers, teachers,participants contribute an article pertaining to the fundraising experience.

Email

  • Keep an email contact list (an excel sheet will do!) up to date based upon purchase date & item purchased. This way you can segment your email list and tailor your messages.
  • Email a “Save a Date” for your fundraiser. This allows your recipient to save some funds for your fundraiser and share the information with their social networks. You may receive extra orders!
  • Send a personalized “Thank You” email. Remember this is a bridge to future support. Don’t forget to include a link to your organization’s page!

Fundraising 101: Choosing the Right Fundraising Program

6 May
Once you’ve made the decision to start a fundraiser, there are many questions to consider, but the most important is which program is best for your organization. It’s the first decision that needs to be made as many details depend upon the program that you select. There are three main types of fundraisers to choose from, including: pledges and donations, product fundraisers and event fundraisers.
With pledges and donations, you will ask potential donors for support through monetary or product contributions. In order to gain the support of donors, your organization could contact businesses, ask for help from friends and family members, or go door-to-door.
A product fundraiser is when you sell products that you purchase from a reputable supplier. There are many great fundraising companies that will provide you with information about their products and fundraising program if you contact them. Keep in mind that product fundraisers have different sales approaches, such as direct sales, order programs and online programs. A good idea is to determine which program and sales method would be most profitable for your participants.
Finally, an event fundraiser is an opportunity for the members of your organization to collectively offer a product, service or occasion where profits are raised at that very moment. Event fundraisers can include: bake sales, car washes, walk-a-thons, dances and so much more.
While considering the many fundraising programs that are available, assess how many participants you have and which programs they would be willing to try. Also, judge whether or not your group wishes to conduct a one day event or are committed to a program that will run for a week or more. And of course, consider which program will help you earn the profits your organization is looking to raise.


Hurdling to Success

6 May

Disillusioned by many years of bad fundraising experiences, Matt Weldon was tired of watching his athletes put time and effort into fundraising programs where they reaped very few of the profits and benefits.

As the head boys track coach of Elmwood Park High School, Matt was looking for a new way to earn money for his athletes, but he was cautious and more than a little skeptical. His luck changed when the mother of one of his athletes, who worked for Popcorn Palace at the time, suggested the popcorn fundraiser.

Deciding to give it a try, Matt now has a much different opinion of fundraising programs. Between the money his organization has raised and the customer service that they have received, Matt now calls his fundraising experience “triumphant”. After 4 years with Popcorn Palace Matt says:

“We use Popcorn Palace because of the return that the selling brings in. Not only do we earn a fair share of the profits, but the quality of the product literally sells itself. I often get asked before the season starts if we are doing popcorn again because people can’t wait to order it”.
Though the athlete who recommended popcorn fundraising has long since graduated, Matt and his organization continue to work with Popcorn Palace and plan to do so in the future.

Radio Popcorn!

25 Mar

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Popcorn Palace team member, Fran Cockrell, recently made two stops to promote our gourmet popcorn on the radio. 

On Heartbeat Radio For Women, Fran explained the different kinds of popcorn and when asked about the origin of the Popcorn Palace concept, said, “We know that popcorn is an excellent, wholesome treat that we wanted to make better and kick it up a notch!” 


Fran also explains the Popcorn Palace fundraising program “We’re helping organizations around the nation raise funds for their trips or computers or what ever it is. We do fundraisers for all sorts of organizations.


On the Joan Hamburg ShowFran explains that, “We’re able to satisfy so many different people’s snack needs and have expanded our flavor line to 33 flavors.” Fran also notes that Cheddar Cheese continues to be the consumer favorite.


When asked about the production facility in Illinoise, Fran tells Joan how Popcorn Palace hand-makes each order as it comes in, eliminating the need for the standard storage facilities and conveyer belts you would expect to see in a snack production plant.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F12481929 JoanHamburg Audio by Popcorn Palace

Fundraising 101: Finding the Right Company

4 Mar

Coordinating a fundraising is a very generous commitment that demands time and energy. To get the most out of the experience and to maximize your success, choose a company that best matches your organization’s needs and goals.

There are many wonderful fundraising programs available to organizations, and the key is determining what type of product your group wishes to sell and how you will approach selling those products. You might want to begin by taking inventory so you can determine your group’s objectives and how much money you would like to raise. The number of participants in your organization and the number of helpers may influence the type of fundraiser you wish to pursue. Also important is whether your group has the funds to use a program that requires money up front or would rather pursue a program with no up-front costs.

A great place to start your research is the internet, which is an easy way to search for fundraising ideas and programs. When you find some that interest you and seem to be good matches for your group, you can contact the companies directly for more information regarding their specific programs. Many companies will even send samples or information kits that you can present to other member’s of your group.

Here are some questions to consider while you are researching fundraising programs and contacting companies:

  1. What is the profit margin?
  2. Is this program a direct sales, order form or online sales opportunity?
  3. Are there ordering minimums?
  4. Are there any up-front costs?
  5. Does the company provide incentive programs?
  6. Will the company charge for order forms or samples?
  7. Are there any discounts based upon group or order size?
  8. Does the product require refrigeration?
  9. How does the product ship and are there shipping costs?
  10. How is the company’s customer service? Did you have a good experience with the initial conversation?
  11. Does the fundraising company provide attractive and useful marketing materials?
  12. Does this product appeal to a specific type of customer or is there a broad range of possible clients?

Once you have collected information about possible fundraising options, consider your experience with the companies you contacted. This initial contact could be a clue as to what working with this company will be like later on. In the end, select the program that best suits your organization and its goals, which will make for a profitable and enjoyable experience.

Running circles around Cancer

17 Feb
“You can raise some really good money without trying to sell yourself and the product.” 



For the last six years, Janet Robin has been raising money for the American Cancer society.Ever since I lost both my parents to cancer, I have been raising money to put an end to this deadly disease.


She’s seen great success with Popcorn Palace fundraisers, “It is my best and easiest fundraiser, ” she says. “The popcorn is out of this world and the people cannot wait until my next order goes out.

She had looked at a variety of fundraising options but knew that she’d found the answer when she came across our website. “A lot of people where I work are always selling candy bars and I wanted something different.” And differentiating herself paid of, “You can raise some really good money without trying to sell yourself and the product,” says Robin. “The flyers were very appetizing and people just came over to my desk to order.


Raising funds to beat cancer is a family affair as Robin’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law also use Popcorn Palace to raise money for the American Cancer Society.


Click here to learn more about the American Cancer Society

Individual effort

4 Feb

Without the help of my favorite fundraising program, I don’t think I will be successful.

Pratin Kraisornkovit of Monrovia, CA is, by his own admission, “not part of a school, club, sport team, church, booster club, 4-H club, PTA or PTO. But even so, Pratin is a dedicated fundraiser.

Pratin approached Popcorn Palace about our fundraising program in September of 2010 after 25 of the schools, churches and charities he’d donated to wrote letters, asking for additional help. “My goal is to raise money for these organizations around Christmas 2010,” wrote Pratin. “Without the help of my favorite fundraising program, I don’t think I will be successful.


Well, Christmas has come and gone and we are pleased to report that with our popcorn and Pratin’s dedication, 17 organizations received checks for Christmas, including: Boy’s Town, AARP, Smile Train, The American Cancer Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association and more.


This just goes to show that you don’t have to be part of a big organization to make a difference. Thank you Pratin for your hard work!

Fundraising With Popcorn to Fight Cancer

28 Jan

“Once you have tasted the popcorn, you want more. I will definitely do more fundraising with Popcorn Palace.”
Lorraine Robin uses Popcorn Palace’s fundraising program to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life in Smithfield (Rhode Island). She says, “Your popcorn is delivered fresh, no kernels and so many choices.Her first fundraiser was so successful that she decided to sell popcorn again, “My first customers liked it so much that on my second fundraiser, in addition to my new customers, most of them bought it again.” And it’s not just her customers who love Popcorn Palace’s gourmet popcorn, Lorraine has become quite the fan herself. “Once you have tasted the popcorn, you want more,” she says.

With Lorraine’s help, the first-ever Smithfield Relay for Life was able to surpass their goal and raise $41,000! According to the American Cancer Society’s website, 
“The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.”

Popcorn Palace would like to thank Lorraine Robin for choosing Popcorn Palace to help in fighting cancer. 

Riverside Apostolic UPCI: Fundraising all the way to Greece

20 Jan

“It’s easy to sell Popcorn Palace Popcorn because it tastes very good, the profit we make is awesome and people find it worth the investment.”

As the Secretary and Treasurer at At Riverside Apostolic UPCI, April Peckham knew just where to turn when she needed to raise funds to send Jacinda, a young parishioner, on a mission trip to Greece to minister to the Gypsies.Popcorn Palace was instrumental in helping us raise funds for that life-changing trip.” They’ve used Popcorn Palace to raise funds for Youth Camp/Convention scholarships, which April says, “impacts their lives in a positive way.” 



Although they’ve only been fundraising with Popcorn Palace for a year, April is sure that they’ll be back. “We’ve tried bake sales and brat fries in the past but made little profit,” she says. “When I looked into Popcorn Palace I was excited because we keep the 50 percent profit right away, there’s no expense to put into it before we see results, and you guys make it easy to raise funds!


And it’s not just the ease of selling the popcorn, which April says is “delicious,” that makes Popcorn Palace their top choice. “Your online system is convenient so I could place my order any time I had a moment to do so,” she says.



Riverside Apostolic UPCI strives to “minister to as many needs possible,” and as you can see by the photos, their work certainly seems to be reaching those in need.  

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