Archive | February, 2015

Rally Kids to the Cause – Fundraising Tips

27 Feb

With the Great Recession stretching school budgets everywhere, finding financial support for school trips, student clubs, and extracurricular activities can be a bit tricky. To help your cause gain momentum, it’s essential to rally the support of your community – which means motivating students to get the word out about your fundraiser!

So, how do you get your fundraising materials out of student backpacks, and into the hands of community members? First, you’ve got to get students excited to act as community ambassadors, by motivating them to rally for the cause. These time-tested strategies will help you inspire your youngsters to share the vision – and put the FUN back in fundraising!

  1. Set the stage. Make sure your fundraising team is on the same page. What will the funds you raise be used for? Let your students in on the mission, and clearly outline goals, so they understand the importance of their participation.
  2. Make the incentives sweet. The success or failure of your fundraising campaign is largely determined by the enthusiasm of your students – so give them something to strive for. This doesn’t necessarily mean offering expensive, large-ticket items – incentives can also be non-tangible rewards (such as a teacher or principal’s commitment to dye their hair in the school colors, or special privileges for the highest-participating class). Popcorn Palace’s snack-sized bags can also make great student handouts – talk to your fundraising advisor about including these items in your campaign order.
  3. Provide instant gratification. The more giveaways, the merrier – by offering numerous small, obtainable incentives, you’ll keep the kids motivated to succeed. Distributing prizes while the fundraiser is still in effect will also keep the kids’ attention on your campaign – ensuring ongoing participation.
  4. Inspire confident pitches. Make sure your students know how to talk to their community about their fundraising goals. Provide your students with strategic coaching, and eliminate front-door nerves by practicing your school’s fundraising message.
  5. Embrace social media. Get teachers, parents, and older students on board by encouraging them to share fundraising updates via social media. Provide examples of appropriate photos and messages, and ask them to repost, share, and digitally document their own fundraising experience.
  6. Keep it FUN. Fundraising doesn’t have to be a chore! Keep the experience fun and engaging for everyone involved, and you’ll drive ongoing participation. And, launching or closing out your fundraiser with a great community-oriented event is an excellent way to give your campaign a boost. Throw your community an event to remember, and you may find that stories of their involvement outlive the campaign, itself.

Involving your students in fundraising can provide them with the opportunity to learn real-world skills, hone their math and organizational abilities, and learn valuable lessons surrounding personal responsibility and community involvement. It also provides them with a sense of ownership regarding your school’s efforts – and may inspire them to be more involved, in future!

For more fundraising tips and tricks for turning your fundraiser into a FUN-raiser, contact the Popcorn Palace team today!


Popcorn Palace’s Favorite Popcorn Folktales

18 Feb

In Native American folklore, some tribes believed that each kernel of corn housed a tiny spirit, whose only desire was to live in quiet and contentment. When the houses of these spirits became too warm, the spirits would grow angry, and begin to shake their kernels. When the heat grew unbearable, these spirits would leap from their homes, transforming into a puff of steam which would carry them elsewhere.

The cultural stories and folklore surrounding popcorn are just as interesting as popcorn, itself – and, just as popcorn has traveled alongside humanity for quite some time, many of these stories have been around for a while.

At Popcorn Palace, our love of all things popcorn extends to the cultural history and folktales of this delicious and nutritious snack. Here are some of our favorite stories, on our favorite topic. We hope you’ll enjoy them, alongside one of our delectable gourmet treats.

The Popcorn Book by Tomie DePaola

In this classic favorite, a group of kids get together for a lively popcorn-making adventure. As the story unfolds, so does a lesson on the history of popcorn, itself. The author also shares fun scientific facts about popcorn, including what makes popcorn pop, and other details.

The Purloined Corn Popper: A Felicity Snell Mystery by E.W. Hildick

In this children’s mystery, the family corn popper goes missing. At his mother’s suggestion, Tim requests assistance from Felicity Snell, the town’s new librarian (who is also a former undercover agent) – and the help of a team of neighborhood kids.

McBroom Tells a Lie (The Adventures of Mcbroom) by Sid Fleischman
Farmer McBroom and his family own the best farm around – a magical place, where things grow faster than anywhere else. In this story, they save their farm from a conniving neighbor who wants to claim their land for himself – through the use of a Popcornmobile, frozen sunlight, and lightning bugs.

Mr Picklepaw’s Popcorn by Ruth Adams
When Mr. Picklepaw climbs to the roof of an overheated storage shed, the kernels inside explode into a mountain of popcorn, leaving him stranded at the top. Mr. Picklepaw faces the challenge of removing himself from this predicament – but not before the townspeople feast on his misfortune.

People of Corn: A Mayan Story by Mary-Joan Gerson

For the Mayans, each corn crop is welcomed as a miracle, and harvested with gratitude, and celebration. Beginning with the importance of corn in Mayan history and culture, this folktale tells how the Mayan gods strove to create the people of corn, in hopes that they would remember and honor their creators.

At Popcorn Palace, we believe in creating tales of community and connection through the sharing of delicious, nutritious treats. For more information on fun popcorn fundraising for your organization, visit Popcorn Palace.


Science Club Pop-Science Showcase & FUNdraiser

11 Feb

Raising funds for your school’s science club shouldn’t leave you feeling like a failed experiment. By hosting a Popcorn Palace Pop-Science FUNdraiser, you’ll engage and entertain supporters, and boost your popcorn sales.

Popcorn has some amazing and fascinating features – and you can apply your scientific knowledge and skills to create an interesting, interactive popcorn showcase. The unveiling of your showcase can be timed to correspond with your fundraising launch – and help you gain interest and momentum when gathering support for your science club. If each student completes one experiment or scientific presentation, you can charge a nominal fee for entrance to your showcase, as well as offering delicious Popcorn Palace samples, and treats for order or purchase.

To start, you’ll need a “research” team, and access to the school lab. With a little supervision, and some careful planning, your team can execute these easy experiments (and many more!) which reveal some of the fascinating truths and facts about popcorn.

  • Which kernels pop better – white or yellow? In this experiment, your team will form a hypothesis and conduct research which uses the scientific method to prove which kernels perform the best, under pressure.
  • What makes popcorn pop? This series of experiments is designed to answer the age-old mystery, by using unique controls to reveal the qualities and conditions which combine to turn regular ‘ole kernels into a delicious, homemade treat!
  • Which stovetop technique works best? When making popcorn on the stove, many debate about the benefits of popping with cold oil, versus preheated oil. This experiment is designed to compare the two techniques, and reveal which is more efficient.
  • Which popcorn tastes best? Though this may seem to some to be a matter of opinion, every person has their preference – and gathering information scientifically from many participants can provide you with helpful statistics regarding your subject. Use these guidelines to create a blind taste-test, and let your audience sample Popcorn Palace’s gourmet flavors, to find their favorite!
  • Where does popcorn come from? This research experiment will help you create a geographical display of the United States, which shows the most popular places to cultivate and harvest popcorn.
  • How long has popcorn been around? This research experiment is designed to create a chronological timeline, which showcases your team’s historical knowledge of popcorn.
  • Compare/Contrast. This research project should showcase the nutritional content of popcorn, side-by-side with other common snacks, such as potato chips. By providing this information, your team will allow your audience to come to their own scientific conclusions.

Remember – the key to good fundraising is to make your POPScience Showcase interesting and fun for your audience. The key is to get creative! An air-popping station which allows kids to participate in popcorn “research”, a guessing game which uses a jar filled with kernels, or a popcorn trivia game – all of these are great ideas which can help you turn your fundraiser into a FUNraiser. You might also consider offering Popcorn Palace samples as door or raffle prizes – inspiring additional sales to happy snackers.

You’ll find it simple to raise funds for your school’s science club, by doing what you do best – experimenting! And an interactive POPScience showcase will not only show supporters what your science club is all about – it will also encourage them to enjoy healthy, high-quality treats, and have a little wholesome fun.

For more information on how your school or organization can use Popcorn Palace’s delicious, gourmet popcorn to make your fundraiser successful, contact our team, today!