Archive | June, 2015

5 Steps to Start Fundraising Today

26 Jun

Starting a fundraiser can be an intimidating task. It requires a lot of organization, creativity, resources, and planning to be successful. We’ve narrowed the process down into 5 easy steps that will pop life into your fundraising goals.

Step 1: Determine Your Fundraising Goals

A good place to start is with the end goal in mind. Ask yourself – how much money do I want to raise and how much time do I have to raise it? Raising $2,000 in 5 weeks is easier than raising $5,000 in 2 weeks. Understanding the answers to these two questions will give you the scope needed to organize your fundraising goals.

Step 2: Write a Simple Business Plan

To achieve your goals, you need a plan. Structure the business plan around your target audience. Consider who you’re asking funds from and why your fundraiser matters to them. Make note of your resources – such as time, materials, startup money, and helpers. Understanding your audiences and your resources will help you build the infrastructure needed to achieve your fundraising goals.

Step 3: Pick a Fundraiser

Connecting your target market to your goals makes the fundraiser happen. This is where you determine how you will be raising money. There are three types of fundraisers: Appeal Fundraising, Event Fundraising, and Product Fundraising. All three fundraisers are unique in their method of fundraising.

Appeal Fundraising is most beneficial when your target market is able to make large donations when you reach out to them. The costs of Appeal Fundraising are minimal and fundraising can start immediately. However, Appeal Fundraising can be difficult because you are asking for a donation without an exchange.

Event Fundraising can be a fun opportunity for the entire community. Money can be raised through participation in benefit concerts, walk-a-thons, talent shows, and dinner fundraisers. It’s important to consider the amount of resources needed in an Event Fundraiser. Upfront costs can vary dramatically and the amount of time needed to plan the event can take months.

Product Fundraising, like we do at Popcorn Palace, is the most predictable of the three types of fundraisers. Money is raised from the profits made on the sale of a product. Depending on the company you partner with or the product you are selling, upfront costs and preparation are minimal. We require no up-front costs, and our partners make 50% profit on each item.

Step 4: Make Contact and Start Organizing

After picking the type of fundraiser you want to do, contact organizations that you’d like to partner with for more information. Start organizing your team that will help you with the fundraiser. Gather your resources and start fundraising.

If you’re working with a school or youth organization, we’ve written a blog post containing resources and documents you’ll need to better manage your fundraiser. You can read about it here.

Step 5: Put the Fun in Fundraising

Don’t forget to have fun! Fundraising is a great way to unite a community for a good cause. Make the experience memorable for your community and it’ll bring smiles all around! If you need any help with fundraising ideas or advice, read our blog articles for helpful fundraising tips or contact Popcorn Palace today!

Resources and Documents for Better Popcorn Fundraising

18 Jun

Organizing and managing a successful fundraiser takes time and energy. We’ve collected a list of different documents that might help you along the way.

Permission Slips: If you’re working in a youth organization, making sure everyone is informed and onboard is essential. Have a clear and informative permission slip template that the participating children can take home to their parents. Parents can sign off and have all relevant information. You can also include helpful information for how parents can support their kids and the organization in general.

Fundraising Policies: If you’re an organization that needs to do fundraisers on a regular basis, then you need to draft fundraising policies, which would include best practices for management, accountability, and transparency. Your policies should include everything you’ve learned from your history of fundraising and very detailed information on your organization’s principles, solicitation rules, and use of fundraising funds—just to name a few. You can read through different fundraiser’s policy examples online to help you draft your own.

Direct Mail Fundraising Letter: We recommend that you also write a direct mail fundraising letter. They introduce your campaign and product to your relevant audience. What you write in the letter is really dependent on the type of fundraiser you are doing and who your audience is. We’ve written a more in-depth guide to the direct mail fundraising letter, and you can read more about it here on this blog post.

Posters: Successful fundraisers incorporate energetic and stylish announcements. Create a variety of different posters to post in your organization and in surrounding communities. If you’re doing a school fundraiser, put posters up in the classroom to inspire your students and put posters up throughout the entire school, so everyone knows about the fundraiser! You can also ask local stores, if they’d be willing to put up a poster in their business. Simple marketing can take your fundraisers to new levels!

Record keepers: If you’re doing a product oriented fundraiser, then you’ll definitely have all of your sales sheets. This is necessary to keep track of who orders what, so the right fundraising products can be delivered to the right people. Along with these sales sheets, you can use an overall record keeper to track your entire group’s sales. You can use very clean and practical record keepers (an easy excel spreadsheet can be ideal) or you can use a large, graphic oriented record keepers (like a poster) to inspire your organization with big visuals and interactive possibilities.

Thank you letters: Don’t forget to offer gratitude for everyone that helps make your fundraiser a success. Create thank you letters for the parents, community members, managers, and the participants themselves. Templates can help you, but putting a customized and personal touch to each letter can make them stand out.

What can fundraising teach you? One last thought… if you’re working with students then you can turn fundraising into helpful life lessons. You can create lessons about what fundraisers teach students—from financial lessons to goal setting and marketing. You can also ask your students to create their own fundraising documents about how they feel about the process and what they’ve learned.

Here at Popcorn Palace, we want to help you with all of your fundraising needs. If you want examples of fundraising documents that we send to organizations, please contact us. We’d love to help you on your fundraising journey.

Fundraising in the Summer

11 Jun

June 21 marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere. Summer is famous for kid activities, sunshine, swimming, and BBQs. We’re looking forward to a break from the school year and a little bit of camping. We’re also preparing to help with important fundraising opportunities and activities that happen during summer.

Hot Summer Fundraising Highlights

Summer Fundraising for Sports

Sports are usually divided into sports seasons. What games can we look forward to during summer? You’ll see activity on the baseball field since games started in spring and continue throughout the summer. You can also catch volleyball games at the beach. But by far the most sports activity takes place in the water during summer. Swimming, diving, and sailing benefit from the hot weather.

Summer sports teams can take advantage of their popularity and begin a summer fundraiser to support uniforms, training, travel experience, equipment, and more. Sports are expensive, but important to kids, participants, and fans alike. Youth sports in particular need extra involvement and support, and fundraising can help.

Summer Fundraising for Camps

Many of our favorite childhood memories are from camps we attended during our precious summer months. There are summer camps for a wide variety of interests including adventure, academics, church and sports. They teach kids to be active and creative. They reap important physical and emotional benefits, and sometimes create lifelong friendships.

Summer camps do such fundamental good for children, but they can be very expensive. Some summer camps try to offset expenses with community support. Fundraising for summer camps can provide scholarships for families that don’t have extra money, so more deserving kids can go.

Summer Fundraising for Charities

Summer is also an excellent opportunity for charity organizations to host important activities to raise awareness and money for really valuable causes. So what events should you keep your eye out for?

Many organizations host walkathons and other types of marathons to get the community involved. Some of the most famous are breast cancer walks and runs where breast cancer organizations offer inspiring local events throughout the country. Skin cancer organizations also take the opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers of the summer sun.

Many charity organizations—from healthcare to music centers and cultural organizations—also throw summer galas, inviting people to dress to the nines, mingle with friends, and celebrate important accomplishments.

Take Advantage of the Summer with Effective Fundraising

Summer is a popular time for fundraising because everyone can take advantage of the weather and the outdoors. If you need to plan a fundraiser during the summer, we can help you with plans and effective organization at Popcorn Palace. Please contact us if you have any questions about summer fundraisers. And remember, if you don’t have a fundraiser to organize, we encourage you to support your favorite organizations.

Is Butter Flavored Popcorn Bad For Your Health?

5 Jun

Popcorn has long been a favorite option for healthy snacking, though it has recently been receiving quite a bit of negative news coverage. Recent scrutiny of commercially-used artificial butter flavoring (specifically, a chemical called diacetyl) has kicked up quite a bit of controversy about the health benefits of popcorn.

At Popcorn Palace, we believe your health comes first – and we’d love to shed some light on the subject.

To start, diacetyl is a chemical included in microwave or theatre popcorn – it’s that buttery-yellow substance which gives microwave popcorn it’s distinctive aroma. A byproduct of the fermentation process of butter, beer, and vinegar, diacetyl is also synthetically produced for use by food companies, because of its irresistible flavor and smell.

Better safe, than sorry.

Recent studies have linked diacetyl to lung damage (caused by breathing its vapors) as well as potential brain-related health risks. It is currently unclear whether eating foods containing diacetyl (which is used in both microwave and theatre popcorn, as well as other snack foods and baked goods) might increase the risk of developing brain-related issues such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The concerns are significant enough that companies have already begun removing diacetyl from use. Still, removing diacetyl from microwave and theatre popcorn doesn’t necessarily make it safe – as several substitute ingredients are also suspected to hold negative impact on consumer health.

So, is buttered popcorn still okay to eat?

The short answer is, yes – as long as it is made with real butter, or other natural ingredients, such as those used by Popcorn Palace. Our products contain no artificial additives or flavorings, ever – so you can rest assured that our products are a safe and healthy snacking alternative.

Our delicious gourmet treats are prepared using the finest natural ingredients. We use high-quality popcorn, and celebrate its natural flavor by highlighting it with the best mix-ins – crafting custom flavors with integrity. We preserve the naturally occurring qualities of popcorn (which is high in body-friendly whole grains, fiber, and antioxidants) by producing our popcorn in small batches – so that you can experience this healthy snack in all of its glory!

So, popcorn lovers rejoice! You don’t have to give up this crunchy and satisfying snack. Just dump the artificially-flavored popcorn, just take a look at Popcorn Palace for delicious and healthy popcorn snacks.