Archive | December, 2015

4 Social Media Tips for a Successful Fundraiser

30 Dec

The influence of social media to the success of a fundraising campaign is huge. It allows you to branch your campaign to people who identify with your cause, broadening your audience to reach more donors. Recent studies by Blackbaud show that online giving grew 13.8% in the summer of 2015 when compared to the year before it[1].

While the opportunities found in social media are highly valuable for fundraisers, success comes with time and dedication to your message. To help your fundraiser reach its social media potential, follow our 4 tips to effectively communicate your message to your audience:

  1. Invest in Platforms That Best Fit Your Fundraiser

It’s important to understand the demographic and voice of your social media networks. For example, 30% of people between the ages of 26 – 34 use Twitter with 23% using Facebook[2]. These numbers are different for people between the ages of 18 – 25, with 29% using Facebook and 13% using Twitter[3]. Although these age groups are a few years apart, there is a major difference in lifestyle and experience.

Another thing to consider when choosing your social media networks is the nature of the medium itself. Facebook allows you to share more information than most other platforms with a character limit of 175. Twitter on the other hand caps you at 60 characters. Audience demographics, character limits and other features will play a major role in the way you communicate your message.

  1. Design Content to Your Audience

Before you can ask someone to donate, you need to have an audience of people who identify with your cause. The key to fundraising is to maintain a narrative for your audience to identify with. The narrative tells your audience why they should donate, where the donation is going, and how their part is building into your cause.

Social media gives you the opportunity to bring personality into your narrative by sharing milestones, offering opportunities for involvement, and stay responsive to your audience. To do this effectively, focus your message around social sharing – captivating posts that people publicly identify with. According to Marketo, 73% of people share posts to find people with common interests[4]. Having highly sharable content will organically grow your audience as people identify with your message.

  1. Maintain Your Momentum by Being Interactive

Maintain the momentum of you message by interacting with your audience. A survey conducted by Waggener Edstrom found that 55% of people who engage with causes on social media are inspired to take further action[5]. This can be as simple as updating your logos and images to reflect the holidays and public events or thanking your donors.

Stay in the loop of what people are responding to by using relevant hashtags. For example, if there is a trending hashtag about a football game and your fundraiser is raising money for new football equipment at a local high school, it may benefit your fundraiser to follow the hashtag. The important thing is to stay in the conversation and engage with the subject matter.

  1. Call to Action – Reference Your Website

The most important component of your message is its call to action. Without a call to action, then your audience will not know how they can support your cause. Keep in mind that social media isn’t necessarily designed to accept donations. You will need to refer people to your website or pay page to see value from your efforts.

Social media allows you to engage your message to a broader audience. It offers you more opportunities to drive your narrative and personify your cause, allowing your audience to accept your message as their own. The key is to remain consistent with your message and efforts, maintaining the momentum that you’ve built overtime.

 

Let us be part of your message. Our gourmet popcorn at Popcorn Palace is made fresh with all natural flavors with gift tins. You can earn 50% profit per item with no order limits. For more information, fill our form below and a fundraising expert will contact you soon!

[1] Allyson K. “Online Donations Rise in 2015”. Care2services. http://www.care2services.com/care2blog/onlinedonationsrise

[2] Danielle M. “Social Media Marketing for Musicians”. SlideShare. http://www.slideshare.net/mmmsocialmedia/social-media-marketing-for-musicians-35271915

[3] Ibid.

[4] Brian C. “Contagious Content”. Marketo. http://www.marketo.com/assets/uploads/Contagious-Content.pdf

[5] “14 Must-Know Stats About Fundraising, Social Media, and Mobile Technology”. Nonprofit Tech for Good. http://waggeneredstrom.com/what-we-do/social-innovation/report-digital-persuasion/

Why Start Fundraising in January?

22 Dec

The December months are ending and your fundraiser has had another successful year. You’ve met your goals and set new benchmarks. This begs the question, when should you start? The month of January offers you unique opportunities to start your fundraiser in the right direction. Here are a few reasons why:

Leverage Your Data from the Previous Year

If you’ve had fundraising campaigns in the previous year, one major benefit of starting your fundraising calendar on January is using the data from that year to launch the current year’s campaigns. A simple cost to effort analysis applied overtime will give you a fair assessment on how you performed at certain times of year – holidays, major events, trends and product choices.

In product fundraising, performing an analysis is especially helpful if you’re selling more than one product at the same time. For example, if you’re selling treats to raise money for a charity, find the flavors that sell the best at certain points of the year. This will save you on the cost of the flavor and storage, as well as open new opportunities to try different variations.

It’s The Best Time to Make Partnerships

Most organizations use the end of November and December to assess their budgets for the following year. Make it a priority in January to build partnerships for your fundraising campaigns. This will place your fundraiser ahead in line for sponsorships in the later months throughout the year.

Keep in mind, that a partnership can provide more than funding to operate. They can co-promote your fundraiser or bundle your products and services to help you reach a wider market.

Begin Your Narrative

Fundraising is more than selling a good or service for charity, it’s telling a story and promoting a cause. Tell the story of last year’s successes:

  • Did you surpass quarterly goals?
  • Did your fundraiser have a sponsor?
  • How did your fundraiser impact your cause?

Use January to promote your follow-up goals. For example, if your campaign had a fundraiser that was used to raise money for new football uniforms for local high school. Tell the story of how the team performed and the positive impact that each donation had on the team’s morale.

Most importantly, take the time and give thanks to everyone who donated for the successes of your previous fundraising year. This will inspire your lapsed donors to offer more attention to your fundraiser throughout the new year.

Certain Sectors Perform Better in January

For most fundraisers, the end of the year is the peak season for gift giving. However, for certain sectors the peak continues through January.

In a recent study conducted by Blackbaud, the overall gift giving distribution is around 7.8% for mid-January[1]. This figure surpasses the overall gift giving distributions of February, March, May, and July through September, who are all below 7.8%.[2]

A similar study by Blackbaud also found the month of January in the top 4 highest fundraising months for Education, Public/Society Benefits, and Healthcare.

January’s Ranking for Highest Funding Raised by Sector[3]

  • Public/Society Benefit: 2nd best month
  • Education: 3rd best month
  • Healthcare: 4th best month
  • Medical Research: 4th best month

When fundraising, it is important to stay proactive and work to maintain your momentum into the new year. January offers many opportunities to set direction for your next fundraising campaign with valuable insight and partnerships.

At Popcorn Palace, we believe that fundraising doesn’t have to be done alone – we can help! Earn 50% profit per item by selling gourmet popcorn. All of our popcorn is made fresh with natural flavors, ready for your fundraising campaign. For more information on unique fundraising ideas and opportunities, fill out our form below and an exper

[1] Steve M. “2013 Charitable Gift Giving Report [Infographic]”. http://www.nonprofithub.org/fundraising/2013-charitable-giving-report-infographic/

[2] Ibid.

[3] Anh T. “International Giving Rebounds after Recession-Year Declines”. Asian Philanthropy Forum. http://www.asianphilanthropyforum.org/international-giving-rebounds-recession-year-declines/

5 Essentials to Your New Year’s Eve Party

18 Dec

As the last days of the December month’s come to a close, families and join together and celebrate once more to bring in the new year. For most, New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate another wonderful year with a toast for many more. For those hosting their first New Year’s Eve or wishing to make each year’s celebration better than the last, we’ve made a list of 5 essentials for your most memorable New Year’ Eve!

  1. Sparkling Decor

When most people think about New Year’s Eve celebrations, one theme that has stood the test of time is glam, glitter, and gold dust! Homes are filled with sparkling garland, festive candles, and party hats on New Year’s Eve to represent a fresh start and “newness”. You can also use your Christmas decorations by rearranging your lights around the living room for a more festive atmosphere.

  1. Dance The Night Away

Next to Christmas, New Year’s Eve is one of the most celebrated holidays in music. Many musicians across genres and eras have written songs looking forward to another great year! Here’s a look at some classic must-haves for your New Year’ Eve party:

  • “Auld Lang Syne” by Mariah Carey
  • “Funky New Year” by the Eagles
  • “1999” by Prince
  • “Let’s Start the New Year Right” by Bing Crosby

 

  1. Toasting In The New Year

It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without saying thanks to the wonderful things you’ve experienced throughout the year and a toast to many more. Traditionally, families and friends offer a toast at midnight as the clock chimes in January 1st of the New Year. It’s also common to use sparkling cider to make the toast, allowing people who don’t want to have champagne or wine to toast in the New Year.

  1. Watching the Count Down

Arguably, the most iconic event for celebrating New Year’s Eve is watching the Ball Drop in Time Square, New York City, NY. The tradition of dropping the ball in Time Square started in 1907 with the first ball making it descent from a flagpole atop of the One Times Square Building[1]. The Ball Drop is an event that has occurred every year since, with exceptions being 1942 and 1943.

  1. Eating Lucky Foods

New Year’s Eve is a holiday celebrated by cultures around the world, each with their own lucky foods to bring good health and prosperity for the new year. Here are some favorites:

Twelve Grapes

Latin American and Spanish families eat twelve grapes with each bell strike at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Each grape represents a month out of the new year with exceptionally sweet grapes representing a month of wealth and good luck.

Pork

Families in the American South enjoy Pork on New Year’s Eve as a symbol of progress and “rooting forward”. The tradition is seen in many countries throughout the world, namely countries around Central Europe – Germany, Austria and Hungary.

Fish

One of the most popular lucky foods to eat on New Year’s Eve is fish. The tradition is centuries old and is practiced across cultures around the world, each with their own unique recipes and practices on the types of fish to eat for good luck. Why fish? Many believe it’s because the Catholic Church observes eating fish on religious holidays. Others believe it’s due to fish is easily preserved and transportable inland, making it a tradition that has persisted for generations.

 

At Popcorn Palace, we celebrate a tradition of bringing people joy with the tasty treat of gourmet popcorn. All of our popcorn is made with natural flavors and ingredients and sealed in a beautiful decorative tin for freshness. We offer a boundless assortment of flavors, from Milk Chocolate Drizzle to our colorful Fruit Rainbow made with real fruit flavors in every bite.

We also offer a 12-Month Flavor Club with for a new year full of flavor. When you sign-up for the 12-Month Flavor Club membership you’ll receive a 1-gallon popcorn bag for 12-months, each with a flavor of your choosing, and a free bowl and scoop from Popcorn Palace. You’ll only pay for the 1st month’s shipping, giving you 11 months shipping free! For more information about our gourmet popcorn or our 12-Month Flavor Club, fill out the form below and a popcorn expert will contact you shortly.

[1] “History of the New Year’s Eve Ball” Time Square. http://www.timessquarenyc.org/events/new-years-eve/about-the-new-years-eve-ball/history-of-the-new-years-eve-ball/index.aspx#.VmV7H_krLIW

Season’s Greetings: Holiday Gifts From Popcorn Palace

9 Dec

No matter the weather, gourmet popcorn is a delicious and nutritious snack which will tantalize the taste buds of your friends and family. Made with wholesome ingredients and flavored with love, Popcorn Palace makes it easy for you to send warm greetings to your loved ones this holiday season.

Why are Popcorn Palace’s gourmet selections the right choice for your holiday gifts?

Popcorn brings people together. Whether you’re roasting chestnuts or relaxing around the fire – Popcorn Palace’s gourmet popcorn is an experience to be shared! So gather round the tree to tell stories of Christmases past, and pass around a tin of our sweet gourmet treats.
We have something for everyone. Tired of searching for the perfect holiday gifts for that hard-to-please person? Popcorn Palace has something for everyone! Whether you favor sweet or savory, our gourmet mixes entice and delight the most discerning of tastebuds.

Can’t decide? Our Create Your Own Tins allow you to choose your favorite flavors – so order your tried-and-true loves, or sample a few of our newest recipes. Our menu of tastes holds a wide selection of options from classic butter to hand-crafted artisanal treats – all guaranteed to please.

Popcorn, on the go! Tired of toting your casserole dish to the holiday potluck? Popcorn Palace’s Divine Bags are made to be portable – so order a few, and avoid all the hassle. They are 1 gallon resealable bag, so you have no worries about knocking them down. Just grab and go – and remove all the stress of contributing to seasonal commitments with a holiday gift that keeps on giving!

The healthier treat. Let’s face it – traditional seasonal snacks aren’t the healthiest choice. Laden with empty calories and unnecessary additives – it’s no wonder so many folks pack on the holiday weight! But Popcorn Palace’s delicious gourmet treats are hand-crafted with your health in mind. Made from wholesome, natural ingredients, we leave out all that artificial stuff – so you can enjoy your holiday snacking, without worrying about all those extra ingredients!
Want to give your friends and family great holiday gifts which let them know you care? Popcorn Palace’s Artisanal Holiday Tins send a warm message! They’re packed with tasty gourmet snacks guaranteed to bring your loved ones closer – if only so they can grab their own handful!

So, choose your favorite flavors from our wide of array of tasty, hand-crafted recipes, today – and celebrate your holiday season in good health, with delicious and nutritious treats from Popcorn Palace.

Season’s Greetings – and get snacking!

Announcing the Holiday Giveaway Winners!

7 Dec

Congratulations 

  1. Susan R.
  2. Betsy S.
  3. Maria C.

They are the lucky winners for the Holiday Giveaway contest and they will soon receive a large tin filled with:

  • Double Chocolate popcorn
  • Milk Chocolate Drizzle popcorn
  • White Chocolate Peanut Butter popcorn

We really appreciate all of the interest in Popcorn Palace and excitement about popcorn! We asked our entry participants to tell us what they think of when they hear the word “popcorn.”  Many said “yummy,” “delicious,” and “tasty.” We whole-heartedly agree.

We also really enjoyed reading the special memories. Betsy says that she thinks of “Warmth. A Snack that brings back warm childhood memories. A Snack like no other.” Brenda thinks of “a good movie sitting on the sofa with a warm blanket.” And popcorn makes Tamara think of “happiness and family get-togethers.” We hope our popcorn continues to help people relax and build cozy memories for years to come.

If you love popcorn and want to try again to win a delicious treat, Popcorn Palace will be holding another giveaway in early Spring, so keep checking back for more information! As always, if you have any questions about our Popcorn or fundraising opportunities, please fill out the form below.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Hostess Gifts for The Holidays

4 Dec

Bringing a gift for your host or hostess is a kind way to say “thank you” for their hospitality. The winter months are an especially eventful time of the year where family and friends join together to celebrate holidays and each other’s company.

Traditionally, hostess gifts are given during a formal gathering or dinner. But in recent years, giving hostess gifts has come back into style for all occasions. The trick to a great hostess gift is to keep it simple – adding to the occasion without creating a burden. While flowers and wine are fine gifts, the hostess may not have a vase for the flowers or the wine may conflict with the meal.

To help you navigate your way into finding the perfect hostess gift, we’ve organized a list with do’s and don’ts of hostess gifting this holiday season:

Informal Party’s & Dinners

Finding the right gift for an informal party and dinner can be challenging, especially if it’s your first time visiting someone’s home. For an informal party and dinner, bring a gift that is complimentary to the festivities.

  • Do: Bring a gift that is complimentary to the meal, such as cocktail napkins or a special carving knife. If there is no mention of a dinner, then bring something that adds to the party like a game.
  • Don’t: Bring gifts that must be that evening, such as a centerpiece or candles. Unless told otherwise, the host may have everything they want for the gathering. If you insist they try something, like a wine or candle, then suggest that they try it at another time.

Formal Party’s, Dinners, and Cocktail Parties

Most businesses and organizations celebrate their employees and committee’s with a formal party or dinner. It’s the perfect time to get to know your peers and colleagues outside of the workspace.

  • Do: If there is a guest of honor at the event, bring them a gift that they will appreciate. Otherwise, it isn’t recommended that you bring a hostess gift to a formal event.
  • Don’t: Bring food or decorations. If the formal isn’t serving food, then don’t bring food. If the event is a cocktail party, don’t bring additional drinks because the drinks for the evening are already planned.

Hanukkah Party

Hanukkah is an 8-day holiday celebrated by Jewish families on the fourth day before the new moon. Like other major holidays, Hanukkah is celebrated with prayer, food, and family games.

  • Do: Hanukkah is especially steeped in tradition. Bring with you a special dreidel or gelt coins. A nice olive oil from Israel is also greatly appreciated.
  • Don’t: Bring foods unless you’re asked. Traditional or practicing families will only eat food that is kosher. Bringing food can have a level of discomfort for some families.

Christmas Party

Christmas is one of the most widely practiced holidays in the United States. Family and friends from all over the country come together to celebrate Christmas with caroling, dinner, and presents around the Christmas tree. The formality of the celebration can vary, but there are a few great gifts that are perfect for all occasions.

  • Do: Bring ornaments and holiday-themed tins with tasty treats. Flavored popcorn is especially good for the Christmas holidays, as they can be enjoyed with a Christmas movie, by the fireplace, and can come in a variety of flavors for the entire family.
  • Don’t: Bring gifts that only the hostess will enjoy. The best hostess gifts contribute to the Christmas party or dinner without taking attention away from their preparations.

When looking for a perfect hostess gift, always remember to bring a gift that compliments the festivities or dinner without adding additional work for the host. If you want to gift food, take a few days beforehand and offer to bring a dish. That way the host can plan the dinner or festivities around the gift.

Save yourself some time and get your Gourmet Popcorn Holiday Tins with Popcorn Palace! We offer a variety of delicious natural flavors, from Milk Chocolate Drizzle to Cheddarific, all fresh for the family! We also offer multiple bag discounts, perfect for friends and coworkers! Start your order today by filling the form below and we will contact you soon!