Archive | March, 2016

Promotion Essentials for Your Easter Fundraiser

26 Mar

Spring is in the air and Easter is just around the corner! Families around the world are planning their Easter holidays to spend time outdoors and in their communities where the flowers are in bloom and the birds are singing. With so many activities happening around this time of year, why not host a fundraiser?

The Easter holiday is the perfect time to get creative with promoting your fundraiser. Whether your fundraiser is a year-round or a single day event, centering your promotions around the fun colors and themes of Easter is a good way to join the festivities.

To help you promote your fundraiser this Easter, we’ve created a list of 4 essentials to get you hopping in the right direction.

1. Host Easter-based Events

A major theme of Easter is outdoor activities for kids. Most families celebrate with a traditional Easter Egg Hunt and barbecue full of comfort foods. If your fundraiser hosts regular events, consider hosting a day full of fun activities for the family. Some widely popular events are:

  • Easter Egg Hunt
  • Easter Basket Decoration Competition
  • Egg Toss
  • Photos with The Easter Bunny
  • Easter-Movie Marathon

While an Easter-based event can be highly successful, consider hosting the event a few days before Easter day. Most families may want to preserve Easter Day for a private holiday.

2. Incorporate Easter Themes and Colors on Logos

When most people see pastel colors like robin egg blue and spring green, they immediately think of Easter and Spring weather. Incorporate pastel colors into your logos and other promotions to fit your fundraiser into the Easter spirit.

You can also incorporate other Easter-based themes like rabbits, colorful eggs, robins and lilies into your promotions. For example, if your fundraiser uses social media, update your profile and cover photos with Easter-based alternative logos and themes. This will help your followers identify your fundraiser with the holiday.

3. Easter Discounts

If your fundraiser hosts a bake sale, consider offering a discount a few days before the holiday. The discount can come in the form of a contest, bundles, secret codes or giveaways. Promoting a discount will also help increase your fundraiser’s email subscription or social media followers for other events.

4. Easter Is in The Details

A great Easter promotion is creative with the details of the fundraising campaign. If you’re hosting a bake sale, a colored ribbon or rabbit stickers on the packing can be a great way to get in the Easter spirit. If you’re selling tickets to an Easter Egg Hunt, consider an Easter Bunny on the print or lemon colored ticket paper.

Let Popcorn Palace help you Create Joy this Spring with a gourmet popcorn fundraiser! All of our popcorn is made with natural flavors –  from tasty Brown Sugar Caramel to sweet Fruit Rainbow. When you fundraise with Popcorn Palace, 50% of your purchase orders go directly to your organization! For more information on our fundraising programs, fill the form below and a fundraising expert will contact you shortly!

We’re also hosting or Create Joy and Bloom Contest for a chance to win a delicious large 6-way popcorn tin. Contest rules and conditions can be accessed here, don’t miss your chance to win!

Booster Club Fundraising: Do’s and Don’ts

17 Mar

Booster clubs have long offered their assistance and support to schools seeking to raise money for student programs. And with recent budget cuts drastically affecting many traditional extracurricular activities, the role of booster club fundraising has never been more important!

Still, regulations set into effect by district and governmental authorities can make booster club fundraising a bit more complicated these days – which is why the experts at Popcorn Palace have outlined these important “do’s” and “don’ts”…

Do maintain contact with your school or university’s administration. Make sure you provide them with the details of your planned fundraising efforts before beginning each project – and ask for their approval prior to spending funds.

Don’t isolate your club. A tailgating fundraiser could benefit immensely from the combined efforts of cheerleading, band, and the football boosters – so, why not join forces for the benefit of all? Do reach out to parents and supporters of other groups, and actively seek opportunities which allow collaboration. You’ll widen your network, and support the success of your booster club fundraising efforts.

Do ask the parents of graduating seniors to mentor your new recruits. Begin courting parents of new students with an open house or introduction at (or before!) your freshmen orientation. Pair them up with experienced members, to help them learn the ropes, and get comfortable with the way your booster club works before taking over.

Don’t overlook the value of 501(c)3 status. It may take some time to register as a tax exempt organization, but it is definitely worth the effort! Do ask a local attorney for help in guiding your club through the process, and maintaining your status once the paperwork has been filed successfully. They’ll be doing a great service to their community – and you’ll gain the ability to legally promote your booster club fundraising efforts, collect contributions, and provide a tax benefit to your donors.

Do establish formal accounting policies and procedures. It’s important that you track your booster club fundraising efforts and results, and maintain accurate financial records, to remain in compliance with authorities.

Don’t forget to contact friends, alumni, and local businesses. Staying in touch with your community is key! So make sure to communicate your fundraising plans to others, so that they can easily contribute to your success.

Don’t overextend. One of the biggest mistakes a booster club can make is to run too many fundraising events. It’s far better to run a few successful fundraisers, than to run constant or simultaneous campaigns. Do simplify your efforts, by running straightforward, easy-to-manage campaigns 2-3 times per year – your concentrated efforts will be more organized and impactful – and you’ll see the rewards!

Do seek out partners who add value to your campaign. There are many businesses and organizations who are willing to offer your booster club assistance – and they can add value and variety to your fundraising efforts. The fundraising team at Popcorn Palace is a great example! We offer expert advice, guidance, and assistance – all while providing your booster club with delicious and nutritious treats which entice and delight your supporters.

Don’t just take our word for it! Click here, to see how Popcorn Palace supports the fundraising efforts of schools and charitable organizations nationwide, with no upfront costs – and learn how our gourmet popcorn can add flavor to your booster club fundraising efforts! We’re helping organizations create joy!

How to Write an Impactful Fundraising Story

8 Mar

Every successful fundraiser understands the importance of a clear message. When people support a fundraiser, they are also supporting an idea. While facts and statistics are great ways to communicate the importance of an idea. The gluing factor for a fundraiser is a relatable story.

A fundraiser only has one chance to make a knock-out first impression. Long facts and statistics need context to make sense, and they tend to slip from the listener’s mind. On the other hand, a compelling narrative is much more memorable as people relate to its challenges and characters.

A great story will also help supporters visualize where the fundraiser is going and how they can help reach its destination. To help you reach your fundraising success, we’ve outlined the critical tips to consider for a compelling fundraising story:

Tip #1: Understand Your Purpose

Before drafting your fundraiser’s story, you need to have a thorough understanding of the purpose your fundraiser and why they matter. Solidifying your fundraiser’s purpose will help you find the key points of your story, giving you structure and direction. If you’re finding it tough to solidify your fundraising purpose, ask yourself the following:

  1. What is the end-goal?
  2. What have I done/do I need to do to reach this end-goal?
  3. What are the specific challenges that my fundraiser must overcome to reach these goals?

Once you have a thorough understanding of your fundraiser’s purpose, its story will come naturally.

Tip # 2: Use the Before-Action-After Format

The format of your fundraiser’s story is just as important as the story itself. One of the most popular formats is the before-action-after format, as it centralizes the impact of your fundraiser.

Before The Fundraiser

Use the opening sections to describe the situation before the fundraiser. It’s important to be as vivid as possible when describing your setting, characters, and circumstances. As you develop the section, ask yourself: Would this inspire someone to hear more? Is there an emotional attachment being made?

Call for Action

In the middle, describe the exact events that called for action. If you were involved since the beginning, be sure to detail how the event made you feel. The important part of this section is describing the teetering event that inspired the start of your fundraiser.

After The Call

In the end sections of your story, describe the exact successes and future plans of the fundraiser. The focus of these sections should be on the direct impact of your success. How did life change for the characters or settings before the fundraiser? How are these changes directly tied to the fundraiser itself?

At the end of the story, offer your supporters the opportunity to help further the impact of your fundraiser. Give information on how they can help raise money and how to keep up with the fundraiser.

Tip #3: The Fundraiser Is the Hero

When stories are made, they tend to focus around the person who made them. Having a self-serving story is the least impactful type of story as it focuses the story on how the fundraiser has impacted the teller, instead of the end-goal.

At the end of the story, the hero should be the fundraiser. Take some time to edit out pronouns like “we” and “our”, they tend to shine the focus on the teller. Replace them the name of the organization or the fundraising campaign itself.

Popcorn Palace is excited to bring you our new Create Joy fundraising initiative! The initiative comes with a fresh brochure design that will help promote the cause of your fundraiser. To learn more about Create Joy and our efforts to make your fundraiser successful, fill out the contact form below and a fundraising expert will reach you shortly!

Boost Donations With a Great Fundraising Page

2 Mar

We live in busy times – which means that your greatest supporters may never have the opportunity to attend a meeting, volunteer at an event, or march for your cause. Still, the age of digital connectivity has its benefits – namely, the ability to connect with supporters all over the world, through your fundraising website.

Studies have shown that many fundraising websites are simply ineffective at gathering donations – usually, due to the simple fact that their design is not quite up to standard when compared to professionally-designed corporate sites (the ones your supporters are used to seeing). At Popcorn Palace, we know that your charitable organization is used to pinching pennies – so you can spend every available cent on supporting your cause!

To help support your efforts, we’ve created this list of five simple tips you can use to improve your fundraising websites – and increase your collected donations.

  1. Keep it simple. Many fundraising websites are simply too long and complicated to engage their audience’s attention. Tell your story clearly and succinctly, and keep it simple – a paragraph or two should suffice. The best sites are limited to one page in length – so state your mission, and then stick to the bare minimum.
  2. Provide options for payment. We suggest offering credit and debit transactions, as well as an option for PayPal. Audience members respond well to choices – and providing limited selections will help streamline the process. It’s also important to make sure that you brand your payment page, if using PayPal, or a third-party processor – it looks more professional, and will set your supporters at ease.
  3. Offer scheduled giving. Whether you use a pop-up box or standard payment selection, offer your supporters the option of choosing a monthly donation in lieu of a one-time gift. Scheduled giving can help you effortlessly increase your collections, and provide your organization with a reliable source of ongoing income.
  4. Tie your donations to their results. Provide a few simple tiers for suggested donations, and (if possible) tie them directly to your efforts. For instance, if your organization feeds the hungry, showing how many meals can be provided with a $10, $20, or $50 donation will connect your efforts to real results create an emotional connection for your supporters, and drive home the value and impact that each dollar holds.
  5. Create a follow-up message. Once your supporter has completed their transaction, send them to a confirmation page which thanks them for their support, and creates an additional call to action! Make it easy for them to acknowledge their donation via social media, and share your page with other supporters. Word of mouth is a great way to spread your message – and it’s likely your supporters are connected to a network of like-minded folks. Allow them to champion your cause with the click of a button – they’ll feel like a hero, and your cause will benefit!

Don’t forget – your fundraising website is the portal to your entire organization – so make sure it puts your best face forward. A well-planned donations page is clear, simple, and straightforward – and makes it easy for supporters to help your cause!

Still have questions on how to give your fundraising efforts a boost? Popcorn Palace’s fundraising team is happy to help you create joy with your fundraising project.