Archive for the 'Other' Category

iBake Sale: An Easy Alternative To A Bake Sale Fundraiser

If your school is burnt out on holding bake sales, iBakeSale.com could be an alternative to consider. With iBakeSale.com a school or organization registers with them. Then invite people to shop at merchants signed up with iBake Sale.com (they have hundreds of them — including Macy’s, PetSmart, Linens n’ Things, Netflix, Walmart and Avon). By making a purchase, a percentage is donated to the organization the buyer has selected, or they can choose to get cash-back on their credit card.

According to the website, iBakeSale.com was founded in 2007 with the vision to “make local community fundraising easy and rewarding.”

This program can not only be used by schools, but by sports teams, religious organizations and other community organizations that are looking to raise funds. Organizations do not have to just be 501(C)(3) charity groups with tax-exempt status. There is also no fee to join iBakeSale.com, and there is also no fee for shoppers.

With iBakeSale.com your fundraising does not have to be limited to just one weekend or one school afternoon, but it can be done during the entire school year. How much can you expect to raise? iBakeSale.com states that “Any group can expect to raise approximately $100 annually per member.”

Fundraise Naturally Offers Natural Fundraising For Schools

With today’s concerns of childhood obesity, conducting a school fundraiser with a sugary treat seems somehow like your school is behind the times. Health and natural living are a true priority now for both children and adults, and the smart school responds to this trend in every way – including their fundraising strategies.Fundraise Naturally is a fundraising company that offers natural products for fundraising projects. They are located in Westport, CT. They supply schools and other organizations with candles and soap. The company was started by Ms. Rosie Haas. Haas also owns an online natural products retail store, Natural Neighborhood. Haas was inspired to create Fundraise Naturally out of the need she saw in her community for a natural products fundraiser. Her company has been in business since 2005. “I have done home parties of natural products and have an internet store of natural products and also a video gallery,” said Haas.

“I would participate in table-top events where I would bring all of my organic and natural necessities with me for sale, and over time some people would make comments, “Do you offer these items for fundraising?”. It only took a couple of requests for me to think about it,” said Haas.

Several schools in Fairfield County, CT were interested in doing the program for the 2007 school year. The program is available now in Connecticut and Vermont, but they are also interested in expanding to other states in the U.S.A.. The first fundraiser conducted by Fundraise Naturally was actually not a school, but a private citizen that raised funds for a little girl in a coma.

Schools have reason to be interested in healthy and natural fundraising, as most schools now have local wellness policies. The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 mandates that all school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program have had local wellness policies in place by July 1, 2006. Haas has certainly seen a number of these policies and committees. “Now I am setting up appointments with wellness committees for schools. You might have a wellness committee for a school and then you might have a wellness committee for the PTA also,” said Haas.

The Process is Simple and Straight-Forward

Working with Fundraise Naturally is a straight-forward process. To start with Fundraise Naturally, a school would need to fill out the fundraising agreement and leave a ten dollar deposit for each sample kit. The ten dollar deposit is fully-refundable. “The sample kit includes trial sizes of our soaps and candles. They (schools) can download the catalog if they have access to a color printer, or they can purchase a finished kit with a catalog, for twenty five cents each,” said Haas.

Schools and other organizations earn forty percent on all the sales of candles and soaps from Fundraise Naturally. “The products are between $4.25 and $20.00. In Connecticut, if the price is $20.00 or under then no one has to pay tax,” said Haas. Haas splits the cost of shipping the products to the schools once your order has been placed. “I would pay the shipping from Colorado, and the school would pay the shipping from Vermont,” said Haas. The candles come from Lumina Organic in Colorado and the Soap comes from Vermont Soap Organics in Vermont.

Managing Your Program With Ease

Fundraise Naturally has sample letters available for schools to use. There are also guidelines to help with each step of the fundraiser. They are also creating posters to be available for download. “We want to do posters for each niche… pre-school, dancers, marching bands etc. This will make it easier for each school to do the fundraiser.”

Haas suggests schools doing a Fundraise Naturally fundraiser to create some incentives for their program. “Get to know your local green businesses and create some incentives, maybe get some coupons from local businesses so people can shop there. Align yourselves with local socially responsible businesses to continue the trend of being socially and environmentally responsible shoppers and consumers,” said Haas.

High-Quality Natural Products Chosen With Intent

Fundraise Naturally offers candles and soap. “We wanted everyday products. We wanted everyday products and necessities that people would use, very practical products. So there is plenty of variety in those lines. The candles, we wanted these candles. The company, Lumina Organic, had organic soybeans grown for them. They are better for the farmer, better for the land, better for the environment. Organic soy and vegetable wax are hand poured into crackle glass globes and they are really the first elegant soy candles. They are scented, fabulous clean fragrance and not perfumy. The candles are made with pure essential oil, no synthetic fragrances. The wics are designed for each candle type,” said Haas.

Soy candles have a lot of benefits. One of them being that soy candles simply last longer than paraffin candles. But more importantly that soy candles are not toxic like paraffin candles are, the traditional candle is toxic. “They say they (traditional candles) have eleven toxins, two of them are carcinogenic’ that would be benzene and toluene,” said Haas. The candles come not just in glass, but in travel tins, bulb jars and tall crackle glasses.

The soap is from Vermont Soap Organics. “We have the only USDA certified organic cleaner and pet shampoo. The cleaner is called Liquid Sunshine Non-Toxic Cleaner.” Fundraise Naturally also offers twelve different varieties of soap for all skin types. They also have bath and shower gel. The soaps use pure essential oils. Another great product is Eco-brick. “(With Eco-brick) you can buy seven bars of soap and slice your own, and that comes in the lavender scent, and you save money doing that, you get more and reduce bulk, not driving to the store as much to get soap,” said Haas.

Haas is thinking about using other products, but they need to have a good profit margin that they can pass on to schools. Haas does not think they will be selling natural snacks to schools for several reasons. “A natural snack has little profit, many snacks also are made with nuts and with so many nut allergies we don’t want to go in this direction,” said Haas.

“As an owner of a company, my partner and I are both consumer advocates. Quality is important to us, it cannot be compromised,” said Haas.

An Informative Bonus For Schools

As a gift to the school, if they sign up to do a fundraiser with Fundraiser Naturally, Haas sends them a complimentary copy of Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and The Secret Changes in Your Food by Andrew Kimbrell from the Center for Food Safety. “This is an illustrated shoppers guide of food. It explains all about genetic engineered food, milk and hormones and antibiotics, all the changes in our food that schools don’t know about and all the different social responsible organizations and resources, they also list the companies that bioengineer food so they can know specifically who does this. They will put a list of genetically engineered free foods too,” said Haas. The book is also available for purchase. Haas prefers this book to others because it doesn’t “look like an academic book.”  “This book is wall-to-wall photography, it is so beautiful you’ll want to learn, so user-friendly on this topic,” said Haas.