Sunday, October 16, 2011

Boost Your Fundraiser

Our most successful fundraisers are administrated by a Booster. These programs have a base of support (even though it may be small) that will take the pressure off the teacher, director or adviser. They meet on a regular basis, plan for fundraising and other events and take ownership of making your program successful.

School Spirit Coffee provides a Parent/Guardian letter with our Sales Package. It is intended to help you inform and solicit the resources of your participants biggest fans - their parents. The notice lets them know when the Fundraiser is beginning, how much you would appreciate their help and how they can do that. This is an automatic jump start to a great fundraiser.

I also recommend that you enlist the help of Boosters in summarizing the forms, collecting the money, placing the order and distributing the products upon delivery. It is the hands on involvement and a measure of their success that will keep them engaged in your program.

Hence the name "Boosters". If you are conducting a fundraiser but not enlisting your Boosters you may have a good sale, but believe me when I say it could be better.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Meet Tamatha

It is actually hard to catch a picture of Tamatha. She is in motion 99% of the time.

Tamatha joined the staff of School Spirit Coffee last year and has become a valuable part of our family.

A mother of four boys (can you imagine), wife, professional photographer and so much more!!!

Tamatha works with Sandra to fulfill School Spirit Coffee orders. She is conscientious, careful and committed to helping School Spirit Coffee succeed.

Tamatha organized a fundraiser for the Clark County Orchestra (she too is a professional booster Mom) last spring which was a great success and hopefully the beginning of many more fundraisers to help the orchestra of Clark County meet their needs.

School Spirit Coffee is blessed to have Tamatha as part of our amazing team. Thanks Tamatha for all your hard work and commitment to SSC.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Meet Sandra

Today's post features one of our key employees, Sandra Leal. Sandra has worked for School Spirit Coffee for five years and oversees the daily operations of our Roastery. The only thing she doesn't do is roast the coffee!
Sandra is an expert at labeling the packaging, filling the orders, shipping and quality control. She never takes a short cut with our orders and constantly gives me knew ideas on how to make our production smoother. I seriously stay out of her way once I hand the order over to her, confident that it will be completed with our quality standards in mind.
When Sandra is not at work she is a devoted wife and mother of four beautiful girls, ages 12, 9, 5 and 3. Obviously a busy woman! Her hobbies include dancing, reading, walking and watching her favorite TV shows. Her favorite products that we sell are the Mocha Jo, French Vanilla Cappuccino and Snicker Doodle. She is just learning to drink "real" coffee!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Fun Day at the Roastery

This blog has nothing to do with fundraising but everything to do with having a great staff. Tuesday was my birthday and also a day the Roastery is open to the public. I usually arrive somewhat after the staff but this week when I arrived no one was there - at least that's what I thought with concern.

I raised the garage door to reveal a storefront full of streamers and birthday banners. Not just the storefront but as I made my way to the back of the Roastery decorations greeted me everywhere. As I passed a table full of birthday treats, Sandra and Tamatha jumped out and threw confetti all over me! I've made it 54 years without having a surprise birthday party. Needless to say I was surprised and also thankful that they were actually at work!

Just so you know, while we are roasting and packaging your orders, we are also having fun. It is such a blessing to work with people you enjoy and that also enjoy their work. In the next few blogs I will introduce you to the staff the keeps School Spirit Coffee rolling. They are the best.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Arkansas Stixx

I want to use Arkansas Stixx as a perfect example. After six years of fundraising with schools and nonprofits I have learned that you can't judge the success of a fundraiser by the number of order forms you send out - it's all about how motivated the group is to raise funds.

Since we are a Direct Fundraising Company, we don't have reps all over the states that come to your kick off and generate a big hype to help you raise funds. I am opposed to that type of fundraising, which you would know if you've read previous post.

Arkansas Stixx is a group of 40 members associated with Arkansas State University, that just raised close to $1,500 because they are committed to meeting the financial needs of their group. Awesome! No, they didn't have 100% participation but they have shown passion, which is what I appreciate.

Can you generate excitement for the success of your group, without the hype of overpriced products and cheap dollar store incentives? Then School Spirit Coffee is for you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Brewing Success

School Spirit Coffee and Creative Coffees Roastery were featured in the local paper yesterday. The Winchester Sun in Winchester, KY. See highlights and pictures here -

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Value of Fundraising Products and Rewards

Oh my, I just read on a popular fundraiser's site where the product you are selling doesn't really matter. He states that he can successfully sell a $5.00 bill for $10.00 if the incentives for the students are attractive enough. So what he's really saying is that you can sell overpriced products as long as you dangle a series of flashy rewards for the participants, which on not even close inspection are just cheap toys.

I have no objection to rewarding participants for their contribution to your sale and School Spirit Coffee even promotes that as one of our top keys to success. However, what the above mentioned fundraiser is promoting is manipulation of a child by placing toys for each level they reach. If you sell 10 items you are rewarded a flying helicopter, sell 15 and you get the flying helicopter and a bean bag, and on and on...... Get the point - Go to the dollar store and buy your child a flying helicopter, bean bag and whatever else they are offering. It is junk, a very short lived reward and a wrong message to our children.

We recommend that you incorporate a way to reward the participant, but not with junk. I'm all for cash or gift cards. Set it up so that for every 10 items the student sells they will receive $5.00 in cash, or gift card. Back at the Dollar Store, that would buy a helicopter, bean bag ball and at least three more pieces of junk.

No doubt, by setting up rewards for fundraising participation you will at least double your profit. But PLEASE don't choose a program that promotes that the value of the products you sell doesn't really matter as long as the students can get excited about earning Junk. The value of the products should be a priority, plus the participant's reward should have true value!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tips for a Successful Fundraiser

I came across a great article posted on AFRDS about implementing a successful fundraiser. School Spirit Coffee narrows it down to three basics: Set Goals, Stick to your Timeline, and Reward High Achievers. I realize that is an over simplification of the amount of planning and time it takes to raise funds for the organization you are passionate about. This article gives us food for thought and hopefully adds to success of your fundraiser. AFRDS Article

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bring on 2011

Welcome 2011! School Spirit Coffee continues to broaden our base of schools and nonprofits that use and love our program. Our customers are our best advertisement so it’s my job to keep everyone happy. Not a problem, we have the best fundraising program available and I don’t mean just coffee fundraising.
We had a tough decision to make recently due to the fact that the price of raw coffee beans has gone through the roof. In order to stay profitable we had to choose whether to raise our price or lower the weight of our product. Not wanting to make this decision without the blessing of our top sellers, I emailed our top 10 fundraisers. All but one said “raise your price”. The overwhelming sentiment was that they liked selling a full size product (1 lb), something that you won’t find with other popular fundraisers. Remember the box of 4 chocolates you bought for $15.00? I could go on and on but I won’t because I’m sure you have plenty of those memories also.
My objective is to keep focused on the original mission of School Spirit Coffee - Help Schools and Nonprofits raise money by selling a quality, full size product. It’s nice to know our customers recognize the difference and appreciate our program. They also remind me that this decision shouldn’t have been so tough!