GIVEAWAY ALERT! Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for the fifth contest of The Eco-Summer Blog Party!
Today is a little different post for the Eco-Summer Blog Party, it’s about green fundraising. School is out and I’m still thinking about fundraising, I must be sick! Not really, just have some good ‘virtual’ friends in the green fundraising field that I had to include in the Party. Plus now is really a good time to start planning fall fundraisers for your schools (and other organizations).
I had forgotten how many fundraisers kids are involved with until my son started Kindergarten last fall. Between school and sports there was never a time when we weren’t raising funds for something. Last year we sold cookies and coffee; and collect donations for Jump Rope for Heart and Take a Hike. For t-ball alone I think we had 3 different fundraisers. This coming year I will have a little more input into the fundraising programs at school…I have some how volunteered myself to serve on the PTA as an environmental chairperson. I’m good at volunteering my eco-services I guess because I’ve also been tasked with some recycling and fundraising efforts at our church too.
My first organization is Eco Label Fundraising. I ‘met’ Jeanne online a while ago and owe her huge kudos for introducing me to the world of Twitter. (*Thanks!*) Below is an interview that I had with Jeanne a few weeks ago.
The Eco Chic: What inspired you to develop Eco Label Fundrasing?
Jeanne: Walking away from a high-income career selling petroleum-based chemicals and oil, to be part of the solution for sustaining Our Earth and educating future generations, was life-changing for EcoLabel Fundraising’s Founder.
She shares her story with others today in hopes of inspiring them to make positive changes in their lives that will impact Our Planet. Through our eco-friendly fundraising programs, it is our goal to help school and non-profits raise funds responsibly. It is our dream that we will help to leave a healthy planet to many generations of children to come.
EcoLabel Fundraising donates 95% of the profits generated by our Green Fundraisers. The balance of the profits are reinvested into
marketing our program so that we may help as many schools and non-profits as possible.
The Eco Chic: What’s different between this and other fundraising programs?
Jeanne: Our primary goal is to offer a program that is a good example to children all around. The traditional fundraising programs of the past 25 years have gained a reputation for selling low to mid quality products and over-charging for the products. Our primary goal is not to reap huge profits. We simply take enough profit away to cover our expenses and reach as many schools as we can. We are in the business of helping to raise funds for much-needed programs within schools. While helping schools to accomplish fundraising goals, we are able to assist in their eco-friendly education programs since the products we sell through our program create chatter about the environment.
The Eco Chic: What types of products are available in your program?
Jeanne: Eco-friendly, Fair-Trade and/or Organic Products
The Eco Chic: What are some of the unique programs that you offer?
Jeanne: In addition to our traditional fundraising programs, we offer Seed and Bulb Fundraisers, as well as, Customized Water Bottle Programs. Both programs have been very popular. Many schools choose to run all three programs staggered throughout the school year. It gives a healthy variety. The Water Bottle Program offers the school a way to build school spirit as well. By personalizing the insultated bottles with the school’s logo (or non-profit’s), the students get really excited to have a bottle with their school’s name and logo on it. (*The Eco Chic is thinking this might be a great idea for kids sports organizations too!*)
The Eco Chic: What kind of organizations can participate in Eco Label Fundraising? Do we have to be a non-profit?
Jeanne: Yes, you must be a non-profit or school.
The Eco Chic: Any tips on convincing our school to change to a greener fundraising program like Eco Label Fundraising?
Jeanne: It is really a no-brainer. First, people get really discouraged by traditional fundraising programs when they get the products and it is not good quality. Especially now, when dollars are tight in the average American household. People want their dollars to stretch. Our products are high-quality, which means they will last for many years. We are proud that they place the highest integrity in every aspect of our program. The products are also healthy. That’s important in setting a good example to children. You know, the old adage of “leading by example.” When you ask a child to take an EcoLabel Fundraising catalog to friends, family and neighbors, they can be proud that they are asking them to buy something that they will actually use for many years. Second, the environment is a topic that is not just a fleeting conversation or just to be celebrated one day a year anymore. This is an ever-growing concern for our children. They will be the generation to deal with much of the irresponsible decisions made by our and previous generations. It is important for them to learn about making choices that will sustain our environment in their daily lives. Parents are busy, so this offers the parents one more opportunity to talk about the buzz words every child should know about concerning the environment today. Last, PTA’s and Non-profit Directors choosing our Fundraising programs are really expanding their impact beyond just “raising funds” as most PTA’s have been limited to do over the years. Today, they can diversify their impact by helping to educate friends, family and neighbors of the students served in their school population about the importance of sustaining our Earth’s resources.
The Eco Chic: What are the benefits of choosing Eco Label Fundraing?
Jeanne: First, we offer 40% of all sales. We make it easy – there is no sliding scale, etc. Second, we are extremely customer service oriented. We know PTA’s and Non-profit Directors are busy people, so they need answers right away. Finally, it just makes sense to choose a program that offers raising funds and important life lessons.
The Eco Chic: Most fundraisers offer the kids prizes for different levels of sales they achieve; does Eco Label Fundraising offer any recognition for the students?
Jeanne: Upon request by the school or non-profit we will run “team” incentive programs. Usually, by homeroom or some other grouping of 30 or less students that the school decides. We do not offer individual incentives to students, as we believe it is poor form to encourage students to compete against each other in this way. By creating a team approach, it really does give the students a sense of spirit and a taste of what it means to work with others towards a common goal. In today’s workplace, more and more employees have to learn to work with others on a team. It sets a good example for the children for the future.
The Eco Chic: If a school/organization wants to participate; now what? How do we sign up and what’s the next step?
Jeanne: Signing-up is really easy. A school or non-profit simple clicks the link located on our homepage to Register Your Organization. They fill out a short form with the details related to their organization and are approved within 24 hours to begin on-line fundraising. We HIGHLY encourage that schools and non-profits conduct at least one paper catalog program for two weeks during the school year. On-line fundraising is a great supplemental way to raise funds, but the bulk of fundraising will be accomplished through the paper catalog program. Parents are so busy, so it is easiest for them if the students put the catalog right in front fo them to place their order.
The Eco Chic: What types of payments do you accept?
Jeanne: For on-line ordering, we accept VISA, M/C, AMEX. For paper catalog purchases, a check is required made payable to the school or non-profit. For online purchases, payment is due at the time of ordering via credit card. For paper catalog programs, payment is due at the time of placing the order via check.
The Eco Chic: How long until we get our stuff?
Jeanne: The products are delivered within 1-4 weeks.
Thank you Jeanne for taking the time to share with me and my readers. You advice will certainly help me in my journey. I hope that others will be inspired by your company as well. You can follow Eco Label Fundraising on Twitter @EcoLabelFund and on Facebook Pages.
The next company that I have to share is Terra Cycle! If you look in my archives you will find several posts on my love of Terra Cycle. I was introduced to them about 4 years ago by a lady I ran into at work. They had been sending their plastic soda bottles to Terra Cycle in exchange for funds to go towards a non-profit that they supported. You may have seen their products at Home Depot, Target, or Walgreens and can now buy them online at Shop Only Green. What I like most about Terra Cycle is that they find alternate uses for our trash. They have taken recycling and made it better…they upcycle and turn trash into something of value.
This backpack is made using juice pouches that are upcycled through their fundraising program. Organizations earn 0.02 cents per pouch. That doesn’t seem like a lot but do the math! The average family with kids in school can go through a box of juice pouches in a week (if not more). And think of all the juice pouches that are saved from the landfill, they can’t be recycled using traditional methods.
Terra Cycle calls their fundraisers Brigades. You decide which Brigade you want to participate in, sign up at Terra Cycle’s web site, and begin collecting the items. Terra Cycle sends you postage paid packages for you to send back the items. All you have to do is save those items from the trash! I’m working on getting our church set up in several Brigades right now to help earn some extra funds. Our goal is to provide the local community a place to drop off these items for recycling.
Giveaway! Terra Cycle is giving away one juice pouch backpack and one cookie wrapper spiral notebook to a lucky reader. CONGRATULATIONS KIM!
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