A little flavour of what's in store...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What's Wrong With Our Fund Raising Scheme?

What's wrong with our fund raising scheme?

It's a question we've been asking ourselves for quite some time now. Originally, when we came up with the idea of people being able to fund raise for their own causes just by forwarding visitors to our photo gift website and imputing a unique code – we thought we'd answered the prayers of a local family who approached us to do just that – raise funds for their two little boys born with SMA - http://www.twinswithsma.co.uk

At the time, we thought we couldn't just offer this scheme to anybody so we had a 'rule' of a minimum bulk order to then obtain your code, thinking clubs, teams, charities and schools etc would have no problem with this basic requirement.

However, after a lack of interest, we decided to drop the 'qualifying bulk order' requirement and just offered it as another service to our customers, their friends and families and the public in general.

And it really is easy to use.

When placing an order, all the visitor has to do is use your special code (which they'll know as its printed beside the 'click here' button to take them from your site to ours) either before they start shopping and enter the code at the foot of the home page or when they're checking out at PayPal, just include the code in their additional comments. If they forget, they can even email us afterwards and we'll sort it out.

We do all the rest.

What is in it exactly for the participants? Well, basically we donate 10% of every basket total that has their code on it back to themselves or their nominated 'good cause'.

We make a quarterly payment by cheque (monthly for larger amounts) to them and that's it.

There's no joining or membership fee. Obviously the more they promote the 'scheme membership', the more orders we'll receive and the more money they'll make.

And lets be clear – this isn't a one off deal. The 10% applies to every order, every time from whoever uses their code so in the example of a school, long after the kids have left, their families and friends could still be raising money for the school etc.

And because of the year round appeal of personalised photo gifts, we're confident that people using our scheme will be able to raise funds all year round. Apart from Birthdays, Anniversaries and Holidays, there are a number of special celebration days throughout the year – Mother's Day, Christmas etc that make excellent photo gift giving opportunities.

We've also worked very hard to keep adding to the range of gift ideas we offer so there's always new ideas to choose from for returning customers. All prices for all pockets.

So a year later and although we have a few people using the scheme, we've received very few orders bearing the codes.

Is the 'scheme' too simple? We're beginning to wonder. More now so than ever when various good causes are crying out for funds, we feel frustrated more than anything else that nobody is taking us up on our offer of what amounts to 'free money'.

Lets recap the scheme:-

Your website has a link button to Fabulous Photo Gifts (with your code written beside it)
Your visitor/friend/family member/yourself uses the link and the code
You / your visitor orders a personalised photo gift from Fabulous Photo Gifts
They use your code, either in the 'home page' or the checkout comments on PayPal – they can even email us after placing their order if they forgot.
We donate 10% of the basket total back to you.

Can you see a flaw? We're stumped but we'd welcome some input on how we can make this scheme work better for people and increase its usage.

Thanks for your time – It's really appreciated. Leave your suggestions in comments.

Jonathan – Technical Partner – Fabulous Photo Gifts.

If you'd like to have your own 'Funds for Life' scheme membership code, just email us with your cause, we'll come back to you with your scheme code and do the registration sheet then (just so we know who to make the cheques payable to!). You can design your own button or we can supply one for you to use along with the html required.

To see an example of our fund raising scheme in action, visit our newest 'member' Steve who's planning to trek Nepal raising money for Unicef – see it by clicking here.

*Please note that bulk orders are excluded from the Funds for Life scheme. You do not have to be a registered charity. Please bear in mind our delivery charges for non UK orders which are available upon request and quoted on actual costs per order weight/destination. Sorry, due to Insurance terms and conditions, we cannot deliver to the USA.

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