Archive for September, 2007

When Should You Start Planning For Your Mishloach Manot Fundraiser?

September 18, 2007

The truth is, it’s never too early. The really organized people start around Rosh Hashanah (September), but most wait until Channukah (December) or the end of January at the latest. At HappyPurim we’ve gotten calls from organizations looking to run their first Mishloach Manot fundraiser ever, just 2 weeks before Purim! We are able to help you out even last minute, but to run a really successful fundraiser you should start your basic planning in December. Here is a suggested timeline based upon the March 21st date of Purim 2008. 

  1. In December:
    1. Identify the person/s who will run the fundraiser
    2. Decide on a “theme” for your baskets (not necessary, but popular; we’ll post more about “themes” later).
  2. By January 15
    1. Compile (or get from organization office) a list of all the members in your organization. Make sure to double check for accuracy!
    2. Figure out where you’re getting your Mishloach Monos supplies from. *Email Ari@HappyPurim.com if you’re interested in purchasing either supplies or ready-made baskets.
  3. By January 20 – Finalize all details of your Purim fundraiser; *If you’re using HappyPurim.com’s software, this is when you should setup your administrative console.
    1. Pricing
    2. Are you offering any type of deal? (early-bird discount, send to as many as you want for a flat price, etc.)
    3. Reciprocity
    4. Delivering the baskets or having your members pick them up?
  4. January 27 – Create your order form. (If using HappyPurim.com, we do this for you!)
  5. By February 1
    1. Have your order forms, envelopes and/or mailing labels printed.
    2. Make sure you have volunteers to help with the folding and stuffing on February 3rd.
  6. February 3 (Sunday) – Prepare mailing: Fold and Stuff!
  7. February 6 (Wednesday) – Mail or email order forms. (if emailing, wait until Sunday morning, February 10)
  8. March 9 (Sunday) – Deadline for placing orders.
  9. March 16 (Sunday)
    1. Pack the Shalach Monos.
    2. Print your “scrolls” – that is, the personalized letters that list all the names of the people sending to each recipient.  (If using HappyPurim.com, this only takes a few clicks of your mouse!)
  10. March 21 – Deliver the Shalach Monos!
  11. Sometime after Purim – Bill for reciprocity charges.  Not necessary if using HappyPurim.com, we do this for you!

 You should modify the above timeline to fit your needs. If we missed anything, or you’ve got a suggestion to add please let us know!

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What is a Mishloach Manot (Purim basket) fundraiser?

September 12, 2007

It is an increasingly popular way for Jewish institutions to raise money while at the same time continuing a tradition that is centuries old. In short, members pay their organization to collectively deliver mishloach manot (Purim Baskets) on their behalf to other members. The organization charges a fee ($3-$5) per recipient selected by each member, and then sends one basket of food to every member that was selected, along with a card that lists the names of those sending to that person. In other words, if 10 people decide to send to you, you will only receive one basket, along with a card that lists the 10 names.

Mishloach Manot fundraisers, also called shalach manos projects, Purim shuttles, or Purim projects, can be great community builders, as well as being very profitable. However, the management of such fundraisers can become complicated when dealing with a community that is larger than 50-100 members. In such cases software can make the job easier, and web-based software, such as HappyPurim.com’s, can make the job MUCH easier.  

HappyPurim.com’s application takes the membership lists/order forms and puts them in dedicated, password protected, site so that your members can simply click on the names of the people they would like to send baskets to and pay immediately. The proprietary software automatically tabulates and organizes the data, allowing the fundraiser administrator to easily print cards or letters to attach to the Shalach Manos baskets. There’s no need for administrators or volunteers to mail lists of members and order forms, collect the lists along with payment, verify the payment and orders are correct, tabulate the names of each and every member that selects another member, and list them on card. All of this is done automatically, even collecting the payment online and calculating and charging for optional reciprocity (we’ll be writing a dedicated post on reciprocity later).

As you can easily imagine, this saves an incredible amount of time, allowing the volunteers and administrators to focus on marketing the fundraiser and creating the baskets. We’ve also seen that putting this online (i.e. making it easy!)  and accepting credit cards, can often increase the amount of money raised.

Purim, Mishloach Manot, the Megillah? Back to the Basics!

September 11, 2007

What is Purim? Purim is the Jewish holiday recorded in the Book of Esther (Megillah) commemorating the delivery of the Jews from the plot of Haman to exterminate them.

When is Purim? Purim is celebrated on the 14th of the Jewish month of Adar (in cities that were walled in the time of Joshua, on the 15th). In 2009 it is from sunset March 9, through nightfall on March 10.

There are 4 mitzvot (commandments) associated with Purim:

1) Megillah—Hear the reading of the Book of Esther.
2) Have a festive meal.
3) Matanot L’evyonim—Gifts of charity to the poor.
4) Mishloach Manot—The sending of gifts of food and drink.

What are Shalach Manos / Mishloach Manot / Purim Baskets? It is the mitzvah on Purim of sending a gift consisting of at least two items of food to another person. To fulfill this obligation, one must give food that can be consumed without further preparation, such as, baked goods, fruits, candy, wine, or other beverages. It is best that a third party deliver these gifts. The phrase mishloach manot used in the Megillah implies that this mitzvah should be performed through a 3rd party. These Purim baskets are also called: shlach monos, shalach manot, mishloach manot, shalach manos, Purim manot, shalach minot, shalach monos, mishloach manos, mishloach monos and probably a few more. If you know of another spelling or name, please let us know!

About HappyPurim.com

September 10, 2007

HappyPurim.com provides a unique web-based software application for managing Mishloach Manot fundraisers.  Through years of research, testing, and lots of great feedback from out clients, we’ve developed the best, most technologically advanced, yet easy-to-use solution for managing a Shalach Manos fundraiser.  For a FREE web-based demo of our amazing software, please contact us by submitting your information HERE or email ari(at)happypurim.com.

HappyPurim.com is owned and managed by HappyPurim LLC.