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.