Archive for the ‘The Basics’ Category

Ordering Window – Is More or Less Time Better?

December 3, 2008

You basically want to work backwards to figure out the timing for your Purim fundraiser.

The key question is: How far in advance do you need to know exactly how many baskets you will need? (if you’re planning on sending to your entire membership list, then this question is moot)

The deadline should be a few days to a week before that date to allow for any unforeseen circumstances as well as time for data entry if you’re also sending out paper order forms.

Our experience tells us that you don’t want to send information about your Purim fundraiser until after Chanukah at the earliest, as people aren’t in the Purim frame of mind yet. You probably also want to wait until after winter break is over, so your emails and letters don’t sit unread in a pile of mail (for those that go away). Additionally, should try to create a sense of urgency—you want people to take immediate action with your letter or email. If you give them too much time to respond, they’ll simply stick your mailing in their to-do list, and possibly forget about it. We think 3-4 weeks is a good amount of time to allow for your members to respond. Some also build in an extra week, or weekend, for an extension. That is, they will say the deadline is Friday afternoon, but then extend it until Sunday night to allow for one last marketing push via emails, phone calls, announcements in synagogues and newsletters from schools.

Some people are philosophically opposed to this—especially the thought of PLANNING to allow the deadline to be moved, but that is for each to decide on their own.

Please Click Here for a comprehensive calendar/timeline.

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20 Mishloach Manot Themes

November 14, 2008

Here’s a list of Purim basket themes as promised. Thank you very much to all of you who emailed your favorite themes to me! Feel free to add more themes to the comments below.

-HappyPurim!

UPDATE: Need more ideas? Want to see pictures? See the beautiful Mishloach Manot pictures sent to us by our clients by clicking here.

 

1. Coffee or Café’ Manot: coffee, sugar packets/Splenda, min-container of creamer, coffee cake, biscotti, Hamentaschen. This is really cute when packaged in a large coffee mug. You can even get the mugs personalized for an extra special touch.

2. Healthy Mishloach Manot:  whole wheat Hamentaschen, nuts, fruit (fresh or dried), dark chocolate.

3. Israeli Purim Basket: Israeli crackers, a little tub of chummus, olives with a box of herbal tea and a “Jaffa” orange.

4. Israeli #2: an assortment of blue and white products.

5. Spices:  spice cake, an herbal spice tea, cinnamon sticks, and an orange. Consider adding scented candles, small scented lotion, for an extra special touch.

6. Wine Mishloach Manot: bottle of dry wine, crackers and cheese. Possibly in a small picnic basket.

7. Wine Mishloach Manot #2: a California Cabernet Sauvignon, good dark chocolate. Possibly in a small picnic basket.

8. Picnic Mishloach Manot – Salmon: can of salmon or tuna, a mini bottle of mayo (or packets), a small onion, crackers, napkins and plastic cutlery.

9. Picnic Mishloach Manot – Salami:  dried salami, a bottle of mustard, crackers or Kaiser rolls, napkins and plastic cutlery.

10. “Good Night” or “Sleepy Time”: Sleepy Time tea, hot cocoa mix, cookies and milk. Consider adding a sleep mask, for an extra special touch.

11. “Nutty Purim”, “Oh Nuts” or “Go Nuts”: a bag of nuts, a mini-bottle of Frangelico (Hazelnut liquor), hazelnut coffee, Snickers or Egozi bar, and a coconut for a unique touch.

12. “Absolut Nuts”: Same as above, but substitute a bottle of Absolut for the Hazelnut liquor. (you can use the Absolut theme for just about anything)

13. Baseball: Peanuts, popcorn, cracker jacks, cotton candy, soda.

14. “Vegas” or “Casino”: A small bottle of booze, chips (potato and chocolate) a lottery ticket, a deck of card or dice.

15. Shiva Minim Manot, The Seven Species of Israel – Hamentaschen (wheat), beer (barley), dates, grape juice/raisins/wine (grapes), olives, figs and a pomegranate (or pomegranate juice or jelly)

16. Breakfast at Tiffany: Items that would be good for breakfast such as coffee, oatmeal, breakfast bars and were able to include a coffee mug that we put our sisterhood logo on.

17. “Movie Manot”: Microwave popcorn bucket or movie theater popcorn bucket filled with Twizzlers, soda, M ’n Ms, Reeses Pieces, movie rental coupon (or a dvd).

18. Beach theme: A sand pail as the bucket and filled it with goodies one would eat at the beach along with a puzzle book that they would use at the beach.  Believe it or not salt water taffy is kosher.

19. The Big Apple: This one can either be a NY theme, or an apple theme. Either way, distribute in an “I Love NY” bag

20. Black and White Shalach Monos: Oreos, marshmallows, black and white cookies and chocolate milk.

UPDATE: Need more ideas? Want to see pictures? See the beautiful Mishloach Manot pictures sent to us by our clients by clicking here.

Purim Fundraiser Calender/To Do List for 2009

October 31, 2008

It’s never too early to get started. 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 10 date of Purim in 2009.  (This calendar is designed for users of Happy Purim’s Shalach Manot Software based upon our experience. There’s a post from last year with more details for anyone still doing this manually.)

  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 10
    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 or baskets from.
  3. By January 15 – Finalize all details of your Purim fundraiser; *If you’re using HappyPurim.com’s Mishloach Manot 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 (with our software you can easily charge a different price for Reciprocity orders)
    4. Delivering the baskets or having your members pick them up?
  4. By January 20
    1. Prepare a letter to your members informing them of the details of the Purim project. (HappyPurim has templates available)
    2. If you have a large contingent of non-internet users, prepare a physical order form or download Happy Purim’s order form.
  5. By January 31
    1. Have your order forms, envelopes and/or mailing labels printed. (not necessary if you’re emailing your members)
    2. Make sure you have volunteers to help with the folding and stuffing on February 1st.
  6. On February 1 (Sunday) – Prepare mailing: Fold and Stuff!
  7. On February 2 – Mail or email order forms.
  8. March 1 11:59pm (Sunday)Deadline for placing orders.
  9. Week of March 1-7
    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 10 – Deliver the Shalach Monos!
  11. Sometime after Purim – Bill for reciprocity charges.  Not necessary if using HappyPurim.com, it’s automated!

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!

$$$ Dollars and Sense $$$ How Much can I Raise From a Purim Fundraiser? How Much Should I Charge?

October 16, 2007

How Much can I Raise from a Purim Fundraiser? One of our clients has raised close to $80,000! A more realistic number is $20,000 for a membership of 300-500, but we have a few clients in that range that are raising around $40,000 annually. It depends on the size of your “membership” list, and more importantly, how you MARKET and run your fundraiser. If you simply send out one flyer announcing the fundraiser, you’re not going to raise all that much. Multiple mailings, emails and phone calls must be made. This is marketing just like any company does for a product–multiple impressions must be made to ensure success.

How Much Should I Charge? $2-$5 is the average per shalach manot, but $2-$3 seems to be the sweet spot. You should do really well with this Purim fundraiser as long as you send nice baskets, that is, something that would cost $20-$40 retail. Your members thus get a great deal–it only costs them $2-5 to “send” a basket that would cost them $20-$40 to send on their own.

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!

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. 

Welcome to our Blog about Purim Mishloach Manot Fundraisers!

August 9, 2007

Hello fundraisers, volunteers, administrators and everyone else! We at HappyPurim.com are writing this blog to provide information about Shalach Manot fundraisers.  Namely, we will be writing about our research, statistics, and most importantly, our years of experience managing Shalach Manos fundraisers.  We welcome your questions and comments and will try to respond in timely fashion.