Grow your Customer Base with School Fundraising, Powered by FarmRaiser

May 10, 2016 / All / Comments: 0

Your customer base is like an orchard: you’ve got to plant the seedlings and nurture them (and prune them) if you want a successful annual harvest. A mature fundraising business can introduce hundreds of customers to your delicious products each year, providing a steady source of growth for your company. However, that can take precious staff time and resources to create a fundraising program with specialized order forms, delivery logistics, and marketing to reach the right contacts at a school or non-profit. . . or you can start one today, in a few short hours, and start reaping the benefits.

If you follow these three simple steps, you can create healthy customer growth with your FarmRaiser membership.

1. Create an instant fundraising business by getting your products onto the platform. That’s right, your membership in FarmRaiser means that you can achieve in a few minutes what it takes many companies years to build: a school product fundraising business.  All that you need to do is get your products in the fundraising market and make sure they look good.

2. Tell the world about it by posting a fundraising page on your web site — we’ve made it easy by creating a template that you can modify and make your own. Here are a couple of great examples from our partners who have figured out how easy it is.

terraportal
High Mowing Organic Seeds expects to do over 200 fundraising sales on FarmRaiser in 2016, building on their existing customer base Terra Organics, from Tacoma,started fundraising sales in 2016, and is rapidly growing their business with school fundraisers
 WANT TO SEE YOUR PAGE HERE?

 

Rescue Recycle Reuse, from Los Angeles, just launched their fundraising business with FarmRaiser

3. Turn 1 contact into 20 customer by announcing your fundraising business to your existing email list, or posting an update on your Facebook page. If one of your contacts signs up to host a FarmRaiser at their school, featuring your products, you’ve got the potential to generate dozens of new customers. Here are a couple of ideas to get your email started:

  • Did you know that we have a fundraising program? That’s right, you can raise money for your school or non-profit by selling our [best selling product name]. We’ve partnered with FarmRaiser, a healthy fundraising platform to help schools and non-profits meet their goals — in just a few minutes you can set up an online fundraising market featuring [company name].  Learn more at [fundraising site or farmraiser.com]
  • Are you tired of selling junk food to raise money for your children’s school? Why not sell something your supporters and friends actually want, like our [amazing product]______ [www.website address] to learn more
  • Why not sell healthy, local products from [company] at your next fundraiser? You can raise money for your school or non-profit with a product fundraiser your supporters will actually get excited about.

Need help in setting up your site, email marketing strategies, or have questions about building your fundraising business with FarmRaiser, contact Japhet Koteen, our Director of Partnerships and Marketing, at 206-326-9828 or by email and he can help you get the most out of your FarmRaiser partnership.

 

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Bye-Bye Junk Food! New Company Makes Fundraising Healthy – ParentMap

April 28, 2016 / All, FarmRaiser in the News / Comments: 0

ParentMap, the go-to guide for Western Washington moms and dads, just published an article about FarmRaiser. They’ve also got a great set of resources for parents all over the country. You should check them out at www.parentmap.com.


FarmRaiser connects farms and food artisans to local schools and organizations looking to raise money for fundraisers.

Source: Bye-Bye Junk Food! New Company Makes Fundraising Healthy – ParentMap

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How to Keep Your Community Engaged after a Successful Fundraiser

April 28, 2016 / All / Comments: 0

keep-engagement-high-simplycircle

You just completed a successful FarmRaiser campaign. It’s your last fundraiser for the school year. You raised a lot of money for your school, exceeding the fundraising targets you had set for the campaign. The family kitchens in your community are full of fresh local produce. You give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, and thank your fellow organizers and volunteers.

Now what? How do you keep your community actively engaged for the rest of the school year and beyond? The answer is communication, and there’s a new platform that can help you do that more effectively than ever before. It’s called SimplyCircle.

As you know, fundraising is not a “one-and-done” business; you can’t just ask people for money when you need it. Plus, you didn’t do a FarmRaiser campaign just for the money. You also did it to get kids to eat healthy, and to connect them with local farmers and artisans in your community.

The secret to keeping your community engaged long after the “high” of your last fundraising campaign wears off is consistent and effective communication.

That’s exactly why I created SimplyCircle. It’s an easy-to-use, safe and affordable online portal for schools, PTAs, clubs and other communities. I wanted to help community leaders like you engage your members more effectively.

As a parent of two young kids in elementary school and an active member of the PTA, I wanted to be in the loop. But I was often overwhelmed by too-frequent and disparate communications (emails, texts and phone calls). I didn’t like having to use multiple tools for newsletters, volunteer signups, and photo sharing. And I certainly didn’t enjoy the reply-all email threads, or the copying and pasting of information from emails into my personal calendar.

SimplyCircle solves all of these problems by offering a single platform – accessible from any device – that combines group emails, updates and newsletters with a group calendar, volunteer signups, a private and searchable archive of photos and documents, private messaging, and more.

Here are 5 tips for how you can use SimplyCircle to keep the momentum going after a successful FarmRaiser campaign:

#1: Share the results of your campaign with the community and thank your volunteers.

Remind the community what your fundraising goals were, and how much you raised. Tell them how you are going to spend the money that you raised. What programs will it support?

Thank your volunteers, either as a group or by calling them out individually. They poured their heart and soul into this event, and they deserve the recognition for their efforts.

engage-community-with-updates-photos

#2: Share photos from the event. 

Sharing photos from the event is a great way to preserve memories, and to keep your community engaged.

There’s nothing that parents love to see more than their kids’ photos and artwork. However, remember to get their parents’ permission to share the photos with other families at your school.

Rest assured, the photos that you share via SimplyCircle are private and secure, and only members of your circle can see them. (I’m a privacy-obsessed Mom of 2, so I made sure of that!)

But even so, you still need to get the permission – and it’s very easy to do on SimplyCircle. Just create a new task and attach a photo sharing permission form to it.

share-photos-simplycircle

#3. Keep your community informed about upcoming events, and ask for volunteers.

You are done with fundraising (phew!), but there’s still the Teacher Appreciation Week, Mother’s Day, the spring parent-teacher conference, a field trip and a school concert. There are still minimal days when kids need to be picked up early, and teacher in-service days when the school is closed. . . the list of things to remember and organize goes on and on.

When you put an event on the SimplyCircle calendar, parents will get automated email reminders about the event on Sunday morning, and again the morning of the event. So nobody forgets to pick their kid early on minimum day, or to pack a lunch when there’s a field trip. Plus, nobody has to manually copy an event to their personal calendar ever again, as exporting events is a click of a button.

Many of the events need parent volunteers. With SimplyCircle, volunteer signups are integrated right into the event, and parents can sign up with just one click. And of course they are reminded about their commitments – no nagging required.

ask-for-field-trip-volunteers-simplycircle

#4. Consider organizing some optional summer events.

School lets out for the summer (and that’s when parents’ work really begins!)  Even with some trips and vacations, many of the families end up spending most of the summer in their local communities.

Consider organizing an optional social event, like a summer BBQ, an ice cream social, or a friendly sports game in a local park. With SimplyCircle, events have an optional RSVP feature, so that you never have to guess how many people you can expect and how much food you need to prepare.

Or you might want to organize a community service event for a local non-profit. They need your help and support year-round. You can set up a volunteer signup right on SimplyCircle. When you make it dead-simple to sign up, many more people participate.

#5. Get an early start on planning for the next school year.

Before you know it, it’ll be August and the new school year will be upon us. Getting a head start on planning for the year will make the back-to-school season less stressful.

Set up a new circle for your classroom, your school, your club, or your PTA. Pull in a school calendar from your website, and add other events that are already planned (you can always edit all the information you post if the schedule changes).

Put the information that you know your group members will need while you remember it. When they join your circle at the beginning of the year, everything will be ready for them.

If you have fellow group leaders that you’re coordinating things with, designate them as circle managers. Take advantage of the private messaging feature to easily communicate with your group members without having to look them up in a school directory or club roster.

send-private-message-simplycircle

So keep that fundraising “high” and increase your community engagement today!

Happy communicating!

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FarmRaiser Shout-Out in LocalKicks

April 25, 2016 / FarmRaiser in the News / Comments: 0

FarmRaiser received a nice write up in LocalKicks, a local media outlet in Alexandria, Virginia. 

How many times have you bought candy bars, cookie dough or pizza kits as part of a fundraiser only to have them end up in the back of your fridge, your trash, or (even worse) as part of a late night snack binge? Thanks to a startup

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FarmRaiser is 10 times better than Scrip Fundraising

April 18, 2016 / All / Comments: 0

farmraiser is ten times better than scrip fundraising 10 times more profit,  no waste and  supporting local farmers makes a healthy fundraiser from FarmRaiser a much better deal than scrip fundraising. 

Most families shop for groceries, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables, at least once a week. Grocery stores came up with the idea to rebate a small percentage of the purchases to a cause, if customers buy pre-paid coupons or gift cards. Sounds like a reasonable deal, right? Maybe not so much. There are two economic realities that make gift cards a lousy deal:

First, the average grocery scrip fundraising program returns about 4% to the school or cause. That means to raise $1,000, you would have to sell $25,000 worth of pre-paid groceries. That’s a whole lot of money. Second, an average of 20% of the pre-paid value is lost by consumers who misplace the pre-paid cards or discard a low-value card — you know exactly what we’re talking about, the gift card winds up in the back of the drawer in the kitchen rather than in your wallet where it might actually get used.  That means that when you sell $25,000 of pre-paid grocery scrip in a fundraiser, $5,000 of value will be lost, or go unused. To put it another way, for every $1 you raise with a scrip program, $5 is wasted.  Your supporters would be far better off if they just donated the the money to you.

A healthy fundraiser from from FarmRaiser has a completely different formula:
–  We guarantee at least 45% profit on the sale, so it only takes $2,250 in sales to reach your $1,000 goal, less than ten times what you would have to sell for a scrip fundraiser.
– The farm-fresh produce and goods are delivered directly to the school, so your supporters get what they pay for, and they don’t have to remember a gift card next time they go shopping
 –  Since the money goes to local farmers and artisans, it gets re-circulated in your community, creating local jobs and enhancing your food system. 

With FarmRaiser, for every dollar you raise, another dollar gets invested in your local food system, strengthening your community and connecting kids to healthy food. From a simple profit standpoint, FarmRaiser fundraising is at ten times better than grocery scrip, but if you take into account the benefits to local farms and the potential educational opportunities for kids, it’s even better than that. If you’re ready to raise money easily, and create value in your community, sign up for your Free FarmRaiser account and get started today. 

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Spring/Summer Strawberry Fundraisers

April 12, 2016 / All / Comments: 0

strawberries for fundraising

Strawberry Fundraising is the perfect late spring or early summer fundraiser for your school, team, band or cause.

The arrival of red ripe local strawberries, bursting with juicy flavor is the official herald of summer. Over the winter, we’ve subsisted on frozen berries, preserves, and  imports from Mexico and California. The shape, color, and general appearance is like a strawberry, but these imports have been bred for size, color and durability, picked while under-ripe, and shipped thousands of miles in a refrigerated truck. This is not what I am talking about.

What I’m talking about is sublime, anticipated, and ephemeral: local strawberries,  grown for maximum flavor, picked at the peak of ripeness, sold that afternoon at a nearby farmers market. You eat half of them on the way home, and have the rest for dessert or breakfast, and wish you’d bought more.

Luckily, FarmRaiser has a solution: sell local strawberries at your late spring fundraiser, and buy a couple of extra pounds for your family, and start your summer off the right way. Click to login, or sign up for a free FarmRaiser account and raise money with the best local strawberries.

We’ve reached out to our producers and have strawberry campaigns ready to go, whenever you are.

 

 

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Summer Intern Opportunity at FarmRaiser

April 7, 2016 / All / Comments: 0

Marketing, Social Media, and Growth Hacking Internship

Want to spend the summer with a scrappy social enterprise working to improve community health and strengthen local food systems?  FarmRaiser’s growth strategy is built around social engagement, partnerships and sharing relevant content with our partners and customers.  As an intern, you will have the opportunity to support and carry out a set of tactics using social media, content-marketing and direct email to grow the number of schools, teams and clubs on our healthy local fundraising platform. You’ll be an integral member of the team with some important projects to work on, but this is a true internship in that you will learn as much as you want about working in a tech-enabled startup. If that sounds exciting, read on and send us a resume, cover letter and samples of your writing, graphics, or other web content.

Responsibilities

  • – Support social media campaigns to grow in-bound leads and support existing campaigns focused on creating new inbound leads to the FarmRaiser platform.
  • – Develop LinkedIn and Pinterest presence to support FarmRaiser social reach and inbound lead strategies
  • – Create and edit content for website, social media, digital advertising, email, and earned media campaigns under direction of FarmRaiser staff
  • – Assist in research on local organizations, list-building, segmentation, and scheduling email campaigns on NationBuilder platform  
  • – Support analytics and evaluation of results of campaigns
  • – Other responsibilities and projects to be jointly determined according to interest and abilities

Requirements

  • – Passion for changing the world through social enterprise
  • – Excellent writing skills
  • – Extensive knowledge of social network optimization and use in a business context.
  • – Willingness and ability to work independently and as a team member.
  • – Experience working in an entrepreneurial environment is a plus
  • – Graphics, video editing skills are a plus
  • – Business analytics and database management skills are a plus

Additional Details

  • – The position will be located at the FarmRaiser office in Arlington, VA, but some remote work is possible.
  • – This position pays a stipend.

FarmRaiser Overview

Each year school fundraisers sell nearly $6 billion worth of candy bars, cookie dough, and other junk food and products that contribute to obesity, diabetes, and a throwaway culture that is disconnected from food system.

Our kids, our schools and our communities deserve better.  We built the FarmRaiser platform to to connect local farmers and artisans to student-led fundraisers, allowing teams, clubs, schools and causes to raise money and strengthen local food systems at the same time.  FarmRaiser uses technology and old-fashioned community organizing to power student-led fundraising using products from local farmers and artisans.

By giving student the tools to advocate for healthy eating and local food selection and allowing them to sell wholesome, locally grown and made products, FarmRaiser is restoring value and purpose to an annual ritual that has lost its way in a sea of sugar and junk food.

For more information, please visit: http://farmraiser.com

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Healthy Spring Fundraising Ideas for your School, Club, Band, or Team

At FarmRaiser, we want to make it easy for you to raise money with healthy local food and artisan goods, so we put together a series of healthy, easy, high-profit, and effective spring fundraising ideas. If you’re looking for some creative, fun and inspiring ways to raise money for your school, band, team or cause, you’ve come to the right place. This page highlights Spring Produce Fundraisers, Organic Seed Fundraisers, Coffee and Tea Fundraisers, and the FarmRaiser signature Community Basket Fundraisers.  We will update this post with additional ideas about how you can raise funds for your cause in the spring and early summer season — so check back regularly, view our latest post or browse our Healthy Fundraising Ideas Collection.

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1. Host a Seed Sale Fundraiser in Winter or Early Spring

Great news for gardeners everywhere! FarmRaiser has just partnered with High Mowing Organic Seeds to bring their seed fundraising catalog to your school, band, team or cause. Reach your fundraising goals by offering the highest quality, 100% certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified seeds to your supporters and customers. Top seven things we love about seeds:

  1. Seeds are in demand during the winter months when gardeners are planning for spring and deciding what to grow.
  2. High Mowing seeds can be shipped directly to your school, anywhere in the country, making delivery and distribution a snap.
  3. A great selection of carefully selected seeds allows home and school gardeners to pick exactly what they want to grow this year — dedicated gardeners are going to spend money on seeds anyway, and they might as well support your cause while doing it.
  4. You can add a seed sale to almost any of your existing fundraising plans, and boost your profits while providing countless opportunities for kids to learn and connect with food.
  5. If they grow it, they will eat it when kids experience the magic of gardening firsthand, they are more likely to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of their efforts.
  6. You can set up your FarmRaiser campaign so fast it will make your head spin. With our real-time inventory system and the tried and true selection of seeds from High Mowing, you can start selling almost immediately.  Try it, and see just how easy seed fundraising can be.
  7. Planting a seed is an expression of hope for the future, and cultivating hope for the future is what we try to do every day.

If you want to get a jump on the spring fundraising season, login to your account, or contact your cultivator, and we can help you get started today.


 

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2. Fresh Produce Fundraiser: celebrate spring with farm-fresh goodness

Looking for a fresh idea for your spring fundraiser? Turn over a new leaf with a a selection of the season’s fruits and vegetables picked fresh from a farm near you. February and early March is the perfect time to book your fresh produce fundraiser  and take advantage of spring crops like asparagus, greens, and herbs. Fresh produce fundraisers with a local farmer, CSA, or home produce delivery service are:

  •   Effective: everyone needs produce, and we work with farmers to bring you the season’s best at great prices.
  •   Educational: produce fundraisers are a great way to teach kids about where their food comes from, and how to eat healthy.
  •   Sustainable: choosing to sell local farm products helps keep your food system resilient and your local economy strong.
  •   Healthy and Delicious: the best way to get kids to eat vegetables is to serve them great-tasting farm-fresh produce.  Or you could cover it in cheese and butter — either way, you’re in for a treat.

FarmRaiser can have your healthy fundraiser set up in less than a day. You get a customized online farmers’ market, our mobile app, a parent letter, marketing material, and easy-to-read reports that make distribution a snap.


3. Perk up your supporters with a coffee fundraiser

Highly popular, mildly addictive, and yet beneficial to health, coffee makes an amazingly effective and profitable fundraiser. As a nation, the United States spends $18 billion on coffee, with  nearly 2/3rd of all adults in the United States drinking at least one cup per day. This makes coffee a great item to sell in your fundraiser: almost everyone wants it, and is going to spend money on it anyway, so they are delighted to buy some to support your group’s fundraising campaign.

coffee fundraiserFresh, delicious, locally-roasted coffee has been one of the most popular FarmRaiser items since the beginning. Here’s why:

  1. Popular with parents and supporters – 2 out of 3 adults in America drink coffee, and buy it at least twice a month; your supporters are probably no exception.
  2. Widely available – FarmRaiser has artisan roaster partners in almost every area of the country, and we’re getting new ones every day.
  3. Delicious – every town has its local favorite style and type of bean, and with FarmRaiser you can sell exactly what your customers want, rather than some generic, untasted, un-trusted ‘fundraising coffee’
  4. Necessary – whether it’s your 5AM workout, early morning meetings, or shuttling kids to late night practices, rehearsals and events, coffee helps you make it through.
  5. No Refrigeration Needed – you can distribute coffee at a sunny afternoon soccer practice and not worry about it spoiling before it makes it home.
  6. Coffee promotes health, reducing the risk of diabetes, liver cancer and cirrhosis, gallstones, heart disease and Parkinson’s see this interactive info-graphic from Harvard’s School of Public Health.

Login to your account, or contact your cultivator, and we can help you get your coffee fundraiser started today.

4. Community Basket Fundraiser, a win-win for your organization and your community.Community Basket Fundraising

If you’re looking for a unique fundraiser for your school, that will set you apart from other product fundraisers, why not try a Community Basket Fundraiser from FarmRaiser?

Here’s how it works: When you sell a Community Basket in your fundraiser, you keeps 50% of the sale, and FarmRaiser will work with your local food bank to buy locally-sourced fruits and vegetables at bulk prices to distribute to those who need it most. A typical basket of $20, will net you $10, and provide up to 50 lbs of food to your local food bank. The Community Basket can be effective on its own, or as an “add-on” to a seed fundraiser, fresh-produce fundraiser, or a holiday-themed campaign. Our organizers love Community Basket fundraisers because they’re:

  •  Meaningful & high-impact Fresh fruits and vegetables are always in short supply at food banks and pantries, and by purchasing at wholesale prices, even a small donation goes a long way to help families in need.
  • Fast. We can have your fundraiser set up in about half an hour.
  • Easy. With no products to distribute or volunteers to coordinate, a Community Basket Fundraiser is great for those with limited time.
  • A great “add-on” product for a spring produce sale or other healthy product fundraiser
  • Able to reach more people,  because community baskets allow supporters who don’t want to pick up products or who live far away to support your cause and your community.

Just like with our  product fundraisers, you’ll get a customized website for your Community Basket fundraiser, our mobile app, winning templates for your parent letters, and marketing material. Support equitable access to healthy food, while raising money for your school or cause, book your Community Basket fundraiser today.


Thanks for reading our collection of spring fundraising ideas. If you’ve got other great ideas for healthy spring fundraisers that you would like to share with your fellow teachers, PTA members, band leaders and organizers, leave them in the comments, or send us an email.

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Perk up your supporters with a coffee fundraiser

March 18, 2016 / All / Comments: 0

Coffee is a Great Fundraising Idea

Highly popular, mildly addictive, and yet beneficial to health, coffee makes an amazingly effective and profitable fundraiser. As a nation, the United States spends $18 billion on coffee, with  nearly 2/3rd of all adults in the United States drinking at least one cup per day. This makes coffee a great item to sell in your fundraiser: almost everyone wants it, and is going to spend money on it anyway, so they are delighted to buy some to support your group’s fundraising campaign.

coffee fundraiserFresh, delicious, locally-roasted coffee has been one of the most popular FarmRaiser items since the beginning. Here’s why:

  1. Popular with parents and supporters – 2 out of 3 adults in America drink coffee, and buy it at least twice a month; your supporters are probably no exception.
  2. Widely available – FarmRaiser has artisan roaster partners in almost every area of the country, and we’re getting new ones every day.
  3. Delicious – every town has its local favorite style and type of bean, and with FarmRaiser you can sell exactly what your customers want, rather than some generic, un-trusted ‘fundraising coffee’
  4. Necessary – whether it’s your 5AM workout, early morning meetings, or shuttling kids to late night practices, rehearsals and events, coffee helps you make it through.
  5. No Refrigeration Needed – you can distribute coffee at a sunny afternoon soccer practice and not worry about it spoiling before it makes it home.

Login to your account, or contact your cultivator, and we can help you get your coffee fundraiser started today.

Coffee is Good for Your Health

Good news! Finally, the scientists are catching up with the truth that we know in our hearts to be true: coffee is not only necessary for daily survival, it also promotes health, reducing the risk of diabetes, liver cancer and cirrhosis, gallstones, heart disease and Parkinson’s — click on the smug coffee drinker in the graphic below to see an interactive guide to coffee’s benefits from Harvard’s School of Public Health.

smug-coffee

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Community Basket Fundraiser – Raise Money While Helping Those in Need

March 13, 2016 / All / Comments: 0

Community Basket Fundraising

FarmRaiser’s Community Basket raises money for your cause while sending fresh, healthy food to a local food bank– it’s win-win for your organization and your community.

If you’re looking for a unique fundraiser for your school, that will set you apart from other product fundraisers, why not try a Community Basket Fundraiser from FarmRaiser? Here’s how it works: When you sell a Community Basket in your fundraiser, your cause keeps 50% of the sale, and FarmRaiser will work with your local food bank to buy locally sourced fruits and vegetables at bulk prices to distribute to those who need it most. The Community Basket can be effective on its own, or as an “add-on” to a seed fundraiser, fresh-produce fundraiser, or a holiday-themed campaign.

Support equitable access to healthy food, while raising money for your school or cause, book your Community Basket fundraiser today.

Our organizers love Community Basket fundraisers because they’re…

 – Meaningful & high-impact Fresh fruits and vegetables are always in short supply at food banks and pantries, and by purchasing at wholesale prices, even a small donation goes a long way to help families in need.
 – Fast. We can have your fundraiser set up in about half an hour.
 – Easy. With no products to distribute or volunteers to coordinate, a Community Basket Fundraiser is great for those with limited time.
 – A great “add-on” product for a spring produce sale or other healthy product fundraiser
 – Able to reach more people,  because community baskets allow supporters who don’t want to pick up products or who live far away to support your cause and your community.

Just like with our product fundraisers, you’ll get a customized website for your Community Basket fundraiser, our mobile app, winning templates for your parent letters, and marketing material. Click here to schedule your Community Basket fundraiser and help ensure that everyone in your community has access to fresh, healthy food.

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