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					Fundraising                                                                               Sublimation puts targeted
                                                                                          clients in good company.
Opportunities
                     By DaviD Gross


                     “If everybody minded their own business,” the         products, including mousepads, coffee mugs, purses, apparel, jewelry,
                     Duchess said, in a hoarse growl, “the world           even floor mats. There are no minimums and no setup requirements,
                     would go around a great deal faster than it           and results are only minutes away. Products can be mass-produced,
                     does.”                                                partially personalized, or completely customized to a client’s needs.




I
     —From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.              Products can be sold individually or in packages.
                                                                              Success with sublimation is determined by proper training, the
    f you’re not minding your own business, then you’re losing             right equipment and, most importantly, expert support and advice
    out on selling sublimated products to an untapped market               from a supplier that specializes in digital decorating.
    that is literally all around you. That market is fundraising.
Usually the domain of worn-out products like wrapping paper,               WHY CONSIDER FUNDRAISING
candles, popcorn or candy bars, fundraising has turned to subli-               Fundraising is selling your products to a group or organization
mated products as an exciting and welcome change of pace. With             (school, church, clubs, etc.) at a wholesale price. The organization
so many fundraisers around, organizations need something that              gets paid for their selling and promotion efforts—and you get a
is high value and unique. So how do you do it?                             sales force. Your company’s name and products will get promoted
    For those new to this process, what is sublimation transfer? It is a   within your community, and, further, you’ll be establishing relation-
high-value digital decorating technology. Using an inkjet printer with     ships with organizations that potentially need other products such
special inks and a heat press, you can put images on thousands of          as name badges, plaques, signage, etc. One of my top tips (found
                                                                           at the end of this issue of The Sublimation Almanac) is to always
                                                                           provide a way for folks to refer business back to you. You should
                                                                           always place your contact information on the back of your




   Picture frames and stadium cushions are but two
   of the hundreds of potential sublimatable items
   fundraisers use to elicit a spirit of group camaraderie,
   along with generating funds for additional
   organizational uses.
                                                                                                            Name badges for schools,
                                                                                                            clubs and other organizations
                                                                                                            are inexpensive to produce
                                                                                                            and offer great margins.




fundraising products so that you can build additional business.           FIND A GROUP, MAKE THE SALE
    People like to purchase special things for themselves, friends            Alan Farb, the associate editor of The Sublimation Almanac,
and loved ones. With the explosion of digital cameras, consumers          asked me, “Where are the untouched opportunities for digital
are looking for ways to use their digital images. The sublimation         decorators?” Without a doubt, it is fundraising. Think of all the
transfer process produces photographic-quality gifts that make an         organizations that need to raise money: schools, sports, cheer-
excellent fundraising opportunity. Putting all this together is a great   leading, clubs, churches and charities. The list is amazingly long.
win-win-win for you, the organization and the consumer.                   Marshall Wittman, inventor of the BallStars system, was one of the
    What’s in it for the fundraising organization? I have three           first to target sports organizations for fundraising. Although not
children and have endured many dull fundraisers that required             sublimation, the BallStars system allows you to produce custom
devoting tremendous effort to boring products. Most fundraisers           imprinted photo sports balls and other products. It makes an
are worn out, lack any excitement or fun, and offer poor returns          excellent complement to sublimation.
to the organization. My kids sold cheesecakes this year that could            Make the fundraising pitch. Once you have identified a fund-
only be delivered on Oct. 31. My wife was not happy with the              raising prospect, you will need to obtain the decision maker’s con-
inconvenience of having to refrigerate a bunch of cheesecakes             tact information. An excellent resource for finding and contacting
until we could deliver them the next day. Sublimation offers a            a decision maker is the STM (Sublimation Target Marketing)
unique attention-getting fundraiser that provides an incredible           Sports, Schools and Religious target modules.
array of high-value, customized products that can be promoted                 Put together a sales kit to send the prospect that includes at least
with no upfront money, waste or inconvenience. If you’re local            two imprinted items that have been customized with that organiza-
to the organization, you can promote the fact that the money is           tion’s photograph, logo or graphic (usually found at the organiza-
being put back into the community.                                        tion’s website). A cover letter should be written explaining




                                                                                               Targeted materials for
                                                                                               various groups sublimators
                                                                                               can target.
Fliers and order
envelopes serve
as fundraising
promotions and
calls to action for
ordering items.




the benefits of your fundraising idea and asking for permission to     out, as well as an e-mail, will help promote the fundraiser.
meet with them to answer their questions. My company, Conde,               I see at least three choices regarding product strategies:
makes available a copy of our unbranded Partner Catalog that               1. Offer a single product like a license plate.
highlights all of the available products; include this in your sales       2. Offer multiple product choices such as a bag tag, hoodie
kit. This catalog can/should be personalized with your company         sweatshirt or floor mat (with three different price points).
information. Check out the fundraising resource section of my              3. Offer product bundles such as a lapel pin, key chain or coffee
website where you’ll find lots of resources that are mentioned         mug. The possibilities are endless.
throughout this article.                                                   A soccer team, for example, could be offered a $39 product
    Call your prospect and ask to meet with him or her. Try to         bundle consisting of a license plate or frame, round light switch
find out details of fundraisers that the prospect has previously       plate cover and round key chain. The organization’s cost of $27
participated in to better handle questions and/or concerns. Ask the    (30% discount) gives the organization a profit of $12 and you a
organization what the past profits have been and how you should        profit of $18 (assuming your cost of about $9, which includes
easily exceed those. Show potential fundraising gift ideas along       product, freight, paper and ink).
with supporting promotional posters and forms, and also discuss            There are many great product ideas for selling inside an organi-
the differences between inside and outside campaigns based on          zation (see Case Study): heat-applied patches, trailer hitch covers,
the information mentioned below.                                       license plates or frames, pillowcases, light-switch plates, bookmarks,
                                                                       tote bags, towels, bag tags, stadium cushions, door hangers, Unisub
THE RIGHT FUNDRAISER CAMPAIGN                                          jewelry, Unisub puzzles and coasters. Check with your supplier
   My suggestion is to promote two different strategies to the         for substrate possibilities and their costs. Remember to work the
organization: selling inside and selling outside. Inside campaigns     math to ensure that the product will support a 30% discount to
focus on folks affiliated with the organization; outside campaigns     the organization.
target those not directly affiliated with the organization.                As an example, St. Vincent de Paul School needed money for
   First, selling inside the organization.                             a national robot competition, Best Robotics Inc. (www.bestinc.
   This type of campaign is much simpler, but limits the number        org)—I highly recommend getting your school involved with
of potential customers. Create an exciting design using a graphic,     this activity. A license plate, car flag, bookmark and dog tag were
team photo, church or school picture, custom text or whatever          made. These samples were displayed at the school along with an
makes an impact. Next, select a group of appropriate products          order form and take-home sales flier. Orders were collected and
and imprint them with your design. Present your products to the        processed and products were distributed later. A basic design using
organization and have them select one or more to offer during the      the event’s logo was imprinted onto the selected products (no
campaign. Once chosen, the selected products can be made avail-        individual customization was provided).
able for placing orders and collecting money. A sales flier to hand        Second, selling outside the organization.
   I recommend using the customer’s digital photograph as the
artwork. The process would begin by you setting up/defining a
campaign at www.easycustoms.com (basic information such as the
organization name, products to be offered and customer codes).
Provide the organization a packet that illustrates examples of the
product choices and a letter detailing instructions on how the
customer can send the digital photograph to you. The organiza-
tion then sells the packets and collects the money in advance. The
customer redeems the packet by visiting the website, entering their
unique code and uploading the image. You visit the website to
collect the images and information. You then sublimate the digital
photograph onto the selected product and return it to the organiza-
tion for distribution to the customers. That’s it. The organization
should be expected to pay for all packets not returned, and an
expiration date should be established as a deadline for uploading
an image. Like many gift cards and rebates, a percentage of donors
                                                                      Creating a spot on your website, or working in conjunction
will never redeem their packets.
                                                                      with a photo-gifts specialist, allows individuals to place
                                                                      orders online.
A SIMPLE PLAN
   To make all this simple, I have created various customizable
packet templates and built a non-branded and free website for image
upload. The website was open for beta testing back in December




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                A flier showing items offered for
                fundraising and actual sublimated
                products.

                to a handful of select customers. CorelDRAW is needed for customizing the packet
                templates, as well as a color laser printer for printing them. I suggest the Okidata 5000
                series Color LED printer, as it has a straight-through paper path for heavy stocks. It also
                does a great job with transfer paper.
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                    Product choices, again, are overwhelming. I see three strategies:
                    1. Offer a single product such as a license plate.
                    2. Offer product choices that are the same price (e.g. mug, checkbook cover and a
                       tote bag).
                    3. Offer more than one packet with different price points (e.g. $9, $14 and $24).
                    There are many great product ideas for selling outside an organization: pillowcases,
                Christmas ornaments, dog tags, purses, tote bags, checkbook covers, glass cutting boards,
                serving trays, ceramic plates, tile boxes, key hangers, coasters, T-shirts, mugs, water bottles,
                pet mats, key chains and puzzles.
                    The popularity of product choices may be determined by the season and other special
                occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day, homecoming and
                graduation. With the organization’s help, you will need to select which products to offer.
                Karen Robinson, senior sales consultant at Conde, comments, “When dealing with
                school groups, they need to be careful not to make enemies among the various groups
                and organizations. I tell my clients to offer each group within the school about five items
                that will be theirs exclusively within the school. With several groups selling five different
                items each within the same school, they will not compete against each other for sales,
                and our client will have an opportunity to sell more.”
                    The possibilities of connecting sublimation with fundraising are truly endless. How
                about putting children’s artwork on a cutting board? Or a tile mural with donors’ names.
                Kimberly Reynolds, author of Fundraising Success (www.fundraiserhelp.com), notes, “Two
                major factors for failure are: low-quality merchandise and repeating the same worn-out
                fundraiser.”
                    I hope you can see that digital decorating with sublimation and the strategies outlined
                here are excellent ways to provide organizations with exciting products that put cash in
                your pocket and theirs.
                    Please let me know about your success and questions by e-mailing me at: dgross@conde.com.
                David Gross is president of Conde Systems Inc., of Mobile, Ala.                              sa

                     Reprinted from the Sublimation Almanac - 2008 ©2008 National Business Media, Inc. all rights reserved
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Bobbi McMullen Bobbi McMullen Product Marketing http://conde.com/
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