Zazzler KRWDesigns recently donated some of her products to an auction to help a local school generate much needed donations. Read her guest blog below, and check out her store KRWDesigns!
I am fortunate to live in a community with an excellent school system. I am even more fortunate to be the mother of 2 children who benefit from that school system. The same school system, I might add, that I myself benefited from as a child.
Like most parents, I like to do what I can to support the school and its PTO (Parent Teacher Organization). I buy raffle tickets for various events, shop at the holiday fair, and save my Box Tops. But unlike a lot of parents, I am able to offer the school and PTO my support as a graphic designer and a Zazzle Seller.
This year, for the Ross School’s 5th Annual Auction and Comedy Night, I was able to offer my services to design the event tickets, supply door prizes, raffle and auction items, and even table centerpieces. Additionally, I bought the inside front cover ad for the event book, to advertise my Zazzle stores. Sounds like an awful lot, doesn’t it? Well, maybe it is. I don’t know. I just did what I felt I could do, and I also admit to being very excited and caught up in the event. I even joined the committee this year!
Stephen, from Zazzle ProSeller Support, was wonderful in helping me present a request for a discount from Zazzle for all the items I was going to order. And Zazzle, as you might expect, was very generous in assisting me. I selected my Smoldering Skull Skateboard to donate as an auction item. For the raffles, I chose a signed Art Portfolio, and a custom pair of Keds Sneakers. For the sneakers, I ordered a pair to use as a display, and offered the winner their choice of shoe from my Keds shop, KRW Fancy Feet. (I used 3 postcards to display information about the sneakers, and a fourth to be used as the certificate for the winner)
I didn’t stop there. Seeing as the economy is so bad, as we all know all too well, I decided to try and give people as much chance as possible of going home with something. To this end, I decided to offer 20 gift bags as door prizes, and to create a mini print for the center of each table.
The door prize bags were comprised of several items. From Zazzle I included one magnet and one button and a rack card advertising my shops. I used a variety of buttons and magnets. For the rack cards, I designed them to include a business card at the bottom. Then, using a rotary cutter with a perforated blade, I pre-cut each one so that the recipient of each door prize could just tear away the business card portion and keep it. The door prizes were given away a few at a time throughout the evening.
For the tables, I created a limited edition mini print, using the metallic ice invitation paper. The back of the print contained the event information and a place for me to sign and number each one. I placed each print inside an acrylic holder and put one in the center of each table, with the envelope beneath. To determine the winner, we taped one of my business cards under a chair at each of the tables. At the end of the night, the DJ instructed everyone to look under their chairs to see who had the business card, and was therefore, the winner of the mini print. (they were asked to leave the acrylic holders)
It was a great night! We had wonderful comedians. Mark Riley, Danny Miller and Tony V. (Clickey the Umbrella Man from Seinfeld!). There was dancing, a wonderful four course dinner supplied by a local restaurant, and good company. Attendees had until the comedians began their acts to purchase raffle tickets for the various items (and there were tons!). While the comedian entertained us, the winners were drawn for the raffle items. After the comics finished, there was a little time left to place bids on the silent auction items while the few live auction items were auctioned off by MC Mark Riley. (The ride to school on a fire engine was a big hit!)
Unfortunately, few of the silent auction items made much money, but there were so many to choose from and, as we know, the economy…. Someone got a good deal on a custom skateboard, but the Art Portfolio and Sneakers were hits – the sneakers especially. The winner already chose her sneakers! Good feedback was received on both the gift bags and the centerpieces.
School is just about out for the year, but hopefully, this may put some of my fellow Zazzlers in mind of promoting their businesses by supporting their local schools. I realize it sounds expensive and it may be to some, but I used my Zazzle earnings to buy the items, and I can write them off as business expenses on my taxes. Even if you can’t afford to donate much, there are lots of ways to help. It cost me nothing to design the tickets for the event. Twenty invitations to use as mini prints are only $37 – less if you can get a discount or get them on sale. And I’m certain you can, and will, think of a lot more creative and cost-effective ways you can support your local schools while you promote your Zazzle business.
I’ve already begun thinking about items to donate next year!
Thanks again Stephen and Zazzle!