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Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by procut, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    A long time customer / friend called earlier. She is the mother of one of my friends from school who died in Iraq. They set up a scholarship in his memory and every year have a charity auction to support it. A lot of local businesses donate products / services for the auction and wanted to see if I wanted to donate something. I certainly would, but just don't know the best way to really do it. It's a lot easier if you have a storefront / retail business. For example the Chevy dealer donates a free oil change, a local car wash a couple car wash coupons, round of golf for two at a golf course, a blender from the appliance store, restaurants donate gift certificates; you get the idea.

    Like many here my primary focus is landscaping, as I'm pretty sure that's what she was looking for anyways. I thought maybe a delivery of a yard or two of bark mulch or topsoil. My only fear is don't want someone from three towns over / 75 miles away to win it. Really don't want to send a truck that gets 5 miles to the gallon 150 miles. She thought a simple gift certificate would be the best. I'm really not sure - just looking for some ideas.
  2. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    $100 +/- seems like a small price to pay to thank the family of a friend/hero of our country. My advice, don't be so cheap.
  3. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    For crying out loud, this is exactly the type of response I figured I'd get here. This isn't about being cheap, it's simply looking for ideas on what I could donate. Saying something like "free lawn mowing" is just to ambiguous.
  4. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 556

    I imagine you could put a zip code range/restriction on it. Since it is an auction the bidder will know that ahead of time.
    How about a discount on the season? X% off lawn services with a seasonal contract.
    You get positive advertising for supporting the auction, possibly a new long term customer, and the good feeling of doing your part to help honor your friend's memory.
  5. cpmi

    cpmi Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 167

    My local american legion & vfw have an annual golf tournament with an auction held to benefit there respective organizations and the small scholarships they award each year. My donation the last five years has been free lawn service (limited to no more than 4 cuts a month within our service area). My intention of this was to give back a little for all our vets have done for us but this had paid huge dividends-every person who won the auction/free service has not only added services throughout the summer but have since signed on for weekly mowing,landscaping projects and winter services. In addition the word of mouth advertising has been tremendous from this. As I said it would have been a win for me just to have these organizations benefit from what I could provide; the new customers are an added bonus.
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Buy something/gift card from a local store,Envelope says donated from.you.BTW.lottery trees are big items.
  7. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,778

    So is a push lawn mower from the hardware store...still in the box.
  8. JoeG3

    JoeG3 Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    I work with a non profit to put on a large raffle every year. We always have at least a few items with location restrictions or notes saying "if outside x distance from zip code winner is responsible for additional delivery charge to be arranged with donor"
  9. Defcon 5

    Defcon 5 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,914

    Just put let say a 15 mile radius on the Donation auction description.....
  10. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Better ,just give a gift certificate from the nursery and let them pick something out,on their own time.You pay wholesale for i ,but retail value on the gift.
  11. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Some decent ideas - for some reason I like the idea of donating a tangible item rather than a service.
  12. CHPL

    CHPL Member
    Messages: 82

    A money tree or gift card tree get a lot of attention. Especially if they use tickets to drop in a basket instead of a silent auction style. You could make one in any amount. At our last school fundraiser someone made one worth a few hundred dollars on it.
  13. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 622

    Though when you complain I don't want to do send a truck that far because the gas costs too much comes across as you being cheap. You know what services you can do and what you can afford to give. You do not need input on that.

    I do not know what is in your bank roll. It looks thick. Though I see a Fifty is the outside bill. Though for all I know is the inside bills are all One's.

    So whether you are broke ass poor or broke ass poor and cheap, or whether you still have the first dollar you ever made.

    So cheap as the old saying if you had a Nickel you would never have to buy manure because you hold on to that nickel so tight you squeeze the manure right out of the buffalo (for you youngsters that do not know about Buffalo Nickels).

    One gives what one can afford. Whether 1 mowing. Nothing wrong with just giving 1 free mowing if that is all one can afford.

    There are no small donations only small people.

    There is no shame in giving small when one does not have much to give to start with.

    One gives without calling attention to oneself. The sharing is done to help others not gain anything in return.

  14. CLP

    CLP Junior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 12

    I find it's easier to just to donate the money. they seem to get more that way. For example, one year I donated 3 yards of loam to a silent auction and it went for a 1/3 of the value that it should have. By just donating the money the group will get the full value.
  15. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Donate your service, as a small business it is fair ball to show case what you do along with contribute to a good cause. Print up gift certificates with what you can and will do along with any restrictions, also stipulate no cash value so no one comes back at you. I have done this several times with good return good luck.
  16. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Ummm, I made sense of about half of this, but I like the deep thoughts, lol.

    We've had some good replies. Let me elaborate a little more. It's my understanding that there are going to be "baskets" that are auctioned / awarded. For example, entertainment, car care, kitchen, ect. and one of them is gardening, which is the one she wants to include whatever I end up donating with. I'm really thinking the "gift certificate" is probably going to be the best bet. I'm going to call her back tomorrow and get something nailed down; I'll post whatever I end up doing.
  17. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    100.00 gift card for mulch from the nursery,might cost you less then 49 bucks. Then they can make arraignments with them for delivery,