One of our favorite things at Fun Pasta Fundraising is helping groups to achieve their fundraising goals. What we’ve learned is that with every group, there is a story behind the fundraiser. It’s the story and the people that we love; that keeps us using our noodles to continuously raise the fundraising bar to improve our fundraising products and the process. When we heard about Pasta for Henry, the story intrigued us and we wanted to know more. Here’s an excerpt from our interview with group leader, Christina Gmyrek.
Tell us about your group? How was it formed? How did you come to be a group?
Well my group was formed out of necessity really. I received word that my Uncle was really sick. I knew that there would be significant medical expenses. I wanted to help out but I didn’t know how. I first heard about Fun Pasta Fundraising through my boyfriend’s mom who had used it to raise money for her dance studio. I thought it was a fun and unique product so I reached out to my friends and was able to get 25 people to participate.
How long have you worked with Fun Pasta Fundraising?
This was my first time working with Fun Pasta Fundraising but I would definitely use you guys again. I had such a great experience working with you. Every time I spoke with customer service they were patient and able to help me. They must be asked the same questions 47 times a day but were always friendly. I never got any “crankiness” from them. It was breath of fresh air.
What were you raising funds for? What was your fundraising goal?
We were raising money to help with my Uncle Henry’s medical expenses.
How did you advertise and market your fundraiser?
I used Instagram, Facebook, Email and word of mouth. I took pictures of some of the products that I thought would be popular in our area and posted them on Instagram. For example, I have a lot of friends who are Rutgers University alumni so I shared the Rutgers pasta. I posted pics of the holiday and seasonal pastas on Facebook because we were running our fundraiser in the fall before Christmas and I knew people would be purchasing it as gifts.
I posted pictures to our Facebook page throughout the fundraiser to keep my sellers motivated and to keep spirits up.
Tell us why you are such a passionate supporter of you group and of this fundraiser?
I love my Uncle!!! His illness and my desire to help out was a cause that was near and dear to my heart. I received an overwhelming outpouring of support from friends and family. This fundraiser was really successful. I was able to give my Aunt and Uncle the money we raised for Christmas which helped out with his medical bills. We even surpassed our goal.
The best part about this fundraiser is that you’re not just asking for money but are selling a desirable product that is unique and supporting a good cause. It was a very positive experience.
Did you encounter any challenges as a leader? How did you overcome them?
I don’t know if I would call it a challenge but I did have to explain the payment process several times. There was confusion as to who the checks were to be made payable to. I explained multiple times to my sellers that for catalog sales, customer’s needed to make the checks payable to the sellers, then the seller’s paid me and I would make the total payment for the master order. Because we were so spread out, I often had no connection to the buyers so I couldn’t reach out to them if a check bounced, for example.
The only other challenge was related to distribution. [laughing] My whole living room was covered in pasta for two weeks.
Of all the products in our catalog, which did your group sell the most? What were they the most excited about?
The Happy Birthday pasta was the most popular item from our online sales. We also sold a lot of Rutgers Pasta Salad. I was shocked that there was so much more pasta available online vs the catalog. We did well with online sales for out of town friends and family.
If you could tell another leader to do one thing to help their fundraising efforts, what would it be?
Since my group was not tied to a large organization we did not have a website where we could share information so I created a Facebook group for my fundraiser. This was a great way to share information and to keep in touch with my sellers. I would post every couple of days reminding my sellers to share the online link. Stay on top of your sellers and encourage them to promote the online link.
Special thanks to Christina Gmyrek and for this heart-warming interview. We send our best wishes to Henry for healing and health. Do you have a special need or cause that could benefit by fundraising? We work with all kinds of groups. For more information about your next Fundraiser, click here.