The Fundraising Factory - Posts Tagged ‘Lucinda Pins’

What Was That?

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Coincidence? 

Synchrodestiny?

The Universe Speaking?

This morning as I walked into the office the phone was ringing.  Hello. “Do you have a book?” Excuse me – what did you say?  The caller said she had just been given a Designs by Lucinda pin as a gift.  She had read the story behind the pins on the promotional cards that come with Lucinda Pins.  She wanted to know if I had written a book and could she buy it from me?

It was an almost unbelievable moment but these kinds of “coincidences” occur more often than most of us notice and forget to give thanks for them. Put simply, for me it was a confirmation that I was on the right path.  Why do I say that?  A few weeks ago I made a commitment to myself to finally write a book.  For years I have been asked to write a book and now I know the road to ‘my next best self’ will be found on this journey.  This is going to be fun now that after 25 years I have said YES!  Thank you universe!

Footnote: the Photo above is one of our book pins: www.lucinda.com/shop/for/lucinda-s-picks/

 

 

Have You Reached Your Turning Point?

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Did you know that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month? Designs by Lucinda is honoring that month in several ways.  First, you’ll notice that this blog is posted in purple, the symbolic color for domestic violence.  Also, we are highlighting a  great nonprofit that has been a long-time customer and powerful advocate against domestic violence–Turning Point of Lehigh Valley.


Turning Point is a place where victims of abuse and their children can find emergency shelter and support services.  Annually, the agency assists over 5,000 victims of domestic violence.  In addition to providing support to domestic violence victims, Turning Point’s mission includes working toward ending domestic violence through education and increasing community awareness.

Designs By Lucinda is proud to say that we have been able to work with this great agency since 1992 to help reach these goals.  All of Turning Point’s services are free, so in order to provide shelter and related services, the agency relies heavily on fundraising.  Designs By Lucinda pins and earrings have been a staple in these fundraising efforts.  In the last 19 years, Turning Point has utilized these custom pieces of art to raise over $100,000.  Quite a chunk of change for a product that sells for around $16 per item!

But just as important is the continued conversations and awareness that the pins spread.  In fact, when we asked Anne Mayer, our contact at Turning Point, how the pins have helped her organization, she was quick to acknowledge that the uniqueness of the pins creates intrigue and conversations.  It’s the perfect opening to share the mission of Turning Point.  Anne also noted that fundraising with the pins is easy because volunteers often handle the pin sales either through their workplaces, at various other venues, or as walking advertisements when wearing the pins.  It is a hassle-free way to spread the word about domestic violence while generating revenue to provide needed services.

As with so many nonprofits, Turning Point experiences ups and downs in donations and fundraising revenue.  We asked about the challenges that they experience, and Anne mentioned that sometimes turnover at the volunteer level or within the various businesses where they are sold, can effect pin sales.  This shows the importance of keeping in touch with the offices and salons to make sure someone is dedicated to promoting the pins and ensuring that a variety of pins are on display.


We wanted to know what has made the pins a success for Turning Point for over 19 years. Anne’s insight was to have a good selection of pins.  Whether you are a domestic violence organization or a housing organization, you should offer a variety of pins to your customers.  The traditional pins are important to have on hand, but seasonal pins are also beneficial and increase fundraising revenue.  She also follows many of our mottos that have proven to be successful:  Wear One and Carry 10 in Your Purse!  Point out the fact that each pin is unique.  People love things that are original.  Lastly, look for easy venues such as doctors’ offices and hair salons because so many women visit these places regularly.  These simple techniques have worked for Turning Point since 1992.  Designs By Lucinda looks forward to working with Turning Point for many more years.

How you can help.
The beneficiary of Fundraising Friday on October 21st is Turning Point of Lehigh Valley.  Turning Point will receive 30% of all individual sales placed on Designs By Lucinda’s website this Friday.  Please share this with everyone you know.  Let’s all do our part to help!  Together we can Change the World One Pin At A Time!  Please Share, Care & Give!


Connecting People through Design

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Why, allow me to introduce myself; my name is Jessica.  I am a jack of all trades here at Designs by Lucinda but where I shine the most is creating all of our custom designs.  I have been working here for nearly 7 years.  I’ve had my hand in almost everything we do here; from assembling to shipping.  While working hard on new designs to add to the line up I have been going to college for Arts and Entrepreneurial Studies, with a concentration in Sculpture and Jewelry Design.  I love working with my hands and taking separate entities and working with them so they become a single union; whether that be soldering a band and stone setting to form a ring or combining a square and a triangle and watching it evolve into a house pin!  To me jewelry is not just a way for people to adorn themselves (sure, that’s a perk) but what truly excites me about jewelry is the human connections that are linked because of it.  I am about to enter a new frontier with my family and become an aunt. My bother and sister in law are expecting a little boy and the little guy is due on my birthday!  To celebrate and commemorate the date I am designing a pendant for my brother with the baby’s name and its actual birth date.  It’s these moments that give my art life. We don’t know the name of the baby just yet; right now we fondly refer to him as alien.  Don’t fret, Alien will not be the name on the pendant!  When I’m not out and about creating and melting metals with my torch I spend my time supporting other local artists by going to music shows and exploring northern Maine on a whitewater raft with my boyfriend who is a licensed guide at Crab Apple White Water.

Coloring Our World

Friday, July 29th, 2011

The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of color” –Hans Hofmann

Hey there, I’m Rebecca… I’ve been the Color Gal here at DBL for nearly a decade. My job is to choose the right medley of colors for each pin, as well as create the backgrounds, glitters and patterns. I’ve always been fascinated with the transformative power of color. When used in different combinations various moods can be created…I love the high contrast of black and white, the sweetness of pastels and the subtlety of somber muted tones. I’ve never met a color I didn’t like. When I’m not here at the shop working my magic, you are likely to find me swimming with my boyfriend in the frigid waters of the Atlantic or lounging about at home reading a really good novel. A cause that is important to me is the welfare of animals. I have been a strict vegetarian for over twenty years and I have adopted many cats at the local shelter. I even had the amazing experience of raising an orphaned baby squirrel last year! My other passions are creating art, exploring nature and challenging my mind. Someday I might like to try my hand at writing, or perhaps illustrate a children’s book.

An epidemic worth catching

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Have you heard of the latest epidemic?  It’s infecting a large number of people over an even larger area.  Word has it that it has spread to 90 countries.  Luckily, they have identified the source; it’s called Positivity Nation™.  A Maine based non-profit, Positivity Nation™ was established just over a year ago by Lanette Pottle.  The mission of the non-profit is to create a world-wide epidemic of positivity…one small act at a time.

For Lanette, positive action takes many forms.  She shares positive thoughts on her website (http://www.positivity-nation.com) and Facebook page but she is also very active in her community.  She has a particular passion for working with youth and has taken Positivity Nation into her local elementary school.  In 2011, in celebration of the one year anniversary of Positivity Nation™, Lanette announced the creation of The HAPPY Grant (Helping & Acknowledging Positive, Purpose-led Youth) a funding program for youth ages 12-17 in Washington County, Maine who desire to make a difference in their communities.

To kick start The HAPPY Grant program, Lanette turned to Designs By Lucinda.  She discovered Designs By Lucinda while visiting a local business that had the pins on display.  She was quickly drawn to the beauty of the pins but more so, she was moved by the story included on the pin card.  She thought it was brilliant marketing to attach the pin to a card that shares Lucinda’s story from homelessness to successful entrepreneur, helping thousands of non-profits worldwide.  After reading the story, Lanette thought that the pins were a perfect fit for her cause – the same values and a very similar mission to make a change, one small act or pin at a time.  She placed an order for 40 Butterfly Pins to help raise money and credibility for Positivity Nation™ and specifically The HAPPY Grant program.

The HAPPY Grant was launched following a pilot classroom program where students were asked how they would use $10 to make the world a better place. With financial help from her facebook friends, she facilitated the execution of 15 student-led projects  that helped veteran homes, nursing homes, food banks, animal shelters and the Special Olympics fund for The Beckett Center , a day program in a neighboring city. (…a must read article on two passionate 8th grade boys who developed a basketball event to raise money for the Special Olympics Beckett Bombers Link).

Lanette relies not only on monies raised through pin sales to support this program, but from donations that are made to Positivity Nation™.  She receives a great deal of exposure through her website, word of mouth and her Facebook page.  In a year’s time she has over 4700 fans!  We asked Lanette if she had ever thought about what would happen to Positivity Nation™ and The HAPPY Grant if every Facebook fan purchased just 1 pin to support her program.  There was a pause on the other end of the phone and then she replied “that’s an interesting thought”.  Perhaps in the moment of hesitation, she was processing what over $75,000 would do to create Positivity….

How you can help.
The beneficiary of Fundraising Friday on June 24th is Positivity Nation™ and The HAPPY Grant.  Positivity Nation™ will receive 30% of all individual sales placed on Designs By Lucinda’s website this Friday.  Please share this with everyone you know.  Let’s all do our part to help!  Together we can Change the World One Pin At A Time!  Please Share, Care & Give!

One Year Later the Results are In

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

It is always prudent to research the topic you are writing about.  So I went to the Harbor House Crisis Shelter (HHCS) website http://www.harborhousecs.org/.  An impressive shelter with a very useful website.  What I found to be very relevant was the content of the website’s “needs.”  On the top of the need’s list is a powerful request for volunteers.  A perfect tie into last week’s blog (Whose valued more? Volunteers or Donors?).

The organization’s mission is to provide shelter and transitional services for homeless women and families.  Not only do they provide safe shelter, food and clothing but they dedicate much of their financial and personal resources to educating and preparing their guests to live independently.

We interviewed Rev. Barbara Certa-Werner to gain an understanding of their experience with Designs By Lucinda pins. Keep in mind, HHCS just started selling pins in 2010.  They have already purchased 660 pins including Crosses, flowers, hearts with houses and butterflies.  Barbara noted that the pins are a great additional revenue source.  She noted that the pins open the doors for them to discuss their organization’s accomplishments, goals, needs and the range of services they provide.  They are able to leave a bigger impression of the organization’s work and the customer leaves with a beautiful reminder of HHCS.

Barbara noted that although they have only been fundraising with the pins for 1 year, they are already a line item in the budget.  The revenues from the pin sales are used wherever they are needed.  Whether it is to run the shelter, purchase food, diapers or pay for case workers to ensure that all guests receive transitional assistance.  HCCS sells the pins at several different venues including the Wisconsin United Methodist Women’s Annual Conference, the Women’s Expo and craft shows.  They rely on board members to promote the pins and they highlight the pins on the front page of their website.

HCCS also taps into the pins cause- related marketing aspect.  Barbara noted that they use the pins to draw a connection between Lucinda’s story of homelessness to successful entrepreneur to the very goals of their organization.  They even use the pins to honor a guest that has achieved a considerable goal while at the shelter.

In wrapping up our interview with Barbara, we asked if she had a really good pin story.  A woman came to the booth at the Annual Conference for Wisconsin UMC, she saw the pins and was so excited about them but she didn’t have her checkbook.  She called her husband who drove 2 hours to bring her checkbook.  She ended up purchasing 18 pins as Christmas presents for her family and friends.  Truly a great story….

The Harbor House will be the beneficiary of this weeks Fundraising Friday.  HHCS will receive 30% of all individual sales placed on our website on Friday May 5th.

Pins + Education Saves Babies

Monday, April 11th, 2011

This week we are highlighting a wonderful non profit not too far from us located in Montpelier, Vermont- Prevent Child Abuse (PCAVT).  The organization was founded over 35 years ago and continues to help kids by educating parents and bringing to light child abuse issues.

Proactive education is a key to the organizations success in preventing child abuse.  PCAVT invests a significant amount of resources both human and financial into Shaken Baby Syndrome training.  Training is offered to nearly all parents of newborns in Vermont.  PCAVT provides information on how to safely handle stressful moments with infants and the dangers of shaking a baby.  With knowledge the organization feels that their will be less cases of shaken baby syndrome.  Given the number of training courses that are required (in 2010 they held 169 courses); a large percentage of their budget is dedicated to this cause.  PCAVT has formed a powerful partnership with Designs By Lucinda.  They sell our Little Pal Pins to help fund the Shaken Baby Syndrome program and to raise recognition for children.  They are an ideal image that connects the organizations cause to a pin that is not only worn by women but by men as well.

It is a great communication vehicle that has outreach to both genders.  Men love the Little Pal Star pins as they associate them with wearing a sheriff’s badge.  Both men and women think the pins are unique and increase visibility for PCAVT.  When we inquired further into how the pins have helped their organization, they noted that because of Lucinda’s story, the pins have much more impact and have led to more support for their organization.   PCAVT said that there is greater connection between their donors when they hear how Lucinda was once homeless and went on to create an organization with a mission to give back.  The organization says that the people who wear the pins become ambassadors for Prevent Child Abuse Vermont through the conversations they start.  One teacher even said that “The Kid Pins are getting to be Vermont’s jewelry of choice.” Given this, we asked what outlets they use to sell the pins.  PCAVT said they use several distribution channels including stores, restaurants, conferences, schools, through volunteers, at their physical location and on their website www.pcavt.org.

One final statistic that the organization left us with was the number of Vermonters who have been impacted through their training programs in 2010- 37,532.  Quite a substantial number of people share their stories and life experiences so the trickle effect was far greater.  Thank you PCAVT for your good work and for partnering with us so that we can help in growing the number of people helped by your program.

Find the Secrets to Lucinda Pin Fundraising Success

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Reflecting on Lucinda Pin Performance for 2010
Asking the 5 W’s  reveals  insight to what worked and what didn’t.  Understanding the answers will help you plan for 2011.

1.  Who were your customers in 2010?  Break it down…Top customers…repeat customers… new customers.

2.  What pins did they buy in 2010?  How many did they buy?   What was the average number purchased over the number of customers?   Did you offer any specials that influenced buying habits such as $16 each or 2 for $30?  Was a particular pin style more popular than others?  Do you know why?  

3.  When did they buy?  Did they buy for a special occasion, or around a holiday or the end of school year? 

4.  Where did they shop with you?  Were the pin purchases made at a speaking event, a craft show, through a retail outlet, directly through your headquarters or on your website?

5.  Why did they buy?  Were pins purchased as gifts or for personal use?  Did they simply buy because they wanted to help your cause?  Did they buy because of the influence of the person selling them?  Was their purchase a response to a marketing campaign?  Engaging your customers as they buy provides you with tremendous information about them and is a fantastic opportunity to begin building a relationship.  We all know it’s all about relationships.

If you have the answers to these 5 questions you’ll be able to better determine if your pin program is meeting your expectations.  You will also be able to make the correct adjustments for the up coming year when you have a good understanding of the past.  Do more of what is working and less of what is not.

Even If you don’t know all the answers to the 5 W’s, remember it’s never too late to get things in order.
So start off on the right foot for 2011.  Pay attention to your customer and the marketplace.

As always Happy Fundraising!
Lucinda