Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Shrek Puts a Fresh Scrub on Fundraising: The Bee-Clean Program

Bee CleanBee CleanThe fundraising divisions of Waxie Sanitary Supply and Dial Corporation are working with the most popular film star of this and many summers to come: SHREK! Capitalizing on a big green ogre with a heart of gold for the fundraising market was a stroke of genius. Shrek's appeal to children of all ages should provide suds and bubbles beyond anything that's floated down the fundraising pipeline in quite some time.

The Bee-Clean Fundraising Program was recently announced by Waxie and Dial at the PTA Convention where our Editor In Chief, Annie Van Bebber, came across this new program and thought it represented a unique and unprecedented fundraising opportunity. Shrek II proved even more popular than its predecessor, Shrek. Both animated films were created by DreamWorks studio and have earned places on the "Top Ten Highest Grossing Films of All Time" list.

Ron Johnson of Waxie was the mastermind behind the Bee-Clean Fundraising Program. He understood the need for a no-nonsense approach to fundraising. He contacted The Dial Corporation to build a program that features healthy products that people really use. Patrick Marcanio, from Dial, immediately saw the potential of a team effort between the two companies, and together built the program. When Dial solidified its partnership with Dream Works, Shrek became a natural for the fundraising sector. Marcanio immediately saw the potential of a team effort between the two companies. The rest, as they say, will soon be history.

Beyond the novelty of using an animated character as front-man for a fundraising program, Johnson and Marcanio hammered out the logistics of a mutually beneficial arrangement. Waxie wanted to launch a high-profile fundraising program and Dial remains open to intriguing opportunities to heighten their visibility and increase sales.

One of Johnson's first moves was to involve Opportunity Village, the number one charity in the Las Vegas area. Opportunity Village provides employment and recreation for mentally handicapped adults. Johnson says, "They employ 1,500 individuals and provide an amazing service to Las Vegas." Participants of the employment program at Opportunity Village help package products for the Bee-Clean Fundraising Program.

Dial ShrekDial ShrekIn addition, Johnson turned a keen eye to unused resources and his company's bottom line. "We have a distribution center in Las Vegas, but our hub is in Ontario, California. Trucks were coming back to Ontario empty." He thought, "They might as well be coming back full of fundraising products." Enlisting the services of Opportunity Village allowed trucks to be carrying payloads in both directions.

Johnson remembers the satisfaction of having DreamWorks approve the program that was submitted through Dial. For their product launch, at the California PTA Convention, Dial hired a licensed Shrek professional actor to pose with attendees for photographs. Attendees were thrilled with the "Oh So Hollywood," photo opportunity.

Another brainchild of Johnson's was the inclusion of a coupon package in each fundraising product sold. He and Marcanio worked out the details. Johnson remembers, "I wanted the coupons because I felt they added value to the fundraising product and that was important to me." He felt the coupons were good for Dial because they provided an untapped Coupon Distribution Network that had the potential of high returns. Johnson explains, "There's a $5.00 coupon pack with each product sold through the Bee-Clean Fundraising Program." The coupons are tracked by Dial and participating schools receive five percent of the face value of the coupon as an added incentive for their fundraising endeavor.

Johnson feels their strongest selling point is really great, top quality products. He says, "There's no junk being offered through our program. These are well known national brands. They're products that people already use." He says, "This represents a 'full value' fundraising project which may not be as sexy as some fundraising catalogs full of cool looking stuff." Adding, "But, it has great value on a practical level."

Sponge BobSponge BobMarcanio injects some humor into the discussion, acknowledging that "tension filled moment" when parents pull out a fundraising program at their office or family gathering. "You can often see people scattering when the fundraising topic comes up. We've all been there." He also points out, "This program offers items everyone in the office can use, at low price points to make it easy for co-workers to support." He's excited about offering products that people use on a daily basis and giving them an opportunity to support a charitable group while buying them.

On a practical level, Marcanio sees many pluses for Dial. "The coupon packages include discounts and free samples on products that may be new to consumers." Dial is offering coupons for Armour Meats, Purex, Tone, Renuzit, Coast and of course America's #1 name in Antibacterial Soap, Dial. He says, "This may provide an incentive for customers to try new products and should help drive retail sales."

Both Johnson and Marcanio agree that value is one of their biggest concerns. Marciano says, "Many of the products available through the fundraising channel are offered at prices comparable to retail. Of course, some discount retailers may offer the same products at reduced prices, but overall, it's a good value."

All of the items offered through the Bee-Clean Fundraising Program are available through retailers. Yet, Marcanio sees the fundraising program as a way to introduce potential customers to new products. "They may take a closer look at new items like the foaming hand wash soap or the Tone bar with cocoa butter if they're presented as a way to support a charitable group."

"We're trying to introduce some freshness to the fundraising market," says Marcanio. He says reactions from PTA conventions in California and Texas have been overwhelmingly positive. He was impressed by the organization and range of products offered at the PTA conventions. One thing he heard from more than one parent: "We want fundraising products that are healthy and don't have to be dusted at the end of the month."

Creative marketing concepts and value added products aside, most organizations searching for fundraising programs are looking for one thing offered by the Bee-Clean Fundraising Program: A way to "clean-up" in the increasingly competitive fundraising market. Memories of Shrek, Fiona and Donkey will entice children. Marcanio and Johnson believe parents will be thrilled to raise money while getting their kids to scrub-a-dub-dub.

For more information, visit Bee-Clean Fundraising.


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