When you start a gift basket business, you can bet that requests for donations will arrive. It will happy most times online and in person at events where you display your beautiful collections.
Every request comes with a slogan.
- Help the church fundraiser
- Keep the charity open
- Send a kid to camp
You want to be helpful and giving and all things wonderful to every group. However, you’ll find that accepting every request will deplete your inventory and put you out of business.
That won’t stop the appeals. You’ve closed your doors due to your own mismanagement, but the requests still arrive. Once you’re on the roster, there’s no deleting your business name.
What do you get in return for giving? What – no one told you that it’s okay to want something back, and you haven’t figured that out on your own? If not, you’ve been brainwashed. There’s a cure for that.
There’s nothing wrong with donating gift baskets. It’s your call which charities receive what you create.
The groups I assist are the ones I believe in because of a situation associated with a family, friend, or me.
Why I donate
I’m a recipient of blood donations provided during surgery. Because of that, I donate blood when possible and will also provide gift baskets for blood drives in my area.
You probably have a similar story from the past that connects you with supporting a certain event that helps health, education, sports, or other focus. If a group contacts you for a donation, you emotionally connect with the need and give without reservation.
Other charities will learn of your generosity, and believe me, they will come calling wanting the same treatment.
How do you decide who will get and who to turn down? How do you turn them down without feeling guilty?
You must create boundaries in your gift basket business that allow you to make these decisions. If you don’t, you will be stressed from all the “give to us” requests. It tends to overwhelm you, especially during the holidays when you’re taking care of paying clients.
One designer who recently scheduled a coaching call with me asked for guidance on donations. Schools and summer programs have bombarded her with requests. She wanted to respond with care rather than with an abrupt and mean-spirited answer.
I not only provided her with a script for when calls arrive but also created a paper document for her to qualify each organization. That’s the type of service every coaching client receives from me.
When you qualify a group, you separate the real charities from the ones that don’t have their paperwork in order. You are letting them know that you mean business and are not a hobbyist. Donation requests dry up when you tell a charity you want proof about the organization.
Party with Prospects
One more thing about charities. They often hold lavish parties bringing their benefactors together. That’s where your gift basket is displayed. Your beautiful design is present, but you’re not. How can this be?
- Those benefactors are part of your prospect list
- You can’t meet them if you’re not at the party
- No one will call you to order – trust me on this
Getting in to such parties is one of the most-overlooked opportunities for gift basket designers nationwide, and that includes you. Have you attended such parties? I have, and it’s a blast in terms of fun and connections that lead to an avalanche of corporate sales.
You can’t get into the party without asking the right person, and it’s not who you think. The designer I mentored during our one hour call now knows what to do for the charitable events held in her area this summer. Do you?
Summer is just about here, and the holidays will arrive soon after. What’s your plan for turning charitable gift baskets into a sales bonanza?