Ballet 5:8 is on “Pointe” with Fundraising

We love to celebrate our many fundraising catalog partners. Each participating group makes a direct and positive impact on farming families across the globe as they offer their products to their communities. For this, we thank you! 

Ballet 5:8 logo

Ballet 5:8 is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based outside of Chicago. They’ve been partnering with our catalog program for over 5 years, raising $10,126 for their organization in that time! Successful fundraising is a crucial part of their mission to bring high-quality ballet performances and educational programs throughout Chicago and beyond. They take fundraising very seriously.

Photograph of Amy Sanderson, Executive Director of Ballet 5:8, Fundraising CoordinatorBallet 5:8’s Executive Director Amy Kozol Sanderson offered her insights about the nonprofit’s continued success with our fundraising catalog program. We asked Amy why an Equal Exchange fundraiser matches up so well with their organization. Here’s what she said:

Fundraising Tips from Ballet 5:8

Coffee and chocolate are great items that everybody loves! The items available in the catalog are great options especially for families that eat healthy and wouldn’t order other products such as frozen cookie dough.

We appreciate the generous profit margin of 40% that is available for nonprofit fundraisers. Many other similar fundraiser options only donate back 10-15%. The 40% makes this fundraiser very worthwhile for the time and effort of everyone involved.

The funds go directly to our dance education center, Ballet 5:8’s School of the Arts. This helps us keep our tuition low and accessible to community members of all walks of life, so all can reap the benefits of high quality dance education. The funds also help support our scholarship programs for students in particular financial need, as well as our professional-quality ballet performances, which we also work to keep accessible to our local community through low ticket prices and donated tickets. We are huge advocates of the ways the fine arts can strengthen and inspire communities!

Image of young students with teacher at Ballet 5:8

Planning and Promoting Raises More

We make sure to communicate very clearly to families about our mission and the nature of our organization as a 501(c)3 nonprofit that relies partially on donated funding. From there, with the enthusiasm about our mission, we communicate clearly on how families can help out with the fundraiser. Communication includes fliers and handouts, emails, and in-person reminders from instructors and staff people.

We ask each of the families participating on our dance education programs to take part in the fundraiser, and we give out prizes related to our school – Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts swag like t-shirts, and tickets to our upcoming Nutcracker production for the top sellers as an incentive to sell more.

Image shows students practicing at Ballet 5:8Organizational Tips

We’ve found it is best to have one person in charge of collecting orders and inputting them into the order spreadsheet; this minimizes typos and other errors. Make sure to double check once everything is in. Then, when it comes to sorting the orders, make sure to have plenty of volunteers ready to help! We’ve found there are usually some human error made during the sorting process, but it helps if the volunteer coordinator and the volunteers all know to keep going back to re-check sorted orders until they find the problem. Most of the time it can be spotted even if it’s on the 3rd or 4th try!

We have several office staff people who are involved in organizing. As mentioned earlier, having enough hands to help is crucial, but for the sake of organization and accuracy it is also helpful to have specific, individual people in charge of each area of responsibility.


Thank you Amy and Ballet 5:8! Your fundraising success is also a huge win for small farmers. Keep up the outstanding work!

What has worked for your organization? Let us know in the comments below or share with other Equal Exchange Fundraising organizers on Facebook. If you or someone you know would like to receive more fundraising tips and news from Equal Exchange, click here and sign up for our e-newsletters. 

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Sandy Davis

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