Whether you’re a longtime Equal Exchange partner or you’re brand-new around here, we’re grateful for the hard work you put into serving or selling fairly traded products from small-scale farmers. But you can’t do it alone. You need allies! You need supporters! You need other people to care as much as you do!
This blog post collects resources that will help you spread the good news to others. It’s time to celebrate your past successes and let members of your community know why purchasing ethically sourced coffee and other products is worth doing!
Does your congregation publish a weekly or monthly bulletin? This can be a great venue for reminding folks about the fairly traded products you sell or serve at worship or meetings. We’ve made it super-easy with a template you can customize. Download the Full-Color e-Bulletin digital template or the Printable Bulletin Template for photocopying.
Want to create your own from scratch? Read this inspiring example of a personalized message and adapt it for your next bulletin or email.
Even though you’re committed to supporting fair trade and organic foods, it can be hard to articulate its importance! If you need to provide a quick introduction to someone who’s new to the concept, consider referring to our handy talking points documents. When folks purchase Equal Exchange products, they make a choice that’s better for small-scale farmers, for the environment, and for their own health. Now you can quickly communicate how and why.
This short version (in full color) of our Talking Points can be displayed as a sign.
The longer version (black and white) is double-sided and includes more detail.
How do you explain a complicated food system? Keep these infographics on hand! They provide a simple, visual way to present facts and show the true impact of ethical trade. Now you can go deeper into the specific issues that interest you and your community the most.
See where our coffee and chocolate comes from and hear the voices of the farmers and quality professionals who make it possible. These videos will take you around the world and behind the scenes at our roasting facility — and will even teach you to brew better coffee at home! We find that they work great for presentations or as social media shares.
Watch our most popular videos here.
Or take a deep dive into every video we’ve shared (on YouTube) here.
Your work matters to everyone in our supply chains. Thanks for your support, and for getting the word out!
What have you done to tell people about why you use fair trade? What resources do you wish we offered? Let us know in the comments!
Say hello to a far-away friend, wish a sick loved one a quick recovery, or help your favorite college student settle in — with a fair trade care package! These gift boxes are easy to put together and eminently customizeable. It’s fun to pick out small treats that you know the recipient will enjoy. If you’re feeling crafty, decorate the box and include personal photos! If you’re a baker, homemade cookies or other snacks make great additions. We love coming up with themed care packages, like the ones in this video:
A care package is a special gift you chose yourself! When you pack it with fairly traded and organic contents, you’re showing love for the recipient — and for small-scale farmers and the environment, too! We’ve built a few collections on our webstore to make sending a care package even simpler. Just click on the items you want, and they’ll be added to your cart.
Your church’s bulletin is a terrific way to let the people in your congregation know why you partner with Equal Exchange. And Fall is the perfect time for a reminder! But what to write?
Maybe an example will help! Here’s a bulletin insert shared by Peter Buck, who works at Equal Exchange and worships at Parish of the Sacred Heart in Roslindale, Massachusetts. Use it as inspiration. Or copy it — Peter doesn’t mind! Just insert your church’s name and the ways you serve or sell Equal Exchange in the second paragraph. Don’t forget to delete the brackets.
That Coffee the Hospitality Committee Buys
We’re all back from the summer. The kids are back in school, or soon will be; or our grandchildren have gone back home; and our jobs and activities are gearing up.
Here at [church name ], we’re getting back into our schedule, including [name of activity #1] and [name of activity #2], using fairly traded products from Equal Exchange.
Fellowship hour is important for building community; it brings us the opportunity to spend time together in the afterglow of worship. It also affords us the opportunity to build community with our neighbors across the world, by enjoying a cup of fairly traded coffee, tea or cocoa grown by small farmer communities and brought to us by Equal Exchange.
Why do we purchase our coffee from Equal Exchange?
Equal Exchange purchases coffee, tea, cocoa beans and other crops from forty communities in twenty countries. They pay a stable, above-market price; they purchase in advance of harvest (when farmers need the money) and collaborate, over the long term, in the sustainable development and empowerment of their partner communities. They sell their products through grocery stores and cafes, and through partnerships with a dozen religious denominations.
What does this have to do with church?
A lawyer asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asks him what is written in the law. Replies the lawyer: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus tells the lawyer he got it right. “And who is my neighbor?” says the lawyer.
Jesus replies with the parable of the Good Samaritan: A man is robbed, beaten and left for dead on the road to Jericho. A priest and a prominent citizen of his own community both see him and cross the road to avoid getting involved. But a Samaritan, a foreigner, a member of a despised community, stops and cares for the victim. So who was the real neighbor, asks Jesus. “The one who showed him mercy” replies the lawyer. “Go and do likewise.” says Jesus. (Luke 10:25-37)
Using fairly traded coffee, tea and other products is one of the many ways we can “Go and do likewise.”
While you’re here, why not download the Full-Color e-Bulletin digital template or the Printable Bulletin Template to add some visual appeal to your message? And read our other tips for spreading the word about Fair Trade.
Rally your troops to create a fundraising goal board and watch those dollars come in!
Creating a goal board as a team is a show of solidarity. It gets your group excited about your fundraiser so they can see exactly what the money means to your organization.
In addition, by showing that thermometer rising during your campaign, you can motivate supporters to buy more and help you reach – or exceed – your goal. So be sure to take pictures and share them frequently throughout your campaign. This invites your community to become part of your fundraiser. In turn, they’re more likely to share your news and progress. The more they share, the more people you’ll reach and the more money you can raise!
To get started, remember to order a free Equal Exchange goal poster when you request your fundraising catalogs (also free) as you sign-up for your fundraiser. The thermometer graphic is the perfect way to get started! The poster(s) will arrive with your catalogs so you can plan your goal board project on the day you hand out catalogs. What a way to kick off your fundraiser! If you wish to start making your goal board earlier, you can download the poster and just print it out. For more graphics, you can even print out other Equal Exchange educational resources.
The next step is to start gathering other materials. For inspiration, look at the supply list below. Keep in mind that it’s best to customize the goal board to be about your organization and what you need funding for. You can include information about your mission, Equal Exchange’s mission and anything else that will motivate!
Once you have your supplies together, be sure to have a specific dollar amount for your goal, what you’re raising money for (example: $9,000 for new lap tops) and the dates of your fundraising campaign.
We want to see! Share photos of the making of your goal board as well as your campaign’s progress with other Equal Exchange Fundraising Coordinators on Facebook. We look forward to watching you reach your goal!
The best way to set dates for your catalog fundraising campaign is to plan backwards!
As you know, the 40% profits you earn from our catalog program are immediate. You collect money as you sell, then simply pay wholesale pricing for your order. So the best way to plan your campaign dates is to pick the day that you want for people to receive their products.
This planning guide illustrates how create a successful schedule by allowing enough time for each step throughout your fundraiser. This way, you’ll have your delicious, organic and fairly traded Equal Exchange products when you want them!
Let’s say you want products from your catalog campaign distributed before December 25, 2018.
No matter the day, month or year for your campaign, you must make necessary adjustments for holidays and weekend days that fall into your timeline as they will affect shipping schedules.
Participants need time to pick up and distribute their orders before December 25th so you need to products to arrive sooner. Because the holiday season causes so many scheduling conflicts, we strongly urge you to allow plenty of time for you participants to pick up and distribute their orders and recommend you count back two weeks (skipping weekend days) and set your distribution day for December 10th.
We guarantee delivery within 10 business days so count backwards from December 10th (do not include weekend days or holidays), and send your catalog order to us before November 26th.
Please note: We highly recommend allowing as much time as possible for shipping, especially around the holidays. Orders too large for UPS require freight delivery, which may take more time. If you have any questions about shipping times, please call Customer Service at 774.776.7366. We’ll be happy to consult with you!
Allow 3 weeks for your fundraising campaign, but do not tell your team! Instead, allow them only two weeks to sell and turn in their orders to you. This way, you’ll eliminate unnecessary stress by giving yourself an extra week to collect late orders (you’ll be glad you did!) and send your order to us. So, counting back three weeks from when you have to send your order, your campaign’s start date is November 5th.
You’ll need catalogs and your fundraising goal board built before November 5th. Allow yourself a few weeks to receive all of your materials, build your customized goal board, plan your promotions and distribute catalogs. You need to order your catalogs and poster before October 19th!
TIP TO BOOST SALES – This is the perfect time to get your team excited for the campaign! Feel free to forward videos and other resources on our website. This can help you reach your fundraising goal faster.
This timeline example can get your order distributed properly before Christmas. For this time of year especially, you need to allow two and a half months to organize a smooth and successful fundraiser! This schedule did not take into account any unforeseen issue, such as a weather event, so do consider adding in even more time.
No matter when you plan to run your campaign, check one thing off your list today and reserve your catalogs now. Just tell us how many to send and when you want them by when you sign up. This way, there’s plenty of time for you to prepare for success!
Check out more tips for catalog fundraising to help you raise more money:
Do you have fundraising tips/ideas/photos that you’d like to share to help others succeed? Please join our conversation with other Equal Exchange Fundraising Organizers on Facebook.
Maybe you’re searching for ideas for what to do with leftover melted chocolate from another project or dessert. Or maybe your delicious bars suffered accidental hot-weather neglect and you need a way to use up the squishy, melted results. Never fear — chocolate is wonderfully versatile. We like using chocolate molds to turn liquefied chocolate into treats with a custom look.
Let these instructions be your guide as you melt (or re-melt), temper and form it into all kinds of creative shapes, right in your own kitchen. Break out of the square and try it today!
-A mold. You can buy specially-made candy molds in fun shapes online and in many retail stores. You can also try old-fashioned muffin tins or silicone ice cube trays. Another option is to position your favorite cookie cutters on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper!
-A microwave-safe bowl.
-A candy thermometer.
Real chocolate melts at just below 100° F. After it’s melted, it must be re-tempered, so that it will set correctly and retain its sheen and snap. You can do this at home! Chop up a bar and heat it in a bowl for 30 seconds at a time in your microwave at half-power, stopping to stir every time the microwave beeps. When all the chocolate is completely melted, heat it in short bursts to bring it to 115° F. Keep track with the candy thermometer. Then, stirring the chocolate continuously, allow it to cool to 90° F.
Pour or spoon the melted the chocolate into your mold. A gentle shaking motion can help the chocolate work into corners and crevices. If you’re making lollipops, this is when you insert the stick! Twist to coat the stick to help it adhere to the chocolate, and then lay it flat in the stick-channel of the mold.
For this step, patience is required! Set your mold or baking sheet in the freezer, making sure it’s level. Your candy will be ready to pop out in 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the mold. Wipe off any excess moisture with a paper towel and enjoy!
As with all fine chocolate, make sure to store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
… not that there will be any leftovers.
If you’ve mastered chocolate molds, you may like our post on Chocolate Covered Strawberries.
Or sign up for our biweekly newsletter to get all the latest fair trade recipes.
That was simple! Now, enjoy your Cold Brew Lime Daiquiri. Cheers!
Our new Fundraising Catalog is here! It’s time for your organization to join other community groups, schools, clubs and non-profits and help small-scale farmers succeed while funding your important programs.
Get free fundraising catalogs and posters when you sign up!
Keep your fundraiser on track with the new pull-out, color-as-you-go Goal Tracker thermometer.
Friends, family and supporters can now easily see the fundraising progress throughout your campaign. They’ll want to help participants reach their goals faster. (To determine how much each participant needs to raise, take your overall fundraising goal and divide it by the number of participants. To get an idea of what Equal Exchange products will get them to their goal, use our profit calculator.)
On the back cover, you can now find a cool, blank Doodle Space. Here, each fundraiser can personalize their own catalog by writing or drawing a message to describe what the funds mean to them.
Both interactive tools are designed to engage more people throughout your fundraising campaign to help you raise more money.
Fundraising tip: Ask your fundraisers to photograph their interactive features throughout your campaign so you can share with your community. Post on your social media channels, website, e-news, texts, and anywhere else you can think of to reach your supporters to help raise more money!
We can’t wait to see how much you raise for your organization with our new catalog! Remember, each purchase helps you raise money while also supporting small-scale farmers. The more you raise, the more you help.
The EE Fundraising Organizer’s group is a great place to exchange ideas and help other fundraisers be successful! Join us on Facebook. And, don’t forget to take advantage of our educational resources throughout your campaign.
For over ten years, the Catholic parish of St. Mary of the Angels in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, has been a constant and significant supporter of Equal Exchange and the farmers we represent. St. Mary’s serves Equal Exchange coffee at fellowship after Mass and re-sells thousands of dollars’ worth of coffee, chocolate and other products at quarterly table sales.
A significant number of parishioners at St. Mary’s are originally from the Dominican Republic, where Equal Exchange has a close and longstanding relationship with CONACADO, the National Confederation of Dominican Cacao Producers. CONACADO has supplied us with cacao for our chocolate bars for 13 years. A coincidence a few years ago illustrated the importance of the Dominican connection. When an Equal Exchange staffer was at St. Mary’s presenting some Power Point slides of farmer-members of CONACADO, one of the parishioners in the audience pointed to a slide and cried out “That’s my cousin!”
On a recent Sunday after Mass, Abel Fernandez, one of the founders of CONACADO, spoke at St. Mary’s, to a mostly Dominican audience. He related the history of his cooperative, from its beginning in 1985 with 700 members and and growth to its current size of over 10,000; and its effect on the Dominican cacao industry. Before CONACADO, he said, Dominican cacao was of low quality, and mostly sold for a below-market price to candy companies in the United States. The industry was controlled by a few processors who set the “take-it-or-leave-it” price.
CONACADO changed the industry in the Dominican Republic in many ways. They:
The cooperative offers farmers an alternative to the oligopoly of fat-cat processors. Currently, about a quarter of the Dominican Republic’s small cacao farmers are members of CONACADO.
Abel’s presentation was accompanied by chocolate croissants and a chocolate fountain, both made with Equal Exchange chocolate. The fountain also used Equal Exchange organic and fairly traded bananas for dipping—it was a big hit with the children.