A product placement guide for easy distribution.

Image shows a variety of Equal Exchange chocolate bars set on table with fundraising catalogs.

Distribution day is the day your participants and supporters have been waiting for! They’ve been anxious to see – and finally taste – the delicious, organic and fairly traded goodies that they purchased during your catalog fundraising campaign.

You’ve wrapped up your fundraiser and submitted your master order form. Now, it’s time to prepare space to receive your group’s shipment so that you — and any helpers you’ve recruited — can separate individual orders and package them up for supporters to take home! If you set up tables before the shipment arrives, you can avoid handling all the products twice by simply placing them where they need to be for distribution as you check them in. In order to accomplish this, you need to know the sizes of the products to make a spot for them all. This kind of visual guide for product placement is called a plan-o-gram or a schematic.

Prepare Your Space

Fundraising orders that are approximately $2,000 will require at least four tables that are four feet in length or longer. Larger orders will likely need more space. If you can, avoid placing your tables against the wall as you may need the room behind (and under) them to stack extra cases of product. Also, leave enough room between the tables so you can comfortably walk around them during distribution.

Allocate one table per product category and place them in the same order as they appear in the fundraising catalog:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Coffee
  3. Tea/Cocoa
  4. Foods/Gift Boxes

Using separate pieces of paper, write the name of each product in the fundraising catalog (products may vary from example below) and place them, in the same order, on the matching product tables. (In the unlikely event an item was not ordered, still place a note to mark its place so people can follow along the order form with ease.)

Once every product is indicated, use the diagrams below to plan the space on the table tops so everything fits. Arranging things in the same order as the catalog will expedite distribution and help eliminate mistakes.  This is true whether you and your helpers prepare orders for each participant or whether you plan an assembly-line for distribution day where supporters pick up the products themselves. Should you choose the latter, be aware that more errors can occur –plan extra supervision to ensure all products go home with the correct people!  

All measurements below are approximate. Products are measured from left to right.

Diagram shows distribution table set up for Equal Exchange chocolate.  Chocolate needs approximately 40” of table space.

  • Chocolate Bar – 3.25” wide per bar (7 items)
  • Collection Bar Collection – 6.5”  wide 
  • Chocolate Minis – 6” wide per box (2 items)

Diagram shows distribution table set up for Equal Exchange coffee.

Coffee needs approximately 46” of table space.

  • Individual Coffee Bags – 4” (5 bags)
    • To reduce errors, indicate “ground” or “whole bean” on the coffee identifier notes.
  • Coffee Lover’s Gift Box – 10.5” – Indicate this item on the table with a note, but store it behind and/or below the table.
  • Single Serve Cups – 6” (3 boxes)
  • 5lb Bulk Bag – 8“ 

Diagram shows distribution table set up for Equal Exchange tea and hot cocoa.

Tea and Hot Cocoa will need approximately 40” of table space

  • Individual Tea Box – 3” (4 boxes)
  • Tea Sampler – 10.5”
  • Hot Cocoa – 3.5” (3 cans)
  • Cocoa Sampler – 4.5” (To stack, lay this long, narrow box down on the table.)

Diagram shows distribution table set up for Equal Exchange foods and gift boxes.

Other Food & Gift Box Collections need approximately 40” of table space. And more.Image shows a gift box of Equal Exchange products.

  • Baker’s Gift Box – 10.5”
  • Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips Bag – 8.5”
  • Olive Oil – 4.5”wide (Plan 9” for two spots)
  • Complete Fair Trader Gift Box – 15”
  • Crowd Please Gift Box – 9.5” – If you have a four foot table, there is not enough space for this gift box so you will need to store it next to, underneath or behind the table.

We hope this guide helps you prepare enough space so you can have your best distribution day ever!

Do you have tips or photos to share from your distribution day? If so, please help others by sharing them in our small group of Equal Exchange Fundraising Coordinators on Facebook.

If you’re in the early stages planning your campaign, here are tips on Logistics and Collecting Orders. Also, we provide insights for schools to distribute their orders per class room which are helpful for any fundraising organizer.

About The Author

Sandy Davis

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