Congratulations to all of the groups who ran a successful fundraiser this fall! We are excited to share some customer photos from this fundraising season. Thank you to all those who participated and supported small farmers and authentic Fair Trade through your efforts!
Photos submitted by Jessica Swan, the fundraising organizer at Cien Aguas International School.
Photos taken by Pam Barclay and Anne Pacheco from St. Martin of Tours Academy.
Now that the fundraising is over and your kitchen is stocked with fairly traded ingredients, it’s time to get cooking! Here are six recipes that will impress your holiday guests or shine at the party potluck!
In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and form into a thick dough. If the dough is soft, wrap it in plastic and chill for 1/2 hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and butter a baking sheet. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness and cut into shapes. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, sprinkle with confectioners sugar, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the centers of the cookies are firm. With a spatula, transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
These crisp chocolate wafers may be rolled out and cut into shapes suitable for any festivity. Store the cookies in a tin with a tight-fitting lid to keep them fresh. (Yields 18)
From the Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favorites, published by Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. 1996.
Fill your mug with your milk of choice – pour milk into a pot. Add 1 heaping Tbsp. of both high-quality sugar and Equal Exchange Organic Baking Cocoa (or to taste). Whisk together.
Place on stove on low heat, constantly stirring with whisk. Do not let boil or stick the bottom of pot. When it’s hot enough for your taste and all has been dissolved, pour into mug and enjoy!
Lilla Woodham, Equal Exchange Customer Service Representative and a professional baker, shares this traditional recipe
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch baking pan.
Melt butter and the 1 large chocolate bar in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until smooth. Add olive oil. Remove from heat, cool to lukewarm. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, beat well, until mixture is thoroughly mixed and glossy.
Stir remaining ingredients into the chocolaty mix.
Pour batter in pan and even out. Insert the minis into the batter at an angle in a spoke or other even pattern. Cover with a thin layer of batter. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a fork/knife/toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.
Yields 9 generous servings.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix milk, banana, egg and vanilla until well combined. Stir into the bowl of dry ingredients. Add in ¼ cup of the chocolate chips.
Spray your griddle with cooking oil and place over medium heat. Pour batter onto the griddle into the pancake size you desire.
Cook for about 2 minute, or until the tops begin to bubble. Then, flip the pancake and cook for another minute or until golden. Work your way through the batter, reapplying cooking spray as needed.
Top your pancakes with more chocolate chips and serve.
Adapted from Food.com
Use your regular recipe for the chili base. As you near the end of cooking your chili, add any of the products with either the suggested serving sizes, or be creative and adapt to how much chili you are making and what you like.
Amount to add:
10 – 12 people = about 1 to 2 heaping tablespoons
15 – 20 people = about 3 to 4 heaping tablespoons
25 – 30 people = about 5 or so heaping tablespoons, depending on your taste
Shared by Phil Berry, Equal Exchange Customer Service Representative.
For the batter:
For the filling:
For the frosting:
For Batter: Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking soda) and then add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Mix well. Put cupcake papers in a muffin tin and fill 1/2 full with the batter.
For Filling: Cream together cream cheese, egg, sugar, and salt, and stir in chocolate. Put a spoonful of filling into center of each cup of batter.
Bake at 350F / 180C for about 25 minutes.
While cupcakes are baking, whip up the frosting. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy.Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Frost the cupcakes after they’ve had time to fully cool.
Makes about 32 cupcakes. Contributed by Katie Hanson, Davenport, IA from a 1960s church cookbook in North Dakota.
Products in red are Equal Exchange products.
Adapted from equalexchange.coop/recipes.
It’s easy to find fair trade holiday gifts for family and friends! Our gift boxes are pre-assembled and packed with delicious products that will fill any home with good cheer.
Explore our gift box selections below! We can help you decide which is the best gift to give the special people on your list.
Enjoy a little of everything with this gift box of customer favorites. It includes some of our bestsellers in each product category and is perfect if you want to give a gift with variety.
Includes: 2 Chocolate Bars, 1 Coffee, 1 Tea, 1 Cocoa
“I ordered this product for my grandparents as a holiday gift and they were absolutely smitten! […] As for the products, they loved the presentation and variety available. This is something I would definitely recommend as an excellent gift for loved ones.”
-Webstore Review of the Crowd Pleaser Gift Box
This one is for all the chocolate lovers in your life! Give them the gift of 9 different organic chocolate bars which range from our Milk Chocolate to our Extreme Dark Chocolate 88% bar. This box includes flavors like Mint and Almond, as well as customer favorites like our Dark and Milk Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt bars.
Includes: 7 Dark Chocolate Bars & 2 Milk Chocolate Bars
“I love dark chocolate in the 50-65% cacao range, and this gift box is perfect for that! I bought them for myself as a Christmas gift! Others I have gifted them to in the past have loved them, too!”
-Webstore Review of the Chocolate Bar Collection Box
Want to customize your gift boxes? There’s tons of potential to make the perfect gift for anyone! For inspiration, take a look at some of the baskets we put together.
Believe it or not, the holiday season is the perfect time for a fundraiser. People are on the lookout for great gifts and will be happy to support your fundraiser while taking care of their holiday shopping. We have 6 ideas for how to make your holiday fundraiser festive, fun and successful!
1. Decorate! If you are having a table to promote your fundraiser and give out samples, use a festive tablecloth, decorate your table with lights, or set up a small basket to highlight our products and get people in the gift-giving mindset.
2. Deck the halls! Use Equal Exchange’s display materials, make them festive and display around your table or in your school hallways. Draw on holly or snowflakes, add a holiday border using old wrapping paper, or apply graphics from an old greeting card.
4. Emphasize how well the products work as gifts. Coffee, chocolate, cocoa and tea are universally-appreciated kitchen essentials, and ours are organic, fairly traded and exceptionally delicious! As gifts, these products say that you care about quality, taste and sourcing.
5. Share the mission. Make sure your community knows that your fundraiser benefits both your community and farming communities worldwide. These products support equitable, alternative supply chains, environmental stewardship and democratic co-operatives — and that’s something to get excited about! Our downloadable tools will help you explain Equal Exchange’s mission and trade practices.*
6. Make distributing the products fun! Turn distribution into a fun and festive group activity with just a few craft supplies. Set up a table in your distribution room with construction paper, ribbon, markers, glitter glue or whatever else appeals to you. After the participants collect their products, encourage them to visit the crafts table and decorate! They can wrap their coffee or tea so they are ready to give as gifts, create a card to put inside the gift boxes, or even dress their chocolate bars up like snowmen! Check out more DIY craft ideas here.
7. Send a holiday message. Before your school break, send a holiday message of good cheer and gratitude by email or on Facebook. Thank everyone for participating and wish them a happy holiday and new year! Encourage people to send in photos of them giving their gifts to family and friends. Next year, you can share these with your community and show how much these gifts meant to the people that received them.
If you have not signed up for your fundraiser yet, click here to get started!
*If you plan on including the photos in printed materials, please include “Photo courtesy of Equal Exchange”.
There are lots of opportunities to raise money while supporting authentic Fair Trade. Here are some suggestions to try out with your community group, school, club, or congregation.
A table sale can be very effective if you are interested in running a special fundraiser on your school campus or at your congregation. You get wholesale case prices when you order from Equal Exchange and then you can mark individual items up, keeping the profit. We recommend selling the products at 1.5 times the cost that you purchased them for, but you can go higher or lower depending on your fundraising goal. Here is our guide to best-selling products, suggested order quantities and mark-ups.
If you’re looking to hold a table sale on campus, think about setting up the table outside a sports game, in your dining hall, or at a concert or festival. Fair Trade Month (October) and Earth Day (April) are great times to sell. Promotion is key with this type of fundraiser. Put up posters letting people know where, when, and what they can purchase. Post on social media and share our short videos leading up to the sale and during the sale. And don’t forget to let everyone know what you are raising money for. Giving out samples like our bite-sized chocolate minis will attract people to your table.
If you are looking to hold a table sale at your congregation, consider doing so after services. Put a notice in the bulletin, explaining more about the mission of Equal Exchange and your fundraising efforts. The perfect time to have your first table sale is around the holidays when people are looking for ethically-sourced, quality gifts like olive oil, chocolate and coffee. Check out this blog post with tips for holding a holiday sale.
Create a new tradition by putting together a community-wide fundraising event! This is a great way to get your everyone involved in a fun and ethical way. From bake sales highlighting fair trade ingredients, to silent auctions of Fair Trade gift baskets to a walk-a-thon serving fairly traded iced coffee and tea, there are many events you can create. One of our favorite fundraiser event ideas is hosting a coffee and chocolate pairing event and charging a small admission fee for participants who get to sample a few different varieties of chocolates paired with different roast levels of coffee! Setting up a DIY Hot Chocolate Bar and charging a few dollars per mug is also a fun way to earn some money.
With an event, you have a platform to share more about your group and why you are raising money. While you can include this on posters and social media posts, at an event you can meet people face-to-face who are interested in helping your group. This is a great opportunity to share more about your group, your mission and how the fundraising event will help your group achieve your goals.
Identifying and communicating the “why” regarding why people should support your group and why these products are special is the key to success. Here are some talking points to get you started on the product side.
However you decide to fundraise, we hope you reach your goals, share your mission and engage your community through positive action!
You already know how important it is to care for the environment through conservation and smart buying choices. Another great way you can make small but impactful changes is with your fundraiser! Here are a few tips to make your fundraiser more eco-friendly.
PDF Catalog: Use less paper by sending out the PDF version of our catalog instead of handing out the print version. Folks can easily browse the product selection and fundraiser info online!
Email Orders: Encourage people to submit their orders via email! We have created an Excel version of the order form that is included with the print catalog. Participants can fill out this order form and then email it to you, the organizer. Not only will this save paper, it’ll make your process easier: instead of typing every order into the Master Order Form, you can simply copy and paste the information from the “Subtotals” column into the Master Order Form.
Below is the template for an email you can send along with the PDF catalog to introduce your fundraiser, your monetary goals and what you are raising the money for.
We are kicking off our annual fall fundraiser! This year we are partnering with Equal Exchange, a worker-owned co-operative that sells fairly traded, organic products sourced small-scale farmers from across the globe.
We are offering delicious chocolate, coffee, cocoa, tea, gift box assortments and more! The items are reasonably priced and our group makes 40% of the profit on every product we sell.
Our group’s fundraising goal is $X,XXX.
Together we can raise the funds to support:
This year, we are going eco-friendly and will be using an online version of the fundraising catalog. Please consider saving paper by sending out the PDF version of the catalog to family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues who will be purchasing items.
We have also attached the order form to this email. You will fill out one column per customer. Once you have collected all your orders, please email this to me at [Enter Email]. Order forms are due on [Enter Date].
Please make sure you collect the payment at the time of the order. Customers may pay by cash or by check. If they decide to pay by check, they can make it out to [Name of your School/Organization]. Please also turn this in on [Enter Date].
Thank you for your support and please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns!
Instead of hanging posters throughout the hallways of your school, use social media to promote your fundraiser. Here are some tips on how to promote your fundraiser online.
If you’d prefer to hand out the hard copy version of the catalogs, that is okay too! The catalogs are recyclable, so please make sure you communicate that with participants and your fundraising helpers. At the end of your fundraiser when you are distributing the products, make sure that you recycle all the boxes and packing paper .
Go one step further and share information with your participants about how to recycle our bags and wrappers, some of which have special requirements due to the nature of the products. Listed below is the recycling and composting information for each product.
Chocolate Wrappers: The outer paper wrapper is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and also recyclable. If your local recycling center accepts No. 5 plastics, then the white plastic wrapper is recyclable.
Single Serve Cups: The cup is #5 recyclable plastic. The aluminum lid is recyclable and the filter is 88% compostable.
Tea Bags: The tea, bag, tag, and string are compostable. If the tea leaves are removed from the bag, the bag, tag, and string can be recycled.
Coffee Bags: To maintain freshness and quality, we use a foil and poly bag with a degassing valve in both applications. Unfortunately, there are no recyclable coffee bags available that can provide a needed barrier to keep coffee fresh.
Just by choosing Equal Exchange’s organic products, you are supporting environmental stewardship and eco-friendly practices. Not only do organic farming methods protect farmers, the land and you from harmful chemicals, they contribute to healthier ecosystems, biodiversity and farm resilience.
As part of our alternative trade partnerships, farmers receive above-market prices for their crops along with an additional premium. These funds help farmers invest in their land, from farm renovation projects, to development of organic materials, to sustainability projects and more.
For example, our Peruvian cacao partners at Oro Verde are currently working hard to identify high quality, productive and disease-resistant cacao trees to build up an elite tree program allowing them to provide their farmers with improved varieties for the future. This includes a reforestation project that involves planting two million trees to help the co-op achieve a carbon footprint of zero! Learn about the work that our farmer partners are doing in their communities here.
For the past two years, we have had the pleasure of partnering with Mattole Valley Charter School at the Mt. Shasta Learning Center in California for their Fair Trade fundraiser. With just two fundraisers, they raised almost $5,500 which was used towards classroom art supplies and field trips throughout the year, including trips to a pumpkin patch, an indoor climbing studio, Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay Exploration Park, and much more.
We wanted to hear more about this school’s impressive and inspiring fundraising efforts, so we spoke with Claudia Carpenter, the fundraising organizer, about her school and the Equal Exchange fundraiser.
“For the past two years, I have truly enjoyed supporting our school program with an Equal Exchange fundraiser! Our students, parents, and teachers especially like participating in a fundraiser where they can sell products that are socially and environmentally sustainable in support of small farmers around the world. Everything about the fundraiser lends itself to education. We can study geography, commerce, fair trade, the origin of food products. There are so many related topics that can lead to interesting educational discussions and activities for all ages.
We have a very small group of only 30 students in our elementary program from kindergarten to 8th grade. Yet, with Equal Exchange, the students have been able to raise enough money for all our field trips for the entire year. Our students are able to enjoy programs and activities such as live theater performances, nordic skiing, ice skating, science and art projects, and camping trips. The kids like the chocolate too!”
Congratulations to Mattole Valley Charter School on their successful fundraising efforts!! Below are some photos of the students at Mattole Valley Charter School enjoying their field trips!
If you’re interested in running your own Equal Exchange catalog fundraiser, you can find out more information and sign-up on our website.
This year marks the 11th anniversary of Equal Exchange’s Fundraising Program! The program started with Virginia Berman, a co-owner and the Organizing Director at Equal Exchange at the time. One of the roles of the Organizing Department was to find supporters of Equal Exchange and provide them with the resources to spread the word about authentic Fair Trade, and conscious consumerism.
Equal Exchange’s Organizing Team began receiving requests from parents for a fundraising catalog. Some parents had been fundraising on their own with Equal Exchange products, but many parents had trouble convincing their PTAs to choose Equal Exchange without the benefit of a traditional catalog.
In response to requests, an entrepreneurial member of the Organizing team, Julia Khodebandeh put together Equal Exchange’s first fundraising catalog and the school fundraising program was born! Equal Exchange co-director Rob Everts, was excited to reach a younger audience and create educational resources for teachers and parents to use alongside the fundraiser.
The first catalog included just four products: two coffees and two cocoas! Still, the program gained momentum right away through word of mouth. Parents talked to other parents, shared the Equal Exchange mission, and the program kept growing! By year four, it was thriving.
Through the years, the catalog and program expanded, largely in part to strong relationships with like-minded organizations and groups. Two relationships that were integral to the success of the program were with the Montessori Schools and the New York State United Teachers. Both relationships helped us reach new groups of individuals and helped put our shared social justice mission into action. These relationships helped us boost our sense of purpose and fine tune the educational aspects of our program. We were also very lucky to have partnered with Ten Thousand Villages for six years, offering fairly traded crafts as part of our fundraising catalog. With this partnership, we were able to offer communities more ways to support farmers and artisans through their purchases.
One of the best aspects about the fundraising program is that it is constantly innovating! Over the last 11 years, the program has never been stagnant — we are always thinking of new ways to help make fundraising easier for our customers and to keep things fresh and exciting.
We’re proud to offer a fundraising option for schools and groups that they can feel good about bringing to their communities. In particular, we’re pleased to offer parents and educators tools to help introduce their students to the important concepts of Fair Trade, conscious consumerism, climate change, gender equality, income equality, and so much more.
While thinking about the future, we continue to ask ourselves how can we get to the next level and establish a greater presence in the fundraising world. We also continue to ask ourselves how we can improve our process to make things easier for participants. Beyond that, we hope to reach new audiences and create more incentives, materials, and guides for the groups that are currently using our program.
One idea that we are interested in bringing back is the creation of a fundraising advisory team, made up of parents and administrators who will gather ideas and provide us with insights about what their schools, friends, children, and community are looking for out of this fundraiser.
Thank you to Virginia Berman and Rob Everts for reflecting on the past 11 years of the program with me! I started in this position about a year and a half ago, so it was a great experience to learn more about its beginnings, how it has changed throughout the years, and what they would like to see in the program’s future.
Virginia Berman has moved on from Equal Exchange and has created her own organization called Invent Boston. One of the inspirations for her starting her own company was experiencing the everyday challenges of running a home, with jam packed schedules. Here is a information about her first product, Toothbrush Timer, a Two Minute Turtle, which was created to make brushing teeth easier for children and parents. You can find out more about her organization on her website. We wish her well!
The school year has just begun, your fundraising kickoff is coming up, and all the logistics are figured out. Now it’s time to start building some excitement! Putting up posters in the hallways, sending out emails to parents, and offering samples at Back to School Night are great places to start. But there is more that needs to be done to make sure that kids are excited to start selling and parents are excited to start buying!
Let’s start with the kids! How can you get your students excited to raise money over the fall season?
And now to the parents. As we all know, parents are busy people, and sometimes important things (even your catalog fundraiser!) can get lost in the shuffle. Here’s how to keep parents engaged and ready to support your cause.
Welcome to the last step of your school fundraiser! You’ve placed your master order, received your products and now: it’s time to pack and distribute orders to students. This may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Why not make it fun? Reserve a space, invite volunteers and bring your packing party supplies. Watch this short video to see how to efficiently set up your packing space, pack your orders in an organized way and get it all done while having fun. You’ll be glad you did!