Archive for the 'business' Category

Pregnancy, Combos, and Walmart.com

We recently ordered some items from Walmart.com and it didn’t all arrive. So, I wrote to Walmart to ask for some help…

The missing bag of Combos Pizzeria Pretzels

Dear Walmart.com,

My wife and I really like the ability to order so many amazing things through your website, we don’t order often, but when we do, it’s always been a great experience.

However, for the first time ever, something didn’t come through correctly. I’m sure it was simply an oversight somewhere along the shipping line.

You see, my wife is pregnant, and we ordered some special snacks for her to enjoy including a 13 oz. bag of Pizzeria Pretzel Combos. There’s something about those Combos that she was craving! Continue reading ‘Pregnancy, Combos, and Walmart.com’

Charity Choice and adminstrative costs

There’s a recent trend to check a charity’s administrative costs to determine if one will give to them or not.

While exorbitant overhead costs or executive salaries can be outrageous, don’t judge all non-profits by the same story you heard of some executive who had a mansion and a 7-figure salary. Most non-profit administrators and staff are working like all get out to keep their programs going with very little finances to keep them going.

In fact, according to Saundra Schimmelpfennig at the blog Goodintents.org, low administrative costs can be misleading on the effectiveness of an organization.

Some projects have inherently low administration costs such as construction projects – because of the high cost of building materials in relation to administration costs – and donated goods. This can lead to schools built or libraries stocked with books but both go unused because there is no money to hire teachers.

This giving mindset can lead to problems for non-profits that want to do things right but have trouble getting funding for the very things they are best at.

In a non-profit that I’ve worked with in Guatemala, they struggle to pay salaries, maintenance and basic expenses because many givers have designated there funds to specific projects that cost the organization a lot but are not the core programs.

Schimmelpfennig continues with a word of caution:

Be wary of any program claiming extremely low administration Administration is a necessary part of aid projects. Organizations claiming that all of your money will go directly to the aid recipients either have a secondary source of funding, are expecting volunteers to cover administration costs out of their own pocket, or are not being honest with donors. When I spoke with staff in my state’s Consumer Protection Agency they said that one of the red flags that will trigger an investigation of a charitable organization is if it claims no fundraising expenses.

So when you look to give to an organization, see what they are doing and how well they’re doing it. If you like what they do, support them in doing it! That includes giving to general fund expenses. Your gift that pays to keep a light on may be the dollar that illuminates the new ministry, outreach, or  research branch that changes hundreds of lives. It may even be the dollar that lights the lab where they will find the cure for cancer!

Read more of Schimmelpfennig’s useful article at  Don’t Choose a Charity Based on Administration Costs

Are we a mission society?

We head a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports missionaries and missions in other countries so during our annual preparations to file vital paperwork with the IRS, I discovered a clause in the IRS’s Form 990 and Form 990EZ instructions that indicated that we might not need to file since we’re a mission society.  It says:

A mission society sponsored by, or affiliated with, one or more churches or church denominations, if more than half of the society’s activities are conducted in, or directed at, persons in foreign countries.

We fit the category of sponsored by one or more churches and over half our activities are conducted in foreign countries so I set about trying to discover how the IRS defines a “Mission Society.” Continue reading ‘Are we a mission society?’

For Sale: Photocopier Canon ir6000

THIS ITEM IS SOLD

Continue reading ‘For Sale: Photocopier Canon ir6000′

Bad News: Is knowing better than ignorance?

“It’s something you’d expect from Ebenezer Scrooge: Firing 20 employees of a sandwich shop days before Christmas.” That’s how WGN-TV described the firing of 20 workers.

For me, as difficult as that news may have been, I think I’d rather know bad news like this before the big Christmas day instead of right afterwards especially considering how people often overspend in preparation for Christmas. At least the newly unemployed could cull their gifts to something that matches their new budget instead of trying to convince family members to let you have their gifts back or to look for cash exchanges for the gift cards they gave you!

What about you? Would you want to find out after Christmas or before if you were about to lose your job?

DiGiorno Pizza Newsjacked the “Sound of Music”

I found another great example of newsjacking. DiGiorno Pizza got attention during the NBC’s Live Sound of Music Broadcast when they tweeted a series of messages drawing attention to how pizza should have been or “must” have been included in this production. This is classic and hilarious newsjacking!

DiGiorno Pizza live tweets ‘Sound of Music Live!’ Hilarity ensues

Here are some other examples  of newsjacking to get your mind going!

 

‘Useless Plastic Box’ on sale at Best Buy

A prankster put out a new product at Best Buy Stores in the Los Angeles area. The “Useless Plastic Box”.

This innovatively useless product was labeled as “Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of use.”

This reminds me of things my brother and I and our friends would have pulled off together.

 

via Best Buy Prankster Puts ‘Useless Plastic Box’ On Store Shelves Across Los Angeles – ABC News.

Paypal-style “Contribution” Button

PaypalContributeLooking for a Paypal Style button that says “Contribution” instead of subscribe or donate? Here you go!

Right click the image to download it!

Model Release App : Easy Release

Getting model releases signed and organized has always been a hassle for photographers and videographers especially when they ‘re on the move. Now “there’s an app for that” too!

Now photographers can use their tablet or smart phones to get the releases signed and even translated on the go! Then you can have the Getty Images-ready release e-mailed to you in jpeg or PDF form ready for archiving. The releases even include a ID image so you can visually match the shoot to your images later on!

What a great idea! I’d love to try this one out

Easy Release by ApplicationGap replaces inconvenient paper release forms with a slick, streamlined model release app designed by professional photographers for professional photographers.

via Model Release App : Easy Release by ApplicationGap : HOME.

How A Pink Bowl Created Buzz

Just Salad's Pink Bowl Promotion

Just Salad’s Pink Bowl Promotion

Just Salad gave a great example of how to create buzz with people who already love their product: Faithful Customers.

They sent out 100 skip-the-line pink bowls to faithful customers and then promoted the concept and the buzz took things from there.

A happy Customer who blogged about his pink bowl experience!

Personally I’d never heard of Just Salad, but that may have something to do with me living in a third-world-country. However, I felt myself wishing I had a pink bowl from this restaurant and I could skip lines for a fresh salad! In fact, I think the TSA should  provide this sort of thing for lines at the airport! I can see it now…” Hey! You can’t cut in the line…Oh, sorry, I didn’t see your pink carry on bag. Come right on in!”

Ok, so that’s dreaming a bit. However, I think Just Salad did a great job of getting their name out there AND rewarding those who have been faithful to their business.

“For the cost of a bowl, shipping, and a free topping, $20? the small business reached thousands of customers and prospects.”

via How to Create Word of Mouth Magic | LinkedIn.