Custom School Gear And Spirit Wear: A Guide For The Busy Coordinator

You’re faced with many difficult challenges; but buying custom apparel and spirit wear for your school shouldn’t be one. Let’s navigate the oftentimes overwhelming world of spirit wear so you can be confident that your buying decision is on point.

Over the years, shopping online has changed dramatically. One of the main shifts has been giving consumers the ability to customize the clothes and accessories they buy (phone cases, laptop bags, T-shirts, hats, etc.)

People have a need to express their identity and interests through the clothes they wear and eCommerce platforms such as URstore have made it easier and more rewarding than ever before to sell custom school gear and spirit wear.

Here’s a quick look at 4 custom apparel myths that might be holding you back:

Myth # 1. You need to order a minimum quantity.
In the past, you had to buy spirit wear for your school in bulk and hope that all the items will be purchased by students and their parents. Those days are behind us. With the ability to create an online retail store for your school, you no longer have to keep an inventory that you pay for in advance. Instead, students and their parents can access the virtual retail store you create and purchase one or more items when they want and it’ll be delivered right to their doorstep. No investment needed or storage space required for inventory in your facilities!

Myth # 2. You need to go to each student to take their order.
Before eCommerce was a thing, school coordinators were tasked with going from classroom to classroom to take orders from each student who would give them cash for the items they wanted. This process would take days. Things have since changed. If you create a virtual retail store, it will become the hub for students and their parents to go through various color and design options and pay securely for the items of their liking. In a lot of ways, doing this gets the ball rolling so you can focus on what’s really important in your role.

Myth # 3. You will not make money from your virtual retail store.
In the case of an eCommerce site like URstore, you get a kickback on every sale from your virtual retail store – a perfect way to fundraise for any cause or event!

Myth # 4. You cannot make your virtual retail store your own.
If you can customize your spirit wear, why not customize your virtual retail store? Make your online store unique by branding it with your school logo/mascot and colours, while choosing only the items you think your students will be interested in. And sharing your online store has never been easier: social media share buttons such as in this demo store will help you spread the word about your school’s online store.

Creating a virtual retail store is simple. All you have to do is sign up with your school details, upload your logo and share your store’s link to your students and faculty! You may be reluctant to start but we don’t blame you. However, now that the myths have been debunked, go ahead and create your own FREE virtual retail store here!

Top 5 Reasons Kids Play Sports

“You want your child to be active and to have fun. Research shows that’s exactly what they want, too.

A Michigan State University study asked boys and girls aged 10 to 12 why they played sports. Here are the top five reasons they gave:

1. To have fun.
2. To do something I’m good at.
3. To improve my skills.
4. To stay in shape.
5. To get exercise.

Surprise; “winning” didn’t even make the top ten reasons.”

Read the full post here.

Hurricane Harvey: Where You Can Donate

“If you’re watching the reports of unprecedented rain and historic flooding unfolding in Texas from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, you might be wondering what you can do to help.

If you live in the Houston area, the sheriff’s office is asking for people with boats and vehicles that can handle high water to help with rescues.

For everyone else, one easy way to pitch in is to give money to one or more of the many charities involved with the response and recovery. Here are some suggestions and a little guidance if you’re not sure where to start.

This ProPublica article about giving after a disaster is worth reading in its entirety, but it makes a couple of key points to keep in mind:

Do your own research before giving to any group.
Groups with strong local ties to their community can sometimes be the best option.
You have a right to demand accountability of the groups you give to.”

Read the full post here.

Businesses Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey

“Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas as a category 4 storm on Friday. There are predictions that by the time the storm lifts, some areas could receive more than 50 inches of rain — Houston has already experienced more than two feet. There have been at least six reported casualties due to flooding.

1. Apple

The plan: When users go to iTunes, they will be presented with a button to donate $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 or $200 to the American Red Cross.

What you can learn: You can build a social mission right into your technological platform. Apple is known for ease of use, and it applied those principles to its giving model.”

Access the full post here.

10 Most Cruel Sports Involving Animals

“The definition of sport, among other things, is some sort of amusement or a diversion. It is appalling that civilized societies the world over get their kicks by brutalizing animals in so many different ways – all for their own amusement and entertainment? Over time, man has devised many different ways to use animals for his ‘time pass’; we look at some of the most egregious of them:

1. Bull Fighting

This blood sport has probably been the subject matter of more protests from animal rights groups than any other. Thankfully, however the protests have had their effect and we are seeing less and less of this needlessly cruel activity is.

2. Cock Fighting

Still very much prevalent in many parts of the world, the cocks are bred in dreadful conditions and mistreated to make them bad tempered. They are also starved to make them even meaner before a fight.”

Read the full post here.

Market Your Nonprofit like Movies

Yes, you read that right! Marketing your non-profit like movies are will take your fundraising to the next level. Movies make a ton of money every year across the globe. Hollywood alone makes net profit of over thirty billion dollars a year. Analyze how the last movie you saw was marketed to see if there are any ideas that will click with you. Your marketing initiative will, of course, depend on the size of your organization and your budget constraints but rest assured that this technique will bring you the ROI you’re looking for.

Besides the star power that boosts a movie’s success, marketing plays a huge role in putting the movie in the forefront of everyone’s mind. Below is a chronological step by step process of how movies are marketed and how you can be inspired by the techniques to market your non-profit organization.

1. Initial Teasers
For your non-profit organization, sending out a teaser in a newsletter and spreading it across your social media pages will create anticipation for what’s coming. The teaser can be text-based but if you want to go all out consider making a video teaser. Within this step, you can also publish a first-look type of image that features various aspects of the cause you’re supporting without any description.

2. Series of Trailers
Just like movies push out trailer one, two and so on, you can create a series of trailers for your marketing campaign that caters to varying demographics. This is your chance to entice people into supporting your fundraising campaign so give them all the reasons they should not only give donations but also inspire them to take it upon themselves to promote your campaign to their circles of influence.

3. Press Releases, Conferences & Interviews
This requires a lot of involvement from your team: your salesperson, public relations manager, social media coordinator but most importantly the individual that is the face of your marketing campaign. For the United Nations, stars like Angelina Jolie are selected to be brand ambassadors so that they can embody the values of the organization as well as promote the features of your product or service.

4. Commercials, billboards and social media ads
All three of the above mediums can display video ads which happens to be the most effective to grab people’s attention. Commercials are slightly different from trailers because they are usually more compact.

5. Movie premier
Movie premiers are big events with a lot of media hype, great food and an after party. Hollywood stars dress up in their most lavish outfits and have fun while celebrating the work they have completed. If you can have a great gathering for the launch of the cause you’re endorsing and invite the who’s who of your industry.

6. Post release marketing
This is a great time to gauge how the campaign was received by your audiences so put your team to work to create surveys, make phone calls and set up interviews with your supporters as well as the prospects that didn’t end up committing to your cause. Find out the hits, misses and the opportunities so you can take the lessons learned to your next campaign.

7 Ways to Avoid Fundraising Burnout

“With fundraising, especially in the non-profit sector, there’s always more work than there is time. From courting potential donors to hours of grant writing, there are very few times a fundraiser’s job feels done. The amount of responsibilities mixed with our desire to help others and do a great job is a recipe for burnout. It is possible to avoid burnout by following some of these tips.

1) Take Time Off

Take your time off! Nothing helps rejuvenate us like having time away from work. This may almost seem like a foreign concept for the non-profit world, but trust me, it’s possible! The best, and most logical, times to take breaks are after fundraising events. You worked hard to plan that gala, festival, luncheon, etc. You went to every corner of the earth to recruit donors, vendors, sponsors, volunteers, attendees, etc. so reward yourself with a nice break.

While it may be tempting to get right back on the horse – don’t. You are usually provided with vacation time. Use these days. Non-profit fundraisers are notorious for working on their days off. One man I supervise planned on taking his laptop on his honeymoon. Just don’t do that. You may justify it by coming up with excuses like that you are only working for a few minutes, or that the organization really needs your help. Or maybe it’s that if you take time off all the work is just waiting for you when you come back and it will be overwhelming. Stop the excuses. Take your time off. The world and your employer will survive without you for a bit.”

Read the full post here.

15 Most Profitable Small-Business Industries

“While a number of small businesses flop in their first year, a safe way to help your new venture be a success is by tapping into the right industry.

From accounting to legal services to real estate — there are certain industries that tend to see higher profits than others. By analyzing net profit margins of privately held companies over the past 12 months, financial information company Sageworks sought to uncover exactly which industries are the most profitable.

For the second year in a row, accounting and tax services takes the cake for the most profitable industry. Real estate, legal services and management of companies and enterprises follows closely behind, also landing on the top of the list for most profitable types of small businesses.

“Many of the top performers are service industries in which certifications and education requirements are barriers to entry,” Sageworks analyst Libby Bierman said in a press release.”

Read the full post here.

Sport Injuries – Facts and Prevention

sport injuries

“Because of the contact nature of the game and the speed with which it is played, the brain is vulnerable to injury. Trauma may occur through direct contact to the head or face or indirectly through a whiplash effect. Injuries to the brain are characterized by an altered state of mind. It is the altered state of mind that is the key thing to look for with any head injury.

NOTE: Children are more sensitive to the effects of a concussion and will need to have a longer period of rest prior to returning to activity and the sport.

A concussion is a common injury, but since they cannot be detected on x-rays or CT scans, they have been difficult to fully investigate and understand. Fortunately, there have been many important advances in our knowledge of concussions, including how to identify, manage and recover from a concussion. Although concussions are often referred to as ‘mild traumatic brain injuries’ and often resolve uneventfully, ALL concussions have the potential for serious and long-lasting symptoms and so must be treated carefully and in consultation with a physician.”

Read the full post here.

5 Techniques for Self-Improvement

When was the last you told yourself that you are not satisfied with how your life is going? Is there a skill set that would improve how you do your job or a diet that will improve your health? What aspects of your life do you think needs improvement and what have you done in the last year to make that happen? There maybe too many questions in your mind but that’s not always a bad thing. Growth is essential for healthy living and we must dedicate a chunk of our time in thinking about growth strategies and acting on them.

Here are 5 techniques that I use for self-improvement:

1. Writing in a journal.
I spend ten minutes every day free-writing on my journal. There is no topic to follow or question to answer, I just write every thought that comes to my mind feely. This helps me relax and become aware of my thoughts. Writing in a journal is actually therapeutic and is shown to help in resolving internal and external conflicts.

2. Making a list of things to do.
Simply creating a list of things to do makes such a huge difference in my work flow. I start with the most important items and work my way down and for every item completed, I check off. I use colors to create visually appealing list that’s easy to follow. Oftentimes, the items at the bottom of the list are not completed in the same day but that’s alright because I can easily revisit my list and work on it the next chance I get. Research suggests that the simple act of writing down a list of things to do can reduce stress so that’s one more reason why this technique is so awesome!

3. Focus on your health.
Our careers are only one aspect of our lives yet self-improvement guides often focus on work only. Health indeed is the best wealth so make sure you prioritize your wellness above everything else. Think about it: If you are sick, you won’t be able to work or enjoy quality time with your loved ones. One of the best ways to improve health is to start meditation in the form of deep breathing. It’s simple and you can do it any where, any time.

4. Invest in relationships.
According to a decades-long research conducted in the US, the quality of our relationships – not how much money we make or what all we can afford to buy – is is a true indicator of how happy we are. Don’t buy into books that tell you to lean in to work, just follow your passions and work smart. No one on their deathbed has said they wish they worked more hours. No one!

5. Keep going no matter if you fail.
Successful people are not those that never fail but are those who keep trying despite their failures. You only ever fail when you stop trying! Failure is inevitable in life but how you handle it will make all the difference. We usually hear about successful people when they’ve reached great heights but what most don’t realize is how many nights they stayed up working on their vision and how many times they contemplated quitting yet kept going.