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12.14.2008

Donate a Prize to A Menu For Hope, Become Famous!

This is the official request for prize donations for the 5th Annual Menu For Hope charity raffle, sponsored by wine and food bloggers around the world.

For those who are not familiar with this initiative, it is essentially a raffle, with prizes menu_for_hope_V.jpgdonated by bloggers (or other kind folks who want to participate but don't have blogs). Participants post a description of their prize (or get me to post one for them if they don't have a blog) and do all they can to attract donations (which will be made made on the designated donation web site) in increments of $10. Each $10 donated becomes a ticket for the raffle, which the person donating can specify as being used towards the specific prize they want.

WHY PARTICIPATE?
In addition to supporting the UN World Food Programme, and specifically the rural school children of Lesotho, this is an opportunity to generate a large amount of traffic to your blog. Simple as that. You give to charity, the blogosphere gives you readers.

A CALL FOR PRIZE DONATIONS
The most important part of this project, of course are the prizes donated by bloggers and blog sympathizers. Which is where you come in. Last year we raised over $90,000. Who knows what we'll be able to do in this economic climate, but we're going to try our best to beat that this year.

In order to do that, however we need two things. We need great prizes donated by bloggers, and we need those bloggers to spread the word far and wide, so that lots of people want to bid on those prizes.

So I want you to consider donating a prize (whether or not you have a blog). If you're curious, here's the list of prizes donated last year.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD PRIZE?
The last thing we want to do is discourage anyone from donating a prize to this event, but we do want to make sure that your gift is fully appreciated, and helps the overall cause. There were a number of gifts last year that received only one or two bids, or didn't receive any bids at all, which was a bummer for everyone involved. There were also a number of duplicate prizes as well.

So I'd like to urge everyone participating to try to make their prize as valuable and attractive as they can, and to perhaps think beyond a copy of your favorite wine book, for instance. A good rule of thumb is to think of a prize that would get at least 20 of YOUR readers or customers to donate at least 10 bucks apiece.

The other thing I would suggest, this being the world of wine bloggers we're talking about, is that unless you are a winery or a wine retailer, and you are regularly used to shipping wine to folks in other states, that you don't donate wine as your prize. Shipping wine across state lines as an individual without a distributors license is technically illegal. So if you donate wine as your prize, or as part of your prize, make sure you know what you're doing. However, if you ARE a wine producer or distributor, then BRING IT ON. Donate a couple of mixed cases of the really good stuff. Some of the most popular prizes last year were such prizes.


HOW TO PARTICIPATE
1. Think of a prize and then contact me by sending me e-mail at alder at vinography dot com or commenting on this post and leaving your e-mail address (those who have already contacted me or commented can assume I know who you are).

2. I will then assign you a prize code, which is what your readers will need in order to bid on your prize, starting December 15th when the campaign launches.

3. I will also need an image to represent your prize. It doesn't have to be an image of the actual prize, although that is preferred. I need that image in two sizes: 200x200 pixels and 75x75 pixels.

4. Please also write a paragraph describing your prize in all its juicy goodness. Sell it, baby!

5. Finally, put up a blog post on your site starting December 15th describing your prize, and linking to the full list of prizes here on Vinography (the URL will be: http://www.vinography.com/archives/2008/12/announcing_a_menu_for_hope_200.html). You'll also provide your readers with the prize code for your prize, and a link to the donation site where they will make their donation and bid for your prize.

Please also consider hosting a banner for the event.

If you are going to participate, tell me as soon as possible

If you can't think of a good prize, or if you're not inclined to do so, you can also participate by blogging about the event, hosting banners for the event on your site, or simply buying raffle tickets yourself!

I hope you will consider doing your part to support this very worthy cause this year. Watch for the initial announcement of the wine prizes tomorrow here on Vinography.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.