Think of this as the early warning system. Our annual Menu For Hope campaign is right around the corner. In its sixth year, this charity event brings together bloggers from all over the world to raise money for the United Nations World Food Programme. It's an awesome event that raises tens of thousands of dollars each year for hungry children around the world.
For those who are not familiar with this initiative, it is essentially a raffle, with prizes donated 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.
In addition to supporting the UN World Food Programme, this is an opportunity to generate a large amount of traffic to your blog or a lot of really good press for your company/winery/product. Simple as that. You give to charity, the blogosphere gives you eyeballs.
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 $60,000 in one of the toughest economic climates for charitable giving in decades. Who knows what we'll be able to do this year, but we ought to be able to beat it.
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.
Every year, I coordinate the wine related prizes here on Vinography.
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.
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 prize that consists of 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. No individual bottles, please, unless they are worth a lot of money or accompanied by other really great stuff.
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.
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 14th 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!
I hope you will consider doing your part to support this very worthy cause this year. Please let me know if you have questions.
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