Friday, September 15, 2017

The Hidden Power of Smencils

Smencils are one of our most successful fundraising products! They are pencils that have a scent. There are many reasons to choose smencils instead of regular pencils this school year! Scent is proven to affect the user's mood and they are made from recycled material that is better for the Earth.

What are Smencils Made From?

When the idea of scented pencils came about in 2000, it proved difficult to scent wood. So, unlike regular pencils that are formed from trees, smencils are created with recycled newspaper. 172,000 Smencils can be made from just 430 newspapers! In this way, smencils are more responsible for the environment.

Besides smencils, we also offer smens! Smencils and smens are very fun products for kids to use at school and collect or trade with their friends. Once your child has one, they will certainly want more!

The Power of Scent
Smencils’ goal is not just to make writing fun, it is also to affect the user with the power of scent! Your sense of smell can trigger memories, make you hungry, and even boost your mood! Smencils release a scent that can be your child's favorite smell or remind them of a family vacation. It is said lemon can help a person feel more alert and focused. Try a lemon smencil for your student!

Another trick to try with your smencils is studying with one particular scent, say strawberry. Then when test time comes, use the same strawberry smencil. The words and facts you have studied will be more easily remembered when you harness the power of scent!

If you or your school is interested in selling smencils and are excited to get your hands on this popular product, the best distributor is Gifts 'N Things. We offer the absolute LOWEST price on the internet plus free freight! However, seasonal products sell out fast, so order early because there is a limited supply! VISIT or CALL: (800) 468-7511 today!

Monday, August 14, 2017

When is the Best Time to Start Your Fundraiser?

Pulling off a successful fundraiser involves so many decisions. You have to consider who your audience is, what kind of fundraiser to host, what the margins will be, how long you have to fundraise, and so many other things! One of the most important factors to consider, though, is the time of year you decide to hold your fundraiser.

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Picking the Right Season

There are pros and cons to running a fundraiser in any “season” of the year. Weather, competing events, and donor attitudes are all key elements. Check out this list and this fun infographic for a brief comparison of spring, summer, fall, and winter fundraising times.

December boasts the highest giving month of the year, but weather can be troublesome in some areas. Spring and summer are usually delightful opportunities for outdoor fundraisers, but competition can be stiff and vacations take away many donors.

Another topic to consider when choosing the time of year will be whether your organizers have ample time to lead and market your fundraiser appropriately. For example, the holiday season between November-December may mean your main participants are very overwhelmed. After all, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

When to Begin Planning

Planning is perhaps the only thing more important than when you host your fundraiser. Beginning to plan well enough in advance is the ticket to success. With summer vacation wrapping up soon and school starting just around the corner, the time to start planning your fundraiser is NOW - even if you won’t be hosting it until the winter or spring. You’ll be able to work on planning details here and there around your busy schedule over several months, rather than trying to throw it together crash-course style in a couple weeks. We all know, regardless of the season, life will always feel busy! Having a great plan in place is sure to help you reach your fundraising goals.

When it comes down to the best seasons to promote a fundraiser, our picks are simple:

  • Product Fundraising - Start in September or October. These fundraisers correlate best right after the "Back to School" season.
  • Holiday Shop - Between Thanksgiving and the Holiday break. These fundraisers can be done earlier in the school year, but this is the time that people have the holiday season on their mind. 
  • Thons - Spring is overwhelmingly the best time. Summer thons work well, too, but your kids will be out of school and will have a disadvantage in communication. Spring is also the time when people are most excited about being outdoors and most enthusiastic about joining a thon.

Planning can seem rather daunting and overwhelming, especially if you have a small group doing the work of organizing or if you’re doing it alone! Why not let Gifts ’N Things do what we do best? We’re professional fundraisers and we can help ensure planning is fun and stress-free for you! Click here to get your FREE informational kit so you can start your fundraiser off on the right foot, no matter the time of year.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Social Media Fundraising Made Easy

Creating a Facebook Event Page is a great way to get everyone connected, and it’s a lot easier than you may think. Below is a guide on how to set up your Facebook event and make it successful.

First, let’s start with the steps to take to create and invite people to your event.

Creating an Event

  1. Click Events in the left menu of your News Feed.
  2. Click Create Event in the top right.
  3. Click to choose between a private or public event. If you're creating a public event, you can set the event's host as yourself or a page you manage. You're not able to change the privacy settings once you've created the event.
  4. Fill in the event name, details, location and time. 
  5. Click Create. You'll be taken to your event where you can invite guests, upload photos, share posts and edit event details.

Inviting People to Your Event

If you're a host of an event, you can invite your friends. Event creators are automatically listed as hosts. As an event host, you can choose different privacy settings for who can see, join or invite guests to your event.
  1. Go to the event
  2. Click “Invite” in the top right, below the photo
  3. Search for and select friends to invite and then click “Send Invites”

Tip: Adding more hosts to the page is a great way for your friends to share the event with their friends and family.

What type of information should you add to the event?

You’ll want to add information that is light but informative and also grabs attention. If you are hosting a physical event or sale somewhere, give your guests directions and information about it. Invite friends to volunteer, if needed. Add plenty of pictures and use hashtags when posting them.



Creating a Hashtag

Using a hashtag for an event is a great way for people to share photos and stay connected! By using a hashtag in front of a word (also commonly known as a pound symbol), it creates a clickable link. By clicking on the link, you’ll see a feed of public posts that include that hashtag. To get your event hashtag trending, use it in all photos and posts so event members can join the talk as well!

Getting your Facebook friends involved in your fundraising efforts is a great way to promote your event. It’s also a quick and easy way to update everyone on special dates, deliveries, and more. Get people excited about your next Gifts 'N Things fundraiser with Facebook events. You’ll get the best results your organization, school, or group has ever had!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Life Skills Your Kids Learn From Fundraising

You might perceive fundraising as a pesky part of your child's schooling. When the catalogs of products roll out, it can be hard to envision much more than the work it will take for your child to raise the money expected of them. But hosting a fundraiser is more beneficial to your kids than you think. Here are some life skills your kids learn from fundraising.


Customer Service

Assisting individuals as they pick out which items they would like to purchase is a task most everyone in their lives have done at some point. Great customer service requires knowledge of the products, patience, honesty, politeness, and the ability to follow through on promises. What better way for your child to learn how to deliver great customer service than fundraising? This is a stepping stone to what will likely be a skill needed in their first job.

Financial Responsibility

coins-952540_640.jpgOftentimes, fundraising is one of the first opportunities your child has to experience handling a significant amount of money. Besides this, the important aspect of financial goal setting is introduced. Be sure your child takes on as much financial responsibility as possible during the fundraising process. They will gain a lot of confidence when it comes to dealing with money and learn some hard earned lessons about achieving, or not achieving, financial goals.



Communication skills do not develop in a classroom alone. Fundraising will surely advance your child's communication skills. It is not easy to ask adults or strangers for contributions. It is not easy to have the courage to speak in uncomfortable situations. Fundraising offers these life lessons for your child if you simply let them to take charge. You will be impressed with how poised your child can be speaking to an adult if you allow them the practice.

The next time your child's school begins a fundraiser, approach it as a learning opportunity for your child. Remember the positive aspects it will bring as it forces your child to grow into a more sophisticated and capable person.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Defeat Summer Boredom with These 7 Outdoor Activities

With summer fast approaching and school graduations abound, children will soon be heard collectively sighing, “I’m sooooo bored.” Though they won’t have classes and homework to keep them busy, that doesn’t mean they have to sit around all day like zombies forgetting everything they learned during the school year. Here are 7 FREE summer ideas that you can do with your children to help keep them active and entertained.


Go on a Quest

Did somebody say scavenger hunt? No? How about BEACH SCAVENGER HUNT?!? Head to the nearest beach with this list and have a scavenger hunt. With items like “something made out of metal” and “three different kinds of shells”, your trip can be informative while also adventurous. Bring an extra bag or two and help clean up any trash while you’re there. This will teach your kids conservation as well as keep them busy!

Camping at Home

Have an unexpected day off? Put the tent up in the yard and have an impromptu camping trip without the hassle of packing and travel.

Paper Airplane Contest

Help your kids learn about what makes airplanes fly and have fun at the same time. Check out these downloadable designs for some fast and easy paper airplanes and hold a competition in your backyard when the projectiles are complete.


Backyard Sock Puppet Play

Hark! Is that a young Shakespeare I hear? Follow these simple instructions to turn an old bed sheet into an impressive theater curtain. You can also find tons of cool puppet ideas on Pinterest. Let your kids write a script, pop some popcorn and enjoy the show!

Be Kind

With advancements in technology and instant entertainment abound, it is easy for children (and adults) to become self-absorbed. However, it’s also easy for us to be kind to our fellow man and give selflessly. Teach your children about acts of kindness by putting together care packages for troops, organize a food drive for your local food shelf, or set up a community cleanup project.


Paint the Town (or just your driveway)

Kids love to color. Sidewalk chalk is an incredible outlet for this. There’s little to no inside mess. Okay, this idea might cost a few dollars, but it is completely worth it. There are several recipes for sidewalk chalk, and when thinking about getting more bang for your buck, it is cheaper than buying boxes of it from the store. Plus, cleanup is a breeze. Just wait for the next rain storm.

Neighborhood Olympics

Do you have the next Usain Bolt or Michelle Akers living near you? Organize a neighborhood Olympics with fun races and obstacle courses and give prizes for the top spots.

School might be out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean your kids need to stop exploring, learning, and being active. Take some of these fun ideas and get busy with your kids! When the time comes again to get busy raising funds for your favorite organizations, visit Gifts ‘N Things for everything you’ll need.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Most Colorful Fundraiser Around: Color-a-Thon!

The best active fundraiser you didn’t know existed combines health, getting outside, raising money for your school, heaps of fun for kids, and blasts of color! The Color-a-thon is an organized 3k-5k run for kids. Students collect pledges from family, friends, and neighbors to run or walk in the 3k-5k fun run.


We’ve seen great results—and tons of fun photos—come out of Color-a-thon fundraising races at elementary and middle schools around the country. These high-energy events are a growing trend for school fundraisers, and it’s easy to see why they work.

To make this fundraiser even easier, we provide you with the tools you’ll need to make this event a huge success. With your package, we will provide t-shirts and color packs for all who participate, flags and route markers for the run itself, the option to purchase items to sell at the event, Money Management Software for accepting credit cards and running reports, and more. To begin planning your Spring Color-a-thon for this school year, visit us at

Color-a-thons are perfect for:

  • Elementary schools’ spring or fall fundraisers
  • Middle schools’ spring or fall fundraisers
  • Fundraisers for churches, camp, high school marching band, clubs, or sports teams—whether in spring, summer or fall!

There are two ways to pump up the color and the profits:

1.     Donation-based Upgrades and Rewards
Students can earn extra rewards and race-day upgrades based on the number of donations they’ve received. For example, a student could receive a t-shirt and color pack and participate for as little as $30 in donations, or, for over $500, they could get a full packet of goodies for the race, like wacky tutus, rainbow stockings, megaphones, wiper glasses, white wigs, and extra color dye packs!

2.     Standard Perks with Entry Fee
This option allows for a flat entry fee to offer the same accessories for everyone. Everyone who enters will receive a white t-shirt and color dye pack. We’ll also send you extra bulk color according to your number of registrants. Encourage students to wear colorful socks, tutus, wigs, or funky hair on their own to complete the celebration, or fun items can be sold at the event for added profit!

According to, “running can offer something to kids—especially kids who aren’t athletically inclined or who are overweight—that a lot of other sports can’t—the chance to be physically active at their own pace.” So let’s get these kids moving and enjoying the outdoors while raising serious funds for our schools and organizations! Visit for more.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Boost Your Fundraising Energy, Quickly and Naturally

Let’s be honest, fundraising takes a lot of energy - not just physical energy, but mental energy, too! Keeping up with your child and helping them reach their fundraising goal is no easy task. One way to keep your energy levels up is to add some energizing items to your plate.

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Some of these superfoods might be tough to pronounce, but don’t let that deter you! A simple google search will help you find several easy and creative recipes to help you enjoy these energy-boosting foods. Many of these foods can simply be added in the blender to your favorite smoothie! Plus, these foods are available at most whole food stores, co-ops, or local grocery store’s natural food sections.

Leafy Greens

The dark green leaves of kale, spinach, collards, and swiss chard are full of nutrients you need daily, as well as sustainable energy. Saute them for a quick side dish, toss them with other greens in a fresh salad, or blend some into a green smoothie for on-the-go fundraising energy.



Seeds of many varieties–Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds–are perfect examples of great things in small packages! They’re rich in omegas and various minerals and will help boost your energy. Sprinkle them on salads, in smoothies, or toss them with Greek yogurt or cereal to kickstart your day. You can also mix some with granola for a quick boost during your fundraising event.


Spirulina is a form of algae, and along with other forms of seaweed, is high in iron and fatty acids. Spirulina also contains tons of complete protein (more than meat) which means it’s a great energy source. You can get it in powder form and hide it in all sorts of meals or smoothies!


Never heard of it? It’s a root vegetable native to Peru and it helps support your adrenal glands (which produce your stress hormones). Maca can help you fight fatigue and reduce stress, giving you more energy for the fun things in life (like FUNdraising)!



Funny name aside, these grains are packed with energy. Amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and wild rice are all technically seeds, but you can use them in dishes in place of grains for a more energy-packed meal.

Select a few choices from this list of superfoods and you’ll be sure to find that extra boost you (and your child) need to really succeed in fundraising. You’ll see great results in your energy, your health, and your fundraising goals!

For more fun tips and tricks, follow Gifts ‘N Things on Facebook.