Tag Archives: social responsibility

Fund-Raising with Healthy Options

We can usually tell when it is fund-raising season for schools and sports. Kids stop by houses and businesses, selling chocolate bars and other items to help fund a variety of programs and causes. And, although we happily buy and eat the candy, there can be some regrets over the empty calories, and the lack of sales going to local businesses. Wouldn’t it be better to offer healthy alternatives, and support local businesses? Of course! Enter a new company: FarmRaiser – connects fundraising groups with local products and foods.

FarmRaiser was founded in Michigan with a mission to connect local farmers and food artisans with schools, athletic teams, bands, and other causes. Vendors must meet standards for sustainable practices, and artisan products that do NOT list sugar as the first ingredient are welcome. The company states that “if a product has more than five or six ingredients, and if any of them are ones your grandma wouldn’t recognize it doesn’t make the cut.”

Campaigns are customized by working with a FarmRaiser “cultivator” to help determine fund-raiser goals, local products, and vendors. Each campaign also gets its own Web page on FarmRaiser.com. The company estimates that 85% of funds raised stays in the community; the average profit margin is 53% for the groups. The process is straightforward: once the cause is registered, FarmRaiser helps create a custom online and mobile market. At the end of the sale period, students help distribute the produce and products to their customers. Groups can choose various products and goods from multiple regions. Try combining Michigan cherries, with Texas Salsa.

What sounds good to you?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the fundraising activities that students might have done. Discuss what was it about, proceeds, products, process, etc.
  2. Introduce the topic of changing the product mix and sales process.
  3. Show a video about the company: https://vimeo.com/147806697
  4. Show Web site: https://www.farmraiser.com/
  5. Divide students into team. Have each team select a cause and develop a product set.
  6. Set SMART objectives for the company.

Source: Rieth, D. (Summer 2018). Home field advantage. Edible Michiana.

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NBA Store is Sensory-Inclusive

When we think about NBA basketball games, or virtually anything that is sports-related, loud noises and bright lights immediately hit us – right between the eyes and ears. The excitement and crowds are definitely part of the atmosphere and usually helps get energy levels up. But that level of noise and light isn’t always a good thing. If someone is prone to overstimulation due to autism, PTSD, dementia or other sensory-processing disorders, overstimulation could cause a meltdown and panic or anxiety attack. It’s not just sports games; even crowded stores can bring on panic attacks. This was the concern driving the design of the newly opened NBA store in New York City.

In order to be more inclusive and assist those sensory sensitive fans, the NBA’s flagship store in New York City has become the first sensory-inclusive retail store in the world. To do this, the NBA partnered with KultureCity, a nonprofit that works to help make public spaces become more sensory-inclusive. The new NBA store offers bags containing fidget spinners, weighted lap pads, and noise-cancelling headphones to those individuals who may need them. In addition, the NBA store staff is trained to better understand, interact with, and identify visitors who may need assistance during shopping.

The NBA’s initiatives go beyond the store. There are now 14 NBA arenas equipped for the fans who need additional attention to deal with sensory needs. Four of the arenas have dedicated quiet sensory rooms to help fans. The objective of the programs is to enable the NBA to be fully inclusive and accessible to all.

Inclusion – it’s a good move on the court, and in the store.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Do they know someone who has sensory challenges and needs?
  2. Show a video highlighting the new store: https://youtu.be/zchmSWP1630
  3. Show a video about how one arena helps sensory challenged guests: https://youtu.be/3QRQKhGz6_4
  4. Also show the KultureCity Web site: https://www.kulturecity.org/
  5. Are there other venues or locations that could benefit from this approach?
  6. How should the NBA market this initiative?

Source:  Martin, B. (2 April, 2018). NBA store in New York becomes world’s first sensory-inclusive retail store. NBA.com.

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World’s Safest Bike – By Toyota

Consumers expect cars to become safer every year. But what about bicycles? Shouldn’t those become safer as well? After all, bikes are more common than cars, and riders are a lot more vulnerable to accidents. An estimated 45,000 bikes are involved in accidents each year, and more than 1,000 bike riders die every year from these accidents. (While this is a not as many as the more than 37,000 people who are killed in automobile accidents each year, it is an alarming number that deserves attention of all bike riders and corporations.)

Toyota shares the concerns of bike riders and is using the new safety features from the Toyota Camry to help provide riders with safer cycles. In a partnership New York-based Priority Bicycles, Toyota helped to create a prototype bike that includes sensors to detect objects and alert riders to danger through a multi-colored light panel. Using more than 500 feet of cables, along with Lidar sensors connected to a display on the handlebars, the bike alerts the rider to activity in front, behind, or to the side of the bike. When a dangerous situation occurs, the lights turn red; yellow is cautious; green is safe. The headlight on the bike also automatically moves up and down as the bike pace changes, increasing visibility farther out as speed increases.

The best part – a button on the bike blasts out the sound of a Camry car horn to announce its presence!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: How many ride bikes routinely? Who has been injured by a car while riding their bike?
  2. Show a video of the bike: https://youtu.be/TQ-0zoSmyMs
  3. Priority Bikes’ Web site: https://www.prioritybicycles.com/
  4. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for launching a product.
  5. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  6. Divide students into groups to work on this exercise.
  7. Have each develop an innovative tactic that could be used to promote car safety features.

Source:  Beltrone, G. (5 April, 2018). How to promote Toyota Camry’s new safety features? Build the world’s safest bike. Ad Week.

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