Thursday, March 6, 2014

Grocer set to introduce new frozen, quick-rising fundraisers that can be prepared in a microwave oven

Great-tasting, hot fundraisers will soon be available in your charity’s lunch room. A national food maker has announced the release of a new line of frozen fundraisers that can be made in microwave oven. Called Jack-and-Jill-in-a-Box, the line will feature a variety of fundraisers, including annual giving, major gifts, planned giving and fundraising manager.

“The Jack-and-Jill line is a breakthrough in food manufacturing. We’ve been able to take a recipe for highly effective fundraisers and turned it into something you can make in a microwave oven. It’s cheaper than hiring a real fundraiser and tastes just great!” said Jason Snidely of Snidely Foods, the Iowa-based manufacturer.

The process to make a Jack-and-Jill fundraiser starts in a large food plant in Armpit, Iowa where food scientists study what makes a great fundraiser.

“We looked at a wide-range of fundraisers, trying to find what makes the best one – ability to raise money, brilliant smile, golf game and such. Then we broke those down into their basic inputs, like pork, toothpaste, calculators and body-spray, so we could duplicate them,” said Snidely.

A giant extruder then turns the raw slurry into a pre-measured fundraiser that is put in its own microwave-safe tray and then flash-frozen. Snidely says the trick with the new line was to find technology that would make the half-pound box quickly rise and grow into a full-size fundraiser who could walk, talk and raise several million in donations before breakfast the next day.

“Our early experiments led us to a secret process of nano-food technology that could build the fundraiser piece-by-piece as it thawed. As long as charities follow the instructions to turn the product twice during the ten minute cooking cycle on high everything should be just fine.”

Charities must also be careful not to remove the plastic film surrounding the new fundraiser when it comes out of the oven or they could receive nasty steam burns.

Snidely cautions charities that the instant fundraisers are not designed to replace their current diet of fundraising professionals, but only act as a supplement. Charities should consume them right away after preparation. The Jack-and-Jill fundraisers have a shelf-life of about 30 days after being made. On the plus side, charities don’t need to pay them or give them health benefits since they weren’t technically alive.

The line, which was introduced in a test market in New England last month, has netted a number of early favourable reviews.

“When I saw this in the frozen aisle off my grocery store next to the peas and carrots I knew I wanted to try it right away,” said Boston charity CEO Dibble Brewer. “We took it back to the office and ten minutes later we had a major gifts fundraiser ready to get to work making us millions.”

“The frozen fundraiser did a better job than the real ones I had on staff. They were nicer, faster and knew a lot more. I was so impressed, I’ll never get a real fundraiser again. But I will need to get a bigger microwave for the lunch room,” said Turner Durner, a Vermont hospital foundation CEO.

But not all the reviews were favorable. One AFP chapter president found that the Jack-and-Jill fundraisers weren’t cooked all the way through and began to go bad just after a few days. Snidely says early versions of the products had a few flaws, but most have been now fixed.

“We found in the first few test batches that about ten percent of the fundraisers tried to kill the donors they were assigned to, but in subsequent batches we’ve managed to reduce that by 90 percent.”

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