USDA Smart Snacks in Schools Guidelines

on October 22, 2019

Navigating through the new USDA Smart Snacks in School rule can be confusing. Check out our resources below to help you understand how it will impact your next food fundraiser.

WHAT IS SMART SNACKS IN SCHOOL AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT MY FUNDRAISER?

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 directed the USDA to establish nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students in school, during the school day. This also includes foods sold through school fundraisers on the school campus, during the school day. The new Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards has sought to balance the need of schools to conduct fundraisers, while still ensuring that students have access to healthier foods and beverages during the day.

CAN WE STILL FUNDRAISE WITH BUTTER BRAID® FROZEN PASTRIES?

Yes. Per the USDA, you can fundraise with frozen pastries as long as they are sold off campus, after school hours.

CAN WE STILL HAVE FUNDRAISING PRODUCTS DELIVERED TO OUR SCHOOL CAMPUS FOR STUDENTS TO TAKE HOME AND DELIVER?

Yes. As long as the product is not unwrapped or consumed on the school campus during the school day. The school day is defined as the period from the midnight before, to 30 minutes after the end of the official school day.

CAN WE PROMOTE A BUTTER BRAID PASTRY FUNDRAISER DURING THE SCHOOL DAY THROUGH POSTERS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, OR ASSEMBLIES?

Yes. As long as the products are not sold on school campus during the school day. Promotions are permitted during the school day per the USDA.

WHAT ARE FUNDRAISING EXEMPTIONS?

A special exemption is allowed for foods that do not meet competitive food standards for the purpose of conducting infrequent, school-sponsored fundraisers. The USDA has allowed states to set their own limits on the frequency of exempt fundraisers. If the State agency does not specify the exemption frequency, no fundraiser exemptions may be granted. There are currently 21 states that have developed exemptions.

DOES MY STATE HAVE FUNDRAISING EXEMPTIONS?

Currently, 21 states have developed fundraising exemptions. Click here for a list of states with fundraising exemptions.

CAN WE STILL FUNDRAISE EVEN IF OUR STATE DOESN’T HAVE ANY FUNDRAISING EXEMPTIONS?

Yes, you can still run Butter Braid pastry fundraisers off campus, after school hours per the USDA, even if your state does not have any fundraising exemptions. Distribution of order forms and foods not intended for consumption at school may continue. You can promote the fundraiser through posters, announcements, and assemblies during the school day. The pastries should be sold off school grounds, to family, neighbors, and community supporters. Your school will not lose any federal lunch program funding if these guidelines are followed.

MY STATE HAS FUNDRAISING EXEMPTIONS, HOW DO I USE THEM?

Procedures vary by state. Talk to your local school administration to find out how you can take advantage of your existing fundraising exemptions.

*It is important to note that state agencies and school districts may establish more restrictive policies than that of the USDA’s minimum standards, including those related to delivery of food products, distribution of forms, and collection of money. Check with your schools administration to verify no additional policies are in place

USDA Smart Snacks in School






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Over $245 Million raised for Non-Profit Groups Across the Nation

on October 16, 2019

West Bend, IA (July 22, 2019) – Since 1991, Country Maid, Inc. and Butter Braid® pastries have helped nonprofit groups raise over $245 million for thousands of great causes. Country Maid, along with its network of dealers, has changed the lives of millions of people through their world-class fundraisers, proving they are dedicated to their goal of “Sharing the Good.”

“Country Maid’s biggest strengths are our dealer network and our shared foundation of faith. We have been blessed with an amazing group of individuals, not only in our dealerships, but in the employees we work with every day. Together we share the good and help others help themselves.” said Lynn Bouska, Country Maid’s Fundraising Sales & Business Manager.

Since 1991, the Butter Braid brand has aided Country Maid, Inc. in their desire to “help others help themselves.” The hand-braided pastries have done just that, impacting the lives of many children, communities, and nonprofit groups by helping them reach their fundraising goals each year.

Butter Braid pastries have an unmatched reputation for quality and service that fundraising groups and customers have come to love and depend on. For more information on Country Maid or a dealership opportunity, visit www.countrymaid.net.






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Top Ten List for You to have a Great Fundraiser!

on October 7, 2019

Are you participating in a Butter Braid® pastry fundraiser this year? Do you need help reaching your goal? Don’t worry! We’re here to help. Use this list of 10 things you can do to make sure you have a great fundraiser. 

  1. Make a list of potential customers and people to help you sell
  2. Start selling right away to meet your goal!
  3. Make sure to introduce yourself to your customers
  4. Tell your customers about the product you are selling
  5. Tell customers when the expected delivery date is
  6. Do not sell door-to-door without adult supervision or after dark
  7. Collect money when you make the sale
  8. Keep Butter Braid pastries FROZEN on delivery day!
  9. Enjoy knowing your sales made a difference
  10. Have Fun! This is the most important part. We want you to have a GREAT experience fundraising with us!

Now that you know what you can do to ensure you have a great fundraiser, it’s time to get out there and sell! Good luck everyone! 






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3 Reasons Why Thank You Letters Are Important

on October 7, 2019

Sending thank you letters to your parents and supporters at the completion of the fundraiser is a great way of acknowledging their contributions and increases your chances for fundraising success in the future.

  1. Show Appreciation

You can thank supporters for contributing to your cause. There is no better way of saying thank you than with a personalized letter. You can also thank your volunteers for their help with running the fundraiser.

  1. Report Results

Did you raise 100% of your funds and reach your fundraising goal? Did you surpass your goal? Inform your supporters of the outcome of your fundraiser. They want to know they made a difference.

  1. Increase Success

You will increase your chance of fundraising success in the future. Thank you letters are important because they encourage people who supported you in the past to support you again in the future. 

At the end of your next fundraiser, make sure to send out thank you notes to your supporters. Thank you letters are very important to the success of your future fundraising efforts.






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Double Your Fundraising Sales Results

on October 7, 2019

Getting everyone in your group to participate in a fundraising sale can make a big difference in your success!

Check out the infographic to see how much of a difference! You could double your fundraising sales results!

Let’s say your group has 100 people in it. And your goal is for each participating member to sell 6 items with your group receiving $5.00 in profit per item. When only 50 people sell, your group will make $1,500 in profit. If 75 people sell, your group makes $2,250 in profit. If everyone sells, your group makes $3,000 in profit. 

Math doesn’t lie! When everyone participates you double your fundraising sales!

Three simple things to increase your participation today:

  • Set goals for each individual seller and for your group as a whole.
  • Communication is key! Involve your sellers, group leaders, and parents.
  • Motivation will encourage your more people to sell. Reward participation with prizes and incentives.

Talk to your local fundraising expert today to find out other ways to improve your fundraising sales results!






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10 Tips To A Successful Sales Fundraiser

on October 7, 2019

Make any sales fundraiser a success by following these 10 tips for a successful sales fundraiser.

  1. Make contact with other groups

Be aware of what other fundraisers are going on within the school. Try staggering the fundraisers out or run them together if the merchandise selection is unique.

  1. Get everyone on the same page

Have a brief committee meeting to review key dates and activities of the project. Be sure to discuss what their expectations are.

  1. Create enough selling time

Schedule your sales so it spans at least two weeks and preferable three weekends. Start on a Thursday or Friday and end on a Monday or Tuesday. Keep it in front of everyone as much as possible. Send filers home, put it in the newsletter, or display on a bulletin board or school website.

  1. Kick the fundraiser off right

Get the students and parents excited. If they are excited, they are more likely to participate.

  1. Get the message to the parents

Ask the fundraising company to provide samples of their products for the parents and sellers. Consider having them at the school’s open house. Make a display of what the money will be used for if the goal is reached.

  1. Put it in writing

Send the product catalog home with a detailed letter attached to the front. Customize the letter with specific information. Include your monetary goal, where the money will be used, key dates, payment instructions, and contact names and numbers.

  1. Give frequent reminders

Make several announcements over the course of the sale to remind students about important deadlines and the importance of your fundraiser.

  1. Line up volunteers

Volunteers will be needed the day of delivery to help pack and organize the orders. Some students may sell too much for them to carry home. Be aware of this and be prepared to send notices home if that is the case.

  1. Make pickup easy

Pick the least disruptive pickup time and location. Set signs around the school to direct parents to the pickup location.

  1. Remind everyone why you did this

Whether the money is used for a specific project or general fund, let the teachers, parents, and students know why their effort was worthwhile.






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3 Hidden Costs That Hurt Sales

on October 7, 2019

Be on the lookout! There are many elements within a fundraiser that can “cost” you extra. These 3 hidden costs are the ones you have to watch out for the most.

  1. Time

Time is money. Stick to a simple, short program that keeps excitement and sales high! A complex, drawn out fundraiser can leave a bad impression on participants as motivation fades and sales dwindle. A program with a short window of sales and fast turnaround time is great to keep sales up.

  1. Quality

The product matters. Make sure you choose to sell a product that is well liked so customers feel good about their purchase. This leads to high repeat sales the next time you offer the fundraiser. That’s why so many groups choose to fundraise with Butter Braid® pastries! Our products are braided by hand and filled with a variety of delicious fillings. Customers can’t get enough of them, so repeat sales are always high!

  1. Unknowns

Read the fine print. Be sure to watch for extra costs, such as getting stuck with a product you have to purchase up-front or built-in costs for prize program funds. 

Don’t let these 3 hidden costs hurt your fundraising sales. Pick the right program, with the right products, and you’ll be on your way to fundraising success.






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3 Tips to A Successful Fundraising Kick Off

on October 7, 2019

A parent meeting with sellers is key! It’s crucial they understand the importance of the fundraiser. What the money is going towards? Why is it necessary? What impact will it have on their child? Explaining these questions are crucial to getting parents and kids more involved in the fundraising process. That is why a successful fundraising kick off event is so important.

  1. Set Event Details

Pick a time that is convenient for your parents and students, usually evenings work best. Pick a meeting place with function, like a pizzeria, where parents can participate while eating dinner.

  1. Promote the Meeting

Get the word out in as many ways as possible: Facebook, school email list, parent letter, school message sign, and/or website announcements. Make sure to explain the benefits of parents attending the event.

  1. Kick Off Event

Talk about the purpose of your fundraiser. Communicate the item or monetary goal and set clear expectations. Distribute a timeline of the fundraiser, including important dates and milestones. Hand out sales materials including parent letters, order forms, etc.

Set up your fundraising kick off event today and use these tips to make it successful!






Looking for more sweet ideas?
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Searching For Your Next Fundraiser? Use This Checklist!

on October 7, 2019

This is a very handy tool when you are searching for a fundraising company. Simply go through the checklist to be sure that you are selecting the fundraising company that is best for you and your group.

A fundraiser is only as successful as the fundraising company behind it. Choose the right company and fundraiser by using this quick and easy evaluation tool. 

Evaluating a Company
  • Is the company representative professional?
  • Is the company representative local? Do they know the area?
  • Is the representative available throughout the fundraiser? Or only at the beginning and end?
  • Do they supply sales materials?
  • Are they positive?
Evaluating a Fundraising Product or Program
  • Is the product high-quality and have a good reputation?
  • Does the product have high per-item profit?
  • Are product samples available?
  • Are they products customers love?
Evaluating a Company’s Services
  • Do they have no up-front contracts?
  • Do they have no up-front fees?
  • Are communication templates provided?

This checklist will guarantee you pick the right fundraising company for you.






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Focus on the Dollars and Cents – Not the Profit Percents!

on October 7, 2019

Do you know how to maximize your fundraising profits?

When it comes to fundraising, a wise man once said, “You can’t deposit percents into your bank account.”

What you can deposit, is a high, per-item profit on each item sold! They will help you maximize fundraising profits at your next event.

Choose a simple fundraiser offering at least $5.00 per item profit. This will help you achieve your goals faster and with less overall effort.

While 50% or higher profit can seem like a great deal, be sure you know exactly how much work you are getting yourself into. This often times means you are paying for the hidden “fees” of:

  • up-front purchases
  • delivery fees
  • no fundraising support, resources, or tools
  • long-term contracts
  • low per-item profit
  • more work for you and your sellers

Check out the helpful infographic above to see how much a high, per-item profit can help you to maximize your fundraising profits! And check out Butter Braid® pastry fundraising. It includes high per-item profit, short turnaround time, and online ordering. Your next fundraiser will be a breeze with us!






Looking for more sweet ideas?
Head over to our Pinterest page for inspiring ideas using Butter Braid brand products.

Want more fundraising tips?
Check out our checklist for Picking Your Next Fundraiser!