Dealership Spotlight: Sweet Manna Fundraising

on July 23, 2021

A new month has arrived which means we’re ready for another “Dealership Spotlight”. July is all about seizing new opportunities and bringing about great change to help others, and that’s exactly what Sweet Manna Fundraising represents. Sweet Manna Fundraising is a newer dealership that opened in South Carolina just four years ago. In that short time, this dealership has dedicated itself to helping the people who need it most and giving them new opportunities with their easy-to-run fundraising programs.


Duane Skene is no stranger to taking advantage of new opportunities. In 2017, he and his wife, Jackie, moved south for her work which left his job prospects wide open. He was really hoping something new and exciting would find him. At that time, he had never heard of Butter Braid® Pastries. That is until one day when he was listening to Hugh Hewitt’s talk show on the radio.

Hewitt was doing an impromptu interview with Sherri Knobloch, the former owner of Excel Fundraising in San Diego. Duane had been a fan of Hewitt’s show for years, but it was this interview with Sherri that really made him stop and listen. Hearing her talk about Butter Braid Pastries inspired him, and he knew he needed to follow this lead. However, it wasn’t until the Skene’s moved again for Jackie’s job, this time to Camden, South Carolina, that Duane was finally able to open his own dealership. Now, Duane was in a location where he could begin to do his great work, and he was ready to start Sweet Manna Fundraising.

Changes to the Dealership

Sweet Manna Fundraising now services more than 6 counties in South Carolina. The business has been slowly growing over the last 3 years which has allowed Duane to expand his operation. In 2020, he built his own garage which now houses multiple freezers and has space for receiving and staging deliveries.

Fundraising Groups

Sweet Manna Fundraising has helped many groups make the most of their opportunities since its start in 2017. From school trips to uniforms to education fees, Sweet Manna Fundraising has promoted tons of great change through its fundraisers. In only four years, its groups have raised almost $75,000.

Groups are very thankful for the attention and dedication Duane puts into every one of his fundraising programs. Kathy P., a local group leader from Lamar, South Carolina, said of her experience, “The Butter Braid Pastries are delicious. We tried this as a fundraiser for the first time three years ago and the response from the community grows each year. The pastries are easy to sell. Duane Skene is an excellent consultant. He gives a demonstration to our students and explains everything so that the students understand what needs to be done and when. Order turnaround is short and on time. I definitely plan to continue using Butter Braid Pastries as a fundraiser.”

Why Duane Loves Fundraising

Duane has been so grateful for the opportunities he’s been given over the years and the experiences they allowed him to have. With his dealership, he wants to bring new opportunities to local groups through his fundraising programs, and his groups desperately need as many chances as they can get. He says there is no greater joy than seeing the reactions from new groups who realize there is an easy fundraising program out there that will allow them to be successful.

Sweet Manna Fundraising has been a wonderful addition to the Butter Braid Fundraising team. Duane Skene’s energy and positivity has really inspired his groups to achieve great things in their fundraisers, and we can’t wait to see what he’ll accomplish in the future. If you’re a group in the South Carolina area and need a fundraiser, you will love working with Sweet Manna Fundraising because, with them, the possibilities are endless.

Connect with Sweet Manna Fundraising Today!


Interested in becoming a dealer?
Head over to our Dealership Opportunity page to learn more.

Want to read more posts like this?
Check out our Dealership Spotlight feature on 5 Star Fundraising.

Tips for First-Time Fundraising Leader

on July 9, 2021

Is this your first time as a fundraising leader? Are you feeling a little nervous about your new role? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Here are 10 tips for first-time fundraising leaders to get you started.

  1. Accept that you still have a lot to learn

Even though you worked hard to land this new leadership role and have plenty of experience and expertise, it’s okay to feel uncertain about your ability to lead. Be willing to learn from others, including your new fundraising team!

  1. Communicate clearly

When it comes to leading a fundraiser, effective communication is essential. It’s important to always keep everyone involved informed of your goals, priorities, and deadlines. Provide clear direction and welcome questions, so you can be sure everyone is on the same page.

  1. Be decisive

As a first-time fundraising leader, you will need to make decisions and stick to them. Decisiveness is key for effectively executing plans and achieving set goals.

  1. Set a good example

Be sure to act with the same level of professionalism and dedication that you expect from others. For example, if you expect the children in your group to be polite and friendly, be sure you’re polite and friendly as well!

  1. Check in with your sellers

Don’t wait until it’s time to turn in your order forms to see how your children are faring with fundraising. Just like you, this may be their first time getting involved in a fundraiser. Checking in once or twice a week helps you keep on top of where they are and allows you to provide timely advice to those who may be struggling.

  1. Provide guidance

As a leader, you are also a mentor. This means making yourself available to help the kids in your group learn and grow, as well as helping them in their fundraising efforts.

  1. Offer recognition

By recognizing your students’ efforts and achievements, you are building their confidence and encouraging them to participate in future fundraisers.

  1. Help your group with their goals

Explain the purpose behind your fundraiser: what are you fundraising for, how much money do you need to raise, how much time do you have, etc. Then, help your kids set individual goals that will contribute to the overall goal of your fundraiser.

  1. Make it fun!

There are so many fun ways to reward kids for doing a great job. Inspire them and incentivize them with fun activities and prizes. You’ll get much better results when you do.

  1. Be patient with yourself

Becoming a strong leader takes time, especially when you are adjusting to a new position. Don’t be afraid ask for advice when you need it; doing so will enhance your leadership abilities and help you progress towards becoming a great fundraising leader!

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 10 Tips to Help You Plan Your Next Fundraiser!