Promotions, Contests, and Events
Dramatically Increase Income at Stores, Restaurants, Churches, Schools, Fairs, Conventions, Parties, and Other Events
This page contains a variety of ideas, some applying to unattended placements such as in retail stores, museums, or other foot-traffic location where people may or may not see the Well or stop and toss in coins.
While most of our customers get Wells to generate daily income from passive unattended stores, restaurants, and other locations, consider the following ways to increase the income at events where you have the added advantages of being able to communicate with your attendees ahead of time, and to be there beside your Well during the event. This page includes how thousands of dollars are raised in a day, a weekend, or over a 6-month contest period. For instance:
Most of the ideas below are for "attended" events. Some of the sections will overlap with others, but that is because we are trying to toss out a variety of ideas that allow the reader to adapt the best option, or combination of promotions to their particular situation.
The following paragraphs expand on the above suggestions, and offer some larger contest ideas, and suggestions for store placements.
Make change with a lot of coins
As your cashiers hand people their change, have them cheerfully suggest, "Be sure to have some fun with the Spiral Wishing Well on your way out..." as they point to it.
Some stores are even more aggressive than that. When they give people change, they do it with a lot of coins, accompanied with that same suggestion to have fun at the Well. In other words, if someone is getting $1.50 back, they don't hand them a dollar bill and two quarters, they hand them 4 quarters, 3 dimes, and 4 nickels, or something like that.
Hoody Secton, a 7-11 franchise owner, did that very thing with his customers...many of whom are daily repeat customers. In a sense, he "trained" them to toss in all the loose change he and his cashier's handed them. He sent in this report: "For the last eleven years, out of 8,000 Seven-Eleven Stores, I have been in the top five raising money for the Jerry Lewis Telethon. My Spiral Wishing Well is my number one fund raiser . . . at over $16 per day, almost $500 per month. We average about 2,000 customers a day and most of them come in regularly. Interestingly, those same people toss coins in day after day---even if it's only a few cents change from a cup of coffee, sometimes right down the middle of the funnel and they don't even watch it spiral. They just do it out of habit."
We would love to publish your organization with a new one-day record. This section will explain how to do it.
We have several categories for records...schools, churches, stadiums, and other events.
The current overall record is $40,979 at a church in Loma Linda California. Click here to read about their exciting success.
Canyonville Academy in Oregon raised $7,352 on an alumni day when they were raising money for a grand piano. They came right out and said, "Let's try to set the one day record for the Spiral Wishing Well by passing all the coins, bills, and checks through the Well."
Records are not set at retail locations from walk-by traffic. Even if you placed a Seven-Footer in a 50,000 seat coliseum, it would be difficult to set a record from walk by traffic. However, if someone at a microphone said, "Be sure to stop by the Spiral Wishing Well and empty your pockets..." then you could easily set a record with a large crowd. Applying the suggestions in the green box above would almost guarantee it.
The most likely setting for record income will be at an event where you are raising money for a cause or project and you encourage people to pass their bills and checks through the Well too, and if you get a company or individual or two to "match" the amount raised.
Records are set when the Wells are the focus of the event. It is amazing how people will step up and make some very large donations when the goal of setting a record is promoted.
To maximize your kick-off income, be sure and do as many of the promotional ideas on this page as possible.
Offer something in exchange for a quarter or dollar tossed into the Well. For instance, the American Heart Association placed a Well in a shopping mall for a weekend, right next to a cookie store. They arranged with the cookie store to give away a small cookie in the shape of a heart to anyone who tossed in a quarter. The charity raised $1400 worth of coins over the weekend and the cookie store had record sales because "nobody can eat just one!" This same concept has been done many times with other giveaways such as small ice cream cones, a Pepsi or Coke.
You can also line up some prizes such as bicycles, cameras, televisions, or other popular items that are provided by local stores. Then run a promotion such as, "Toss in a quarter (or dollar) and enter a contest to win a free television." Have everyone fill out a little entry blank and toss it into the Well or into a box. Then have a drawing for the winner at the end of the event.
Additional revenue can be generated by getting a company to sponsor the contest. They will get their name on the entry blanks along with a tear-off coupon or something similar. Depending on the size of your event, that sponsorship alone can generate another $1,000 or more.
Some of the most successful events have been promoted on local radio (sometimes with a remote on-site broadcast) that encourage people to gather up all the coins in their house and go have some fun and win a prize at the same time.
Toss in a Quarter - Win a Trip
If you have several stores or locations, you can benefit from a big contest. A 100-store regional chain gave away a free trip to the Bahamas at the end of a 6-month campaign using the "toss in a quarter and win a trip" entry blank concept. Since quarters are worth 25 times as much as pennies, they increased their coin-revenue dramatically and drew a lot of attention to their charity. They also instructed their cashiers to make change with a lot of coins and to cheerfully suggest to the customers to "...have some fun with the Spiral Wishing Well and be sure to enter the Bahamas trip contest on the way out."
Stores love it because they can't afford to conduct a contest like this on their own.
As a bonus, the sponsor received the entry blanks every week, and sent "thank you" notes to the contestants, along with a special offer to get a free month of service. This is a GOLD MINE for a sponsor.
Churches and Schools
Churches and schools have two important elements in common:
1) The ability to communicate to members and students before and during campaigns (as opposed to depending on customers to stop by the Well as they walk in and out of stores), and
2) Members and students have a vested interest in the project (as opposed to store customers who might not have a relationship with the charitable recipient)
That means that schools and churches can raise much larger amounts of money with their Wishing Wells than store placements. Many have reported completely paying for their Well in one day or a week by using some of the suggestions on this page. This is discussed in more detail farther down this page.
But a downside of a church or school setting is that the same people will be passing by the Well on a regular basis, so the income often tapers off over time.
Therefore, we recommend a variety of ideas on this page (above this section and below it) that will maximize the advantages and minimize the disadvantages.
If you are a small church or school and have a tight budget, you will love this idea.
You can loan your Well to other churches, schools, charities, and fund-raising events in your city FOR HALF THE COIN REVENUE!
And your name can be on the sign over the door on the bottom as shown here, which can be a great advertisement for your church or school.
We receive rental requests on a regular basis from charities that just want to use a Well for a day or a weekend. But because of the shipping costs, that is impractical. We would love to be able to refer inquiries from your area to you.
To help spread the news that you have a Well to loan out, we have suggested wording for a press release that you can send to your local media to start the requests coming in. Additionally, there will be hundreds of people at these events who represent other charities and projects. When they see the Well, they will contact you to arrange to borrow it for their events. With athletic events and other school programs around the city, it is possible to have your Well loaned out all the time, or as often as you want.
Not only is this great exposure for you, the income will be very significant. One day events are always heavily promoted, and 50% of the coin revenue (not including any bills or checks that are donated) will be very significant. It is simple too. They come pick it up from you, bring it back, and hand you a check for half the coin revenue. It doesn't get any easier than that.
Said another way, this is a great way for you to let other people pay for your Well. This loan program makes it possible for a small church or school to be able to afford a Well that might not otherwise have enough members to justify it.
Click here to see suggested wording for a one-page "rental agreement". This document is also a great "brochure" to give to organizations that are still thinking about whether to rent a Well or not.
BONUS INCOME: You can raise even more money by "giving away the mini-Well toys FREE for a $25 or greater donation. Click here to read more about this extraordinary bonus income.
One of the most successful campaigns was in Portland Oregon where a high school placed Wells all over town to raise money for a classmate that needed a bone morrow transplant. The local media picked up the story, promoted it heavily, and they raised $248,000 in 45 days. People also put checks and bills into the Wells...even $100 bills! Because of the media coverage, they received calls from stores asking for a Well. The life-saving transplant was paid for, with some money left over that matched up with other grants for other surgeries.
This kind of campaign can also generate quite a few prizes donated as it became very popular for stores to participate. The cost of the Wells for a project like this can be covered by asking the stores to purchase the Wells, and when the campaign is over, they can use them to raise funds for their own favorite charity.
In other words, when it comes to promotions, you are only limited by your imagination. The Wishing Well becomes the focal point for the fund raising event, but you are not limited to coins.
Some schools have conducted "Vortx Spin-A-Thons" where the students get pledges of $1 per hour for the continuous spinning of the same coin. This is similar to a "work-a-thon" or "walk-a-thon" and can raise several thousand dollars, and they attract media coverage because of their uniqueness. The events usually begin on Friday evening and include parent volunteers, food, various movies on monitors around the gym, and a great social event atmosphere. By moving the Vortx in a circular motion, the inertia is maintained and the coin keeps on spinning as long as the student has enough coordination to keep it going. The record is 33 hours and 16 minutes by one person with the same coin! These kind of campaigns require some organization, but they can be very lucrative. If you want to put one together, we will help you from start to finish. Don't hesitate to ask.