I started out writing this post with a totally different sentiment than what I’m writing now. I wanted to highlight my prize as well as other Menu for Hope prizes (that’s coming). But I have to speak now about something that’s bothering me.
We’re in Day 5 of the Menu for Hope. Halfway there (bidding continues until the 21st). The donated money isn’t even half of last year’s total. I thought we would multiply exponentially again like we did from Year 2 to 3.
The beauty of the Menu for Hope is that tons of food bloggers have reached deep into their own pockets to offer their time or homemade/self-bought prizes that the received bids might not even cover in terms of costs! The point is, it’s really not about the prizes. The prizes are food bloggers’ way of saying thank-you to the bidders for supporting a great cause, the World Food Programme. But when YOU bid, you’re also thanking the prize donators and saying, I support what you, food blogger, are doing.
The best way for people to keep offering prizes is to generate enough bids to at least cover the costs of the prize itself – money that could have been donated directly instead by the prize provider. For example, this year I don’t have a prize sponsor and all of the items were purchased with cash. The ads on this site barely cover my hosting expenses and traffic increases from participating are negligible.
But I am honestly thinking about donating the €150 (shipping, too!) directly to the Menu for Hope next year instead.
I’ve seen very few non-food bloggers or food bloggers without a prize talking about the fundraiser, even though I know you’re reading our blogs. This is disappointing. Go through the prize list, pick out 2-3 favorites and write about them! Send your readers to bid! Seeing as there’s no other blogger-driven fundraiser in action, what’s the harm?
I have to say I’m more than a bit disappointed. But I’ll get over it.
So, to motivate myself, instead of offering more food to my prize, I am going to motivate you to bid on my prize and to talk about the Menu for Hope.
First, what do you get? Besides a warm feeling….
- If you have a blog or want to start a blog, I will give you 5 (personalized!!) blog improvement tips regarding your site’s design, SEO, navigation, etc. – if you’ve read my bio, you know my day job is doing just that!
- If you don’t have a blog, hmm…I’ll try to answer as best I can 1 Internet-related question. Knock yourself out.
Note: Make sure you let me know which “reward” you would like. If it’s the tips, please include the blog URL, and if it’s the question, send it my direction!!
What do you have to do?
Note: You can do one OR the other, or BOTH! If you bid and write a post, I’ll count that as two “helps” and I’ll give you 10 tips, etc., accordingly.
- Bid on my prize (EU27). For every ticket you buy for my basket, I will give you 5 tips. 5 tickets? 25 tips!! Send me an email with the username you used to buy the tickets.
- Write a (dedicated!) post about the Menu for Hope, highlighting a few prizes (a link to me would be cool, too, but not required) and of course where to donate. Send me link via email.
Some helpful information
– Chez Pim’s entire prize list (and a detailed how to donate explanation)
– Fanny at Foodbeam’s European blog prize list
– The Firstgiving Menu for Hope IV donation page
– The description of my Artigianale basket
– My prize code: EU27
Won’t you help restore my faith in humanity?
Alice Twain says
Ne ho parlato qui
nyc/caribbean ragazza says
I will do a post. I already volunteer and donate w/several groups in L.A. but I could help spread the word for a good cause.
Ms. Adventures in Italy says
@Alice and nyc – awesome!! Let me know if you want tips or an Internet question answered. :)
Judith in Yummmbria says
In three days I’ve posted twice on it, and I will some more. I think it would be a mistake to post on nothing else.
From my POV, there’s something missing in the middle here. I bought three tickets on a prize and checked off on revealing my email and at the time I thought, “There’s an opportunity for the prize offerer to post something to arouse competition, like if someone would buy 3 tix, I must be pretty special, eh?” But niente, not even an email to me saying thanks. If I knew someone had done that, it would be what I would do, for sure.
I haven’t a clue if anybody is buying chances on my prize, although I see that many are clicking through to the ticket buying site from my pages. That’s a bit discouraging, no? Actually, I do know one person bought a ticket, but the email check off never showed up when she checked out.
Do, things are not perfect but in for a centesimo, etc.
I, too, want to thank Alice and NYC for posting. Some of these prizes are just exceptional, but I can afford few tickets, or I’d be in line for a bunch of them.
I am new to blogging and a major novice in anything computer related! I have yet to master adding a link! If I can figure it out I will write on this event. Maybe I’ll just try it without the link and steer people to your site.
Please don’t despair. We are actually doing pretty good, and a little ahead of last year’s pattern, in fact. Last year we didn’t make the first 20K until the weekend, and the second until the Thursday right before the last day of the campaign. The final 20K came all at once from last day’s rush.
This year, by the time I woke up this morning in California we were already over 20K. I suspect we will make a couple more yet today. We will do another big push early next week, and let’s see how well we go.
The jump from the year before to last year was just phenomenal, and I hope we beat last year’s total as well, but hoping for the same exponential increase would be expecting too much, I think. At least it looks like we’ll probably won’t miss last year’s total, at this rate anyhow. That’s a cause for celebration, no?
I’m sorry we don’t meet your expectation. If you had given your email address, you should have received a note confirming your donation from Firstgiving, with a note from me thanking you for participating in our Menu for Hope. If you didn’t get that, there’s something wrong with the email you gave us.
No, you won’t be getting an email thanking you from the prize donor. Due to privacy concerns, we do not share the email addresses of the donors to the bloggers. We only share the email address of the donor who win the prize to help facilitating shipping of the prize.
It’s also not quite practical to give each blogger who donate a prize an up-to-date report of how well the prize is doing. If we had to do it that would be all the host and regional hosts of Menu for Hope do for the duration. The regional hosts have already committed a huge amount of their time to help us put together this year’s Menu for Hope. I can’t ask more of them.
cheers, and thanks for participating,
Ms. Adventures in Italy says
@Pim – I’m sorry if my post seemed like a critique of the organization of the event. It’s definitely not – I really think this is a wonderful event and I love that you are organizing it. But I do think that an event such as this should have a momentum that keeps growing, and that takes the effort of everyone involved (including us little guys!)
I also think there was a lot of imagination in promoting prizes and awareness last year that, because of the event’s success, perhaps many of us expect the event to sell itself this year. I still think we need that bombardment and imagination, especially by the hosts and bigger-name bloggers since they probably have a bigger audience than most of us smaller guys.
Last year there was a barrage of posts that you couldn’t help but get excited and contribute!
Anyway, I am still positive and doing what I can! I think no matter what the final amount donated, I’ll be glad and proud of the event. I just may donate directly next year so that I have a bigger impact.
Thanks for stopping by.
@Judith – I keep track of my bids – just do a search on the Firstgiving pages for your code. It helps you figure out (like now) if you’ll need to drum up some more interest!
No worries, I’m just trying to explain and let people know it’s not yet time to despair!
I think we are going to see a little bump, we were just in the NYT yesterday, and Ruth Reichl just sent out her holidays newsletter and mentioned us again this year, so hopefully things will push a bit more.
We’re going all out push next week for sure. Please help us!
Judith in Umbria says
Golly, I didn’t mean anything serious, but when you check out it says leave your email so the donor can get in touch with you. I would if it were me. That’s all.
I do regret that it’s too complicated to notify everyone how many tickets have been bought for their prize. It, if nothing else, would give one something to blog about. Maybe it’s a bad idea anyway. It would be difficult for some people to not get any or many bids I think.
My expectations are merely this: that there be a lot of activity and sales and that everybody in the foodie world help out, even if they aren’t offering a prize.
I looked at the lists and was amazed at how many people want a Kitchen Aid!
The Food Hunter says
I’ve been planning to bid since I first heard about it. I’m not sure why I haven’t yet. I keep lurking but just haven’t done it. It will be my priority this weekend. I’ll also try and post something on my blog and let you know. I’m really excited about your donation. I would hate for you to not donate something like this again next year. Thanks for the motivation!
Deirdré Straughan says
I actually went through all the steps to figure out which prizes I wanted to bid on etc. etc, then gave up when I saw they wouldn’t take PayPal. The last site I tried to use my credit card on refused it and I’m travelling and don’t have time or energy to figure out why, and I loathe filling out lots of forms only to be refused at the end. So I like PayPal a lot – no unexpected last-minute hassles.
I am with Pim on this. Things like this are almost always back-loaded — especially when there is a prize to be had, it is just human nature to delay as well.
To be honest, given the current charitable state of things in the last 18 months, reaching last years goal could actually be seen as an improvement. Giving in around the world, and in the US in particular, is dramatically declining with people’s personal economic expectations. The nice thing is that if trends hold, worst economic times tend to have reverse effect on giving as the realization that person wealth and satisfaction is usually product of expanded charity to others.
In other words, study after study says that having wealth ultimately is a reward and a product of giving to charity (time and money) that the other way around. It just takes harder times for people to remember that.
I have always thought the real reward in the Menu for Hope would be for each and every prize winner to not claim their prize and ask to have it given to yet another charity local to the prize donator — now that would be a really economic/charitable multiplier effect.
Hey don’t do too much advertising. I just donated on your basket again this year and Judith’s cooking lesson. I also couldn’t resist the chocolate bars and had to put one towards that without even reading what it was. I didn’t win last year and I want to win this year. It’s not about the donating, it’s about winning!!! ;)
Judith in Umbria says
Sara, I have been writing on a different prize each day but one. I plan to continue. These prizes are so great that it makes for good blog fodder!
Jeffo, I am really touched! Thank you!