Who we are and why that is important to you

A bit about Moody Associates and the fundraising industry

 

 

Our Company Motto:Providing a lasting investment in the future of our children through quality fundraising programs.

 

The Simple answer about who we are. We are one of several family-owned companies working together cooperatively.  None of us competes with any of the other.. Each company has its own client base, but we cooperate on a number of areas including sharing "know how", developing prize programs, doing group purchases to get prices down, and brochure development. We also are a part of several “buying groups” of small independent companies nationwide. All company owners are experienced in fundraising and still work directly with schools and leagues. We have no investors or stockholders and are financially stable. Our main focus is on creating profitable fundraisers for our clients. We share a common experience in fundraising that goes back more than twenty years.

A little background. The fundraising industry started in the early 20th century with specialty candy manufacturers (Wolfgang, Geoffrey Boehm, Ashers, and others, mostly in PA)  but growth began in the 1940s’ with large companies and nationwide paid sales forces. Magazines were the first major product, followed by chocolate, followed by flower bulbs, then “cheese & sausage.” Giftwrap came along in the mid-1980’s along with student packing. Competition heated up and companies started offering more and more services. As large companies found that a paid sales force was no longer economically feasible, salesmen became independent contractors. Then these independent contractors started breaking away and forming small local and regional companies, becoming “distributors”. In the 1980’s a Chicagoan named Mark Metzner started importing ornaments and novelty items from the Orient and selling those to the small independent companies while American Greetings started doing the same with wrapping paper. Metzner’s company, then also representing American Greetings, became Giftco, a “supplier” selling to “distributors.” Several Wisconsin cheese manufacturers joined the industry. An ever-growing group of suppliers competed for business by offering “dating” on product. Distributors sometimes made a down payment in March along with an opening order, which could be increased later, and in some cases were allowed to place sizable orders with no upfront payment at all. Suppliers generally allowed distributors to defer payment for product until December, allowing them to use their resources for labor costs. Retail prices rose to offset the cost of “dating” and the ever-increasing profit percentages, and as retail prices rose, participation and sales in the schools fell. Fast forward to the 21st Century and we find that a bidding war based on profit percentage had forced well over half of the fundraising companies in the nation into bankruptcy and eventual closing and had reduced the major suppliers to two companies, because of ever higher profit percentages to schools and shrinking margins from suppliers. This left a number of supply companies with uncollectible debt, because of the “dating terms” on purchases by distributors, and put the supply companies into foreclosure and out of business. When Giftco, the last large supplier and importer, closed its doors because its credit line was revoked by the bank, even more regional and local fundraising companies “went under.” A solution was needed. Small regional companies banded together into buying groups and cooperatives to bring in product.  Medium size pack/ship operations grew substantially and started doing their own importing.  By 2010 we had a fragmented industry with two or three giants and many smaller regional companies.  We are one of the surviving small regional companies.  We are debt free and serve as many client groups as we can serve well and then stop there.  We outsource rather than hiring employees.  This allows us to react quickly to market changes, and allows us to offer the best items at the lowest prices and highest profit.

Our product sources.

*S'kool Smartz is located in Terrell Texas and is owned by Reg Tomblin.  Reg supplies warehousing and prepack services to a number of independent fundraising companies nationwide, primarily through Giftwrap programs, shopper catalogs, and is now tallying and co-shipping frozen products for Blue Ribbon Products.  Reg also supplies some of the best prize programs in the industry.

* Club's Choice is located in Eau Claire Wisconsin, and is owned by the McHugh family.  They produce frozen foods for the industry and offer warehousing, prepacking, and shipping services on those products along with shopper catalogs and other lines. 

*Unipak Fundraising Supply is owned by Terry Kieffer with warehouse and prepack facilities in Fort Wayne Indiana.  They provide warehousing and prepacking on a number of frozen food programs.

*Pine River Prepack is a cheese, sausage, and chocolate manufacturing company in Newton Wisconsin owned by the Lindemann family.  They provide our Cheese and Sausage programs along with our $5 and $6 snack programs, with warehousing and prepack.

*Western Promotions, operated by Mike Squire, has offices in Oregon and a warehousing and distribution facility in Benton Harbor Michigan.  They provide our Flower Bulb programs.

*Pine Valley Foods is located in Monroe LA, and is owned by the Gildenzopf family.  They manufacture our cookie dough, and provide warehousing and student packing.

*Gift-Pak is part of Clemente Novelties in Utica NY.  They import and warehouse most of the kitchen items shown on major brochures.  They also create a fall brochure and a spring brochure and student pack these for independent fundraising companies.  They offer quality products and quick shipping.

*Mrs. Fields' Cookie Dough is distributed through Fundraising Manager in Baltimore.  Fundraising manger is owned by Dave Simon.

*Gifts Plus is a pack/ship operation in California. It is operated by Russell and Carina Rice.  They do their own importing and offer us good margins, so we can offer you good margins.

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The bigger picture. After the demise of Giftco, Darlington, Springwater, and Scott's as major suppliers to the industry the suppliers listed above, and other regional companiesin other parts of the country teamed up to double their buying power through increased volume and lower prices. Importing items directly also became possible, although imports make up less than a fourth of product in the brochures. Additional companies have joined in buying specific items that are used by all in the group. The buying group has eliminated “buying on credit” so that there is no chance of one member bringing down the entire organization. Each company has to develop its own credit line and pay manufacturers for product and brochures “up front.” The family-owned member companies of the group are managed by people who still work directly with schools and leagues.

Benefits of a buying group and family owned companies:
•Larger print runs on brochures reduces costs per brochure, allowing lower product prices.
•Practically eliminating out-of-stock items because there are no brochure reprints. A defined number of brochures are ordered by each company in the group, and each company stocks product to support sales in that number of brochures. •Fewer products in the landfill and no products sold off to Big Lots means better quality products at more reasonable prices.
•Shared inventory lists enable companies to adjust inventories by selling to and buying from each other, rather than depending solely on a supply company, importer, or asian factory. The only reason for out-of-stock items is that an item has surprisingly great sales, quickly depleting inventories.
•Drastically reduced overstocks at the end of the season. This allows products to be sold at a lower price. Lower prices=more items sold=more profit for your school or league.
•Exclusive items not available in stores or in other fundraising brochures. Quality is second to none.
•Financial stability enables quick changes to adapt to market conditions.
•The ability to stay in business, because each company involved is financially stable and is managed by people who know fundraising. Many national companies are owned by investor groups and are managed by people who have not worked “in the field”. We have experienced all the “mistakes” in the past and this helps us avoid bad decisions now.
•A commitment to our client schools and leagues instead of a commitment to stockholders.Our company, along with the rest of our group is privately-held or family-owned. We are in business for the long haul.
You will make more money with us because we understand how fundraising works, and how best to motivate principals, teachers, kids, and parents.

 

 


 

Last Updated: April 16, 2013