Fundraising with Richters Seeds
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Meredith Hazen
Posted on: April 10, 2001

I am writing to you from Family Transition Place. We are an emergency shelter for women and children living in violent or abusive homes. During the month of May we run a Daisy Campaign to bring public awareness to the issue of family violence. We are se nd ing out a direct mail piece and we would like to include daisy seeds in the direct mail piece. The Direct mail piece has been written by one of our clients and in it she mentions "planting seeds of hope".

We are sending out about 3,000 letters and I was wondering what the how we would go about purchasing seeds and what might be estimated cost? I have no idea what would be reasonable, but I’m thinking five or 10 seeds per letter – I’m not sure how many come in a package.

Thank you very much for your assistance.

As you probably know we specialize in herbs so we do not carry all the different varieties of ornamental daisies that might be used for this campaign. But if you are willing to be slightly adventurous in your choice of plants, I have a suggestion that might be perfect.

Calendula is one of the many herbs we sell that is a member of the daisy family. Unlike many of the daisies, this one is easy to grow from seeds, even if the seeds are sown directly in the garden in spring. The added cachet about this plant is that it is one of the best medicinal herbs, especially for skin problems, cuts, bruises, etc. In a way it is a perfect symbol of healing which is, afterall, what your agency is about. It is colourful, and even edible, with the flowers making a wonderful colourful addition to salads.

The one down side of calendula is that it is an annual, not a perennial. But it reseeds itself and often manages to persist for several years in the garden.

The seeds are readily available and easy to handle. And if you are willing to gather some volunteers to fill your own printed packets, you can make up the 3,000 packets very cheaply. A kilogram of seeds has about 150,000 seeds, so you could pack 50 seeds per packet. For the current cost of calendula seeds, check the online catalogue at our website (http://www.richters.com).

For packets, you can make a very nice fundraising presentation using standard manilla coin envelopes that are printed with your organization’s logo and sowing instructions. For something a bit more colourful, you can print colour labels on an ink jet printer and stick them on coin envelopes. For filling the packets, small measuring spoons from the kitchen will work to measure out approximately 50 seeds per packet.

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