…for people with questions about becoming a site!
HOW MUCH DOES A SITE RAISE?
Our 2016 sites cleared an average of $12,240 after all expenses were taken into account. One of the sites had all of their expenses paid for by donors before their first tree was even sold. That's the beauty of this event. Because this event is geared towards children globally and locally it gives churches a reason to engage their community on a level not possible through regular church events. Government officials, local businesses, schools, media outlets, etc. want to be involved with helping children. This gives us a reason to reach out beyond our church walls to engage these people.
WHEN IS MY MONEY DUE?
$1,500 is due now to reserve your spot. Spots are given on a first come, first served basis and our slots are limited.
HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST ME?
The upfront costs associated with this event are covered once trees begin to sell and by the end of the event your church will have paid nothing. The upfront costs on an order of 250 trees is around $4000 (including trees and shipping) and is all due in installments by November 1.
One way to help offset up front costs is through local sponsorships. If you start early, you can raise money to help pay for the up front costs before the event even begins. The upfront costs depend on how many trees you are ordering and how far you are from the farm for shipping.
WHAT ARE ALL OF THE COSTS ASSOCIATED?
Up front costs:
1. $1500 deposit due now to reserve your slot and will be applied to your tree cost.
2. $1500 (average) due October 1st to complete your 50% deposit on the trees.
3. *$1000 Tent Rental (if necessary for your region)
4.** $500 average cost of shipping
5. Materials to build corrals, supplies for event.
6. Banners and marketing material at your discretion.
*these costs are general estimates and not quotes.
**Pricing subject to area and distance from tree farmer.
HOW IS THE MONEY BROKEN DOWN LOCALLY AND GLOBALLY?
85% of the money raised is sent out globally to help children in some of the most challenging places on the planet. 15% of the money will stay local to help kids in your community.
CAN I CHOOSE TO SPEND THE MONEY HOW I WANT?
You choose how to spend the 15% local portion to help children in your own community. Churches have done back-to-school backpacks, college scholarships for single family homes, supported the Mayor’s Youth Council, and given gifts for families at the holidays. The possibilities are endless.
CAN I FIND MY OWN SHIPPING COMPANY?
You may secure your own shipping. Some people have connections with this that they can choose to use.
HOW WILL I BE SUPPORTED?
We commit to providing support throughout the project year with products, logistics, training, site support, and coaching. We provide access to our online project management site, trademarked logo, Operations Manual, video training resources, promotional materials, photos, etc.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SELL THE TREES?
Sales begin the week of Thanksgiving. The best time to start is a few days before Thanksgiving. The typical site sells for 2-3 weeks.
WHAT TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE?
We provide training through many different avenues. You will be provided with an Operations Manual that walks you through the event from start to finish, check-lists to keep you on top of your project, online training videos, a coach who has done the project before, and constant support from our staff.
HOW BIG DOES MY CHURCH HAVE TO BE?
Any size church can participate in BUY A TREE. CHANGE A LIFE.
CAN I PROVIDE MY OWN TENT?
Not every site will be required to have a tent. It depends on your climate. If a church in Florida doesn't have a tent their trees would fry! However, churches in the North where it is cooler or rainy may not need a tent to cover their trees. They would just need a tent for the sales.
You can secure your own tent and do not have to use our recommended vendor. We recommend a site with 300 trees to have a minimum tent size of 40x60.
DO YOU PROVIDE MARKETING MATERIALS?
We will design the official BUY A TREE. CHANGE A LIFE. invite card and provide the template. This template is created for each church to personalize by inserting their own map and address.
DO WE HAVE TO SELL THE TREES ON OUR CHURCH PROPERTY?
While it is not a requirement, we HIGHLY recommend you sell on your church property. This ties into getting known better in your community, getting people on to your property, and being able to sell during church!
WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE OF PAYMENTS?
Timeline of payments:
Due now: $1500 deposit – first come first served
October 2, 2017 – Remainder of 50% tree balance due. Roughly $2500
November 1, 2017 – Pay freight. Price subject to market value and distance from tree farmer.
December 8, 2017 - Remaining Tree Balance due
January 12, 2018 – Send check to For Hope
…for people with questions after they are a site!
WHEN SHOULD WE BEGIN SELLING TREES?
While it is up to you (and the shipping schedule) as to when you receive your trees, we recommend to begin selling them prior Thanksgiving Day. While your biggest weekend will be Black Friday weekend, many people purchase trees before Thanksgiving and we find that a lot of local businesses do not have trees before then. So selling early gives you a jump start on sales and also helps some hands on training to take place before the big weekend.
Will i need a permit to sell trees?
Some cities require permitting for holding special events or erecting tents on your property. We recommend you check with your County and City Departments early to make sure you have more than enough time to secure any required permits.
HOW DO WE DISPLAY THE TREES?
There are different ways the tent can be set up. What we have found is that if trees are displayed they are easier to sell. We set up the corrals to hold the bound trees and display as many trees as we can. Instructions with pictures and supplies to purchase are located in our training manual.
WHERE CAN I GET TREE SELLING SUPPLIES?
We typically purchase trees stands (for re-sell), twine, and other supplies at the local big name hardware store. You can also look into buying bulk online.
HOW MUCH DO I SELL MY TREES FOR?
Every city is different so we allow each site to set their tree prices. There has been a recent increase in the wholesale cost of trees due to a high demand and low supply for farmers. Keep that in mind when setting your prices. We want to stay competitive with the local market but we will always have a better quality tree than big name stores.
WHAT DO WE PROVIDE ON OUR OWN?
You will provide items listed on the supply list such as twine, chainsaw, scissors, tools, marketing materials, banners, etc. You will also provide the materials to build your corrals. There are a few different options for this listed in the training manual. However, all materials needed to run this event will be covered by the money raised during the event.
WHAT HOURS SHOULD THE SITE BE OPEN?
We recommend being open as many hours in the day as possible. Using shifts for your volunteers is a great way to keep the tent staffed. Using different ministry areas or life groups is a great way to staff the tent in the evenings. If you limit your hours, you will limit your sales. Be open longer and sell out more quickly!
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CARE FOR THE TREES AND KEEP THEM WATERED?
The trees need to be watered. Simply spraying them down with a hose will work. If you do not have a water source close to the tent, ask your local fire department to join in with you on the project! They could stop by every few days to spray the trees down. We have had one site do this.
WHAT SIZE AND TYPE OF TENT DO I NEED?
For a first year site with 300 trees we recommend a minimum tent size of 40x60. There are two different types of tents: pole and frame. A frame tent is used when space is limited and a precise frame is needed. It is more expensive but sometimes necessary when there is not enough room for a pole tent. A pole tent stretches out and uses poles and ropes to hold it in place.
HOW MANY VOLUNTEERS DOES IT TAKE TO RUN THE SITE?
During weekday business hours you only need 2 volunteers (sometimes one if you can have a man or capable woman to load trees on cars). During weeknights we recommend 3-4 volunteers to run sales, cut trees, and load them. On weekends it is all hands on deck! This is your busiest time and the more people as you can have helping the better!
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SCHEDULE VOLUNTEERS DURING SLOW TIMES?
An important part of volunteer scheduling is finding an organized volunteer to help you schedule and make phone calls. By using a sign up sheet in your lobby people can see where you are deficient and how they can help. During slow times, the tent can be run by one capable person who can sell, cut, and load trees on a car. This CAN be a stay at home mom (who is strong). Put feelers out early for day time volunteers who may fit this description.
WHAT ARE GOOD WAYS TO DO VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION?
Keeping volunteers motivated and appreciated is important for moral! Buy donuts, pizza, and drinks when possible. Give them shout outs on social media and really pump them up in services! At the end do an appreciation/celebration party and recognize the stand out volunteers.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD EVENT NIGHTS BE HELD?
Often enough to generate buzz in your community. Not so often that it interferes with sales. The point of the event night is to generate buzz in the community. If you don’t have the ability or the want to for promoting the event night, hosting the event night that uses your volunteers may actually create more work than it is worth.
At some point you create such a customer base and such a high volume of sales that your event nights may actually interfere with your sales.
WHAT ARE THE MOST PRODUCTIVE AND COMMUNITY REACHING EVENTS?
It depends. We have found in Miami that outdoor movie nights with fake snow and hot chocolate is a good event. Perhaps our new favorite event is a hayride sponsored by a local farmer’s market. You can be as creative as you want. Caroling, Christmas crafts, snacks, hot chocolate, and kid friendly games are effective events.