Things 4 Good 2023 Fall Fundraiser Insights

    We had a great time hosting our 3rd annual Things 4 Good Fall Fundraiser. We raised nearly $6,000 in donations for our four non-profits. A fun thing for me about the fundraiser is it lets us play the role of a retailer for a weekend.

    This year we had 55 candle purchases which compares to 52 in 2022 and 51 in 2021. On average people purchased 4 candles. However averages don’t always tell the story. Most people get two candles, and then there are a smaller number of people that get a large number — usually as gifts for the holidays.

    We had some new scents this year, and had more scents than we have had the previous two years. The first year we had only four scents, and last year six. This year we had eight different scents. As the number of scents go up we need to be more planful with inventory. For the first time this year we tracked which scents people picked so that we could get better insight for future years. Here is a look at rolling inventory.

    Some observations:

    • Winter Wonderland is always the most popular scent and we started with more than twice as many of those as any other scent.
    • Old Fashioned was a very popular new scent this year and was the first to sell out.
    • Plain Jane, also a new scent, had a lot of early sales and then slowed down a lot. This scent was most popular when someone bought a lot of candles as gifts.

    I fed the transaction data into ChatGPT and used its data analysis mode to make a run at doing inventory planning for next year. It did a reasonable job but with such a simple dataset I could have gotten most of the way there on my own. It recommended a 30% increase for True North and 20% increase for Old Fashioned. Even though it was a simple use case, it highlighted how powerful it could be at that use case.

    We offer folks a number of ways to donate and again Venmo was by far the most popular method, twice as popular as cash. I’ve offered the ability to pay with crypto for all three years, and this year we had our first donation made with Bitcoin via the Lightning Network!

    Interesting data for us which will help us with next years event. We are already keeping notes for things we want to do to make next year’s Things 4 Good Fall Fundraiser even better. Send us an email if you have any suggestions!

    Also see 2023 Fall Fundraiser Results.

    Things 4 Good 2023 Fall Fundraiser Results

    We completed our annual candle sale and, in total, raised $5,755 for the four organizations we picked! That is around a 10% increase from 2022! A huge thank you to the 52 folks who made this possible by purchasing a handmade wooden wick candle!

    As in previous years, we asked people which organizations they would like to support. People could pick any number or all of them. This year, we even have some folks request specific allocations versus dividing it equally.

    Also see 2023 Fall Fundraiser Insights for more information.

    A bit more about each organization…

    Oceanites supported by Tyler
    Oceanites is a non-profit that helps the entire Arctic peninsula, though penguins are their first priority. They are trying to help with the warming Arctic.

    Food Recovery Network supported by Mazie
    Food Recovery Network has spread to over 200 colleges in the United States after it was started by 5 college students who realized perfectly good cafeteria food was being thrown away and had the genius idea to actually do something about it! Volunteers at colleges (of which I am one!) pack up extras from their cafeterias and send them to community food shelves to feed hungry people in their communities. FRN directly funnels food to those who need it instead of the waste yard.

    Heart to Care Tanzania supported by Tammy
    Heart to Care was founded by a woman from the Twin Cities. I read an article about her in the StarTrib a few years ago. She was on a trip to Tanzania several years ago and had a chance encounter with a young man that led her to partner with him and others to start a school in a small Tanzanian village. She works tirelessly to improve the school, expand the school and make sure that all involved have everything they need.

    American Prairie supported by Jamie
    I grew up on the prairie and have always been fascinated with Bison and these ecosystems’ strengths. I love what this organization is doing to help maintain and grow a thriving prairie ecosystem.

    See 2022 and 2021 results.

    Candles are all set out for this weekends Things 4 Good Candle Fundraiser!

    We made the final batch of candles for the Things 4 Good Candle Fundraiser tonight. We have 204 candles with 8 different scents! Looking forward to selling them all and raising $5,100 for four charitable organizations!

    We all made 60 Winter Wonderland candles for the 2023 Things 4 Good Candle Fundraiser tonight!

    Making another batch of candles for the 3rd Annual Things 4 Good Fall Fundraiser!

    Just ordered 108 additional candle vessels, more wax, and scents to fill out inventory so we can start making candles for the 2023 Things 4 Good Candle Sale! Plan is to make 203 wooden wick candles to raise money for good causes. Sale will be Nov 4th and 5th!

    Burn test for the small candles I made this weekend. Worked great. Scent strength is good.

    First attempt at making smaller 2.5 oz Wicky Thing Candles. Also experimenting with a bold Double True North scent. Small vessels are harder to fill, and you have to go quick since the wax starts setting fast. Would be interesting to heat the vessels before the pour.

    Things 4 Good Fall Fundraiser Notes

    We had a great Things 4 Good 2022 Fall Fundraiser. With the help of many friends and family we raised $5,217 to support four good causes.

    Some notes from the event:

    • We sold 172 of the 180 Wicky Thing Candles we made. Last year we sold 134 candles.
    • We sold all 50 bottles of Sweet Thing Honey.
    • We sold 10 Jiggy Thing Puzzles, but it was the same puzzle we had in 2021 so a number of folks already had it. Last year we sold 26 puzzles.
    • We had six Wicky Thing Candle scents this year: Winter Wonderland, Apple of my Eye, Oh my Darling, Tea Time (new), Red Hot (new), True North (new). Winter Wonderland and True North were nearly half of the 180 candles and together sold out the fastest.
    • I’m not sure which vessel colors are the most popular, but it seems brown was likely the least popular.
    • We achieved over 400% return on the expenses to buy supplies given the amount raised!
    • Thus far 28 people have redeemed the Things 4 Good 2022 Fall Fundraiser POAP token. Printing out claim sheets with directions and the claim code was a much better way to distribute these.

    I’m already looking forward to the 2023 Fall Fundraiser! 🤩

    Just ordered 176 pounds of candle wax. 🕯️

    We made another 90 Wicky Thing candles today for a total of 180 ready for the Things 4 Good Fall Fundraiser!

    Making Wicky Thing Candles with the Digiboil is way faster and just easier. We made twice the candles in much less time versus multiple double boilers.

    It is also a win that we can make them inside. Last years cooled outside and that can be too fast and cause tunneling.

    We are doing our very first round of Wicky Thing Candles with the Digiboil. This thing can take a lot of wax! This is going to make candle production much faster.

    I decided to take a big “step up” in Wicky Thing Candles production and get a DigiBoil 9 gallon wax melter. Before we had three melters in two double boilers doing 3 lbs of wax at a time. Things4Good Fall Fundraiser coming November 12th and 13th.

    Wicky Thing Tealights

    Yesterday I made more 12oz candles, as well as some tealight candles. After realizing that the small tealights needed to be on a towel to slow down cooling they came out great. Today I did a burn test on four of them. The wood wick still gives a great crackling sound, even at the small size. Burn time is impressive at 5 hours or more. Good scent throw too for such a small candle.

    I’ll keep a number of these around because you always have little bits of extra wax when making candles and having tealights to fill up would be a great way to use that.

    First attempt at making tealight candles along with some regular Wicky Thing candles. Requires precision for 0.5 oz pour. Towel under the tealights is to slow down cooling. First ones I let sit on counter and the wax tunneled as it cooled too fast. 🕯

    Things 4 Good Fall Fundraiser

    Our Things 4 Good Fall Fundraiser was a great success this weekend! We had more than 100 people stop in to buy Wicky Thing Candles, Jiggy Thing Puzzle #001, Four Bees Honey, and fresh baked cookies. We all had a lot of fun hosting people. The kids particularly enjoyed walking guests through the various options and checking people out.

    All the proceeds are going to non-profits, and we raised…


    We gave everyone the opportunity to choose to direct their sale to any number of the great organizations that we had identified.

    Seems that non-profits closest to kids and food got more engagement than the others.

    We made four distinct Wicky Thing Candles for the sale: 🔥

    • Oh My Darling: Sugar-y and Citrus-y, this candle will brighten and energize your day as soon as you set it burning!
    • Mind Like Water: Made with a calming cashmere vanilla fragrance, this candle will have you deep in meditation in minutes.
    • Apple of my Eye: And this candle is sure to be the apple of yours! Heavenly apple and cinnamon scents combine to create that rich, full aroma we all love!
    • Winter Wonderland: Crisp and pine-y, this fragrance will transport you directly to that snow-covered pine forest of your dreams!

    We also sold our very first Jiggy Thing Puzzle #001, “Celebration City”! 🧩 Sure to be a collectors item. Hand drawn digital art, 500-piece puzzle perfect for anyone.

    Tammy and the kids made a bunch of cookies which was a great touch so people could have a little something fun to eat as they left. Tammy’s sister Angie was also kind enough to allow us to resell some of her amazing Four Bees Honey that she makes with the bees in her yard!

    Overall everything went great. We did capture some learnings to make it better next year. We are considering making this an annual tradition that we do! In the meantime, we still have some puzzles to sell…

    We had a great first day of the Things 4 Good Fall Fundraiser! We had a steady stream of people most of the day and sold a lot of Wicky Thing Candles, Jiggy Thing Puzzles, Four Bees Honey, and fresh baked goods to raise money for good causes! Open tomorrow too!

    All four of us “Things” are working away getting ready for this weekends Things 4 Good Fall Fundraiser! Wicky Thing Candles being labeled, fresh cookies baking, and signage being produced. 😎

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