Monday, November 13, 2006

Menu for Hope III, a call for participation

Hi everyone,

It's that time of year again for our next Menu for Hope campaign. Many of you were involved in the last year's very successful campaign to raise funds for UNICEF. Together we raised over $17,000, which was much more than any of us expected. Even more remarkably, we somehow reached that high number by selling raffle tickets that cost only $5 each.

Many of you were very generous in providing raffle prizes and in helping us raise the awareness for the campaign last year. This year, I hope that even more of you would participate in our third annual Menu for Hope campaign. The campaign is scheduled to run for two weeks from December 11-22. (Here's a link to last year's campaign announcement on Chez Pim for your reference.)

This year, I'm very proud to announce that the United Nation's World Food Programme will be our very worthy recipient. What better cause for us food bloggers to raise money for than the UN's World Food Programme, which has been feeding the hungry since 1962? The people at WFP are very excited by the prospect of this very novel fundraising campaign –only novel for them of course, this is our third year at this now, remember? They have assigned a Public Affairs (that's to say PR) person to help us publicize the campaign, and hopefully together we could break the record we set for ourselves last year.

Here's what I'd like from you in order to participate in our Menu for Hope III:

Preparation, before December 1.
1. Come up with a gift, or a set of gifts, to offer as a raffle prize. You could offer books, foods (your specialty or those of your part of the world) or solicit gift certificates from restaurants or food producers in your area. Remember that you will also be responsible for shipping the prize to the raffle winner, no matter where they live. So, please make sure you could afford the shipping cost as well.
2. Provide two images of your gifts, one at 75x75pix thumbnail and another a bit larger at 240x160pix. Please remember to optimize the images for the web as well.
3. Provide a description of your gifts. You're trying to sell the gifts to our donors, so be persuasive, be very persuasive!
4. Email all of the above to corresponding host blog in your region. Those of you who participated last year should remember that all gifts were hosted on Chez Pim. This year we are doing things a little differently. I'll still be the main host for the campaign, but in addition to that we will have 6 host blogs, who will each be hosting the list of prizes in their own geographical region, as followed:
  • West Coast USA –Sam of Becks and Posh - menu4hope.west at
  • East Coast USA –Adam, the Amateur Gourmet - adrober at
  • The rest of the US -Kalyn, Kalyn's Kitchen -kalynskitchen at
  • UK/Europe -David Lebovitz- davidlebovitz at
  • Asia Pacific/Australia/New Zealand (Helen of Grab Your Fork - grabyourfork at
  • South America (Cooking Diva - pty_cooking_diva at
  • Canada (Jasmine at the Cardamom Addict - cardamomaddict at
During the live campaign, Dec 11-22
1. On December 11, write a blog post about the campaign and your raffle prize and ask –no, beg- your readers to donate money to buy virtual raffle tickets to support WFP. Each $10 will give the donor one virtual raffle ticket for a prize of their choice. (They can specify their desired prize in the comment area of the donation form.)
2. Be active during the time our campaign is live. Monitor how your raffle prize is doing on our fundraising page, and encourage more of your readers to donate. You may also write about other prizes that your readers might be interested in.

A little note about how we will collect the donated funds. We are, once again, using the online fundraising company First Giving to coordinate the donations. No money will pass through my hands, First Giving will collect the donations and pass them directly to the World Food Programme. I'm also very happy to tell you that First Giving has given us 25% off from their usual fees. The fees is 4%, which is not very high, so the discount is only 1%, but it's still a very nice gesture from them.

One more little change from last year is this year's electronic raffle ticket will cost $10 instead of $5, and a donor can only select one prize for each set of donation –that is to say a $50 donation will give the donor five chances at only one prize of their choice. This is to make our lives easy during the raffling of the prizes.

I do hope you participate and help us beat the blockbuster success of last year's campaign. Please feel free to email me at pim at if you have any question or concerns. You may also contact the host blog in your area, they will be able to help you as well.

Thank you so much in advance for your help.

Chez Pim

This Post was written by Pim from Chez Pim

[charity] How Can I Participate in Menu For Hope?

Many of you already know that Pim of Chez Pim announced the 2006 Menu for Hope here on Food Blog Scool a few weeks ago. This year any funds raised will go to support the United Nation's World Food Programme. Menu for Hope kicks off in a week and a half and it is time to get organised. As the USA West Coast host of the event, I have had several people asking about the kinds of gifts they can offer. Here are some tips:

- Firstly, if you are not already familiar with the event, go and see what kind of gifts people donated last year. Think about which ones you find most atttractive and conversely make a not of those which you wouldn't bid for. Use this information to guide your own choice for a prize this year.

- Minimum bid for a prize will be $10. Bear in mind that people will be less likely to bid for prizes that are worth less than the price of a ticket.

- Value of the prizes does not have to be monetary. There are a couple of prizes from last year, that attracted high bids but did not cost their donators anything at all. Farmgirl Susan donated the opportunity for one lucky winner to name one of her sheep and VK from My Dhaba offered to give away her treasured cast-iron Kadai which, thankfully, the eventual winner refused to accept.

-Prizes that are unique, or funny, or unusual or valuable will be more attractive.

- Don't necessarily think of Menu for Hope as a way of getting rid of something you don't want yourself. The chances are, if you don't want it, no one else will either.

- Think of your own readers when choosing the prize. What would your readers like to win? The whole point of this is to attract your own readers to donate money first and foremost. We want everybody's readers to bid for prizes on the blogs they normally read, then we want them to discover everybody else's prizes and donate again.

- Some prizes will be tied to a locality. For example, the prizes I offered last year were only available in the Bay Area. This can be limiting, depending on your location and your readership. In the Bay Area where food bloggers have a decent readership and other similar metropolis, these kinds of prizes probably will hopefully attract a lot of bids, but in more remote areas the voucher for a local restaurant, for example, might not be so attractive.

- are you a personality? Offer yourself up as a dinner date?

- Be mindful of where you can ship things globally, particularly foodstuffs and alcohol. Check to see if you can ship your prize abroad. If not, then make sure that bidders know that they have to come from your home country, or change your prize to something that can be shipped globally.

- Be aware that the prize host is responsible for shipping the prize to the winner, perhaps anywhere in the world. Weightier gifts will cost more to ship.

- Not everyone can afford to host a prize. This is not a problem - there are other ways to help - in particular by buying a ticket or two, or even simply publicising the event on your own blog. Do not feel obliged to host a prize, we will be equally greatful for anyone who can't, but who chooses to publicise the event and send their readers to buy a ticket. In fact, I will write a thank you to our sponsors post linking to every blog who publicises the West Coast roundup to show my appreciation.

I hope that has given you all something to think about. Please address any questions here in the comments so that any of the hosts or previous entrants can dive in and answer the questions for everybody to see. I will write some more posts about the menu for hope over the next week on FBS. Don't forget - launch date is December 11. The main host and organiser is Pim and your global local hosts are as follows:

  • West Coast USA –Sam of Becks and Posh -
  • East Coast USA –Adam, the Amateur Gourmet - adrober at
  • The rest of the US -Kalyn, Kalyn's Kitchen
  • UK/Europe -David Lebovitz-
  • Asia Pacific/Australia/New Zealand (Helen of Grab Your Fork - grabyourfork at
  • South America (Cooking Diva - pty_cooking_diva at
  • Canada (Jasmine at the Cardamom Addict - cardamomaddict at
During the live campaign, Dec 11-22



At Thursday, November 30, 2006 11:49:48 PM, vkn said…

Dear Sam - This is great news. Count us in once again this year. We will come back and let you know what we would like to offer this time.

It was a sheer coincidence, we guess, or telepathy? My Dhaba has also embarked on a similar life-saving mission - "Feed a Hungry Child Campaign" on November 23, 2006. Please do check out the ongoing group book project - "You Can Cook for FAHC campaign".


At Saturday, December 02, 2006 9:39:44 AM, shelly said…

Menu for Hope is a truly wonderful campaign. Many thanks to those who are donating their time and effort to get this project going.

That said, I've been poking around the UN WFP site out of curiousity as to where our money will be going. The site is fairly informative, but it also raises some questions for me. For example, I'm not clear about how WFP chooses the recipients of the aid they give. All the recipients on the list of operations are certainly worthy, but I can think of several others who, strangely, are not on the list.

It's also not clear what foods they donate, where these foods come from, and how they are grown. Are the foods free of GMOs? Are they purchased from local farmers so as to assist the growers as well as those in dire need of sustenance? What is Unilever's role as a donor?

While providing emergency food supplies to people in need is highly commendable, I wonder what happens to those people when the emergency is over, or the supplies run out. There is certainly a place for providing immediate help to those who are hungry. But there is also the question of how to help people feed themselves when the WFP must move on to the next crisis. Is WFP involved in programs to help farmers through natural disasters, or helping farmers use natural local resources to improve their crops, rather than relying on expensive products they can't afford, or programs to develop school gardens grown by pupils which they then harvest to feed each other?

I've been thinking about this quite a bit and felt the need to discuss it, not as a criticism, but just as something to think about or perhaps open up for discussion. Again, I really admire the people who have organized this amazing campaign. That the foodblogging community can pull together to help those who are hungry is remarkable.


At Monday, December 04, 2006 10:31:58 AM, Sam said…

Hi Shelly

I wrote to Pim and asked her if she would respond to this comment, because they choice of recipient lies solely with her.

Personally I loved Blogathon because for that I was able to choose my own recipent.

Every individual has different reasons for wanting to support some charities more than others. And some people know more about what goes on behind the scenes than others which is why the points you raised are interesting.

When doing something like this on a global scale, it is difficult to find something that everyone is going to be happy with.

To anyone who isn't comfortable with this Programme, I would suggest you branch out on your own and run your own campaign if you want to. I did that with the Blogathon and it was satisfying to help the charity of my choice.

If you feel strongly, and it seems you do, maybe you need to raise and publicize these issues on your own blog. I definitely think it is something to consider and make more widely known.

Start a FBS post on the subject if you like, it might attract more attention than being buried in the comments.

This Post was written by Sam from Becks & Posh

[Menu for Hope] Update for US West Coast Participants

The deadline for Menu for Hope is drawing near, I just wanted to remind everyone about the latest details and deadlines. I am just working with participants who live in the Western United States (those ajoined to the Pacific including Hawaii). Please contact the host for your region if you are not situated on the US West coast, thanks. (list of global hosts here)

If you live on the West COast, USA, and have yet to send me notice of your prize contribution, please make sure you include all of the following information in your email and address it to:

- the name of your prize
- an eloquent, persuasive description of your prize
- your name
- your blogs name (this should be the blog where you will post your
Menu for Hope Post on launch Day, December 11th)
-your blog url
-your physical location
-check shipping: Please let me know if there are any
country/regional/global shipping restrictions on this prize and if so
what they are. Be sure to include this information in your
announcement too. Please note that the onus is on each prize sponsor
to clarify shipping restrictions for their entrants, so as to avoid
disppointed entrants further down the line, Thank you.
- a digital photograph of your prize, preferably horizontal, (which you should understand may be cropped, colour corrected or resized for use in the prize roundup
on mine and Pim's blogs whilst promoting the event)

If you manage to send all of this information intact to me by midday
PST on Friday December 8th I will guarantee you will be included in the
initial launch roundup on mine and Pim's blogs on December 11th. If
you contact me later than that time, your prize, of course, will still
be promoted extensively during the campaign but might not make it to
the launch day post.

This next section is information for everyone taking part. This is a description of what is required of participants on launch day, Dec 11th and the post that participants will publish on their own blogs to announce the event.

Please Note: Once you have contacted me and pledged a prize (with all the details as outlined in this mail) I will assign you a code number starting with the letters UW. Please use that code number wherever specified in the instructions, thank you.

Participant Instructions from Pim:

On December 11:

1. Write a post on your blog, describing your participation in Menu
for Hope and your prize(s). Please include at least one photograph.
Please state your prize code clearly for every prize you offer.
Your donors will need to use the code(s) when specifying the prize(s)
he/she wants to raffle for. In your write up, be funny, be
irreverent, beg if you must. Get your readers over to the main Menu
for Hope campaign page on Chez Pim to browse the list of all the
prizes or go directly to the donation page to make a donation.

2. Link to the main Menu for Hope III page on Chez Pim: (

3. Link to the regional round-up post on your regional host blog:

(on the day Dec 11th of you might want to change this to the permalink
url for the roundup post, which in blogger you can not set in advance)

4. Link to the donation page on First Giving: (

5. Provide the following instructions for donors:
Here's what you should do...

1. Go to the donation page at ( )

2. Make a donation, each $10 will give you one raffle ticket toward
a prize of your choice. Please specify which prize or prizes you'd
like in the 'Personal Message' section in the donation form when
confirming your donation. Do tell us how many tickets per prize, and
please use the prize code -for example, a donation of $50 can be 2
tickets for UW01 and 3 for UW02.

3. If your company matches your charity donation, please remember to
check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the
corporate match.

4. Please also check the box to allow us to see your email address
so that we could contact you in case you win. Your email address
will not be shared with anyone.

5. Check back on Chez Pim on January 15 when we announce the result
of the raffle. (The drawing will be done electronically. Our
friend the code wizard Derrick at Obsession with Food is responsible
for the wicked application that will do the job.)

During the campaign:

1. Please monitor the donation page if you can, perhaps you could
help drum up support for great prizes that have not been sufficiently
noticed by the donors.

2. Please consider keeping a Menu for Hope logo on your side bar.
It can either link to the prize round-up page on Chez Pim ( or to
the donation page on First Giving ( ).

thanks very much for your participation

Let me know if you have any further questions

I would like to add that we are really excited that you are taking
part. This is a community event that can help the world be a better

Thank you


This Post was written by Sam from Becks & Posh



At Wednesday, December 06, 2006 11:46:50 PM, david said…

Great write-up!

I do advise also if you're donating something like a food tour, class, or get-together, to give an expiration date. I'm asking my donating parties to give a one-year deadline.

So far I have almost twenty amazing gifts, including wine tastings in a chic Parisian loft, language lessons, dinner in a typical Bavarian home, and glorious food packages from Italy, Sweden, France, and Israel.

Should be great; let the bidding begin!


At Thursday, December 07, 2006 6:20:36 AM, Mae said…

I have added a link on my sidebar, Sam.

Good luck everyone!


At Thursday, December 07, 2006 8:31:23 AM, Sam said…

ha ha david - does that mean my mum's ice cream with you has expired.

i wanted to come and share it with her but i am stuck in the US for the last year due to visa issues, argh.


At Thursday, December 07, 2006 11:01:38 AM, Kalyn said…

I don't have a high number of prizes for the central U. S., and would be happy to get more, even if it's past the deadline (even past my extended deadline of December 9, LOL).

However, although I don't have a huge number of prizes, the prizes I do have are quite fabulous. If I dared, I'd give a hint, but I better not.


At Thursday, December 07, 2006 11:18:56 AM, Sam said…

I am pretty sure, Kalyn, that once the campaign goes live, more people will want to help out.

That is what happened last year.

We'll see....

...sleepness nights...

[Menu for Hope] Shipping/Deadline Notes

Menu for Hope prize hosts: Please let your hosts know if there are any country/regional/global shipping restrictions on your prizes and if so what they are. Be sure to include this information in your prize announcement post too. Please note that the onus is on each prize sponsor to clarify shipping restrictions for their entrants, so as to avoid disppointed entrants who cannot accept their prizes further down the line.

*generally - unless you state otherwise, as a prize sponsor you will be expected to meet the costs of shipping your prize to whoever wins it.

David Lebovitz, the European host also suggests the following: "I do advise also if you're donating something like a food tour, class, or get-together, to give an expiration date. I'm asking my donating parties to give a one-year deadline."

I know that for evey one who is taking part, there are a lot of details to assimilate and it is a slightly trying process, but please do try and get back to your hosts as quickly as you can with all the information they ask for by the dates and times requested. If you think it is hard to cope with organising one prize, please spare a though for those of us who are trying to keep a track of a couple of dozen or more, Thank you all very much.

This Post was written by Sam from Becks & Posh

Logos to Use:

Hi everyone,

Here are some logos you can use for the Menu for Hope campaign post on your blogs.

The Menu for Hope main logo:

a small logo

WFP logo

Please email me (pim at chezpim dot com) or your regional blog host if you had any further questions.

thanks so much for your help,

This Post was written by Pim of Chez Pim

Charity Mention

If you are taking part in the Menu for Hope this year, you may have noticed that the final particpation instructions failed to mention the charity we are supporting. It is probably a good idea, since we are trying to raise money for their benefit, that we give the United Nations World Food Programme a mention. People will want to know where their money is going.

I will leave it up to individuals to read up on the charity and add it to their launch posts in whichever way they think suitable.

This Post was written by Sam from Becks & Posh


nika said...

Pim: yea! i missed out last year.. going to try to pitch in this year though I am not at all sure what I might contribute!

Am so glad to hear the recipient is the WFP.. the morning the tsunami hit I went straight to the WFP site and contributed a chunk o' cash (didnt feel feel like giving to the US equiv., prescient huh).

Thanks for making it happen here in the food blogosphere!

Anonymous said...

The WFP is a great choice for the charity this year, Pim. I think the added PR will boost the contributions that much more. Plus it gives us all incentive to come up with better gifts than ever. You're a saint for organizing this fundraiser once again. Thank you.

Kalyn Denny said...

I love the idea, and thanks for letting us know early. I have a great prize in mind if I can make it work.

Sam said...

people can do more than one donation for different items though can't they?

just not splitting prizes in a donation?

I would also like to point out a couple of things:

Don't feel you have to host a prize - if you can't afford to or would prefer to support this raiser in other ways- it is equally as beneficial to us to have people promoting the event on their sites to get the word out and buying lots of tickets.

If you do host a prize - please think long and hard about it - make sure it is something you really think will attract your own readers to donate towards. Something worth less than $10 for example, probably will not get many takers.

Participants in my geographical region - west coast usa - if you can manage a 400x267 picture as well with your entry I would be one happy bunny. And if you want to email the entry (with pictures) to me early, as early as possible before the launch, then that would really help me to be able to work on my roundup post in advance.

thank you all s kindly.

Chris said...

Wow, I didn't know you all did this last winter. I am the online marketing manager of US Fund for UNICEF and a food blogger . . . thanks so much for your generous contribution last year. This is such a great concept.

I'll try to think up a prize I can offer on my site or at least line up for some raffle tix!

Sam's comments on the prize were really helpful. Does anyone have more advice on what prizes work best?

MizD said...

Something to keep in mind (a problem I ran into last year): some countries have extreme restrictions on imports. I had gourmet salt as part of my gift and it turned out the winner was in Italy and Italy doesn't allow salt imports. In fact, I had to rethink a good portion of my gift and the whole thing (plus shipping) ended up being far more expensive than I expected. This year, I hope to offer up something that won't have any country restrictions and be lightweight and easy to ship as well. (BTW, US bloggers can check the USPS website for foreign shipping restrictions before deciding what to offer.)

Sam said...

Mrs D - I think we should put the onus on the entrant tomake sure they are only bidding for prizes which they are legally allowed to have shipped to them. Bearing in mind - if you want to attract worldwide participants, don't provide a gift which might have restrictions.

Alcohol is anohter hard-to-ship item.

books are globally shippable.

cook books are a popular item.

Anonymous said...

I am going to be the UK/European blog host for the event...even though I don't live in the UK, nor am I officially European, but I can't resist a gal with a whisk...or a wok.

And I agree with the others to make sure to spell out exactly what's involved in detail in your donation (shipping, customs, etc...) so that the bidders, and the donors, aren't in for any unpleasant surprises. US donors can use USPS Gobal Priority which is cheap and efficient.

So...If there are any Euro/UK bloggers out there that would like to be sent further details from me in the near future, email me through my site, or at (replace the AT with @)

Anonymous said...

I'm a small time food blogger, but will link over about the cause!! Such a great idea.
Will definitely keep an eye out for some of those prizes!!

Anita (Married... with dinner) said...

Have other folks gotten their codes? I'm seeing posts pop up for blogs from other parts of the world, but we haven't gotten ours yet.


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