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Looking for a Creative Fundraiser – Try Cutlery

High-profile, celebrity backed, headline grabbing fundraisers seem to be in vogue these days. But they’re certainly not the only way to raise money for a worthy cause.

An army of churches, school groups and community organizations across the country
have been quietly raising millions of dollars for more than 50 years by selling a bit of culinary nostalgia.

Ann Dell, 66, has single-handedly decorated much of her Waycross, Ga. church by selling Rada Cutlery for the past 15 years. Thanks to her efforts and the cooperation of Rada Manufacturing, the Winona Park United Methodist Church sports custom drapery in its social hall, blinds in Sunday school rooms and a well-furnished narthex.

The distinctive metal handled knives are popular because of their quality, but also, Dell says, because for many people they evoke strong childhood memories. “So many people say to me ‘Oh, my grandmother had one of these knives,’ ” Dell says.

Because Rada has offered a fundraising program since its founding 58 years ago, the cutlery has quietly become an institution in the world of community fund-raisers, notes Dan Kielman, Rada’s marketing and sales manager. More than 100 million pieces of cutlery have been sold this way since 1948. In fact, Kielman says, if you’ve bought a knife through a community fund-raiser, chances are it’s a Rada product. “The key to the company’s success has been word of mouth advertising, people telling others how their group has raised money selling knives that people love to use,” he says.

Non-profit groups choose to sell the Rada Cutlery products for a number of reasons. First, they like selling useful items that people want and need. Rada Cutlery offerings not only include kitchen knives and utensils but also cutlery gift sets, soy wax candles, quick mixes, recipe books and stoneware. Second, groups enjoy earning a 40 to 45 percent profit for their cause while giving their supporters a great value on the items they purchase. Third, Rada has a proven system that is easy for the group leader, members and supporters.

“We really have tried to create a turnkey fund-raiser,” Kielman says. Dell, who keeps a year-round stock of the cutlery in her home, says the company’s customer service caters to volunteers. “I call up and they know me right away,” she says. “We are known for our friendly customer service reps, quick order processing and free shipping,” Kielman notes. Ninety-nine percent of all orders ship from the factory within two working days of being received. Large fund-raisers appreciate that they can have their orders sorted for each person selling at no extra charge.

Over the decades, customers have sold Rada products to raise funds for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Masons and Kiwanis clubs, churches, schools, libraries and youth groups and many, many other organizations. Thousands of groups sell Rada Cutlery in their communities each year to raise funds for their causes, Kielman says.

“We are proud to help these people with their missions,” Kielman says. “Helping the community is the right thing to do both morally and from a business standpoint.”

All Rada Cutlery products are made in the U.S.A. Rada Cutlery knives and utensils are made of surgical-quality stainless steel and come with a lifetime guarantee.

To learn more about how selling Rada Cutlery can help raise funds for your community organization, visit www.radamfg.com, or call (800) 311-9691.

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