Candy Gram: The cheap, inventive & easy way to raise money

Candy grams have recently been building in popularity in every lolly shop. If you have never heard of the term, this blog will help you become an expert so that you can organise a candy gram at your workplace or organisation.

What is a Candy Gram?

Candy grams are a great bonding event that also raises money for a charity, event, club, function or institution.

The organisers create candy grams by buying lollies in bulk and designing creative, written messages on a card. Gone are the days where you can simply hand out a choo choo bar or any allens lollies is enough. So, participants at the event then pay money to the organisers before arranging these lollies in an appealing way and personalizing the cards and then giving or sending it to a loved one, normally one who is a part of the same club or institution.

Often the message is associated with the lolly/lollies chosen:
“You’re a lifesaver!” and the lolly attached is a LifeSaver
“You’re my rock,” with a jar of rock candy
“I’d take a bullet for you,” and attached is chocolate bullets
“You make my heart pop!” and the attached candy is a lollipop
“You’re a sweetie,” gives you the option of putting in any sweets or a variety

Outside of profit-making purposes, people can put in arduous effort to create candy grams, for example by arranging them in a three-dimensional way to look like a bouquet of flowers. These are not convenient for candy gram events because the time it takes to make doesn’t meet the profit but they can be useful if you want to impress a family member at home!

custom lollies

What is a Candy Gram at school?

“Candy Gram” is also used as the name of the event that institutions have to sell the candy grams. Schools organise these to raise money for the school or perhaps a charity they are associated with or are wanting to raise money for. Generally people will buy the candy gram for someone else in their school and have it delivered to them during class time, often by an anonymous sender – like a secret admirer! Because of this, the school normally aptly creates this event around Valentine’s day.

During Christmas time, schools often have the option of selecting a candy cane and writing a small note. And on Valentine’s day, chocolates can be given with a card!

How do Candy Grams work?

We’re sure at least once you’ve struggled to think about what to get a nephew, a cousin or an old friend. Candy grams work because with a scope of lollies to choose from and cards to write and create, they are appealing to any demographic as they’re not constricted to just one idea.

You know your money is not going to waste on an appliance that will sit in a cupboard for years or a gift card that will expire before it’s used when you buy something edible!

The participants can choose the amount of effort they put in and what direction they want to go with the final product.

With kids, you can create a table of who’s sending one to whom so that no double ups happen and nobody feels left out!

How do you do a candy gram fundraiser?

Buy lined cards in big packets from an office supply store and buy bulks of lollies such as bulk lollipops or custom lollies from a lolly warehouse. This way, when reselling individually, organisers can maximise the returns as they continue to sell candy grams until they run out.

You can have most of the creative integrity by shaping and colouring the card or you can give the creative integrity to the participants by supplying glitter glue, textas and decorations for the buyers to use. This works best for primary school aged students as they benefit from it by decorating them and using their own creativity!

Set up a candy station within close proximity to a lot of foot traffic and advertise its location. At a school, the event can go on for about a week, but if you have left over lollies then you can continue it until you run out of supplies.

If a single event, rent out a space that will fit the desired amount of guests.

The event will need to have some other form of entertainment, eg, a dinner, trivia, or social evening with drinks. That way, guests can go to the station in their own time and buy and arrange their candy grams.

Any left over lollies can be used for other activities on the night, such as “Guess how many lollies are in the jar”, a ticketed raffle or give out lolly bags as prizes for mini games throughout the night!

How can I send candy?

There are several ways organisers can choose the sending procedure of candy grams:

Hand deliver it yourself

This works best at schools and independent events as people can buy the candy gram and within an hour or so watch their loved ones reaction when receiving.

Get the participants to deliver it

If the event or school has several thousand people and giving to each individual takes too much time, the buyers can collect the candy gram on the spot and administer it to the recipient in their own time.

Send it to the recipient’s home address

This can work well if it’s not a single event but a process over time like for a sports club. The benefit of this procedure is that you won’t have to hire out a space to have an event. Obviously mail delivery has a cost but you can also physically deliver it yourself.

lolly bag

Who invented the Candy Gram?

Candy gram was originally written as one word, a portmanteau of telegram and candy. This is because in its first use, “Candygram” was used via a – then – telegram service – The Western Union in the United States.

It’s bizarre to imagine people paying to use a telegram machine less than 100 year ago to send messages to people – but they did! And eventually at around this time, The Western Union were forced to expand their market to compete with the new telephone services so they started marketing towards holidays, including Valentines day.

By 1959 they introduced “The Candygram” which offered a service to physically deliver a box of chocolates with a note to a loved one on Valentine’s Day.

Candy grams are most commonly used today in the United States. Australia is often slow to follow behind Western traditions but Australian lollies such as lollipop and snake lollies could be craftily used for candy gram events. Australians are known to be creative with sweet treats like Frog In a Pond and Fairy Bread so let’s utilise our creativity and do the same with lollies!

Sounds like something your organisation would love?

MyLollies has you covered! We have a huge selection of lollies online at wholesale prices, so start shopping now and enjoy delivery Australia-wide.

You can also visit our wonderful warehouse at 111-113 Seaford Pl, Seaford, 3198, Victoria to make purchases. MyLollies specialises in fundraising lollies and promotional lollies so give us a 1300 899 000 call on and we can give you suggestions for your candy gram event, depending on the demographic and how many people you expect.

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