Our Perennials 4 Pollinators (P4P) fundraiser showcases beautiful, interesting and uncommon (in local nurseries) species that absolutely have a place in home landscapes. Most of our perennials are easy to grow, have lovely flowers and will be carefree once established. They can be relied upon to come back each year and provide pollen, nectar and leaves to our native insects. Our website has a custom search feature allowing customers to choose the proper species that will work in their home landscape. We also provide additional perennial species that will grow in those same conditions. Plants can be searched on the basis of soil moisture, light exposure, bloom time, bloom color or all the above! We have plants that will fit any landscape, bloom in a wide array of colors and will do well in sun, shade, dry, moist or anywhere in between. Your customers make their purchase online from our selection of 200+ species. A promo code is assigned to your group and is entered at checkout which ties the purchase to your account so you can receive the appropriate credit. We deliver the plants to your pre-arranged delivery point on the scheduled day for distribution to your customers.
We start planning your fundraiser with the end in mind and that means delivery. Fundraisers are delivered starting in late April thru mid-September. Two (2) deliveries each are scheduled towards the middle of the month and at the end of the month so getting these dates locked in as soon as possible is important. We have thousands of plants on hand from stock we’ve overwintered from last year and these will form the basis of the fundraisers scheduled early in the year. By early May, plants sown this year will be large enough to be offered in your fundraiser, so we update the website frequently to reflect these additional species.
In order for this to work as easily as possible we are committed to doing most of the work. Our role is to grow and deliver the plants on the appointed day and provide you with all the correspondence, graphics and electronics in order for customers to place and pay for their orders online. Money is collected by Riverside Native Perennials through our website. We already have an existing payment mechanism to seamlessly collect funds. We will bring your plants to the pick-up area on your delivery day, set them up in groups by species and confirm with you that we brought the required number and species of plants plus a few extra just to be sure. Our credit card service imposes a 3% fee and $0.25 on each transaction, and we will also subtract a fee for fuel which will not exceed $100 and is based on your proximity to central Ohio. Your 33% will be calculated after those fees are assessed. A final spreadsheet with the names of your customers and what they purchased will be provided on pickup day. We’re happy to send you updates at your request any time during the fundraiser. A few days prior to pickup we will send an email to remind your customers again about the pickup and with planting instructions. A sample flyer informing your customers of the fundraiser can be found at the right. Clicking on the graphic will take you to the search page on our website. From there you can either look at the pictures or narrow your choices using our search function.
If there are any questions about the plants or planting, these questions should be directed to the nursery. We will provide complete contact information in the email a few days before the pickup event. A link to a planting video will also be included. The final check for your portion of the fundraiser will be mailed to you within two weeks after the delivery. In our experience there are sometimes late orders or cancellations or perhaps a species does not size up well and we need to refund an order. It’s a good idea to let the dust settle to make sure everyone is satisfied with their plants before we issue a check.
In the end our goal is to provide your customers with an outstanding experience. They should walk away with a healthy plant and a sense that their purchase is going to help their local environment. They should also feel good about the money they’ve spent and with contributing to your organization. By giving them our contact information, they can get any and all of their questions answered after the sale which further enhances their experience.
Please send us your logo so that we can incorporate it into all your fundraiser correspondence. A logo with a clear background looks best against our graphics. Your role in the fundraiser is to send the emails to the customers on your email list as Riverside Native Perennials does not have access to your mailing list. We suggest that you email your customer base about 1-2 months prior to the start of the fundraiser telling them that you’re planning this event. A second email containing the flyer is sent when the fundraiser begins, and a final email, again containing the flyer is sent about a week before the end of the event as a reminder. This can also inform them that additional species have been added to the website. The fundraiser typically runs for about a month but can run for any length of time. We can supply you with sample emails and graphics for all correspondence. You also select the date, time and location of the plant pick up.
On pickup day we suggest you have at least four people available to help distribute plants. The location for the pickup should be a paved area where there is parking AND space for people to drive through as some will not want to get out of their cars. A shady area would be easier on the plants if available. We strongly suggest that you do not let people pick their own plants. The plants should be brought out to the customers from a central area that only your staff can access. This helps to protect plants from accidental damage and is much less confusing. You will have a spreadsheet with customer names and what they bought. Every arriving customer checks in with your contact person who has the spreadsheet so that their name can be crossed off the list. After check-in, the person with the spreadsheet can tell another member of your staff to pick out the plants purchased and bring them to their vehicle. We suggest having a 2–3-hour time slot for pickup on the appointed day.
We have had a few people want to purchase plants but were reluctant to submit the order online. Instead, they can send a check to RNP with their order and we’ll include them in the spreadsheet. The check should be made out to Riverside Native Perennials, 2295 River Road, Delaware, OH 43015. We will add this order to the spreadsheet with all the others.
We’ve also had people who wanted to help but were unable to plant perennials on their property. We suggest you contact your local park system beforehand and ask if they’d be willing to accept free plants. If they do, we can include this in your correspondence.
The final price point for the perennials is set by RNP because the fundraiser is tied to our general online sales.
Customers will learn about the fundraiser from your emails which contain the graphics and links seen above for ordering plants. Once they click on the embedded link in the flyer, they’ll be taken to the RNP website and online shopping. From there they can either scroll through the many pages of pictures or use the search feature at the left to help narrow their plant choices. They can select the species they want and pay using Paypal or a credit card using an online form familiar to most people. They’ll receive a confirmation of the sale via email, and one will be sent to Riverside Native Perennials as well.
Pick up day is fun for the customers. After they have checked in with your contact person who has the spreadsheet, their plants will be brought to them and/or loaded into their vehicles. Customers can expect to receive a 1.5 pint container with 1 or more growing stems in it, or a 1-gallon container with 2 to 3 or more plants per pot and most of the plants being 6″ to 3′ tall depending on species. Some plants are large and vigorous growers and thus only would have two plants per pot. Other species are smaller and work better with perhaps 3 or more plants per pot. Plants may already be blooming or may be past blooming depending on the species and the time of year. Our milkweeds may already be hosting caterpillars! Our goal is to provide your customers with good sized plants that are appropriately sized for the two container sizes we offer.
We are reluctant to use harsh chemicals to keep insects under control. In fact, our goal is to provide these plants as food for insects! We do use organic/natural insecticides to help knock insects like aphids back, but their effectiveness is not 100%. Some plants may arrive with a few aphids on them but spraying them with a hose will knock them off easily. We do this as well prior to delivery. Even the most mild or natural insecticides will kill soft bodied insects like caterpillars so use with extreme caution if at all.