Boston, MA (PRWEB) August 1, 2008
The challenges of organizing a group gift collection are universal -- whether it's selecting the right holiday gift for a teacher, picking a date to thank the soccer coach or purchasing a high-end baby stroller for the office shower. With the recent launch of FrumUs.com, there is now a free online solution that simplifies the group gift process with online gift envelopes to collect money, vote, provide comments and shop.
FrumUs.com Founder Karen O'Neil created a website to take the hassles out of the group gift giving process so the group can focus more on choosing meaningful gifts. "A group gift should be viewed as an opportunity to make a big impact on someone special by combining cash and creativity," she explains. "Afterall, it is the thought that counts."
FrumUs collections are processed through the organizer's PayPal account with no minimum collection amounts and no FrumUs fees. Totals collected are trackable on the gift envelope page, collection deadline dates are noted, and the organizer can start a discussion about dates for a party or any topic. After previewing the online collection envelope, the organizer imports email addresses and sends a personal note with a link directly to the Frumus collection page.
Tips on Group Gift Giving:
O'Neil recommends selecting group gift ideas that fall into one of three categories -- perennial, personalized or prestigious. FrumUs.com provides gift suggestions from shopping sites for teachers, coaches, birthdays, weddings and babies that fit each of these categories.
Perennial Gifts refer to gifts that keep on giving over time as a reminder of the group's well wishes. Examples include Clubs of America, which offers everything from Coffee of the Month to Pizza of the Month; One Share, which provides framed/personalized shares of stock from companies like Disney, Harley Davidson and Coca-Cola; or even a magazine subscription such as a year of People Magazine for the celebrity fiend.
Personalized Gifts are meaningful whether the personalization is a photo memory or a monogram. Examples include customized wines (from Signature Wines), hard cover photo books (PhotoWorks), monogrammed homeplate leather mouse pads (Personalization Mall) and personalized child rocking chairs (Corner Stork). You can even create a personalized Visa gift card with a photo or special message to the recipient at Gift Card Lab.
Prestigious Gifts are those that the recipient may not buy for themselves but are a welcomed splurge when received as a group gift. Examples include a Paul Pierce signed Celtics jersey (Collectibles of the Game), a Tumi suitcase (Tumi), the complete season of ABC's LOST or Grey's Anatomy on DVD (abctvstore), or the new iPod video glasses (Brookstone).
For the inevitable last minute gift giving needs, FrumUs offers My Choice Gift Cards that can be instantly emailed and printed for use at hundreds of merchants such as Borders, Outback, LL Bean or Pottery Barn. FrumUs offers several tools the gift organizer can use to take a vote on gift ideas or solicit comments on the recipient's special interests. "Until now most people were understandably reluctant to volunteer to coordinate a group gift.," commented Gift Consultant Sherri Athay, author, Present Perfect: Unforgettable Gifts for Every Occasion. "I think FrumUs will be especially useful for coordinating teacher and coach gifts."
Gift giving is big business in the U.S. with over $300 billion spent by consumers in 2006 on buying gifts for family and friends according to the US Census Bureau. The typical gift giver spent $3,000 on gifts in 2006. Given the instability of the U.S. economy, group gifts become an attractive solution to continue traditions of generosity with less individual financial pressure.
"Our research indicates this is a big opportunity for teachers and coaches, but also for office baby shower collections, second weddings, and also extended families who often pool money for birthday and holiday gifts," O'Neil explains. "FrumUs is a win for the organizer, the contributors and, perhaps most importantly, the gift recipient."
FrumUs, Inc. was founded after O'Neil's son's baseball season ended in 2006 without anyone taking up a collection for a coach's gift. Since passing the envelope was no longer an option, she turned to her computer and was surprised to find no turn-key solution for collecting money and purchasing a group gift online. O'Neil put her 20-plus years of marketing experience to work along with experts in gift giving, ecommerce and marketing to create a website that effectively streamlines what was once a multi-step manual process.