How to Host a Cash Mob
The Center for Community Innovation and our partners, Raton Main Street and Trinidad Main Street, are excited to offer our local businesses a mechanism to break through the isolation and help you reconnect to your customers and friends. Our Virtual Cash Mob gives you two options to connect with customers.
1. Zoom: Hosting a Virtual Cash Mob can be fairly simple with a Zoom call. Hosting a Zoom call will be more interactive in nature than Facebook, catching up with old friends on a video platform, checking on friends and hearing the tales of quarantine life. It's ideal for smaller groups of 10 or under.
2. Facebook: The Facebook Live option is more fast-paced like a QVC show or a LuLaRoe open house. It requires a bit more planning, preparation and follow-up to do it right, but it's great to host a big bunch of people and can certainly be very entertaining.
We've tried to think through this online experiment to help your event be successful. Here are our steps to set up a Zoom Cash Mob and a Facebook Live Cash Mob. See which one you prefer. FAQs are listed further below:
Host a Zoom Open House.
The Center will help you build a business profile on our website and find a date and time to host a Zoom Open House. The Center will provide technical support to set up and host the call at no charge to you. Our staff person will be on the call to help manage Zoom.
You can sell gift certificates or products, but gift certificates will likely be the simplest option as you eliminate sales tax and shipping. If you choose to sell products you will need to either arrange for curb-side pick-up or ship the products. Customers are not allowed to visit your store to pick up items due to the quarantine restrictions.
We encourage you to consider signing up for a GoFundMe account and take advantage of their matching donation offer. If you raise $500, they will match it with $500. This could be a lot of fun, coming up with incentives to encourage donations. For example, you’ve probably seen how our area public radio station will send out a t-shirt or coffee mug for a gift of $40 or more. Gift certificates might be a good option to physical products to help bring people back into your store when the movement restrictions are lifted (and they are easier to send to your customers).
Host a Facebook Live Open House.
The Center will help you build a business profile on our website and find a date and time to host a Facebook Live Open House. Our staff will help with marketing, but you will need to arrange your own support and staffing to host your Facebook event.
You can sell gift certificates or products, but gift certificates will likely be the simplest option. If you choose to sell products you will need to either arrange for curb-side pick-up or ship the products. Customers are not allowed to visit your store to pick up items due to the quarantine restrictions.
Facebook Live events can be extremely fun, but there is a bit more record-keeping and work to pull off one of these events. You’ll need to find the support staff to host your Facebook Live event.
Below is a list of FAQs to help explain the Virtual Cash Mob so that you can decide if this is right for your business.
What is Zoom?
Zoom is an online platform used to host video meetings. Participants can join a call only with audio by phone or computer, but it is certainly more fun with video.
What is GoFundMe?
GoFundMe is an online fundraising platform. Usually used for non-profits and medical expenses, GoFundMe has teamed up with some major partners to provide a fundraising opportunity for small businesses. If you can raise $500, their partners will match the $500.
FAQs for matching funds: https://www.gofundme.com/c/small-business-relief-initiative-and-fund-faqs
To create a GoFundMe account: https://www.gofundme.com/sign-up
To sign up for the matching funds: https://support.gofundme.com/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=360000765092
What is Facebook Live?
Facebook Live is a live video event hosted through Facebook where you would show your products for sale and interact with your customers via the chat feature.
What types of businesses can host a Virtual Cash Mob with the Center?
We are supporting the businesses hardest hit by complete closure at this time. If your business is still operating (e.g. a restaurant) we hope to include you in future rounds. We encourage retail of all sorts to join including gift stores, flower shops and nurseries. Services such as salons, massage, yoga studios and gyms are also welcome to join in. If you have a non-profit group that needs to raise funds for vital services, please let us know. We are open to finding creative ways to use this concept!
Do I have to be in downtown Raton or Trinidad?
The teams from Raton Main Street and Trinidad Main Street are prioritizing their support for Main Street District businesses, per their charters. Other businesses in the area that qualify are welcome to participate.
Do I have to join GoFundMe?
No. You have the option.
Do I have to charge sales tax?
For product sales, yes. For gift certificates and donations to your GoFundMe, no.
How do customers get any products they buy with the COVID-19 restrictions?
You will need to either ship them the product(s) or arrange for curb-side pick-up. Customers are not allowed to visit your store to pick up items due to the quarantine restrictions.