The 3/50 Project

This lights me UP, folks. If one man can have this kind of impact, imagine what thousands of independent brick and mortar businesses could accomplish working together. I say we find a way for Supporters of The 3/50 Project to get behind this, in a big, big way. Ideas, anyone…?

If the video window doesn’t appear for you, please try a different browser (especially if you’re using Chrome, which is particularly twitchy).


A rose is a rose…is not.

by Cinda Baxter on February 6, 2012

in Independent Retailers, The 3/50 Project

The following is a reprise of my 2.7.11 blog post, at the (very repeated) request of brick and mortar florists. Happy Valentine’s, everyone!—Cinda

Yes, the Super Bowl ad featuring Faith Hill and the guy sending flowers was clever (and yes, his girlfriend probably broke up with him over what he wrote on the card). But have you ever wondered just how much of your money actually ends up in the vase when ordering through an online floral site?

Probably not…but then, you probably didn’t see the finished product either.

To understand what’s going on behind the curtain, you first need to know the players: [click here to continue…]


Sorry ’bout the long title, but I need this to blast to Twitter too…

A respected financial publication wants to interview merchants who fit all three of the following criteria:

  • Are actively working in tandem with other local businesses, promoting The 3/50 Project
  • Are in communities that have seen positive impact as a result of The 3/50 Project
  • Are located in one of the following states: MT, WY, CO, NE, IA, MO, KS, IL, WI, MI, ND, SD, or MN

If that’s you, please contact me via email here, as soon as possible.

The publication’s audience is made up of local community banks in the states listed above. The writer is looking for positive stories about communities who got involved in our movement, then thrived as a result. This is not a reporter looking for an ambush—he’s the “real deal,” and very excited about what it is we’re doing.

Gotta love good press!



Do I agree with last weekend’s Amazon scan-for-credit sale? No.

Do I think it may go down in history as one of the smartest marketing moves ever? Yup.

Jeff Bezos (CEO, knew exactly what he was doing…and he got all of us, present company included, to help him.  [click here to continue…]


Keep the Cheer Here banner in action

by Cinda Baxter on December 1, 2011

in Holidays, Marketing, The 3/50 Project

Thanks to John Ranes (owner, The Frame Workshop, Appleton WI) for sending in his photo of The 3/50 Project’s Keep the Cheer Here banner, hanging proudly in front of his store. Gotta love it!

To download the banner file for use in your town, visit the Resources page of the Project website. In addition to the banner, there are loads of other marketing materials to promote Keep the Cheer Here, so knock yourselves out.  From postcards to posters to blog slugs, we’ve got it all.

Have fun!


Photo used with permission.


The 3/50 Project has been blessed with a lot of great media exposure since launching nearly three years ago. Coverage has been consistently positive, upbeat, and frequent, on both the national and local level, beyond what other “buy local” or “shop local” organizations typically receive. That, I chalk up to two things: (a) our positive, achievable message of balanced spending with all types of independent brick and mortars, and (b) the enthusiasm of those merchants, who breathe life into the Project every day.

But make no mistake…wonderful media coverage plays a big role, and it’s reporters like Nick Winkler that help move the needle forward, as they say. Thanks not only to Nick, but to the producers at KSTP-TV (ABC) for recognizing an important story, then letting the local merchants in it shine.

I couldn’t be more proud.


As most of you know, The 3/50 Project’s “Keep the Cheer Here” holiday campaign got its name from a contest we ran a few weeks ago. Our winner, Julie Ward (Pasadena, CA) gave us the words; all I had to do was add the look and feel. Thanks to her, we have a home run on our hands.

In addition to a $350 gift card, the grand prize included a profile piece here on the blog, linked to Twitter, then Facebook. So…it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Julie Ward, the author of our now famous holiday moniker: [click here to continue…]


Feel like winning a little green? Getting a little time in the spotlight? Cool beans, baby. Fire up the right side of your brain and tell us what The 3/50 Project should call our holiday campaign this year.

Here’s what we’re looking for:

• 10 words or less
• Original content only
• Must be free of all TMs and copyrights

As examples of our past campaigns (both holiday and otherwise):
- Eat Down the Street
- Roll Local
- Big Things Come From Small Boxes
- Locals Love You More

Enter as many ideas as you like (no repeats, though, since it won’t help your odds…the final decision will be based on creativity, not the number of entries).

Full details and the entry form can be found here, as well as via the Survey Monkey link on our Facebook page (left column). You must use the entry form—ideas left here in the comments are not considered “entries.” [10.27.11 Editor's note: I've turned off comments on this thread since so many kind hearted folks were still putting their suggestions here...gotta use the official entry form, linked above, if you want to win the prize!]

Contest ends at 12:01 a.m. CDT on November 1, 2011.

Helpful hints as you put on your thinking cap….

• Avoid the words “shop” and “buy” since they exclude service providers, restaurants, and other non-retail store merchants

• Nothing political in nature, please, since that polarizes consumers. We don’t want to appeal to only one side of the aisle, as the saying goes–merchants need ‘em all. (Translated: The word “occupy” isn’t your best option.)

• To enter more than once, clear browser cookies/cache between visits. Survey Monkey uses them to avoid multiple survey responses in normal scenarios—our contest is a bit abnormal, which is completely normal if you’re an independent merchant. (Been there, done that, so I can call us crazy.)