Jinja Fair Trade

Jinja Fair Trade

Designing Global Good

Fundraising Made Easy


Fundraising. It is out there—happening all the time. In my experience, people just ask for money to support their cause. And that works to a certain degree. But it can be hard to get money from those who don’t have a lot—or when you are competing with all the other good causes out there, all asking for cash donations too.  Here is an idea for another way to raise money. Jinja Fair Trade has been offering this method for several years, and it can be very lucrative. I’m surprised that more people don’t take it up.

Jinja Fair Trade offers their products at wholesale prices so that folks can sell them at retail prices and keep the difference in price as a donation to their cause. The markup averages 50%--not a bad return.  And people are buying something—at a price they would pay at the store, so it does not feel like a burden.  Hosting a gathering at home or work is an easy, fun way to socialize, educate about fair trade, and raise money for your cause.  If you’d rather not bother with the set up and organization, Jinja Fair Trade will turn your living room or office break room into a “retail-like” space. They will handle the sales and money and you can still earn 25% of the sales for you fundraising cause. If you are local to Raleigh, there is no deposit, and you can return any items that don’t sell—so you are not out any money or stuck with extra product. (continue reading below...)

Since its inception in 2007, over $20,000 has been raised for other good causes—just by selling Jinja Fair Trade Product! Here are just a few success stories:

In 2011, Jackie M. raised over $2500 for her mission trip to Haiti and her book club’s local cause a nonprofit in Durham. She sold JFT product at home parties that she hosted, at events at work and at her church.

2010. A little girl with cancer. Concerned neighbors and friends wish they could do more to help the family who is overwhelmed by medical costs and financial woes due to lost time at work. A JFT home party event was hosted by a friend, and in just three hours, over $1400 was raised for the family of the little girl. (Who, btw, is in remission and doing great.)

In 2009, Elizabeth B. had just quit her job. She wasn’t sure what was next, but needed to do some fundraising for her own bank account while she figured out which direction her career would take. She sold JFT product at Bars and Coffee shops (with approval from the owners first, of course) and at home parties. She even drove to her parent’s home in Michigan and hosted an event with her Mom and at her Church. She deposited over $2000 into her bank account in just under two months.

Now, there is an even easier way to raise funds for your good cause by selling Jinja Fair Trade product. Fundraisers have the option to tell people about their efforts, and any purchase made at the Jinja Fair Trade Online Store will translate to a 35% donation to the fundraiser. The customers use a special coupon code at checkout. Great for all your out of town friends and family. What could be easier? 

If you need to raise money--why not do it with great gift ideas, and at the same time support Fair Trade and Global Artisans working hard to meet the needs of their families. It is a win-win-win all around. Contact us to learn more and get started earning money for your next mission trip, your nonprofit or school, or even your college fund.   

Inspiration from India


Colorful roadside toy shop. Delhi.


COLORFUL is the one word that best characterizes my trip to India in 2009.  Although India is a country of immense natural beauty, the areas north of Delhi where I visited, are not on the typical tourist route and tend to lack in natural wonder department. The backdrop was fairly industrial--think gray concrete buildings.  Yet, despite the dull backdrop and dreary weather during my stay, the streets were exploding with sensory input. Every bend and turn beckoned with intrigue. Roadside stands and makeshift shops cluttered the sidewalks with a glittering array of bargain-priced products: from textiles, toys, bangles and rugs, to art, cosmetics, and fruits and vegetables. Bicycle taxis with towering loads of assorted goods, gracefully dodged the traffic of honking busses, cars and—amazingly—the occasional camel and elephant.  And in the midst of all this chaos swirled the vibrant colors of the scarves and saris worn by the women.  Their chiffon and silk filled up every spare inch of that busy gray space with a dazzling kaleidoscope of unforgettable color. 

COLOR: from pale, pastel shades to vibrant, rich hues. And not just ordinary colors either-- these were colors with personality. They had names--exotic names—like Fuchsia, Chartreuse, and Indigo.  I’d never seen anything like it. And I knew that somehow I had to bring these colors—these personalities-- back with me and incorporate them into our Jinja Fair Trade designs. I was aiming for just  the right blend of global and fashionable, so that the often monochromatic Americans would want them, buy them and wear them. Repeat.



The purpose of my visit in 2009 was to meet with my partners at Sanskritik, a small co-op of women textile workers who supplied my wholesale business with fair trade headbands, kurtas, scarves and bags.  We collaborated on the details of several new products—and got to know each other better after more than a year of an email-only relationship.  The unique chiffon patterns and colors available in the Delhi markets, combined with the beautiful hand-sewn details by our talented artisan women, resulted in our successful Chiffon Scarf line in 2011, and it continues to provide the design inspiration for our 2012 line of Chiffon Ruffle Scarves, Sarongs and accessories. 

I plan to return to India next month for another round of collaboration with our Sanskritik partners and for what I hope is a renewed burst of global inspiration. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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