Elementary School Carnival Ideas

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Varsity Gold Fundraising R.I.P. - Chapter 7 Lock Out

Just posted an update on this post - click this link:
Varsity Gold Discount Cards and Cookie Dough School Fundraisers

Financial trouble with Varsity Gold Fundraising causes office lock-out and change from chapter 11 filing to chapter 7 filing.

Employees confirm that the office is no longer operating and reps are officially out of work after being on unpaid vacation. According to posts at the PTO Today website, court filings were changed from chapter 11 (re-organization) to chapter 7 (liquidation) and the office was locked down (confirmed by Tim Sullivan founder, PTO Today link ).

Court documents show heavy debts that will remain unpaid to vendors and reps but the cause of the bankruptcy was leveraging Varsity Gold to invest in failed business opportunities. From their website they explain "The reason we are in (bankruptcy) has nothing to do with our fundamental business; rather, it was the result of investments in businesses unrelated to Varsity Gold."

What does it all mean? How are schools affected?

- There may be over 200 reps without a job in an economic time where finding work is trying. (Our thoughts are with the many reps that are now out of work.)

-There are a number of reps that will not see any pay from previous successful fundraisers they helped schools conduct. There are likely a number of very devastated households as a result.

-It is likely that any promises, pending business, student rewards (limo lunch rides, carnivals, prizes earned, refunds etc.) that are scheduled but not paid for will not be honored since the company is no longer operating.

-There may be some schools that are in the middle of a fundraiser that will not be able to submit their order for processing and product fulfillment. This means that it is possible that some schools will have to refund all customers.

- (This one hurts to admit) There may be some schools that paid for cookie dough or other products that will not get product or a refund. This is a logical possibility since a school or group may have paid but the payment was not forwarded to the vendor that would supply the product. (I don't have any hard examples. Please contact me if you have any examples of schools in limbo.)

- Of course, Varsity Gold was the largest fundraising company with respect to discount cards and a large company with respect to cookie dough and magazine sales. The schools and groups relying on them for needed funding will no longer be able to count on them.

This is sad news for everyone counting on the company for employment, trade or as a customer and still, is a stark reminder that fiscal responsibility cannot be taken lightly. Our thoughts are with everyone adversely affected.

This story is not widely reported on. If you have any comments to add, feedback to share or have any facts not mentioned in my blog, please reply with a comment or reach me another way (twitter - @believekids) or on the www.believekids.com/talk message board.

If we are in a capacity to help anyone affected, please let us know.


Randy Soderman said...

Well written blog Jay and you are right; it is a very unfortunate situation for everyone involved. My name is Randy and I am a Managing Partner for Xtraman Fundraising. I would like to offer the many reps affected by this situation an opportunity to continue their career and possibly get back some of what they lost with VG. We provide almost the exact same discount card program that VG was offering. We have already helped out many that were involved and for those that would like to continue their career. Please contact me at 602.410.7030. Or rsoderman@xtramanfundraising.com. I will help out in any way that I can.

Thanks Jay for letting me comment here.


Xtraman Fundraising
Managing Partner

Greg Tonner said...

As one of those reps who is no longer with Varsity Gold due to their poor decisions, I would just like to share some of the "real" reasons Varsity Gold is no longer in business. It should be known that it was the owner's of VG that misappropriated money but it was the reps in management positions who destroyed it.

1) Total lack of respect for reps. They lied to us, misled us and manipulated us in an effort to control us. Often times they would threaten us with charges/fines or threaten to replace us. We were independent contractors! My direct manager, also a rep who is no longer with them, received a pay-off to carry out this intimidation...and so did ALL of the other rep/managers. The end result was a total lack of trust.

2) Greed. Enough said.

3) After a shake-up where one of our southern Cal reps admitted to having sex with a high school girl, It was common knowledge that the southern California reps were stealing money and selling other company's products. This contributed to a lack of growth but moreso demonstrated the character of the reps.

4) Delusions of Grandeur - Yes, it was the top brass who eventually thought it was more important to fund their dreams than pay the bills of the hand that fed them.

In my opinion, everyone involved got exactly what they deserved. The lack of character and immoral choices made by Varsity Gold was public knowledge. Where I come from, the old saying goes...

Burn me once shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me.

stoli said...

Jay has brought up some very good points. It is a sad situation to see previous reps of Varsity Gold no longer able to pay their own mortgages because of promises not kept by the Greedy Owners of VG. As an ex VarsityGold representative that enjoyed working with everyone within the company I had a moment of clarity about 6 months ago when I realized the Owners had forgotten who built their company and had gone down an downward spiral of greed. I realized that the owners didn't care anymore about their reps and clients, but instead about their own futures and investments.

As a successful business owner that often led the charge within Varsity Gold and constantly pushed to reinvent the best practices and ways of being the leaders of the industry I encourage anyone to contact me if they are looking to push fundraising to a new level of service that even Varsity Gold never provided. At Accel Sports Fundraising our clients goals, success and amazement with our service is always first.

Every product, service and program we have developed is beyond anything VarsityGold has ever thought of.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you are on the East Coast and need help with a fundraiser, need advice on where to get one, or want a career filled with great experiences and where you will feel great about attaching your name to.

Kind regards,
John Rudick
Accel Sports Fundraising
Customized Fundraising Solutions
Accel Sports..Accelerate your game!

Shirley Ziebarth said...

Our company, it takes two, supplies greeting cards,note cards, stationery, pocket planners and gifts to the fundraising community. We produce our products in the USA, in fact, most products are manufactured within 30 miles of our facility. We have been manufacturing meaningful, top quality products for over 25 years.

We are able to supply you with 1000's of an item or if you prefer you may use our brochure as an adjunct to your current catalog.

If you would like to learn more about whatour company has to offer you please contact me at 800 331 9843 ext:12.

Shirley Ziebarth
it takes two
100 Minnesota Avenue
Le Sueur, MN 56058

Chris Lee said...

We at The VIP Card are also sorry for the many people who are effected by this. To all those reps who have lost there jobs we are interested in talking with you. We are growing quickly and believe the only way to do so is with a Great Team. Please contact us at (877)727-1010 and visit us online at getyourvip.com.
God Bless,

Chris Lee
The VIP Card LLC
Now Every Day Costs Less

sdevoe said...

Sorry to hear about all of the challenges at VG. I'm looking for sales agents/ ISO's who would be interested in representing a new prepaid card product designed for fundraising activites at the public school systems throughout the U.S. Specifically if you live in Texas, California, Maryland and Georgia and have experience in these markets let's talk.

Please call me directly if you are interested in learing more about the program.

Thanks and best regards

Scott Devoe
National Sales Director
NxSystems Inc

acalderon said...

At least there are options. No one wants to be out of work, and the economy makes the world a very scary place right now.
Regardless of where your career path leads, call me and I'll show you how to turn your leads into $10,000 a month without selling a thing. There are no costs, risks, gimmicks or hidden agendas. It is a very real program that will change the face of fundraising. You can learn more at www.simple.invite5.com or call me at 623.792.7679.

Anthony Calderon
Executive Director
Educational Foundation Support Network

psynapz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
VRL said...

GOOD RIDDANCE TO THIS COMPANY. WHAT A HORRIBLE PLACE THE MANAGERS WERE ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. I feel sorry for all the workes that are now out of a job because of poor management and misrepresentation. Varsity Gold did not care about the "little guy"maybe they should of listened and not been so dang greedy. I worked there for a bit and I coould nto stand the people and it was poorly managed and I was also discriminted aganist so I walked out it is funny how you ge those feelings about places and then this happens.

snipes2189 said...

Just curious. Where have most of the 200 or so VG reps gone, now that they are out of work?

Anonymous said...

In response to the last question of where did all the reps go. Many of us stayed in the same industry due to already building a client base and making strong connections with schools. As for myself, who was burned pretty badly by VG, I chose to get into another industry but miss my friends and the schools that I worked with. Times and situations change and being able to put food on the table and having stability is a priority.

Liton Kumar Podder said...

This was an excellent post and was very insightful.

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