What in the world is “FAIRY FOC GAD”?

It’s Quester’s new charity event … FAIRY FOC GAD stands for … “First Annual Inter-office Rip Your Face Off Competitive Giving Away Day.” I’ll admit, it took me a bit to understand the concept, and I still can’t pronounce the acronym, but it was a huge success!

As a company, Quester took part in Children & Families of Iowa’s “Adopt a Family” program. CFI is a local organization providing resources to those in need, focused on restoring hope, building futures, and changing lives. Families in need of assistance this holiday season submit an application to CFI, and each family member provides a wish list of items they’d like to receive, along with a brief description of their situation. Quester adopted a family of four: Mom, Dad, and their two teenage daughters.

Now, leave it to Quester to turn charity giving into a competitive sport, but here’s where the “rip your face off” part comes in … we broke into four teams – complete with the captains choosing each team member just like Junior High Phys. Ed … oh the memories! (Only in this case, our organizers were kind enough to provide a small spiff for the last picked team member to take away a little of the sting.)

Each team was then assigned one member of the family. The goal was to purchase as many items on their list as possible, within our allocated budget per family member. The team that was able to purchase the highest number of gifts on each list and save the most money off the retail price was then deemed the winner. There were extra bonus points assigned for “Shock and Awe” value – meaning finding a gift with the biggest “wow-factor” for Christmas morning. The catch? All shopping had to take place within the four hour window allocated on the day of our event (that’d be the GAD – Giving Away Day portion of the acronym.)

Now, you know a company full of marketing geniuses would be pretty proficient at finding deals in the retail world, so the competition was pretty stiff! There was a little friendly debate over the calculations on “retail price” – I mean, come on, when it says “Theirs” and “Ours” we ought to be able to use the “Theirs” price as the original retail price, right? (Wrong! Not under FAIRY FOC GAD rules.) And seriously, if you buy gifts for your own family that are buy one get one free, and donate the free one, should the donated item really count as a 100% savings in the Fairy FOC GAD scoring system? That’s got to be cheating! (Nope, not under FAIRY FOC GAD rules.)

So while the “rip your face off” competition label might have been a little much, it drove all of us to make our dollars go that much farther – resulting in being able to fulfill more of the wish list for this family that just needed a little extra help this year. And – it brought our Quester team a little closer together and made us all feel good about giving back to our community. At the end of the day, I’d call that a win-win … even if my team didn’t capture the FAIRY FOC GAD title this year!

PS: The winning team managed to show a savings of 82%! Their secret? Just ASK! Local retailers were very generous when learning that the purchases were going to charity – across the stores they shopped, they received 10%-30% discounts in addition to the sale prices they’d already found!

If you’d like to learn more about ways to help Children and Families of Iowa, and maybe stage your own FAIRY FOC GAD next year … visit their Adopt a Family Drive page.


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    Quester is an award-winning consumer intelligence firm that harnesses the power of human conversation, artificial intelligence technology, and expert marketing research design to yield superior understanding of consumers for clients.