- Collecting the Money
- Coin Capacity
- Cleaning the Well
- Moving the Well
- Identifying Yourself
- Counting Coins
- Fire Safe
Collecting Money: Related to the question of coin-capacity is, How often do you need to remove coins? The practical answer is, "As often as necessary!" That is a vague answer, but it really does depend on the weight, how often the Well needs to be cleaned (see the paragraph below), and how much of a temptation do you want to let build up inside the Well (see the Security paragraph above). When you do collect the money, the containers make it easy to reach in, pull out the bucket of box, empty the coins, and put the container back into the base. Some people ask what we recommend dumping the relatively heavy coins into. Anything you can easily carry that can handle the weight works great. One of the most popular options is a bowling bag...which is designed to carry a lot of weight, has great handles, but doesn't look like you are carrying money when you walk out.
Identifying Yourself: When you come to collect the money, be professional and check in with the manager or whoever is in charge. This also gives you the opportunity to do some PR by letting them know you appreciate them hosting the Well and perhaps include a report of something the coin revenue has accomplished. People like to be appreciated, and that will help ensure a long-term placement for your Well. We also recommend that you wear an ID card around your neck such as pictured here. If you are wearing that when you place the Well, you can say something like, "Only me or someone wearing an ID badge like this is authorized to service the Well..."
Security: Because the Two and Three-Footers are relatively light, we recommend that you place 3 or 4 bags of sand or gravel inside the base to make it heavier and give it more stability. This reduces the risk of someone taking it. If you want an even greater level of security, you can run a small chain from the padlock around a post or other permanent object. Or you can drill a hole in the upper portion of the base, insert a chain link through it, and then put a bolt through that link to secure the chain to the base and around a post. Or, you can bolt the base to the floor for maximum security, but with the added hassle if you need to move it
As a practical matter, we know that most of our customers do not add weight or chain it to a post. Most of them rely on the fact that their Wells are placed where there is an adult nearby such as a cashier, greeter, or other employee. However, if you place a Well where it is not under someone's watch, we recommend some security. And of course, emptying it regularly reduces the likelihood of theft. Some customers have placed a card next to the padlock that says, “The coins are removed regularly. Please do not damage our charity Well trying to get inside.” No one ever sees that unless they are actually down on their knees looking up under the funnel.
Are the Wells Waterproof? All the materials that the Wells are made from are impervious to water except the poster inside the sign frame. However, coins can get messy when they get wet. If you want to place your Well outside where it might rain, be advised that it is a funnel, and it will guide water right into the same container as the coins. So if it is outside, be sure to drill holes in the bottom of the coin bucket and the floor of the base. If you are placing it outside, we recommend you place it under a roof of some kind such as a gazebo. Having a roof also keeps direct sun off the Well so it doesn't get hot to the touch. And of course, the sun can deteriorate any material. So it is best under cover.
Locks: Two and Three-Footers come with a padlock and 2 keys. The Seven-Footer has a cam-lock and 2 keys. We recommendation that you remove the money often enough that it does not build up too much of a temptation. As odd as it sounds, affixing a business-card size note to the Well just above the padlock that says, "Coins are emptied regularly" helps. No one will see it unless they get down on their knees and look at that area, and those are the people you want to see it.
Thankfully, in the more than 20 years that we have been selling Spiral Wishing Wells, there have only been two reports of theft.
Coin Capacity: The Two and Three-Footer bases would hold over $1,000 worth of coins, but that would be way to heavy to move. We include a plastic 5-quart bucket with each 2 and 3-Footer that fits in through the door of the base. The buckets hold about $300 worth of assorted coins, but if you let it fill up, it would also be too heavy to lift out. So as a practical matter, you would want to remove the coins at least as often as when the buckets are about half full.
The Seven-Footer base would hold even more, but that is impractical because of the weight. We offer an optional steel coin box shown on the Seven-Footer Options Page that holds about $600 worth of assorted coins. Again, that is probably too heavy to handle.
Cleaning the Well: Another advantage to removing the coins regularly is that you can clean the Well at that same time. Use any common household glass cleaner such as Windex and a soft cloth or paper towel. For very stubborn marks or stains, you can use Acetone on the fiberglass only (NOT ON THE RAMPS OR STICKERS). A clean Well will raise more money than a dirty Well. So keeping it clean of fingerprints and dust is not only the professional thing to do, it is profitable. You can ask an employee to "keep their eye on it" and let you know if it needs any attention. As time goes on, they will begin to have a sense of responsibility and will keep it clean for you.
Maintenance: Spiral Wishing Wells don't have any moving parts, so they don't need maintenance. They will never wear out under normal conditions. They are very rugged. But if there is ever an issue with a part due to rough treatment, we provide replacement parts at cost.
Moving the Well: The Two and Three-Footers are designed to be portable, but care should be taken when moving them. For instance, the coins should be emptied so when the Well is lifted by the rim, all the weight of the coins isn't held by the connecting ring on the underside of the funnel. Coins are heavy, so please remove them before you lift your Well. You would also want to take care that they are secured while being transported in the back of a van or pickup.
Scratches: If you get scratches on the fiberglass, you can polish them with any automotive polish. If they are too deep for polish, you can use "rubbing compound" followed by polish.
Counting Coins: Some people count the coins by hand, put them in paper rolls, and take them to their bank. If you have some youth as part of your group, you can have a coin-counting party once a month. We’ve also seen this done at a retirement home. So your imagination might be the only limit. But if you collect a relatively large quantity of coins, you might want to count them with a machine. You can do a web search for “coin counting machines” and see several options. Or, you can take them to stores that have coin counting machines.. But this is very simple as you just dump them into a big chute and don’t have to handle or deposit the coins. This can be well worth the fee they charge. One of the largest companies that puts machines in retail stores is Coinstar and you can check on locations in your area on their website at www.coinstar.com. The host stores have the option of waiving the fee for charities. If you have a good relationship with your bank, they might let you bring coins to them and count them at no charge.
Fire Safe: Seven-Footer Spiral Wishing Wells are all fiberglass, and the Two and Three-Footers have a fiberglass funnel and plastic ramps and base. They are non-flamable.
Event Strategies and Promotions
Be sure to look at our "Event Strategies and Promotions" which are a great way to have a grand-opening kick-off with your Spiral Wishing Well. Events can motivate people to do extraordinary things and can generate several thousand dollars and a lot of excitement. The one-day record is $40,979!