Our Support Page is your one-stop shop for all things OFN!
There are so many ways to help your customers to find you on OFN. Here’s our top 5 favorites:
- Help your community find and support you! Use the “Properties” enterprise setting to create terms that are searchable from the main “Shop Now” page, and you can add as many as you want. Here’s Linda’s blog post about using filters – feel free to share or repost!
- Make sure you make use of Categories too. One useful one: “Special Offers”, which customers love. Neato! Categories are connected with products, and you can use the Bulk Edit Products screen to change them – just add the “Categories” column to the page (what? You can change the columns? Yep!)
- Is your shop’s page full of good information, like maybe events you’re planning on the farm, contact info, or links to your social media? Is your map info up to date? Are you in any groups? Are you linking to and from your Socials? “Yes” would be a good answer to all of those questions! Talk to us if you need any advice!
- If you have a shopfront, remember you need at least one order cycle open to sell things (and to show up in the basic search on the main page).
- Did you know you can link directly to your shop and stick that link on your web page, in your email, and in newsletters? Maybe with a “link in bio” on your Insta? You can! Better yet, turn it into a QR Code for free (google will help) and put it on signs, packaging, and tshirts.
Get Some Help
Are you confused? Do you feel like you have to figure everything in OFN out on your own, and it all seems so weird at first? Do you have less hair now than when you started using OFN? Guess what? We’re here to help! Did you know about our twice-weekly drop in support call? Did you know you can call or text us any time (636-486-6677)? Did you say YouTube? Oh yah, we got that, and good old fashioned email too. Head to our support page (or just click “Support” at the top of any main screen) and a magical world of help will open up to you! Don’t go it alone (unless you want to)!
Give Some Help
The Open Food Network’s pricing model is based on the honor system. We have very approachable (that is, cheap) suggested donation amounts depending on how you use OFN, but we are “pay what you can”, so you might need to contribute a little less, or spread out your payments, or you might want to pitch in a little bit more to help cover someone who’s just starting out (yes, you can do that!!). There are other ways to pitch in, like:
- Add the OFN Donation shop to your enterprise and invite your customers to share the load. Drop us a line and we’ll connect you so you can include donations to OFN in your order cycle. Fancy!
- Include a small enterprise fee that’s set aside for OFN with every order – everything helps!
- You, your friends, and your rich uncle or auntie can always make a tax deductible donation at donate.openfoodnetwork.net.
- If you use Amazon, maybe pick us as a beneficiary for your Amazon Smile? (it costs you nothing!) Just head to Smile.Amazon.com and choose “Open Food Network USA” as your charity.
- Talk to us about ways to include OFN in grants you or your organization are writing or have won – we would love to partner with you on big and small projects.
- We’re always happy to organize a work trade or help you donate your skills to OFN as a way to contribute in lieu of money. Please reach out or check out our job board if that seems appealing.
As much as we consider the Open Food Network a labor of love (and it is!), we need to be able to stay alive to keep the platform viable, and that includes both infrastructure and (eventually) fair compensation for the hard-working crew. The hard truth is that fewer than 10% of the enterprises who did business on OFN last year donated anything at all, and the lion’s share of donations was made by just a few enterprises. We’re working hard to make it simpler to donate, we are transparent with our finances, and will never exclude someone from feeding their community because they can’t afford a donation. Please help if, when, as much, and as often as you can.
Oh, SNAP!! What About EBT?
Like you, we want to make sure healthy local food is accessible to everyone. For a lot of shoppers, that means using nutrition benefits like SNAP. Right now, in OFN, SNAP transactions are all off line (you have to track them yourself), but we want to change that! The USDA has finally started working with platforms like ours to bring SNAP payments online, but it’s going to take a lot of work from developers, product designers, and others to get it done – it’s really complicated! That means we’re raising funds to make Open Food Network SNAP-Friendly. If this is important for you, we would love to hear about it, so we could share your story with potential funders. Please reach out today (or in the next week) to find out how you can help add this important feature to OFN! In the meantime, don’t forget you can use the “EBT Friendly” product or enterprise property to help your customers find products that they can use benefits for.
We saved the best for the last! Please welcome Kent Lorentzen to the support team at OFN USA! Kent has been gardening and farming most of his life in North Central Minnesota. His farm is on the banks of the Mississippi river and has been in the family since 1922. He has been involved with the Grand Rapids MN Farmers Market for over 25 years and is the current treasurer. Computers and technology have always been an interest to him. His foray into websites and online business began over 15 years ago. Using an online platform to sell produce began 4 years ago with a transition to Open Food Network a year ago. This guy knows his stuff, and we’re pretty sure you are going to love him (if you know him, you already do!).