Posts Tagged "nonprofit"

Secret Ingredients of a Successful Fund Raiser – The Gala Event

Posted on Jun 27, 2013 in Fund Raising, Nonprofit

Spring is in the air and with it comes the onslaught of Gala events. I have found the following ingredients to be necessary in order to create a successful fund raising event. A dedicated committee… With a dedicated and passionate group of like minded folks, the sky is the limit on how much you can raise! Without a dedicated committee, fold your tent now. You will save your organization and yourself lots of aggravation. Make a budget and stick to it… but always include 10% as a contingency fee. Just like home projects, things always end up costing more than you planned! Guests to invite…while this may seem fairly obvious, it isn’t if you have ever sat at a Board meeting when members did not want to send pricey invitations to their friends, relatives and coworkers! Know your goal…is it “friend raiser” or “fund raiser?” While everyone who puts on an event desperately wants to cover their costs and raise money, some events have as their goal to expand organizational awareness in the community. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, that truly is a valid reason for an event! When your goal is “Fund Raising,” set a financial goal based on past experience and level of commitment of Board and Staff. Having a mutually agreed upon goal is the challenge that will bring out the best in everyone and have people stretching for those last dollars! Get your community involved through local corporate sponsorships and provide them recognition in your newsletter, on your website, and/or at your event. Show them that you really do understand “partnerships.” They are not ATM machines. Work your network, including Board & Community, to get as much donated goods and services as possible. This will keep your costs down significantly. Remember, it is not about you…it is about your donors and the work that you do on their behalf! Finally, the night of your event…have fun. It is too late to stress anyway and it will all work out in the end! Denise Sheppard is a development consultant who loves helping to raise money for worthy causes. She provides mentoring for new development staff; writes grants; and thrives on being part of a team who is organizing a fund raising event. She can be reached at denisesheppard@comcast.net or...

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Leadership and Personal Development

Posted on Jun 27, 2013 in Inspiration, Leadership

We have all traveled enough by now to know by heart the lesson of “put your own mask on first before assisting others with theirs.” Most of us tune it out and hope we will never need the advice. As leaders, however, we ignore this bit of wisdom at our own peril. Strong and successful leadership is intimately tied to whether or not we constantly have a reliable source of oxygen in our life. Where is our energy coming from? What feeds and nourishes us? We are unable to lead others if our own passion is missing. Effective leadership in any organization is never about telling people what to do but rather showing them by our...

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Life is NOT About…

Posted on Jun 27, 2013 in home slider, Inspiration, Leadership

“Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb but how well you bounce.” These inspiring words from the Buddha need to be a morning mantra of all consultants today, especially those working with the nonprofit sector. We are bombarded on all sides with messages of doom and gloom. Word is that the economy, while recovering, still could take ten years to reach previous heights. The media is constantly sending messages out that donor dollars are fewer this year as the economic crisis has caused people to hold a little tighter to their discretionary cash. Government itself is adding to the “black cloud” by threatening to limit tax deductions on donations to charities. What is a consultant to do? This my friend is our time! We ARE the voice that steadies the Executive Director and Board of Trustees. With words of confidence, and charts and graphs of course, we assure them that their donor development plans of engaging donors in the mission and activities of the organization has been right all along. These loyal supporters, that some call “donors,” are friends of the organizations and will stick by them, increasing donations to make up the shortfall where others have fallen. These long term relationships have been investments from both parties, and it is the consultant, with eyes and ears beyond the organization who provides the wisdom and encouragement to the Executive Director to step up to the challenge of asking for the needed support that will allow the organization to bounce and to remain strong in this...

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Secret Ingredients of a Successful Fund Raiser – Sponsorships

Posted on Jun 27, 2013 in Fund Raising, home slider, Nonprofit

In the early stages of planning a successful fundraiser, it is important to consider sponsorships. Your ticket price needs to cover the cost of putting on your event. Your sponsorships, corporate and individual, will be the area that puts you over into to the “successful” category! What questions should you consider before sending that first letter to a business or individual? What is in it for the Sponsor? This is the most important question. At this point in your preparation for your event you are dealing with a successful business or individual. Can you offer them advertising the night of the event on the program? How about adding their logo to your website? A “tip of the hat” from the podium during your opening remarks also can be reserved for your highest sponsors. Of course, tickets to your event should also be offered to your sponsors, graduated according to the amount of the donation. Why would an individual or company be interested in sponsoring your nonprofit? Are they a local business that has ties to your nonprofit? Does someone from the company sit on your Board of Trustees? Are they one of your vendors? All of these companies should be asked. Will your Board members consider donating at a sponsorship level? What or where is their connection to your organization? Another interesting intersection for individual and corporate sponsors is their desire to have their name before a particular Cause, Honoree, or Co-Chair. This is one of the primary reasons that it is critical to choose your Honorees and Co-Chairs with great thought. Where will you find these sponsors? This is the most asked question. A rule of thumb for asking is “top down, inside out.” What this means is that you should always start with your Board of Trustees. They are the people charged with fiscal responsibility of your organization. Their support and that of their friends, colleagues, and business associates will be most important. Staff and volunteers are also asked to contribute any names of contacts that they may have as well. Next vendors are approached and asked to show their support. Finally, companies within a ten to twenty mile radius can also be approached, particularly large name companies. Craft a well written letter letting the appropriate individual know that you will be following up within ten days in person or by phone…and then GO DO IT! Denise Sheppard is a development consultant who loves helping to raise money for worthy causes. She provides mentoring for new development staff; writes grants; and thrives on being part of a team who is organizing a fund raising event. She can be reached at denisesheppard@comcast.net or...

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