Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Reaching Your Goal in Little Steps

As seen in the current fundraising efforts for Haiti relief the power of many can have a huge impact. Small gifts collected by millions of people have raised millions of dollars in a very short window of time.

This is the benefit of quick communication around a single goal in a specific time frame. And it’s something that any organization can utilize to reach their fundraising goals.

Case Study:

Sonnet Repertory Theatre Company in New York
Summer of 2009

In the development of a new work, Sonnet Repertory Theatre Company needed to raise $10,000 for workshop costs and needed to raise it quickly. Once the budget was set and the goal was clear, an online campaign was launched. Utilizing the theatre company’s fan base, the artists fan base, and the online tools of Twitter and Facebook over 2,500 people were reached at one time with the solicitation to donate $10 and to pass the request on to 10 friends.

Quickly they wove a web of communication with hundreds of friends and fans acting as champions for their cause. The word was out and $10 donations helped them reach their goal in little steps.

Keys of Success:
Some of the keys to success for an online fundraising campaign…

#1 – Set a specific goal in a specific timeline and communicate this to your audience. If people understand your fundraising needs they are more likely to give.

#2 – Use an online tool to collect donations such as Justgive.org.
You want to make it very easy for folks to be able to give with a simple “Donate Now”.

#3 – Report back to your donors about where you are in relation to your goal. Once they have made a gift, they are interested in your work.

#4 – Set a low dollar request so it is easy for everyone to support you at that level. Then do the math for your donor and explain how many gifts you need, so they help you reach your goal.

#5 – Use the same online tools “Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Linked In” to recognize your donors regularly.

#6 – Don’t just ask once. Develop a strategic plan for 3-4 solicitations. The first is the big ask. The second is a recognition and thank you to those who have participated with an update toward your goal. The third is a “final push” solicitation. The fourth is right up against your deadline with an update, a thank you, and a final ask.

#7 – Get the buy in of your key players. As someone involved in the project ask every member to spread the word, "share" to their base, post updates when they have made a gift or received a gift. Keep everyone talking about it so folks feel the excitement to join in.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp - Passport Around the World

Mission Statement: The Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp provides excellence in outdoor experiences to individuals with disabilities, educational opportunities for students pursuing human service careers and facilitates personal growth and inclusion of all participants.

Vision Statement: We aspire to continue our tradition of excellent programming and opportunities for personal growth in a fun, caring and supportive environment; to expand our programming, research and training opportunities and base of community support; and to build improved facilities, richer partnerships and long-term financial security for our organization.

Support MHKC Today!

Auction Pay becomes Greater Giving

One of the biggest investments you can make for a successful auction is an auction software that can manage all of your data tracking needs. The ability to cross reference, reduce your workload, and generate all of your print materials and resources will increase your effectiveness and ultimately improve your guest and donor experience.

There are a lot of software companies that provide support for fundraising, but I have found the Auction Pay software to be the most complete product. From start to finish it offers you tools to specifically support your auction tracking, your guest tracking, process your credit cards, market your event, hold online auctions, and even do your follow up.

It is a complete tool that, if used well, can reduce your organization's workload.

Recently Auction Pay became Greater Giving. According to the Greater Giving website, "This new name reflects our expanded mission to provide nonprofits and schools with technology and credit card processing services to make all their fundraising efforts more successful."

I have repeatedly found that Greater Giving software users question the investment, but see a return in fundraising and access to tools that ultimately grow their event. As an organizer, I have seen a tremendous reduction in workload and relief on volunteer and staff time.

If you are a Greater Giving user and are trying to learn more about your investment and identify ways to better utilize this as a fundraising and database tool, we are currently offering software support and training. If this is a new product for you, we can get you up and running. And if you have made the investment, but don't feel like your staff is adequately trained we can provide you some support. To set up some training time contact Samantha Swaim Fundraising, LLC.

If you are not currently using a database software but have an auction... check out the tools that Greater Giving can provide you.


Oregon Partnership Celebrates - Night at the Museum

Oregon Partnership exists to end substance abuse and suicide.

Oregon Partnerships Annual Gala FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2010 Portland Art Museum 5:30PM For more information contact: Barbara Caplan 971-244-1373 . bcaplan@orpartnership.org

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Northwest Academy's Club Cabaret - February 27th

The Northwest Academy's Club Cabaret
Coming on February 27th

Come out to support The Northwest Academy's Scholarship fund and enjoy a silent auction filled with art, wine, and fabulous packages. Students and parents will come together to entertain you and give you a flair for the taste of Buenos Aires.

Then enjoy the Argentinian sounds of Tango Cabaret and the NWA Tango band. Dinner service provided by Vibrant Table, wine provided by Ponzi Vineyards and a live auction led by auctioneer Johnna Wells. Get ready to bid on trips around the globe, including an opportunity to enjoy a week in a private hillside retreat in Yelapa Mexico. A short boat ride from Puerto Vallarta the Yelapa retreat is an amazing beach oasis.

Then sit back and enjoy the Tango Cabaret floor show. Staring the talents of NWA students and staff you will go on a journey through Argentina in search of the greatest tango club of all time. This year's show is written by Red Door Film's David Poulshock and directed by actor, writer, director Wade McCollum.

So break out your vintage tango wear and get your dancing shoes on... you won't want to miss this event!

Buy your tickets today at www.clubcabaretnwa.com

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Event Solutions Magazine Talks To Us About Event Technology

New AV technology offers ways to make an impact within tight budgets

When Samantha Swaim, a fundraising and event consultant for Samantha
Swaim Fundraising, LLC
, noticed her clients’ budgets tighten, she turned toward
audiovisual technology as a way to cut budgets and still make a huge impact.
“In partnership with a number of production and AV companies, I started to see
the impact that lighting could make to create a theme, set a mood or even control
the crowd,” she says. “We began to use LED light boxes as an inexpensive way to
up light the walls, highlight an area like bars or food tables, or even manage traffic
flows by lighting pathways. With LED lights we have been able to create big
impact with little money.”

Knowledge of audiovisual technology has become more critical in this age of
computers, electronic equipment and social networking. With event attendance
and budgets at all-time lows, event planners like Swaim are looking to the latest
in audiovisual technology to fill the gaps.

According to Joe Shambro, audio engineer and music technology writer for
About.com, the biggest benefit for an event planner who stays abreast of audiovisual
technology are two things that are in short supply these days: time and money.
“Digital technologies are offering more bang for the buck than ever before, and
they’re coming in smaller, cheaper packages,” he says. “If you’re going into the
game with a set budget for audiovisual technology, you’ll be amazed at what you
can buy, even on a modest budget.”

A/V challenged? Here’s what’s new in audiovisual technology for 2010.article continue icons article end icons

Robo.to Maker

Launched in November, Robo.to Maker is a new desktop
application that allows event attendees to quickly post 4-second
Robo.to video updates to their Robo.to profile as well as to their
linked Robo.to Twitter feed and Facebook accounts.

“Robo.to Maker shows the outside world what’s going on inside
the event in real time and is a new way to increase the brand value
of an event,” says Ericson deJesus, founder and chief product
officer. “It’s also a great, fun way to get attendees involved in the
event and provides a record for event participants to revisit once
the party’s over.”

Faith-Ann Young, vice president of content at Particle Inc.,
recently used Robo.to Maker for a Particle TV Mode Launch
party and loved it. “Guests used Robo.to Maker to craft short
4-second videos, which we then streamed on projectors around
the venue,” she says. “It’s a similar concept to having a photo
booth at a party—except more high-tech and interactive.”
Robo.to Maker is easy to set up and use. Simply install the Maker
application on a computer (with a webcam and internet access) and
set up the computer in a comfortable spot for people to make mini-
videos. Young says she put small Robo.to booths by the entrance,
with an assortment of wacky props for attendees to use.

According to deJesus, Robo.to Maker can be used at any event,
from small private parties to major conventions. However, most
webcams require a certain amount of light for people to show up
well in the video so planners need to make sure they set up a kiosk
where there is adequate light.

“It’s an excellent way to enhance the brand and social media value
of your events,” deJesus says. “The photo booth function of Maker
is a great entertainment tool to have at any event. I would say
narcissism and the desire to show off one’s creative side are
pretty universal.”

Digital lighting

Megan McKenna, vice-president of new business development for
Total Media group says digital lighting has gone from a nice-to-
have to a must-have for events. “Standard lighting offers you only
as much as your lighting and gels will allow—combining primary
colors as an artist would with paint to get the hue they desire,” she
says. “The result is that we can’t always match a color 100 percent
and we’re limited by space, quantity and budget. With digital
lighting, we can actually color-match much closer so our corporate
colors can be tweaked almost to perfection.”

Digital lighting has also allowed professionals to expand the
lighting possibilities in many ways. McKenna says digital lighting
has helped them to incorporate custom images—stills, 3D, even
moving images, adding more variety and motion, which helps
liven up the environment.

“With digital lighting, the instrument itself allows us to expand
our lighting,” she says. “We can seamlessly switch from lighting
to projection within the instrument and back again. Just like our
video processors, it allows for more content and flexibility.”
Shambro says that transitioning to all-digital environments is
necessary for several reasons: “Digital lighting allows much better
automation, key if you’re using a non-technical workforce. It’s also
easier to install, and easier to maintain in case of problems.”


Projector123, a premier online source for 2000- and 3000-lumen
projector rentals starting at $99 per day, provides event planners
and business travelers with a “Netflix-style” service for the latest
technology in projectors.

“Projectors are expensive, difficult to travel with and sometimes
outdated when you rent from hotels or venues,” says Garrett
Harmola, business development associate for Projector123.

“Projector123 offers the latest in projector technology. With this,
planners save money on technology and can devote more time to
other areas of their conventions, meetings or parties.”
All you need is a laptop computer, television, DVD player or any
other electronic input device. Projector 123 provides the cables
needed to connect the projector to a media device. Once you’ve
connected Projector 123 to your laptop or DVD player, you’re
ready to go. Projector 123 rentals come with an instructional
insert and offer 24/7 technical support.

Using Fed-Ex shipping services, Projector123 delivers LCD
Projectors anywhere in the United States within a 24-hour time
frame. All projectors are tested and inspected before shipping out
in protective electronic boxes with combination locks built in.
For multiple orders, Projector123 also provides a back-up projector
in case a projector bulb burns out or if there are issues that their
technical support team cannot fix immediately.

“I was sort of in a pinch to get a projector for a very important
event I was hosting,” says Annie Whalen, a campus events
manager. “I looked around online and the prices for projectors
were astronomical, not to mention I’d have to drive all over town
to get it. Delivery was fast and just as promised. The instructions
to use the projector were idiot-proof.”

Projector123 does not provide screens, but is in the process of
developing a screen solution for renters.


PPT2DVD helps event professionals convert, carry and control
large PowerPoint presentations, using a DVD player and
television instead of a computer and projector. PPT2DVD
offers a simple way to burn PPT files to DVD, with options
for a true presentation experience using a DVD player.

“By burning PowerPoint onto a DVD disc, users can view
PowerPoint presentations without the need of a MS PowerPoint-
installed computer,” says Sabrina Fu, sales manager of Business
Presentation Division. “PPT2DVD helps users crack the obstacle
of transporting, playing and sharing PowerPoint files.”
No complex computing skills are required to use PPT2DVD;
after a few clicks, the conversion process is finished automatically.

According to Fu, PPT2DVD enables users to burn PowerPoint
to a DVD movie or to convert PowerPoint to video files while
maintaining excellent quality.

Fu says PPT2DVD may slow your computer while in use, but
overall, the program is a benefit. “With PPT2DVD, you can share
and view your PowerPoint files in more popular ways,” she says.
“PPT2DVD is not only a presentation tool, but also a tool help
you enjoy your life better and boom your business.”

For event planners interested in incorporating new audiovisual
technology, McKenna advises planners to research, inquire and
test, test, test. “Make sure you know your equipment and how
to use it, before taking it out on a show,” she says.
Overall, Shambro recommends that event planners not be afraid
of new audiovisual technology, but rather embrace the potential
positive aspects to their business.

“A lot of people view digital technology as more difficult to learn
than analog equipment,” he says. “That’s simply untrue. Most
digital A/V equipment uses the same principles as their analog
counterparts. “You’ll find that digital technology, especially the
ability to store and recall settings, helps you concentrate more on
making a great audio mix, higher quality video reproduction,
and a great overall experience for your clients.”

Swaim suggests talking to experts and finding someone you trust
who is staying on top of new technology: “Find a company that
upgrades and updates its inventory often so you have the latest
and greatest available and accessible to you. With some creative
technology there are lots of great opportunities to add that
wow factor.”

Terah Shelton is a freelance writer who frequently writes
about events and event professionals.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Interview with Auctioneer Kelly Rusell - Part 2

Kelly Russell is a professional auctioneer who has specialized in the benefit auction industry since 2004. Kelly is an energetic performer who is comfortable in front of audiences of all sizes and enjoys interacting with bidders. Today we ask her a few questions:

What auction packages do you see that seem to appeal to any auction audience?

For the Live Auction, the “stay”-cation is becoming more & more popular. In this softer economy, I find many bidders are more likely to purchase a local getaway that is not going to cost them a large additional sum of money to claim (airfare, entertainment budget, etc.). A stay at a local hotel with dinner and a show can be a lovely night away from the kiddos while Grandma is babysitting. The other option is that bidders can give this sort of package to a guest that they may be entertaining in their home city (you know, the in-laws).

For the Silent Auction, WINE has always been a popular choice. It’s the item you can purchase, and use to entertain with at a later date. Also, look for items that your audience would use on a daily basis, such as Restaurant Gift Certificates, gym memberships, eco-friendly items, flex-car rentals, grocery gift certificates, computer services, gas, hair care services, and the list goes on…

How can a benefit auctioneer make the difference in reaching a fundraising goal?

A Benefit Auctioneering Specialist (BAS) has extensive training in maximizing revenue at your event. A professional Benefit Auctioneer will take the time to consult with your organization to find the unique items to which your constituents have access. A professional Benefit Auctioneer will also take the time to discuss all aspects of the event (Silent & Live Auctions Procurement, Special Appeal, Raffles, Timelines, Floor-plans, and can assist with much more) to ensure success.

A professional Benefit Auctioneer knows how to engage a crowd at a fundraising event. It’s much different than being at a livestock, or estate sale. This is an event where the crowd wants to be entertained, and they should be, as they are the STARS of the event. With your guest’s support, you will be able to continue your mission.

What key logistics piece do you feel is a requirement for any event to be successful?

The Sound System!!!! You can have an exceptional auctioneer, an awesome auction planner, the best venue, the most fabulous catering, a celebrity emcee, open bar, guests ready to empty their wallets, fantastic items, the hottest entertainment, fun galore…but if you have a bad sound system, you will make NO MONEY at your auction. This is one investment that, can literally, make or break your event. If you invest money to hire all the above mentioned, but your guests cannot hear, you will lose their attention and they will go home. You will have lost your opportunity to fund-raise, friend-raise, and all the time and energy you have invested in your event. Be sure to evaluate, and re-evaluate, it the availability of a professional sound system. In fact, HIRE a Professional Sound Company to ensure your message is heard, and your communication pathway between anyone speaking from the stage and the audience, is clear.

For booking information please contact at 503.734.7287