Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fundraising Event Training Seminar

Are you planning a fundraising event for your organization? This series will give you the tools and resources you need to be sure you are prepared for the challenge ahead. If you are new to the world of fundraising events, we will give you the basic tools for planning. If you are experienced, we will give you a fresh perspective with new ideas to raise more money.

“I think it was one of the best classes I’ve attended. Everything shared gave me better skills to succeed at our next fundraising event. Thank you!” —March Workshop Attendee

“I didn't know what to expect, but I was so glad I went. It was eye-opening and I appreciated the opportunity to learn.” —December Workshop Participant

“The quantity I learned surprised me. Can’t wait for future seminars!” – March Workshop Attendee

“I loved it! What a great way to help fundraisers in the area.” —December Workshop Participant

Register for Fundraising Event Training Series in Portland, OR  on Eventbrite

For those interested in an auction planning overview, day one of our training will give you auction from A to Z. For those who have previously attended our trainings or would like a more in-depth look at specific components to your fundraising event we have four additional classes that are focused on sponsorship, budgets, program, and day of event fundraising.

Fundraising Event Training Series
June 21 – 25
Q Center
4115 N Mississippi Ave
Register at:

Sign up for the entire series for $175, or participate on individual class days.

June 21st 9am–4pm
Auction Planning A to Z—$65
Examine Auctions from Intro to Advanced

We have created a two-part workshop that is perfect for development directors, development coordinators, and volunteer committee chairs.

The morning session will focus on the steps of getting an auction started. The afternoon session will take a more advanced look at your strategies and fundraising. Each session will look at case studies and examples of “dos” and “don’ts” of planning.

Morning Session (9am–12pm) Introduction to Auctions & Fundraising Events
Are you a small non-profit looking to start your first fundraising event? Are you a staff member planning a fundraising event and looking for some tools for planning? This session will break down the basics and give you the 1-2-3 of planning your next fundraising event.

Topics will include:
· Recruiting and managing a volunteer planning committee
· Basic needs and resources for your event
· Basic budgeting – when to purchase and when to use donations
· Ideas for auction procurement

Afternoon Session (1pm–4pm) Advanced Auction Strategies
Are you looking for creative ways to raise more money? Do you wonder what trends are occurring in fundraising events? Are you looking for some specific insight about how you can increase your bottom line? This session will look at a couple of event case studies and identify strategies to implement in the planning of your next event that will reduce your workload and increase your profits.
Topics will include:
• Simplify your logistics to focus on your fundraising
• Creating an event program that increases your fundraising
• Get strategic about your auction
• The Appeal

June 22nd 1pm–4pm
Sponsorship Solicitation—$35
Creating Lasting Partnerships

Sponsors are the key to any non-profits success. Do you struggle with how to reach new sponsors and to grow the relationship? We will discuss how to engage your sponsors and invest the resources to develop lasting partnerships.
• Designing a sponsorship proposal
• Prospecting / mapping potential sponsors
• Identify benefits to offer sponsors
• Learning to be a good partner
• Managing sponsor relations

June 23rd 1pm–4pm
Event Budgeting—$35
Cutting Costs and Increasing Profit
Working with Consultants, Vendors, Venues

How much should we spend when we are trying to raise money? This workshop will take a look at those important areas where support can increase your fundraising and will navigate all of those questions about income vs. expenses.

• Identifying your potential for revenue
• Resources to save you money and cut costs
• Important areas & tools to invest in
• How to navigate benefits vs. costs with venues
• Who are the vendors working with non-profit benefit auctions?
• How do we work with a consultant?

June 24th 1pm–4pm
The Program—$35
How do you tell your story to get people invested?

So you have all the tickets sold and you’ve planned for a great event… now how do you design your program to engage your audience and motivate fundraising?

• Teach people about your organization without being boring
• Emotionally connect to your donors
• Celebrate the work of the organization
• Avoid the “kitchen sink syndrome”
• Get the right people on stage
• Capture their attention
• Watch the time

June 25th 1pm–4pm
Raising Money at Your Event—$35
Auctions, Raffles & Gaming / Rules, Tips & Strategies

Take a closer look at your fundraising during the event. Evaluate your current fundraising strategies and get new ideas to increase your revenue.

• Silent Auctions: what sells, how to procure, what to avoid
• Live Auctions: get more money for your effort
• Raffles: rules, fun, what to avoid
• Gaming: casinos and poker tournaments

Register today at

Thank you to our sponsors:
The Q Center
Witham & Dickey
Andie Petkus Photography

Monday, May 10, 2010

Planning with Staff & Volunteer Support

I often get asked by organizations that are in transition... how do we better incorporate a partnership between our staff and volunteers so that we have a really strong team planning our event.

My first response always is... you can't do it without your volunteers. For every new person on the team you open the door to a new social network for possible sponsorship, ticket sales, and auction donations.

But it is important to communicate clearly with your volunteer committee about goals, fundraising needs, and key strategic elements.

In turn they can relieve staff workload and recruit a support team to grow the event.

Step 1 – Identify tasks that are staff driven and those that are volunteer supported.

Step 2 – Identify key players that can support the various roles and begin recruitment.

Step 1 – Division of Workload
Recruit sub committee members
Recruit day of event volunteers
PR / Media Outreach
Auction Procurement
Event Gift Bags
Vendor Bids / Quotes
Theme Development
Ticket / Table Sales
Sponsorship Outreach

Recruit Committee Leadership
Manage Budget
Major Donor Outreach
Speakers / Program Elements
Data Management
Sponsorship Solicitation
Relationship Management
Vendor Contracts

Step 2 – Volunteer Leadership Recruitment

The wider you expand your network, the easier fundraising will become. For every new volunteer you have on board, you have new contacts, resources, ideas, and skills. Look to increase your volunteer support and expand as much as you can. Start first with those key contacts who:
 Volunteer with the organization in other capacities
 Are long-time supporters
 Have been trying to get involved but haven’t volunteered yet
 Have offered some leadership support
 Board Members (I often recommend 1 board member on a committee)

Cultivate a Core Leadership Team
 Start by generating a list of potential committee members
 Set a committee launch / kick-off meeting
 Call each potential committee-member and ask for their participation
 Ask your core leadership team to recruit additional committee members

Set expectations for your committee:
Identify job descriptions and meeting schedules in advance so your volunteers feel like they understand the commitment.

Chair: (1) Leadership position — Someone who is good with communication, someone who can recruit another committee member or two, someone who is willing to take the lead on meeting minutes, remind folks of meeting times, and keep volunteers looped in. In addition, they’ll lead oversight and tracking of sponsorship outreach and ticket sale outreach. Their main role will be to facilitate committee communications. This is a perfect role for someone who likes to stay connected and has an engaging personality.

Auction Sub-Chair: (1) Leadership position — Someone who is connected to small businesses, who may be able to recruit some committee members, and who might have time to sit at the computer to reach out and do procurement online via email. This should be someone who is outgoing, creative, and can be a committee cheerleader.

Event Committee Members: Project position — Willing to assist in procurement of auction and raffle prizes. Someone who can do some outreach via email and can connect to their circle of influence to sell tickets and solicit donors for various event elements.

Marketing Coordinator: (1) Leadership position — Someone with some marketing experience that would like to take the lead with traditional marketing. This should be someone who can reach out to media to get on event calendars, to promote profiles and personal stories that newspapers may be interested in highlighting, to take the lead on social networking, invitation mailings, and general outreach.

Volunteer Coordinator: (1) Leadership Position — Someone with a large social network that can coordinate a crew to help with the day of the event. Someone with good communication skills who can clearly layout all of the details for the volunteers in advance, and will stay in regular communication with them so that they are prepared when they arrive the day of the event.

Recommended Committee Structure
Leadership & Steering Committee – should be your connectors
Sub Committees – should be your doers