September 4 - 17, 2013
décor,” says Amy Corbern, president of EMP.“An unexpected budget item was alcohol. Although a wine sponsor had beenidentified, an existing Arizona liquor licenselaw that became enforceable last Octoberprevented the non-profit from accepting thedonation. My client had to purchase the winedirectly from the hotel.”
Keeping It Fresh
Plant With Purpose, a nonprofitorganization based in San Diego thatpartners with rural farmers around the world to restore the environment socommunities can support themselves off the land, is holding its annual fundraisinggala in October at the Paradise PointResort and Spa in San Diego. “By October,people are home from summer vacation,children are back in school and we havenot yet hit the holidays,” says Becky Rosaler, the nonprofit’s marketing andevents coordinator.The annual eventattracts between 300 and 350 people.There is something good aboutfamiliarity, but not when it comes to afundraising event—especially when ticketprices are significant. Injecting unexpectedtwists to the event keeps donors comingback. “It is important to keep annualevents fresh by switching up location,program or themes,” says Rosaler. “Plant With Purpose is working in six developingcountries around the world. This providesa variety of options for themes and theoverall feel to each year’s event. We devisea menu that is appropriate for our audienceand the event. This year, the chef hascreated a menu that has been inspiredfrom three of the regions where we work:Mexico, the Caribbean and Thailand.”
Live and silent auctions are a good sourceof additional income during an event. “Thekey to a successful silent auction issoliciting items that are appealing to youraudience,” explains Rosaler. “Thegenerosity of local businesses, friends of Plant With Purpose, and supporters alwaysamazes me as tickets, gift certificates anditems are donated. Creating displays thatengage your attendees and communicatethe auction packages is important. MikeHogan, our emcee, keeps the auctionmoving, draws attention to unique itemsand closes tables as the hour progresses.”
Marketing and Sponsorships
A fantastic idea for a fundraising event isonly the beginning. Creating excitementabout the event through a strong, all-encompassing marketing campaign (thatincludes securing sponsors) is what’sneeded to make the event a success.“There is nothing like a personalinvitation and word of mouth to encouragepeople to attend,” says Rosaler. “We sendthe standard ‘save the date’ (mail andemail), include the date in our quarterly newsletter, and then send a formalinvitation followed up by phone calls. A number of our supporters purchase tablesat a discounted price, which allows them toinvite friends. The event is also on our website and promoted through emails andsocial media like Facebook.”The American Heart Association’sGreater Los Angeles Heart Walk takesa full year to plan, culminating innumerous walks taking place in fall. “Wehave seven Heart Walks in Greater Los Angeles this year in Antelope Valley,Pomona, Pasadena, downtown LA, SantaClarita, Santa Monica and Long Beach. Wealso have Heart Walks in Ventura County,the Inland Empire and Orange County,”says Dawn Hoem, American Heart Association regional director. “In GreaterLos Angeles, we are expecting a combined25,000 walkers this fall. More than 1 millionparticipants are expected to walk in morethan 500 Heart Walks across the nation.”The American Heart Association relieson its volunteers to court and securesponsors. “Volunteer leadership is vital tomeeting new corporate sponsors,” saysHoem. “We also look at the community weserve and identify companies or groups that we can work with to move our missionforward. Some of our wonderful supportersinclude national sponsors Subway and Jenny Craig and local sponsors Union Bank,UCLA Health and Huntington Hospital.Smart & Final is a sponsor of this year’sHeart Walk as well. We conduct emailcampaigns, make company visits, do phonecalls, use social media, media outreach,posters and brochures in high traffic areasin the community to get the word out.”Local supporters also are key in Las Vegas, where more than 40 restaurants andbeverage distributors participated inM.E.N.U.S. last year. ECF’s board is madeup of many of the top food and beverageand hospitality executives in the city.
“Fundraising” continued on Page 10
Before The Event (Pre-Planning)
•Determine your total budget•Determine the fundraising goal•Select an event date and an alternative incase issues arise•Find your attendance cost•Find your minimum and maximum attendance(Minimum attendance should aim to cover yourexpenses)•Select venue and contact for availability andcost (Look for fundraiser friendly venues and letthem know the cause)•Create your program schedule
Source: EventStir, a custom, white labeled crowdfunding platform thatcan be tailored to the look and feel of a business.