Imaging a fundraising event in a hotel ballroom that was as much fun and as profitable as a vacation cruise! Imagine your donors feeling excited to buy a ticket, telling all their friends they were going, posting about the event on Facebook and getting even more pleasure from bidding competitively at the auction and giving generously to the solicitation.
Today’s guest, Abra Annes, came to fundraising through the cruise-line industry. As an assistant cruise director for Carnival Cruises, she learned the art of keeping guests entertained and happy about spending money for additional services and products once on the ship.
When her last cruise docked and she ended the hospitality phase of her career, Abra transitioned to professional fundraising – eventually running a $17 million annual campaign for a prominent Jewish organization.
But squeezing the most money from special events - without guests feeling squeezed - remained her passion. Consequently, she has learned the most effective techniques for generating big money through special event fundraising during her very successful fundraising career.
If you’re tired of spending way too much time and effort to produce an event that nets too little money, you need to hear this episode with Abra Annes. During our featured conversations, she shared many proven and effective techniques for helping your event guests feel happy about giving your organization even more money.
In this episode, we discuss:
This week on the Successful Nonprofits Podcast, we speak with author and fundraising consultant Ellen Bristol.
Bristol’s effective fundraising counsel is the result of 4 decades of experience and data from over 1,000 nonprofits that completed the Leaky Bucket Assessment. This innovative online assessment measures nine key practices that contribute to or detract from your fundraising efforts, which are summarized in her book "The Leaky Bucket: What's wrong with your fundraising and how you can fix it".
Those taking the survey included very small organizations to those with multi-million dollar budgets. Shockingly, the median organizational score on the Leaky Bucket Assessment was a C-minus.
To find out how organizations be more effective at fundraising, our conversation focused on three important factors for fundraising:
Hiring and supporting dedicated fundraising staff is one of the key indicators for fundraising success. Bristol notes that organizations with no dedicated fundraising staff only meet their fundraising objectives 39% of the time. For this reason, we discussed:
In addition to using paid staff, the organizations that are most successful at fundraising also utilize volunteers. In our conversation, Bristol recommended providing volunteers:
We finished the conversation with a summary of the four laws of performance management, and you’ll have to listen to the podcast to get these golden gems!
Ellen Bristol reminded listeners that their organization can take the Leaky Bucket Assessment by visiting http://www.bristolstrategygroup.com/resources/the-leaky-bucket-for-nonprofit-fundraising. When taking the Leaky Bucket Assessment, your organization will be able to compare your fundraising to global averages and get an hour of private review with Bristol or another facilitator.
Links for Bristol Strategy Group:
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BristolStrategyGroup
LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellenbristol
Phone number: 305-935-6676
Buy the “The Leaky Bucket: What’s wrong with your fundraising and how you can fix it” on Amazon.
From a very young age, we are taught to fear failure. We might watch the disappointment in our parents’ faces when bringing home a low grade on a test in elementary school; experience the scorn of our peers when missing a shot in a big game during high school; and feel a dire sense of dread when our first boss tells us we did wrong. As a result, we learn to hide our failures in hopes that the world will never know we messed up.
But loss and failure –those moments we “fuckup” – teach us so much more than success ever does. As the late Pat Conroy said in his book My Losing Season “Loss is a fiercer, more uncompromising teacher, coldhearted, but clear-eyed in its understand that life is more dilemma than game, and more trial than free pass. . . . Though I learned some things from the games we won that year, I learned much, much more from loss.
This episode includes a great conversation with the founders of FuckUp Nights/Atlanta: Jay Cranman and Tim Adkins. These accomplished professionals' careers span the for profit, nonprofit, and social good sectors, with a very unique story to share. We talk about their efforts to help people move failure from the shadows and move past it.
In this featured conversation, we discussed:
To find out about the next FuckUp Night in Atlanta visit www.funatl.org. If you are outside of Atlanta and want to find a FuckUp Night near you, go to www.fuckupnights.com.
Harry Freedman has an extraordinary 40+ year career of producing and evaluating successful special events. During this time, Freedman was the driving force behind raising an estimated $20 million in the more than 250 big events he produced. There are few people on this planet with as much special event experience and expertise.
Freedman, who is the author of the special events resource guide Black Tie Optional and the founder of Strategic Fundraising Initiatives, shared his insights for creating profitable and fun events.
Our conversation included
Article of the Week Denise Spivak
For profit executive compensation can be controversial, but it’s significantly more controversial in the nonprofit sector. For this reason, we discussed Joan Garry’s article “Is It Okay for Nonprofit Leaders to Make Big Salaries”. We discussed “salary angst”, executive director contracts, compensation, and the “culture of can’t”, as well as ways that small nonprofits can address each of these.
Is It Okay For Nonprofit Leaders to Make Big Salaries by Joan Garry
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