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Posted on in Fundraising

The most critical question in planning a fundraising event?

NOT – what’s the best location…who should we honor…when’s the best date…or even what’s the right format.

All questions that board members – and staff too – love to focus on when starting to think about a special event.

It’s…who will do the asking for us. 

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Posted on in Fundraising

Special events, even modest ones, require lots of time and attention. And sometimes the return on that investment stalls.

Even a successful house party – for example, 75 attendees at $100 each – can feel like a mountain to produce, year after year, for only $7,500.

“Don’t mess with success,” the warning goes – but is there a way to increase the net with the same amount of effort?

The answer is yes.

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Posted on in Fundraising

25 sign-up sheets, scattered across the room with pens hanging alongside.

Enticing descriptive paragraphs, promising hobbyist skills, relaxing get-a-ways, youthful skin.

Attractive photos, artfully-displayed items, jewelry draped across satin backdrops, gift certificates mounted alluringly on the wall.

And each sign-up sheet with only one bid scrawled across the clipboard.

What’s wrong with this picture? And how come it gets repeated time and time again? 


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Posted on in Fundraising

One million donors in, Ice Bucket Challenge versions 2.1 and 3.2 are hitting the web.

2.1 - Throwing ice cubes/water on your head and donating $100 to ALS plus $100 to Doctors Without Borders (or another medical charity) because others are suffering too.

3.2 – Throwing ice cubes/water on your head and skipping ALS because “they’ve already gotten way more than they know what to do with,” and simply giving to Doctors Without Borders (or another medical charity).

The underlying theme?

That combustible mixture of: i) social sharing; ii) participating in an “event” without a unifying place and time; and iii) the public practice of altruism.

None of which are unknown phenomena in the history of successful fundraising.

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Posted on in Fundraising

The Ice Bucket Challenge sweeping the nation is undeniably achieving three things: raising funds, awareness, and community spirit.

Some may argue about the random nature of the public’s attention to this cause, or whether the ALS Association can hold on to any of those new $100 donors – but there’s no question the Challenge is effectively raising donations and bolstering people’s sense of participation in the public good.

Flip back a couple of decades to a 1980’s phenomenon – Hands Across America.

In many ways, the Ice Bucket Challenge is the modern-day version of that juggernaut.

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