An Interview With John 'Gungie' Rivera, Founder, Cristian Rivera Foundation
Guests watched [me] present Dr. Mark Souweidane with a $30,000 check to help fund promising and innovative clinical trials. Following the conclusion of the auctions, an additional $10,000 was also donated.
FS: Have there been any major difficulties or setbacks you've faced along the way? Is there anything you would've done differently with your fundraising?
JR: The live and silent auctions held at this year’s gala were not as lucrative as they could have been. The starting bids should have been higher and there should have been an experienced auctioneer overseeing the process. In the future, the foundation plans to be more organized and knowledgeable about how such fundraising activities run and may even investigate holding auctions on a bigger scale, such as via eBay. The foundation also regrets not doing a reverse auction at the gala where people are asked to bid not on gifts or services but on donations to the foundation. This tool will be utilized in the future.
FS: What advice would you give to organizations similar to yours, in size and annual operating budget?
JR: Planning is important. Give yourself ample time to get your message out there and work through your list of contacts and close associates. Being organized leaves less room for error and gives you more opportunity to reach the people necessary to hit your fundraising goals.