What are some unique ways your organization has used red-carpet or local celebrities to increase its visibility?
— FS Advisor, Feb. 20
A nightmare experience with an A-list actor still haunts me. We hired him to give the keynote at our annual meeting with thousands in attendance. He was rude, didn’t prepare and rambled so much, attendees walked out during the presentation. Always insist on seeing your headliner’s presentation materials. In our case, there was none. We were out $30,000 and felt humiliated.
— Gail Cohen, former marketing manager, Illinois Park and Recreation Association, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
Has your organization ever received a surprise major gift from someone on your file that you hadn’t recognized as a potential major-gift donor? How did you follow up?
— FS Advisor, March 20
Last week, we received a $20,000 anonymous gift. I called the small credit union on which it was drawn, and the CEO/manager said to make a letter for her file. We are also including a photograph of our president standing in front of a poster of the founder and holding the check.
— ADSLA, direct marketing manager, United Farm Workers, Keene, Calif.
What are some donor-privacy issues that have come up for your organization? How have you addressed them?
— FS Advisor, March 13
If donors request to see their profile, they have every right to do so. Make sure you don’t have anything in [there] that would be offensive or humiliating for the donor to read.
— Lindsey Mustard, development fellow, The Leadership Institute, Arlington, Va.