Interview With Eric Nelson, Executive Director, BEHIV
FS: Do you foresee any big changes in the way you reach potential donors and other supporters in the near future?
EN: With a revitalized board of directors and the formulation of new marketing and development plans, we will reach many more new donors and supporters in a more focused, organized fashion.
FS: How would you describe your fundraising philosophy?
EN: Our fundraising philosophy is both aggressive and relaxed. We are aggressively recruiting new supporters through events and individual relationships, but we are very courteous and relaxed in our approach. We understand that people need to have a relationship to an organization before they will contribute and we are patient in our cultivation of these relationships.
FS: Are you engaged with the new social media sites like MySpace, Facebook, etc. — and other online social networking tools?
EN: BEHIV does have a Facebook page. It was originally designed for us by college students as part of a class project. We use it to disseminate information about upcoming events and maintain contact with individuals who might not receive information in more traditional fashions.
FS: Can you describe a recent successful fundraising effort?
EN: At our most recent gala event, Club BEHIV & Cabaret, we successfully solicited sponsorships to underwrite the entire cost of the evening. This was the first time that we had ever accomplished this goal. In tough economic times, it was even more important as it provided us with the foundation upon which to build the revenue generated by ticket and raffle ticket sales and silent auction purchases.
FS: Any major difficulties or setbacks you’ve faced along the way?
EN: I don’t feel we’ve had any major difficulties beyond what many smaller organizations face. With a small board and development staff, it can be challenging to accomplish everything you want to accomplish and meet your goals.