Pulse: Shake the Money Tree
Periodic meetings should turn into regular meetings as the event gets closer. I also suggest a postevaluation meeting and a postevent party for all who helped.
FS: Are auctions viable options for smaller organizations that might not have the personnel to divide up the tasks as you ?suggest in the book?
RO: Sure. I've seen two and three people throw together a fundraising event. It's a tremendous amount of work, though. And some event chairs are even new at event planning. But consider this: If producing a successful fundraising event is the result of doing certain tasks, then anybody, regardless of their background or experience, can be successful. They just need to know the tasks.
FS: The four objectives you lay out are all about the guest, i.e., the donor. Just how vital is it to remember that, yes, your cause/auction is important, but when raising funds, it's all about the guest/donor?
RO: Here's what I see sometimes. Event planners are great at putting on a party with all the logistics of securing a venue, inviting people, planning the menu, etc., but don't focus enough on inspiring guests to spend. Then after the event, they wonder why they didn't raise as much as they had hoped. Although a good portion of what I teach deals with the logistics of producing a fundraising event, I also show how important it is to grow relationships with guests, and how to get them in a spending mood.
Consider this: From the moment your guests step into your event until the time they leave, they are in your realm of influence. What you do or fail to do during that time will make a difference in how generous your guests feel.
FS: Can you offer some key best practices for fundraising ?auctions? What are the most vital aspects of the book?