Special Events — More Than Just Raising Money
November 27, 2007

In her article, “How to Make the Most of Your Special Events,” Joanne Fritz, guide for the Nonprofit Charitable Orgs. site on, talks about the fact that special events aren’t, for the most part, barn-burner fundraisers for nonprofit organizations. So, she says, it’s important to have other goals and benefits in mind when planning events. According to the article, “special events create other fundraising possibilities through ‘ancillary’ methods of raising funds.” Among those methods: * In-kind contributions such as donations of food, the venue or entertainment. In-kind contributions are easier to get from a business without a prior relationship and might be a

Five Tips for Online Auctions
November 27, 2007

For nonprofits, the average online auction nets nearly $16,000 in merchandise bids alone. Significantly less time and labor are required to put on a virtual auction than a live event, and integrating online events into your fundraising plan can be a great way to whip up excitement around your mission — attracting the attention of potential supporters as well as providing extra enticement to current donors. The online auction makes it possible for nonprofits to reach out to supporters who might not be able to attend gala balls and other live events, while having the added benefit of “bringing together” constituents from across

A Great Resource for Special Events
November 27, 2007

One of our favorite resources about special-events fundraising is “Black Tie Optional: A Complete Special Events Resource for Nonprofit Organizations” by Harry Freedman and Karen Feldman. If your organization does special events or, more importantly, is thinking about doing special events, you really should own a copy. Among the really tasty bits in the book is a whole chapter dedicated to choosing the right kind of event for your organization, which includes page after page of sample events complete with descriptions, planning time, people needs and costs. It includes everything from pancake breakfasts to telethons to food festivals to cruises, and it is not

Golf Tournaments: Case in Point
May 1, 2007

When the Arby’s Foundation first approached Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass, based in Lexington, Ky., about becoming a part of the Arby’s Charity Tour, the organization was skeptical and worried that the event would be too much work for not enough profit, and said, “No thanks.”

Get Your Auctions Going...Going...
January 15, 2007

Organizations from local schools to national nonprofits are using auctions, both live and online, to raise needed funds and fill the gap left by shrinking budgets and dwindling funding sources. If you’re one of them, here are a few tips to help you succeed with your next benefit auction. 1. Create a plan. Ideally, planning should start 11 months in advance of the event to make sure there’s enough time to secure a venue, recruit volunteers, procure items and organize and publicize the event. You’ll also want to put a budget together at this time. Expenses can include invitations and catalog publication,

Donors in Training
September 1, 2006

Founded in 1949, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to curing leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improving the quality of life of patients and their families.

Online Auctions: Going Once, Going Twice
April 4, 2006

FS Advisor -- April 4, 2006 Online auctions are becoming more popular and a preferred solution for nonprofit organizations looking to build their donor bases, engage donors, increase the frequency of giving and connect donors to a social giving network that transcends geography. This, according to Jon Carson, CEO of cMarket, Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of charitable online auction services, in his session Sunday at the 43rd AFP International Conference on Fundraising in Atlanta. Online auctions are successful because donors contribute more via the Web, and they cost less to run than their traditional counterparts. Auctions via the Web offer “a dynamic, interactive environment for

Well, Isn't That Special?
September 1, 2005

So the race is run, and the party’s over. Your walkathon, golf tournament, masquerade ball or dance-off raised thousands of dollars and introduced hundreds of people to your organization.

Now what? Sure, it’s time to start planning next year’s event. But even more importantly, many fundraising pros agree, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to get the people who gave at the event to keep on giving.

Walking Through the Web
July 1, 2005

In the ‘90s, regional AIDS walks were among the most successful charity events in the country. Corporate sponsorship was plentiful, and businesses sent teams in the hundreds to participate.

But all that has changed, according to AIDS Project Rhode Island, which saw a downturn in corporate involvement for its annual AIDS Walk as early as 2000.

Takin' It to the Streets
May 1, 2005

On May 15, more than 40,000 New Yorkers will hit the streets for the 20th annual AIDS Walk New York, the world’s largest AIDS fundraising event. To commemorate the anniversary, FS spoke with Craig R. Miller, the activist fundraiser who created the AIDS Walk model more than two decades ago. Miller is president and CEO of MZA Events, an event-production, campaign-management and grassroots-fundraising firm that produces AIDS Walks in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, among others. He now pauses to reflect on Ronald Reagan, the Internet and the future of AIDS Walks as fundraisers and awareness builders.