Sometimes the Solution Calls for Hot Water
Like many of you, I’ve gone back to traveling a fair bit, presenting and attending conferences. Sometimes those are being held at very large hotels.
I have a confession to make: I hate those big hotels. They’re simply too big. It takes too long to get to your session. Maybe it’s my Dutch background, and I’m just used to smaller things. Maybe I worry about fire alarms and having to escape.
While they’re typically great in hosting conferences, the worst part of those big hotels is they charge a lot and they often do not have the amenities that other smaller hotels have. They often charge for breakfast, and some even do not have a coffeemaker in the room.
For someone like me who has just a piece of toast with peanut butter for breakfast, I can’t fathom having to pay for a breakfast I don’t eat. But more importantly, having my coffee in the morning without having to get dressed and stand in line somewhere is absolutely crucial. And in the evening, I must have my cup of decaf to decompress.
I come prepared. I travel with some bread and peanut butter, so I don’t have to go for breakfast, or I don’t have to worry if there’s no time (especially with early flights). And I travel with some instant coffee in my bag, just in case.
This week I stayed at one of those big conference hotels. It had a small fridge and even a minibar but no coffeemaker and no microwave in the room. There was a Starbucks downstairs that closed early, but I had seen a Dunkin’ a few blocks from the hotel.
So, after I got settled, I wandered to Dunkin’ for my evening decaf. As it was closing in 10 minutes, it had no decaf coffee ready, and I certainly didn’t want them making a whole pot just for me.
I went to plan B and asked for a cup of hot water, walked back to my hotel and poured in my instant — et voila!
I now typically look at a conference and see what other hotels are in the area from chains that I know have coffeemakers and free breakfasts. Many are walkable, many have shuttles to conference areas and they’re often cheaper. I run my own business, so keeping costs under control is always a factor. Blame it on my Dutch frugal upbringing.
Why am I telling you this? Because as fundraisers, sometimes you want coffee, but you may have to work with hot water instead and add in your own special ingredient.
Ultimately, the result is the same or perhaps even better! Just keep an open mind and plan ahead to have those special ingredients in your back pocket.
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals. She authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving — in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and a cat, Mientje.