Monthly Archives: November 2012

Cookie Cutter Fundraising – Banquets & Dinners

Sometimes, I just have to use this blog to vent.  I guess sometimes you have to scream to get people to listen.  I know I am right about this…I’ve seen it over and over and over again but for some ridiculous reason, some people refuse to pull their collective heads out of the fundraising sand.  So here it goes….gear up, I’m warning you – sometimes hearing the reality is harder to deal with then “Living in the Matrix.”

The Reality  

With my background, starting in the outdoor industry Charities, I look back now and make that “Doh” sound, you know, the one that Homer Simpson makes.  But what is odd was, early on I somehow figured it out.  And because of that “Light” going off in my head, that is why I am the CEO of BW Unlimited, North America’s Leading Charity Fundraising “One Stop Shop.”

Have you ever gone to an outdoor charity fundraising Banquet or Dinner?  I’m not going to mention their names, all of them are awesome.  Their work with Conservation and outreach can’t be compared but the one thing they are missing is…they are their own worst fundraising nightmare – seriously.

If you disagree with this…keep reading and give it some thought.

Here is a question to all those guys and gals out there wearing camouflage, how many “Prints” do you have from these events?  I bet many of you are like me and have the walls covered, plus behind your furniture, in closets etc.

What their awesome volunteers don’t realize is…all of the outdoor charities acquire their items from the same companies!!!  So what does that mean?  That means that all the prints, sculptures etc., look the same!!!  Plus how many prints can you put on your Live or Silent Auction before they all look the same?  Not many.

Plus, think about this…one of these charities, perhaps the most successful one of them all, has 1,500 charities across the United States.  Another Charity has 100 chapters in North Carolina alone!!!  Take a minute to contemplate this…

This is how it works with the Outdoor Charities:  The Charities contact and are contacted by a number of companies which specialize in items which may interest their members, guests and supporters.  However, there are only a few of these companies.  So, the items in their inventory are very similar in fact, most compete by making similar items.  These items are then pulled together into a Catalog or otherwise known as a “National Package.”  The catalog is then sent out to all of their chapters across North America.

Now, remembering the “Good Ole Days” as one of the Chapters who received it – we couldn’t wait to see what was in the national package.  As soon as it arrived, our committee would pull together and sit in amazement at what was offered.  Every single time, we always said “WOW…we are going to get all of these items, people will love them…we are going to raise a ton of money!!!”

Now this same reaction and response happened in every single chapter across the U.S.  Using the organization in North Carolina that has 100 chapters, which means 100 Charity Fundraisers, that same package has been displayed 100 times for sale and the committee sits back waiting for the tidal wave of money to come crashing in – doesn’t happen.

Plus, think about this…how many ways can you see a Turkey, a duck or a deer?  Seriously, how many ways before it becomes boring or it all looks the same?

Plus some of these organizations get a percentage of the profit by the vendor. Recently, we were offered to be included in a national package – but, the organization demanded five (5%) percent of the vendors Gross.  So, what happens is, the organization gets paid three times:

#1 – The Vendor pays five (5) percent of their gross to the hosting organization

#2 – The Chapter buys these items from the organization in order to have them at their event for sale.

#3 – The guests and supporters purchase them in the auctions nationally.

So the organizations get paid by the Vendor, the chapter and the Banquet guests.  Now that’s profit.

Because those companies are attuned to this type of business, what happens at Chapter level?  Very little…the profit on those items are tapped out.

What the volunteers fail to realize is this – NOW PAY ATTENTION..this is important, there may be a test afterwards lol – If the item that your chapter paid $125.00 for, sells for only $75.00 at your event…you are LOSING MONEY!!!  Why?  Because you have to pay for it REGARDLESS…but the organization still makes money twice.

Plus – it’s always the same types of items, year after year.  So how do you change it?  Change the profit so that your chapter is head and shoulders above the rest?

You have to be different – UNIQUE!!!  How do you do that?  Donations and items which are not at every single event like yours – albeit your organization or others.  Unique, hard to find items and experiences are what will  prompt higher bids.

I recall attending an Banquet in my home state because very few people attended but yet they still had the national package.  A group of us from a neighboring chapter would attend just to “Rob” it – meaning get items there cheap.  If you disagree that this don’t happen, wake up because it does.  In fact, ask yourself this…have you ever attended a fundraising event and saw people writing down the prices that the items sold for?  It happens all the time.  Why?  They are shopping the prices so that they get the best deal!!!

Ok…BW Unlimited could absolutely make your event different and extremely unique.  We can provide items to your group that will not be seen at any other event.  PLUS…now here is the REAL PLUS…these items and experiences only mean PROFIT!!!  If you don’t profit, we take them back no questions asked.

People will come to your Fundraising Banquet or Dinner and say “Where in the world did you get this?  How did you get this?”  They will bid higher then you could ever imagine, plus tell their friends.  AND…if you tell people you are going to have these items prior to your event…YOU WILL SELL MORE TICKETS!!!!

What do you have to lose???  If you think it’s a scam…go look at our Testimonials from the other Charities and charities we work with on a continuing basis.  Why have they figured it out and you haven’t?

I guarantee this 100%!!!  So, how do you be the best chapter in your organization – BE DIFFERENT, BE UNIQUE!!!

If you would like our assistance, please do not hesitate to ask…we would love to take your Cookie Cutter Banquet from the norm to the exception to the rule.

Check out our website at and Contact us TODAY!!!

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Posted by on November 3, 2012 in Uncategorized