I don’t know about you, but when I’m relaxing at night watching TV, I sit with the remote control in my hand and scan through the channels. Every once in a while, I pause to watch a show that just have to laugh at “Finding Bigfoot.”
Between the main characters in the documentary and the fact that these people believe that an eight (8) foot tall Ape is walking around the North American woods just blows my mind. I sit and think to myself “Why in the world is this even a TV show???” To think that people want to believe this just leaves me wondering why. I just want to yell at the screen “Please!!! Come on, wake up!!!” but then that would be followed up with a hospital visit lol.
Across history, no one has ever found, trapped or killed one but nevertheless…here we are. They will believe what they are doing and the fact that it’s out there, will drive them to look and search and continue to write books and produce TV shows about the subject. Basically believing in a myth even though there is absolutely zero proof of its existence.
But, as always it reminds me of a topic that we, Team BWU, has been hearing a lot lately. There are many charities out there who still believe that they have to have 100% donated items in their fundraising events. But they are refusing to see the truth of what is really going on with their fundraising events and their guests.
I have written other Blogs about this exact topic – namely “How much is the chicken” but I feel like I should expound on it a bit to hopefully educate them, our Representatives and maybe just to vent my frustrations with this subject.
Now, here we go…understanding that we are still in a Recession despite what the President says plus adding that there are 104 registered U.S. Non Profits (Charities) in the United States – lets do some math:
- 104 Million Charities – Very low because just one of these charities has 1,500 chapters plus this does not include the smaller charities. Furthermore, there are 1,000’s of Benefit events conducting fundraising events.
- 104 Million Charities divided by 52 states = 2,000,000 charities in each state
- 10 people involved in each Charity – this is an extremely low number because many have 100’s if not 1,000’s of supporters involved.
- 1,040,000,000 people totally involved!!!
So, the 1 Billion, 40 Million people are trying to host successful fundraising events. The main question is…how many businesses are in the U.S.? – I don’t have the numbers for that.
With the recession, an immense amount of businesses went under – while BW Unlimited is growing!!! With all of the people out there searching for donations, businesses can only give what they can afford to – while keeping their own businesses afloat. Businesses get bombarded by people looking for donations. Each person truly believes that their charity deserves the donation – but what they don’t understand is how many charities are out there looking for and asking for the same thing. In fact, as one person looking for a donation walks out, another one walks in.
A good friend, Decoy Carver David Walker, recently told me he gets about 50 requests a week. If he were to donate a hand carved decoy to every person asking, he would only be making ducks for this purpose and would lose everything he owns.
So, going back to the topic, the business who do donate something, donate items that they can afford to get rid of or will bring people into their business – namely gift certificates. The reality is – they are always items which aren’t worth a lot.
The person getting the donation leaves the business and adds it to the donations pile of similar items and they keep on looking for more. This is great but…let’s look at the reality:
- People from the community attend Charity Events
- Donated items come from local businesses
- The businesses donate similar items to those who ask for a donation – basically the same item to the local charities
- The same items are seen by local people, these people are asked to bid on items from local businesses and these items are seen at all the local events.
- The items are normally not high quality
- Donated items are donated year after year, boring event attendees
- Charity Event guests are always looking for a “Deal”
- Restaurant gift certificates normally only bring in a maximum high bid of ¼ to ½ of the Retail
- If people wanted to purchase a gift certificate to that place of business, they would go there and purchase it.
- Items which are donated always bring in low bids
- If hand signed sports memorabilia is donated, it MUST have a Certificate of Authenticity accompanying it. Normally they do not.
- Gift Baskets are great, but if there are too many, they blend together.
Now…is this adding up yet? Let’s take it a step further and talk about human nature:
John and Jane attended the ABC Charity Fundraising Event several weeks ago held by another local Charity Event. While at that event, they plan their fundraiser accordingly. They also gather ideas of who to ask for donations. They leave that event, go to those businesses and ask for a donation, receiving the same donation as they saw before.
While planning their fundraiser, because they are not experienced fundraisers, they repeat what the “Other” charity did while adding a few from other events.
But the problem is, guess what? The organizers from those “Other” events did the exact same thing – gathered donations and ideas from “Other” Events they have seen or attended. So basically, all of these people and charities are repeating the same Event Over and Over and Over and Over and Over….again. But what all of them don’t know is….if those events were successful. I can bet…no they were not. Plus by repeating it, the level of success went down and down and down again.
So what is the solution? Change – Unique!!! A charity must plan events that are unique or different than the others ones around them. From their “Unique” Event – word will travel Fast!!! It will pay off year after year.
Finding my way back on the reason why I first began writing this…by going out in the local community and finding “100% donated items”, a charity is greatly handy capping themselves. It’s not their fault, they just don’t see or understand how important having quality, hard to find items at their events. They prepare for a fantastic event, having them at a fantastic venue with great food…but then they place 100% donated items on their fundraising platforms (Live and Silent Auctions plus raffles) expecting different results – which is the definition of “Insanity.”
Why do they do this? Education. Why do they not understand how having quality items available for their supporters means the absolute importance? Education. What will convince them that even though they are paying a small price for an item if the item in fact sells, Experience and Education. Plus…now here is the “Kicker”….they don’t understand what the impact, other then financial, will do for their events presently and in the future – it will separate them from the other 1,000’s of hum drum events which are repeating the same thing over and over again.
Today, I was having a conversation with one of our many BW Unlimited Representatives and was told this – “a person who purchased a BW Unlimited Travel Package said that in the three (3) years they have been attending the event, they have only purchased a table to attend and consider that their donation. But for the first time, they were excited about the Travel Package so they bid on and won it.” The Rep went onto say that how that will positively influence next year’s attendance.
So…by adding our “No Risk Auction Items” to a Charities Fundraising event, not only will they greatly influence their financial outcome guaranteed, but they will also greatly enhance the appeal to attend the event – which means more ticket sales.
Or we could go out tonight and look for the big Ape like animal wandering around the Maryland woods…it’s your choice…what do you say????