Outdoor Charity Dinners & Banquets – where you are going wrong…

29 Jan

As I began to type, a good friend (Lou Compton) called the office to order a host of items for his Upcoming “Maryland Bowhunter Society” Banquet.  So it was the perfect chance for me to ask him about his opinion of what all the volunteers from the outdoor charities think about our items in their charity events.

The background of the company began a long time ago while working with the various Outdoor Charities.  I am proud of the fact that we planned, managed and hosted two of the largest, most successful charity fundraisers in North America for two separate Outdoor Charities.  Against all odds, these events were incredibly profitable – in fact, based on their successes, their CEO’s and Senior Vice President came and stayed with me in my house in order to determine why our events had the impact they did.

One of these Charities raises money to protect habitat for an animal that doesn’t even exist here.   The secret to the success of both of these events was – Uniqueness.   How were they unique you ask?  Because there were items there which appealed to a wide range of people.  Basically, they saw and were exposed to items that they did not ever see at other events across the DelMarVa region (Delaware, Maryland and Virginia).  Because these items were unique, they would prompt high bids making the charity the maximum amount of money.  Plus, because these items were so unique and everyone knew we would have them, ticket sales were through the roof.  It got so crazy, people showed up hours earlier and would “Tailgate” in the parking lot.  Volunteers would sell their seats because tickets were as sought after as the “Superbowl.”  We sold out these events year after year, in fact, began to increase the price of the ticket just to make it harder to attend.  What was really odd was, we increased the ticket price, the attendance would go down but we would have a higher profit then the previous year with more people there!!!  It’s a documented fact.

So going back, every day, it seems we come across the same problem – volunteers in the outdoor charities seem scared of what we are offering.  So I asked Lou why…and this is his response.  “George, honestly we (volunteers) seem to not think “Out of the Box.”  We don’t think that our crowd doesn’t have other interests in their life.  We only think that hunting items are the only thing they are looking for but it’s not and that is why we are ordering a bunch of items from you.”

VOLUNTEERS THIS IS FOR YOU:  The reality of it is this…Each outdoor charity uses the chapter system.  You have to think about the fact that there are other chapters and organizations you are competing against.  For your organization, think about this…how many chapters from your organization are in your state?  Plus add on other organizations chapters there plus in-state organizations like Bowhunter or other hunting organizations?  There are tons that you are competing against.

Think about this…one of the Outdoor Charities has 1,500 chapters across the U.S.  Are you understanding yet?  Do you know that the people who buy tickets and come to your events also like other things…such as Sports?  In fact, I would bet that your crowd is filled with Sports Fans and people who love to go on Vacations.  Another thing, do you know the saying “If Momma isn’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”?  You must have the wives there and have items that will make them happy…Vacations & Jewelry…plus SPORTS!!! 

Here is another aspect you need to understand – the NATIONAL PACKAGE

    Do you realize that when you receive the NATIONAL PACKAGE from your organization and you tell your RD that you want items from there…that you are PAYING FOR THEM???  YES…you are paying for those items REGARDLESS if they make your chapter money OR NOT!!!  You still have to pay. 

Understand this – if you order a PRINT from the PACKAGE and its $100.00 and it only brings $75.00 in the Auction – the $25.00 must come from somewhere – another item that sells for higher.  But regardless, if you lose money…you have to PAY.

NEXT – Every single Chapter orders the same exact items.  Those same items are seen at every single Chapter fundraiser across the Country.  Now, let’s take this a step further, the same companies provide the same or similar items to all the charities – what does this mean?  It’s the same items or very similar items at all the Outdoor Charity Events.  It’s COOKIE CUTTER!!! 

RESOLUTION:   The items which you are being offered only mean “PROFIT.”  What does that mean….you chose which items you want for your event, you place a reserve about our cost to nonprofit, let’s say 20% above and if the items sell for $100, $1,000 or even $1,000,000 above our cost…our price never changes – you keep 100% above that.  If the items DO NOT SELL or receive even the minimum bid, we will ship them back at our cost – you don’t owe us anything.

Here is the question – can you do that with the items you get in the National Package???  No.  If you lose money, you lose money.  That’s it.  We guarantee you will profit from our items and Travel Packages!!! 

A COMMON STATEMENT:  “We don’t have the people at our event that can spend that kind of money”

No….your wrong!!!  You do, in fact, we guarantee it!!!  You are just not providing them items which they will spend that kind of money for!!!  In fact, I have a close friend who always calls me to tell me about other charity events he goes too.  So that you know, to look at him, you would never know he is VERY wealthy but he drives a pickup truck, wears blue jeans and boots and a baseball hat with a “Ratty” T-Shirt or Hoody.  But he owns his own Engineering Firm which is extremely successful. 

He tells me “Day in and Day Out” that he takes $20,000.00 dollars in cash with him and would buy stuff but they always have (in his terms) “Trash” to bid on!!!  Now, you do have people who come to your event with A LOT of money to spend…but if you DO NOT PROVIDE THEM WITH HIGH QUALITY ITEMS to bid on, they will walk out without spending a dime!!!

If you take the time to read through my Blogs, you will read story after story about just this…people want hard to find items…not the normal “Hum Drum” stuff often found at charity events.  Plus, knowing that Outdoor Charity Events are similar, you must do something to create “Excitement.”  Whether it be adding Vacation Packages, Hand Signed Sports Memorabilia or a Hunt/Fishing Package from somewhere in the world – UNIQUENESS is what causes that excitement!!!

If you would like our help to make your next Dinner or Banquet UNIQUE and EXCITING, please contact us at


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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized


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