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Is it time to see your Doctor? Are you suffering from “Acute Fundraising Delirium” and stuck in a Fundraising Rut?

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Recently, my team and I met with a charity who is asking for our help.  We are always humbled when we are asked so meeting with them was our pleasure.  However, after speaking with them at length, I soon realized that trying to get them to change their unsuccessful methods was going to be difficult.  In fact, one of the member who we met with pulled me aside and said “Don’t even try getting them to change, you’re fighting a losing battle.”  So the question remained, so how are we supposed to help them if they refuse to change?

So in order to help you, the reader of this Blog, here are some signs and symptoms that will help you to determine if its time to see a Fundraising Doctor:

“Stuck in Rut” Symptoms:

#1 – Are you willing to change the place or venue where you are holding your event?   The reason the venue is so important determines the level of spending your guests will be comfortable with.  Unfortunately, many unsuccessful charities will choose a low cost venue because of their belief that it will put more money or profit in their pocket.  Sadly, this is not the case – What charities like these do not know is that by choosing a venue which is cheaper – the venue is cheaper for a reason.  Potential guests who enjoy a fantastic night out will never attend an event which is “Less than.”  Affluent people or “Wealthy” potential guests will never attend because if they are going to spend a night out, they want to go somewhere nice.

#2 – Do you keep your ticket price low thinking that it will attract more guests?  Many believe this but in reality what happens is, by lowering your ticket costs, your guests will be more than likely to attend…eat, drink and leave without ever bidding on anything or donating in anyway.

#3 – Are you still utilizing old fundraising methods to raise money?  Are you still doing 50/50 raffles, Wheels of any type or still filling your Silent and Live Auction with donated items?  If you are, you are using very old ways to raise money which have been beat to death.  Of course people love these raffles and the reason is, everyone loves to win money.  Do you know how profitable these raffles are?  How much work does it take to get the prizes and what is pay off?  Understand these raffles have been used for years. 

#4 – Do you believe that your charity should use only donated items in your fundraising event?  Are you and your charity convinced the “Way to go” is to only utilize donated items in your live and silent auction?  Unfortunately, its fact that donated items are only bringing 1/8 to 1/4 of their retail price in Silent & Live Auctions across North America.  The reason is honest and simple but are you willing to listen and be open minded?  The reason that donated items do so poorly is for three (3) reasons:  1 – Your guests are local people, attending a local event with items donated by local businesses.  If they wanted those items, they would have gone and bought them themselves.  2 – Today, businesses are bombarded by charities asking for donations.  Each charity believes that they are the only one asking, however, every single local charity has asked the same business owner.  The business owner has to be concerned about keeping their lights on.  If they do donate, they donate something they can afford to get rid of and that isn’t selling in their stores.  3 – Many charities believe Gift Cards and Gift Certificates are incredible auction items but ask yourself this…how many times have you purchased a gift card for yourself at face value – OR – How many Gift Baskets did you give away to your family or friends for the holidays?  The answer to both is none.  Understand this – EVERYONE is looking for a deal.  Yes they will purchase your donations but at an extremely low cost.  Rarely will any pass 50% of their retail cost.  Have you thought about how that would negatively affect the donor if he or she found out their donation did so poorly?  Do you think they would donate again?

#5 – What was the “Net” or Profit from your last event?  Do you know what your event “Netted”?  Now be honest with yourself like so many who are suffering are – what was your “Net Profit” which means how much after paying the bills did you walk away with, not your “Gross”….your “Net”?  How many guests did you have at your event?  Here is how you can tell if your suffering – The “National Norm”, which is just the beginning of successful fundraising, for successful fundraising is $100.00 a head, net.  So what that means is for every guest who paid for a ticket, that person equals $100.00.  So if you had 500 people, you should at the very least had a “Net” of $50,000.00.  Did you?  If you didn’t, oh boy, you’re really sick.

#6 – Do you have an unqualified or inexperienced person in charge of planning and hosting your fundraiser?  Do you have a volunteer or someone on your staff who only plans one event for you a year?  Are they proficient and know the current fundraising trends?  If your answer is yes…well, your suffering.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, seek the advice of your fundraising Doctor soon, call today and schedule an appointment.  If you answered yes to two (2) or more, you are suffering from “Acute Fundraising Delirium.”  Good news though, there is a cure…it may be painful, but you will definitely be cured.

How to Fight and Cure “Acute Fundraising Delirium.” 

First, you should understand you are not alone so don’t be ashamed.  Many charities are suffering and need help but to prideful to ask.  So here is the way to cure what ails you.  But before I give you the cure, here are some points to understand so that you won’t come down with it again.

The Venue you host your event in is vitally, VITALLY important to your ultimate success.  People love to go to a very nice place with great food.  Affluent or Wealthy people like to be around others who have the same financial status…it’s a known fact.  About your ticket, your ticket price should be high enough to “Ward Off” the grazers, meaning people who are coming just to eat and drink and leave.  The reality is “a cheap ticket gets you cheap people.”   Your ticket price should be high enough in order to be a “Financial Hurdle.”  If they can pay the ticket price which you are profiting from, then they can also afford to donate or bid on items.  In your fundraising event, you should be using four (4) fundraising platforms – Live Auction, Silent Auction, Raffles and a direct ask for financial donations.  With raffles, donated items are perfect for this platform and will bring 10 times their retail because everyone likes to win.  Do not do raffles where you are EVER giving money away as a prize or raffles that take too long to play.  Your donations are perfect for raffles but you should acquire consignment items for your Live & Silent Auction because people like exciting things such as Travel Packages, Experiences, Hard to Find Memorabilia etc.  These are incredibly profitable if used correctly and the reserve or cost is increase at least 20% to ensure you profit 100% of the time.  Your charities “Net” should equal the national successful fundraising norm of $100.00 a head “Net” proceeds.  There are methods to ensure you match this on your next event.  If you have a volunteer or inexperienced person in charge of your fundraiser, don’t fall for the “Oh I’ve held several events and I’ve helped with many” plea – because you don’t know if the events they were a part of were successful.  You need to find someone who is an expert fundraiser.  There is an old saying that goes like this “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait till you hire an amateur.”  Oh so very true…

The Cure

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is North America’s #1 charity fundraising firm in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  BW can help you with everything.  BW is the fundraisers for New York Cities and Washington D.C.’s elite as well as professional athletes and celebrities while also helping the White House, the Armed Forces charities, the NFL / MLB & NHL with their fundraising along with 1,000’s of charities each year.  We pride ourselves at normally raising 1.5 to 3.5 times the national norm while also helping our clients host impressive, professional events.  BW also proudly has the largest inventory of consignment items such as Charity Travel Packages, 100% authentic autographed items, Décor and beautiful jewelry which is all provided at absolutely “NO RISK” to charities across North America.  BW works with charities large and small while specializing in helping small groups grow their fundraising to incredibly successful levels.  If you are suffering and need a doctor, there is only one Doctor to call to cure your problems, BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising at 443.206.6121 or go to our website at www.BWUnlimited.com.

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“Broken Spoke Fundraising” – Unknowingly repeating unsuccessful fundraising tactics

IMG0071adjustedI’m sure you’re familiar with the old saying “Repeating the same thing over and over expecting different results.”  Well I’m going to introduce you to a whole new phrase which applies to the charity world – “Broken Spoke Fundraising.”  These two sayings have a lot in common because they address the same issue which many charities like yours are experiencing.  But you don’t know why you are having problems.

So imagine this – you and a friend or loved one are a part of a charity who has a fundraising event coming up in a several months.  You are invited to go to another charity fundraiser which a local charity is hosting.  You have little experience hosting a fundraiser since you only do one or two a year.  But while you’re there at the fundraiser you were invited to, you take mental notes on what they are doing to raise money.  You think to yourself “We will do these things at our event.”  Now, what they are doing seems like a great idea and also appears successful – so why not do them at yours right?

The problem is this – you honestly do not know if what they are doing or did do was successful.  What appears popular could have not been a successful way of fundraising.  As a real life example, charities all across the country have been doing a raffle called a “50/50” for decades.  But…have you taken time to think about it?  Let’s say you sell $5,000.00 worth of raffle tickets.  The prize which you give away is $2,500.00. Why on earth would you give away ½ of your earnings?  Charities hope and pray that the winner donates the money back but after a three (3) year study by our company BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising, 83% of the time the winner does not donate the money.  As a professional fundraising event planner, those odds are bad and we do not ever do raffles or games which give money away as a prize because we are there to raise money, not give it away.

So, you start planning your fundraising event and utilize the ideas you saw at the local fundraiser you attended.  You don’t know if what they did was actually successful even though it appeared like it was.  But while planning it, you didn’t take the time to go and speak to the charity and get the full run down of how the raffle works and what you need to run it – so you miss something when repeating it.  In reality, the fundraising tactic they used wasn’t successful and when you do yours, you missed something making it that much more or less successful.  You now broke a spoke in the wheel which already had broken spokes to begin with.

Then you go through your event and wonder why what you did, did not produce what you thought it would but you decide to move on until next year.  You figure “Well, we will try it again and it will be different” – it’s not.  You begin to repeat the same things over and over and over again, hoping and praying or expecting different results – which never comes.  In fact, you spend days, weeks and months out of your full time life only to not be as successful as you want to be. 

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This is what I call “Broken Spoke Fundraising.”  You truly can’t copy what others are doing for many reasons:  #1 – You don’t know if what they were doing was successful and #2 – You don’t realize that people are tired of the same old things. 

Another saying which holds very true is “Everything has a shelf life.”  What this means is…if you don’t change things or evolve, what you are doing will eventually die out and fade away.  In today’s society, people tend to get bored quick.  When you’re planning your next fundraising event, think of innovative fundraising platforms which are different and exciting.  Get away from the old 50/50’s and wheel’s…and do something that people will have fun with. 

More importantly, don’t copy what another charity is doing if you don’t have all the facts – which seldom do.  Most charities just accept what money came in and move forward.  Be smart and plan to be successful.

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BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising would love to help you plan your next fundraising event and provide you and your guests with new, innovative, exciting fundraising tactics which not only your guests would love but will be extremely successful.  Contact us today at www.BWUnlimited.com

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising leader in a convenient “One Stop Shop” setting.  BW can help you plan, manage and host an incredibly successful event which has a diverse amount of fundraising platforms which your guests will love time and time again creating a unique fundraising event that they will come back to each year but will also tell their friends.  Let BW help you by contacting us at www.BWUnlimited.com.

 
 

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“The Reality of the Reality of Donated Items”

If you are a fan of mine or read my blogs, you repeatedly have heard me say repeatedly Man on a soap box spouting bubblesthe same things over and over again.  As with most things I say, the lessons I am trying to teach come from real “Honest to Goodness” mistakes I’ve made or have seen made over the vast amount of years I’ve been involved in fundraising.

I am always incredibly inquisitive about why charities have the beliefs they have and why they do what they do.  What do I mean by “Do what they do”?  Well, what I mean is simply this – charities believe that donated items will bring close to if not higher bids than what they are worth.  Or, why they continually put items in a fundraising event which will not have the return they believe.

Ok – so the best examples are real life stories or real life examples right?  Well, I hate to admit but over the weekend, I saw most of what I preach against happen at an event which we were a part of.

What most charities do not know is this – the larger, more profitable charities don’t even deal with small donated items.  They know these items are not profitable and only go after Sponsors and large items which are always on their live auctions.  They educate themselves because in the end, they are evaluated on their fundraising successes on a continuing basis.

So at this event we were a part of – prior to, we had begun to help their founder but our tactics seemed extremely counterintuitive.  But because she believed in what we were saying, she allowed us to do what we are known to do.  In her many donations, we found a basket which was better than most.  Because of the quality of items and that we also believe that a smaller scale fundraising event should not be all of our items – we placed this basket in the Silent Auction.  If I were to guess, the retail value would have been well over $200.00.  But as you hear me say over and over and over again, donated items only bring 1/8th to 1/4  of retail in any Silent or Live Auction.  Well, it brought only $65.00 – exactly what I say day in and day out.  Proof positive.

Then, another issue which I address all the time is donated Vacation homes as well as locally donated items.  I tell our clients continually how if someone can get a vacation home either given to them free or less, they will not bid on those items.  Same with locally donated items, if you live closeby to a store which donated items in the fundraising event you are attending, you’re not going to bid to the retail value – you and everyone else is looking for deal 100% of the time.  This is always correct at every single event we do.

So, after the event was over and we were packing up to leave, I overheard a friend of our client say to her “I wasn’t going to bid on that because I can use it for free” about a Vacation Home which was in the Live Auction.

200167732-001I literally fell out of my seat yelling “Oh my God”….in fact, I said to my client “Remember that, we will talk about it tomorrow.”

Folks – people do not want donated items.  If you are solely relying on donated items, you will see the inevitable result – that everyone is looking for a deal.  People are NOT and will NOT bid on items anywhere near what they are worth despite the fact that they are attending a charity event.  This NEVER EVER happens!!!

People bid with their wallets, not with their hearts.  It’s sad, gotcha, but it’s the truth.  Wake up to the reality of fundraising.  Fundraising is a treacherous place to be.  There are monsters under the bed if you go looking.

If you understand the reality of the reality, you will make the right decisions which will always prove to be profitable.

On another note, smaller charities believe that consigned items (like ours) pull money away from their donated ones.  This cannot be farther from the truth, in fact, they pull money out of the crowd that would not have been spent otherwise.  This is the same belief as previously stated above – that people pay full retail for donated items (Fantasy and Myth).  In fact, the profit they make on our items at the starting bid far exceeds the highest bids on the donated items.  I challenge anyone reading this to see how people will win items at very low levels for the donated items but will bid on our items which the starting bids are much much higher.

Your guests DO NOT walk into your charity fundraiser with blinders on and a pocket full blindof cash, throw the money up in the air and spend it blindly.  This ideal or thought process can’t be further from the truth but for some reason, charities think this way.  Your guests bid on items they want and will bid heavily on them.  However, if the items have a known retail, they are looking for a deal and will not bid anywhere near the retail.  However, on items such as ours or another provider, these items have no known retail causing your guests to make incredibly high bids over and over and over again.

This my friends is the “Reality of the Reality of donated items.”  I am not saying do not go after donations and only use consigned items, I am saying if you are going after donations, to use them in a way that they have a certain high profit return.

If you would like help with understanding the reality of charity fundraising and how to use your donations in such a way that they have a very high return, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com, we would love to help you.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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BW Unlimited vs. Charity Autograph Counterfeiter’s

BW Unlimited vs. Charity Autograph Counterfeiter’s

I truly believe it’s my duty to educate, inform and protect people from being swindled, lied to or stolen from.  So, here again I am hoping that this blog reaches charities or people across North America who care about the same things I do.

Yesterday, as you will see here, we did yet another autograph signing with Ray Lewis – Legendary NFL and Baltimore Ravens Superhero.   While at the signing, people surrounding him were constantly taking photographs of him and with him including myself.  Not only is he an incredible athlete but he is an absolute icon in the sport.  Oh and btw, we also took video.  We took photos of him signing our items and then asked for a picture with me standing with him in front a Ravens Backdrop.   So, in the photo’s do you not only see Ray Lewis autographing the items but you also see me there.

Now – not only did all of that occur, but there watching Ray sign everything was a representative from James Spence Authentication (JSA).  Each item he signed received a numbered sticker corresponding to a Certificate of Authenticity Card (COA).  I am challenging other providers to at the very least MATCH our level of Authentication!!!

Along with me, there were many other autograph dealers involved in the signing, all of which were doing the exact same thing – taking pictures and video.  Everyone wanted their picture with Ray.

We feel its vitally important to show our charities just how real we are.  Here’s how:

#1 – We use the #1 Authentication companies in the world – JSA and/or PSA/DNA.

#2 – You know exactly who we are – our names and our pictures are not only listed on our website but also on Facebook, Instagram etc.

#3 – We have and provide photos of the items actually being signed.

Now here is the rub….

For several years, honestly since the beginning of my business, there are only a few other recognizable businesses involved in the charity world as we are.  These two businesses  have been focused on offering extremely “EXCITING” items such as autographed Guitars, Drumheads, cast signed movie posters, autographed photos and now suddenly a few sports items.  I just saw a photo of a “Hall of Fame” autographed helmet.  None, not one of their autographed items are authenticated by JSA or PSA/DNA.  None of them are witnessed in person.

So I examined everything which I am going to show the major differences between our companies, here they are:

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising (BWUCF) – VS. – Counterfeit Companies

BWUCF Point #1 – We only use the only two Authentication companies which are the standard In the autograph world – JSA & PSA/DNA.

Counterfeit Companies – They use an absolutely unknown    Authentication company, not accepted by any major autograph dealer or website

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BWUCF Point #2 We carry commonly found items.

Counterfeit Companies – These two (2) companies are the only companies in the world who have them.  Oddly enough, several years ago, one of the managers left and started his own business and carries the exact same as the original company but somehow suddenly had testimonial letters from charities.  Didn’t anyone even look or check?

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BWUCF Point #3 – We have never been featured in a News Article, Magazine or TV Show as a Charity Counterfeit autograph item provider.

Counterfeit Companies –  One of the companies, which both companies carry the exact same items, was TV featured during an investigation into a Counterfeit autographed Guitar – Inside Edition. Oddly enough, both companies carry the exact same item.

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BWUCF Point #4 – Our companies name has NEVER changed since it was opened.

Counterfeit Companies – They have changed their names (both companies) more times than I can even recall.  Why is that?  BECAUSE THEY ARE RUNNING!!!

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BWUCF Point #5We provide untouched, non photo shopped photo’s of the items actually being autographed and you can find out when it was signed and where through the Certificate of Authenticity.  This is a common used term in the auction or autograph community referred to as “Provenance.”  The definition is this:

Provenance:  The place of origin or earliest known history of something.  The beginning of something’s existence; somethings origin.  A record of ownership of a work, used as a guide to authenticity or quality. 

Counterfeit Companies – They do not!!!  Why???
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BWUCF Point #6 – We publicize who we are, our names and pictures.

Counterfeit Companies – They do not – Who are they?

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BWUCF Point #7 – We have many photo’s of us standing with Athletes and Celebrities which we are doing or have done autograph signings with.

Counterfeit Companies – They do not – Why not?

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BWUCF Point #8 – We offer items which other Retail Companies offer across the United State and can be found all over the internet at much higher prices.

Counterfeit Companies – They are the only two companies that offer these items.  Why are they the only ones be found all over the internet at Autographs when that is not how the true autograph industry works.  If you do find a true authenticated item which they carry, that has been authenticated by a real authentication company, its ridiculously much higher priced.  And don’t believe the “Because its for Charity” hype.

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BWUCF Point #9 – We worked with Gene Simmons alone for 3 years.  Gene would charge us $2,000.00 for a guitar which only he provides and only he signs.  Gene absolutely refuses to sign with the rest of the band KISS – which by the way, he owns.

Counterfeit Companies – Why do they have KISS band signed guitars when Gene refuses to sign with anyone else?   Why is the guitar not the guitar that Gene will only sign?  It’s his “Axe Bass” which he sells himself.

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BWUCF Point #10 – If you scour the internet, you will not find one (1) bad comment or remark about us or our items.

Counterfeit Companies – If you scour the internet, especially  “Autograph Magazine Live”, you will be amazed at what you find.  Do it, go there, I beg you.

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Seriously – do you see the major differences?  BW only provides authentic autographs.  We beg charities to look and be well informed.

Charities must educate themselves before accepting items from any provider, including us – BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising leader in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  Every single autographed item BW Unlimited carries comes complete with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) from JSA or PSA/DNA.

We would love to help you, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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