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…
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.