Monday, November 30, 2009

Great tips for big fundraising events

As a professional fundraiser, I have a bias against big fundraising events. While they may gross a lot of money for a charity, when you subtract the costs of putting the event on, most of them don't actually net that much. And then, when you add up the value of the staff time that goes into putting on the event, they make MUCH less money! My biggest beef is that most charities don't really use their fundraising events well. It's not just about who is in the room that night... it's about how you follow up with those folks throughout the year to make them ongoing friends of, and donors to, your organization.

That being said, I recently read a great column in Fast Company magazine by Nancy Lublin, the CEO of Do Something. She wrote about a big event that Do Something recently had in New York. They raised money, had high-voltage celebrities, and honored "five amazing youths for doing amazing things, from building an orphanage in Nepal to registering thousands of new voters." However, the event did not generate nearly the PR buzz that they had hoped. Her column includes some great tips. Here's my favorite:

At the beginning of an event, most people ask people to turn their cell phones off. We should be asking people to turn their cell phones on! (but, says Lauren, keep them on vibrate). That way, people can tweet, blog, and update their Facebook status during the event.

Read more of her great event tips HERE.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Celebs Gone Good

Vh1, the network for people who still think of themselves as semi-cool (like me), but can't figure out what's going on with all those kids on MTV (like me), recently aired a show I can really get behind: Top 20 Celebs Gone Good.

The show (and web site, and blog, and message board... you get the idea) chronicles the ways that celebrities are bringing their starpower to causes they care about, so that you and I will sit up and take notice.

Check it out to see what the likes of Natalie Portman, Cameron Diaz,, Bono, Matt Damon, Alicia Keys, and others are doing to change the world - or to change your mind. I'll highlight some of my favorites in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vote on Facebook for your favorite charity!

Chase Community Giving is giving away $5 million to Facebook users' favorite charities. Find info HERE, get onto Facebook, and vote!