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Fundraising & Events, Including
Presenters Linda Witt – Emeritus Director, AF Portland, FAF Board Member Jack McCord – Executive Director, AF Chicago, FAF Board Member Daryl Younker – Board Member, AF St Louis Tracy Kosiarek & Eric Vespierre – Board Members, AF Cincinnati
The School is the AF’s core business. Events = separate program that: 1) adds energy, variety to the AF “experience” 2) drives in prospective students and members 3) promotes culture angles plus food/wine 4) engages a broader audience, new partners 5) opens up additional sources of income
25-35 events per year, small to large. Some by the AF alone; many with partners. Events gross income=$160K/year; events net of $80K after $80K expenses. Resource/staffing allocation depends on talent mix on the AF staff, board and community.
Sample Profile: AF PDX
Best Practices: Keys to Success
Events programs are typically a purposeful mix of Friendraisers & Fundraisers.
Source: Matrix Map, Nonprofit Quarterly
Best Practices: Keys to Success
Always set budgets/goals, track revenue/expenses, recap/document results (Event Report=Road Map). Avoid “money pit”: Emphasize efficiency, streamlining costs, using tools to simplify operations, payments, logistics, etc. Sync well with email marketing, social media, and partners to promote event awareness & sales.
Best Practice: Develop Partners! Cross-promote for mutual win-win. Your AF gets: Perks, Resources, PR, Prestige, Privileges, Discounts, In-Kind Support, and/or Income.
Examples of Partners Performing Arts Groups, Museums, Symphony, Opera,
Fencing/Escrime, Restaurants, Wineries, Travel/Tour Companies, Movie Theaters, Chefs, Caterers, Cooking Schools, Film Festivals, Film
Promoters/Marketers, Retailers, French Immersion Schools, French- American Chamber of Commerce, University Language Departments, Alcohol Distributors/Importers, World Affairs Council, Sister Cities Groups, Consular Agencies, Law Firms, Wine Scholar Guild, Sports
Teams, Realtors/Real Estate Firms, Authors, Bookstores and Companies of all kinds that have ties/products connected to France.
Film event: Ask for free tix and sell them Solicit $10-$25 donations as part of the event ticket purchase form. Wine/dinner events: Get host venue to donate certificates/product for raffle or auction. Author events: Throw in a book raffle or get books donated for later auction.
Top Fundraisers: Auctions Gala / Event / On-site
or Silent traditional bidding
Online – Stand-alone, Preview (Silent/Live), or Bid Carryover to Event
“Gala” Auctions can net $40K-$500K+. Largest payback in $ = Live Auction, Special Appeal and Sponsorships. Silent auction should net 60%-85% of item values. Online auction (w/o gala) typically net 55%-65% of retail values.
Best Practices: “Gala” Auctions
Silent auction with anonymous bidding, pre-filled increments, ample bidding compression Heavy on proven top sellers; solicit from friends/partners (no commission or cold-calls) Professional auctioneer, “unique” items in live, “surprise” doubles, alcohol service, seated dinner Revenue streams: Golden Ticket/Raffle, Sponsors
Best Practices: Special Appeal
Emotional theme, easy for donors to support Solicit plants for kick-off Get pre-approved matches Capture of bidding data - important
Technology in Service of Auctions
Huge growth of web-based auction software support tools in recent years Automation of check-in process, payment collection and payment processing All providers claim to be “the leading solution” . . . Many different products used by AFs
Latest Developments: Auction Services for Digital Bidding
List items online in advance Ease of bidding (if system works….) Constant bidding during event, can extend auction time Easy to process and reconcile
Auction Services for Digital Bidding
Competing bidders, greater return - really? ‘Gare aux commissions’ GiveSmart
Easily scalable from small to large Can open bidding to broader public Is less resource-intensive than a gala auction Promotes donors better with live links Options include in-house development, E-Bay or a service such as BiddingForGood. Typical s/w costs: $400-500/year plus commission.
Online Auctions - Overview
Procured 24 items, mostly unique ones Engaged the interest of 28 bidders/members Total cost = 0; using board volunteer expertise and existing software (email, Excel) Net revenue to the organization = $5,500
Case Study: Online Auction
Specify a use for the money Set an amount as your goal Set the dates and time of cut-off Set up an e-mail address for the auction Get e-mail addresses for all members Solicit items (unusual ones work best) Keep good records Communicate with bidders, members, and friends.
Getting Started – In-House Solution
Bagpipe serenade Dinner with the Alliance Directrice Baseball or other sporting event tickets Country supper delivered to your home or lunch delivered to your workplace Private condo at beach for a week Certificates valid for painting a room in someone’s house or doing yard work Consultations from attorneys, investment brokers, CPAs, etc.
Examples of Unusual Auction Items
Data Tracking – Manual Example
Recording bidder names, dates, times, and amounts, per item Determining winning bids
Acknowledge all bids by return e-mail. Reiterate item chosen and amount. Notify if a higher bid already exists and ask if bidder wants to increase the bid. Notify bidders when a higher bid comes in and ask if bidder wants to increase the bid. Send e-mails to all showing what current bid is for each item. This should be done every other day. Make final call for bids the day before auction ends. Show current bid for each item and ask bidders to increase their bids. Reminder of end of auction date and time. Send thank-you e-mails to all for their participation. List winning bid for each item. Tell where and when to pick up item. Arrange for payment.
Communication & Follow-Up
Goals: Increase membership Increase exposure; create buzz Promote the AF via a New and Exciting Initiative Focus on one major event throughout the year Build AF Cincinnati’s reputation
Implications: Financial impact Time impact for management of the project
Escapade à Paris
Phase One: Get Support from the Board - $3500 Approve marketing budget
Phase Two: Marketing material: title, logo, flyer, poster, “Paris Box” Website update; announcements on Social Network; Constant Contact communication Plan ahead: Mention the Grand Prize in the Membership renewal letter, and make reference to the Escapade in all communication.
Marketing & Communication
Review legal and taxes aspects
Define who can participate: Student members (yes); Regular members (yes); Immediate family of Board Members (no)
Define precisely the offer: Paris, France (!) Direct flights 3 nights at a 3* hotel One romantic dinner cruise
Partnership with local travel agent: AF does not manage nor organize the Paris trip Pay a fix amount to the agency One hour consultancy with travel agent Specify travel date expiration to manage finances and close out within the following fiscal year.
Winner can use choose to extend the duration of the stay, upgrade hotel, spend more time in France, etc. Additional expenses managed directly with Travel Agent.
Prepare tickets prior to each event Keep all tickets in the “Paris” box Finally: use tickets during the actual drawing of the winner’s name.
“Escapade” events: Each time an AF member registers, (s)he gets one ticket. Boost event attendance Extra incentives: Two tickets on election night; Trivia winners get extra tickets, etc.
May 2016 Election Night
Follow-up: Meeting with the winner Press release “Post Card” from Paris wearing AF Cincinnati T-shirts – we hope!
Escapade à Paris Winner!
AF de Chicago Video Clip
Time for Your Questions & Answers