Thursday, June 23, 2016

How did you get your start?



It all started dressed in Camouflage.  Huh?  What in the world do you mean? 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked “Where and how did this all start?”  The straight answer is – raising money for an animal that doesn’t even exist here – Rocky Mountain Elk.

A long time ago (1992), in a land a land far far away (Missoula, Montana) there is a charity (Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation) that raises money to conserve and protect the land that Rocky Mountain Elk live on.  That’s what they do – but that area is not anywhere near Maryland.  What does that have to do with here?  Nothing honestly.

What you should know is, I was a Maryland State Trooper then.  So don’t think I had time to work full time planning a fundraiser.   I was just like you – working a full time job, living a full time life with full time commitments.

Ok – now that you know where I started, the next answer is – I was asked to help as a volunteer with a fundraiser.  Long story short, I found that I was really good at it – REALLY good, in fact, the best in the country.  So good, it angered the people who actually lived in the Elk range (where they live).  My committee was breaking national records in a tiny state. 

Next – I started helping another charity called Delta Waterfowl.  I brought all
of my experience and immediately knew to build a “Rockstar” committee.  Now, there were problems with this charity because no one even knew who they were.  The DelMarVa (Delaware, Maryland & Virginia) region is a Ducks Unlimited territory.  Ducks Unlimited supporters are incredibly supportive and loyal.  I’ve seen people with their logo tattoos. 

Now – here is what you have got to understand – Charity Fundraising is EXTREMELY competitive!!! 

No one knew who Delta Waterfowl was – there was zero marketing here, zero brand identity, zero support.  So how can we get a ton of people to support a brand new waterfowl charity? – Host an incredible outdoor event, less about the charity and more about the event. 

It worked!!!  800 people and it broke all national records – What is the crazy thing about this event was – it was from a brand new chapter of the charity in a brand new area – it was the very first event!!! 

The outdoor charities like the ones mentioned above are fundraising machines.  They truly understand fundraising at the very highest level, much more than other charities outside of the outdoor industry charities.  Travel providers such as “Hunting Trip Outfitters and Fishing Charters” are expected to donate.  So raising money in this area is very tough. 

Success did not just mean the amount of money raised – not at all. Success means selling memberships to the charity, raising awareness and much more.  One of the craziest things we did with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation was – we sold a record breaking amount of Life Memberships to the charity - $1,000.00 each at one event – 33 - $33,000.00.  Remember, its Maryland.

Yes – having people who truly support the charity are a major part of the equation.  However, create a huge, awesome fundraising event is the absolute key to the events success – the charities success. 

Also, the events MUST, ABSOLUTELY MUST, evolve/change year to year.  Not just the items, the event must get bigger and better to keep people interested and telling their friends.  There must be building years and then high profit years.  It’s all about the event.

The key to the success of your event is two fold – build an incredible committee of Rockstar volunteers and plan an incredible event built around the event, not just the charity.  
From there, several years later, I decided to start a company based on my fundraising success, helping charities all over North America host successful fundraising events.  Since that day, BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising has been extremely proud to have helped over 1,400 charities a year and raising well over $100,000,000 for charities.  In fact, we stopped counting.  Based on demand, we continue to grow and add new features to our services.  Stay tuned as we continue to grow and help more and more.

If you would like to host an incredible charity fundraising like the ones mentioned herein, please contact us today to get the ball rolling and be a charity fundraising “Rockstar.”  

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising leader in a convenient “One Stop Shop” setting.  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising can assist you to plan, manage and host a charity fundraising event which will absolutely excite everyone who attends and will begin to help you grow a level of support that you would never believe.  Contact us today at www.BWUnlimited.com.




Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Charity Scam Artist - DBCF - Phil Gaughan


Unfortunately, today I was contacted by a Sports Team who told me that someone I recently worked with had scammed them out of $18,000.00.  Seriously is there any lower form of life than a person who scams a charity?  Phil Gaughan from DBCF is that kind of individual.
This industry is very small, everyone knows everyone especially when you have a fantastic reputation such as I and BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising does.
This individual spent enough time with me and my business to learn just the surface level of what I do.  However, he did not learn about the years it took to build a reputation that was founded on integrity.  He would go out to a team and ask them if they wanted to raise money for a certain charity at their games.  He then would scam vendors out of items and then set up at the games.  People would either purchase or bid on the items.  Oddly enough, he didn’t give the proceeds to the team or the charity nor did he pay the vendor from which he acquired the items. 
Ladies and Gentlemen…I have been in business now nearly 10 years.  I challenge you or anyone to search the internet to find one bad remark about me or my business.

There are scam artists out there who will steal from you either with providing fake autographed items or by straight out stealing.  Remember, where there is money, there will be snakes.
Pay attention, research who you are talking to…ensure that you are protected.  Look for signs of a successful business – the quality of their website shows you how much they invested in themselves.  Look how they dress when you meet with them – look for Red Flags.  Trust your gut.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising Leader in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  Check our website at www.BWUnlimited.com.

 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

How did you get your start as a Fundraiser?


Over the years, I have had many people ask me “Where did this all start?”  or “How did you get your start?”  While reviewing old photo's, I realized how far I've came.

Trying to summarize many many years of experience, it all started when a friend asked “Hey, do you want to go to a banquet?” 

Many years ago, a friend asked me to attend a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation banquet.  From that, I became involved in the fundraising committee.  After becoming the Chapter Chairman, the banquet soon broke records for Net proceeds raised and Life Memberships sold – breaking records across the country.

Several years later, I became involved with Delta Waterfowl – as a volunteer chairman.  The very first year, the fundraiser we hosted, was the largest ever in the history of the charity. 

Long story short, I really liked fundraising and hosting an awesome event.  In fact, from my time with the Elk Foundation, people wondered why we were able to raise a record amount of money in a state without elk – it was all about the event.  Creating a fantastic event draws people from far and wide.  Unbelievably, these events became nationally known with people flying in to attend.  No one wanted to miss them.

Through the committee which became a tight knit army, we did incredible things for these two charities.  The committee pulled together and hosted an incredible, memorable event.  As the guest count grew to over 700 people, the work load (remember as a volunteer) became daunting to say the least.  With proper motivation and a commitment to the cause, we broke new records and presented everyone there the best time possible.    You would not believe how much people were spending money, donating to the cause – why?  Because of the event, everyone became absorbed in the excitement, described perfectly as a “Controlled Three Ring Circus” with me acting at the Ring Leader. 

From there, a friend came to me and said “Why don’t you start a business helping charities?”  Then, over eight (8) years ago, there weren’t companies like BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising.  From the start, as soon as I knew I wanted to begin the journey, it was an absolute uphill battle.  See, since there wasn’t a company like the one that I had planned in my head, accepting my help was something people did not realize they needed.  It took years of dedication, proving my worth over and over again.  I can remember sitting in my chair till 3am with my lap top contacting charity after charity.   

Than realizing what I needed to get the job done.  Designing the first website (now 3rd one) and so much more.  Time, mistakes both financial and physical, working and working to make it or break it.  I can remember travelling all over from New Jersey to New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington D.C. looking for my very first break which came from “Grinding it out.”  Educating charities about the possibilities of successful fundraising.  Learning the national trends, what works and what doesn’t – I learned while I was teaching. 

Then, after helping several charities, one of my clients said you need to get charities items for their auctions.  I started studying the possibilities and learned about Fraudulent Autograph Providers – aka Counterfeiters.  After years and years of speaking to endless people, BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising became a nationally known company.  With successful event after event, working with Celebrities, The White House, The NFL, the Armed Forces and many more – we are here today.  Still “Grinding it out” – constantly keeping pace, being known for providing incredible service and 100% authentic Auction Items to charities all across North America.
 
I'm lucky enough to have been able to travel all over the country helping charities from Baltimore to California, Michigan to Texas, Seattle to Florida.  BW has shipped to events just about everywhere, as far away as Alaska.

I would like to thank each and everyone of you who became my fans, who supported my goals and dreams to take an idea to reality.  It’s been a very long road but a road I am happy I travelled.  I especially would like to thank all the charities who have allowed me to help them and most especially all the charities in my beginning who gave me a chance.  I also would like to thank a bunch of my friends who came out to help me and who worked events with me.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a Charity Fundraising Leader in North America in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  To learn more about BW Unlimited, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com.