Sunday, June 22, 2014

Myth versus Reality - The Reality of Fundraising in 2014 – Part #1 of 4

In this four (4) part series, I am going to address the various myths that Charity Fundraisers are still believing while providing the reality.

In the 1990’s, charities were not having a problem raising over and above the money they needed to fulfill their individual missions.  If you recall, this was the time when Mortgage companies began to spring up everywhere – but it was the precursor to what we now know as the “Recession.” 
Furthermore, there were no restrictions on donations and how much the donor could claim on their taxes.  Today is completely different with the tax codes and the amount a single donor/business can claim.
During that time, money flowed from every way possible.  However, today, this is not the case.  Charities have to work overtime in order to keep their doors open.  During this same period, many smaller charities simply went under.
Education is the key.  Fundraising is not simply the act of asking for donations.  If that were the case, charities would not need to host Fundraising events, they would just sit back and wait for the checks to arrive in the mail. 
Fundraising today is about psychology.  Understanding your supporters and the surrounding area from which your supporters will come from.  It’s also about understanding the “Reality of Fundraising” is in 2014.
In this Blog, I am going to try to explain the realities along with the myths that exist today.  You should also understand before I begin, that we (BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising) speak to 1,000’s of charities along with their personnel.  We attend and are a part of over 1,000 charity events a year.  We live, eat and sleep charity fundraising.  We watch trends, talk to consumers, speak to businesses, donors and staff on a routine basis.  We know, without a doubt, charity fundraising.  Most Charities conduct one (1) to three (3) fundraising events a year, we now are a part of over 1,100 a year!!!

Myth vs. Reality

#1 – The statement “its tax deductible” – Many charities utilize this statement when approaching businesses in order to receive donated items.  The Charity believes that they are the only organization asking.  However, truth be told, the same business owner is asked several times each day of the week.  The “tax deductible” fact becomes obsolete based on the amount of donations given. 
Charities should understand the facts – all can be found on line, a quick reference is  There, Charities can enter they State, County, City or Town and find out how many charities are located in their region.  Go ahead and look, you will be amazed.
With a reference to my last Blog “Above the Crowd Noise”, charities must understand how many charities are seeking donations.  The reason to donate is not “Tax Deductible”, a relevant answer is “Marketing.”  Every business, including BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising, needs to market themselves.  Marketing should be the primary reason, your guests will see that the business has donated and “May” visit their establishment.  Supporting your charity is also another reason – with the last reason being that its tax deductible.  Remember, this is key, they hear the same thing from every single charity who asks.  You must be different. 
But remember, if marketing is the primary reason, Marketing is what you must deliver.  This is easily accomplished.  For more information about how, consult with BW Unlimited at
If you would like to know how to overcome the myths to find success, contact BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising today at

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Above the Crowd Noise

    Recently, I met with a client in a crowded restaurant in Baltimore.  We were discussing how to approach his Charity Auction in regard to ticket sales.

    While talking to him, I could barely hear a word and had to ask him to speak a little louder even though he was sitting directly across from me.

Suddenly, it hit me.  I asked him if he could pick out just one conversation that was going on around us.  He looked back at me asking why was I asking so I told him the following.

    Currently there are 104 Million Charities in the U.S., all hosting fundraising events.  Every single person in the U.S. gets hounded by all of these charities wanting them to attend their fundraiser.  The same with businesses, all of the same charities are seeking donations. 

    The sound of all of these charities to each individual person is like the crowd noise in the restaurant.  There are so many charities asking, their voices are drowned out by the other charities.  Every where you go today, people are being approached by Charities.  For instance, just yesterday, during check out at a local store, there was this sign supporting the Children's Miracle Network.  Evidently, if the cashier does ask you to donate to CMN, you receive a free bottle of soda.

    So my client said he couldn't determine one, in fact, you could barely pick out a single word anyone was saying.  The same is true with Charities today.  Either on TV, Magazines, billboards, signs, Radio etc.  Charities are trying to get the word out while trying to gain support.

    How do you think the HUGE Charities host tremendous fundraising events?  Because people attend to be a part of the event, not always to support the charity.  Everyone loves to have a great time and especially have a great meal and to enjoy themselves.  The key is build the event!!!  Plan a fantastic event and invest your time to build it.  Make the event about the event itself.  Everyone wants to see people and be seen.  Work on the event, leading with that and then hosted by your charity. 

    Remember the crowd noise?  Some of the most important things to build are the Venue, the meal and most especially the items available to bid on.   People will be drawn to all three of those and also tell their friends.  By following this method, you will soon see how your event becomes the place to be. 

    The items available to bid on incredibly important - be different, be unique and present people with items they do not normally see, other then the normal donated items (i.e. Gift Baskets, Gift Certificates).

Be different, be it, and they will come!!!  If you would like more tips that bring people to your event, contact us today at  We would love to help.

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