Tuesday, February 24, 2015

BW UNLIMITED: Charities BEWARE!!! Investigation of Counterfeite...

Based on a very recent event - I am reposting this Blog for both you and your charities protection:

BW UNLIMITED: Charities BEWARE!!! Investigation of Counterfeite...: Normally, I write Soap Box Blogs for your education and to assist you along with charities across North America.   However, over the years, ...

Monday, February 23, 2015

Charity Auction item level of Authentication

Joe Flacco Baltimore Ravens autographed jersey - 3rd party authenticated by PSA / DNA with a photo of him signing the jersey.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

CHARITY ALERT: Guarding against being scammed by Charity Auction Item Counterfeiters

NOTE:  Please help other charities and pass this along to them.  If you are Charity Auction Item Provider, we challenge you to conduct the same level of autograph item authentication as we, BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising, does.

Is it too much to ask?  If you are a fan of our Facebook Fan Page, you often see us posting photos from the autograph signings we do with athletes all across North America.  The photos are of the athletes actually signing the actual items we provide.  We also show photos of the item we are providing with a photo of the athlete signing it, plus the autographs are then authenticated by a 3rd Party Authenticator – JSA or PSA/DNA.
What charities should know is the simple fact that in the autograph industry, these authenticators are the Standard. The only accepted means of authentication.  All of the major memorabilia providers and even any legitimate companies will ensure that they have one of the two companies present during an autograph signing.  When these authenticators are present, they apply a self-destructing (if anyone tried to remove it, it breaks apart) sticker or hologram on the autographed item with a number sequence.  The number sequence will start with a “W” which means “Witnessed.”  The sticker is actually the Certificate of Authenticity, the card is the supporting material which also has the same number sequence.  You can then go on the authenticators website, enter the number sequence and it will show where it was signed and when. 
However, if this is the autograph standard across North America for authentic autographs, why don’t all charity auction item providers conduct the same level of authentication? 
No company, especially charity auction item providers, should “Self-Authenticate.”  “Self-Authentication” means the same company selling or providing the item says it’s real.  And another issue is a charity auction item provider suddenly, out of nowhere, using an unknown authenticator.  Why would they do that?  If that company was providing authentic autographed items, why wouldn’t they provide charity auction items that have been authenticated by the two companies described above?  Hmmm suspicious huh? 
I’m not trying to drop names but last year I was having lunch with none other then Gene Simmons.  We met at a unnamed hotel in Philadelphia after a Kiss concert in New Jersey (check the dates of their previous tour and you will see when this happened).  During lunch, I told Gene about the problems with charity auction item providers and pulled up a photo of a “Body signed Guitar” that was being provided.  I showed it to him and asked if he signed it.  He laughed and said “Nope.” 
Charities, don’t be fooled by “Flashy” autographed items.  Protect yourself only by asking the provider who the authenticator is.  If they do not say JSA or PSA/DNA, ask them if they have items provided by them. 
On another note, here are some facts about authentic autographed items:
#1 – We cannot show you our inventory on line and ask that everyone contact us and we will email them our current catalogs.
#2 – The reason we cannot show the autographed items we have is because the items we have are 100% authentic and we only have so many in our inventory.  When they are gone, they are gone until we can conduct or be a part of another autograph signing (which most likely will be in 6 months).  We cannot, CAN NOT, show inventory due to this issue.
NOTE:  When a Charity Provider shows their inventory on line, especially on their website, isn’t that suspicious?  Celebrity and Musician autographed items are extremely rare, rarer then rare.  So, showing these types of items on their websites is not something we can do.
#3 – Celebrities and Musicians do not do “Sit Down” autograph signings like Athletes do.  Rarely will you be able to convince a celebrity to do this.  Recently, we did an autograph signing with Chevy Chase – but PSA/DNA was on site and witnessed it (with all the items coming complete with the Certificates of Authenticity).
#4 – Deceased Celebrities and Musicians – When an athlete passes away, the cost of the authentic autographed items goes up dramatically due to the rarity of the item.  When a celebrity or musician passes away, the cost of their autographed items goes into space.  Again, these items are already rare so when they pass away…their autographs are priced so high, that they are almost unaffordable.  They become extremely rare.  So how can anyone show items autographed by celebrities or musicians who have passed away years ago?  Seem suspicious?
#5 – Cast or Band Signed anything – Very Rare due to the fact that these people are not always in the same place and also that they do not conduct “Sit Down” autograph signings.  We have been involved in the autograph industry for years and are partnered with the largest autograph providers in North America and we have never heard about these opportunities.  When companies conduct autograph signings, they put the word out to companies like ours, yet we have never heard of these signings.  That is the reason why we don’t have them.  Make sense?  We only carry 100% authentic autographed items.
#6 – Body signed Guitars – When you see a Guitar that is signed on the body, it’s really cool.  But, ask yourself this – just how many guitars did the person conducting the signing bring with him/her when the signing was conducted?  I could only carry four (4) guitars, 2 in each hand.  Then add in, that all the musicians are never together at once…and if they rarely tour, who would have access to them when they are all together?  Then why wouldn’t the provider take photos of the musician signing them?  Seem suspicious?  It does to me.  If we have autographed guitars, they are signed on the Pick Guard and then the pick guard (which was the only thing the musician saw) is authenticated by JSA or PSA/DNA.
#7 – Photo’s with Celebrities – If a Charity Auction Item provider has an incredible array of Celebrity Autographed items, why don’t they have photos of themselves with the celebrities or musicians?  Come on, everybody likes to get their pictures taken with well-known people and celebrities.  Or why do they show celebrities signing items outside of a show or restaurant signing different items then the ones they provide?  Suspicious, I say so.
#8 – Other companies – Unfortunately, because we are here to help charities, I have to admit something.  The items we have are also provided by many, many autograph providing companies.  However, they are provided at far less cost and also provided at “No Risk” to our clients.  Charity Auction item providers that are providing a wide array of Celebrity & Musician autographed items seem to be the only company in the world that has them.  Why is that?  Are they so fortunate that they have special access to the celebrities and musicians…or do you find that suspicious as well?  I do.
Add all of the above up and ask yourself…is it suspicious? I give you a resounding “YES ABSOLUTELY.”
In summary, protect yourself.  You can stick your head in the sand all you want but if you are not protected while also protecting your charities guests and supporters, aren’t you then a part of the crime?  Don’t be fooled, be sure that the company you are using is providing you with 100% authentic items.  Whether you are working with BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising or another company, absolutely positively ensure that the autographed items you are getting are 100% Authentic and are authenticated by a reputable 3rd Party.
One last thing – all you should do is run a simple “Google” search on either the name of the company or the name of the owner of the company – you will be surprised what you find.
If you would like to learn more about how to absolutely ensure that your charity is receiving authentic autographed memorabilia, contact the expert fundraisers at BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising today at www.BWUnlimited.com.
BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising Leader in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising provides 100% authentic, 3rd party authenticated items from Athletes, Celebrities and Musicians which have been authenticated only by JSA or PSA/DNA – the two (2) most respected autograph authenticators in North America.  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is the charity auction item “One Stop Shop” providing Autographed Items, Charity Travel Packages, Jewelry and incredible D├ęcor at absolutely “No Risk” to our charity clients across North America.  If you would like to receive all of our current Charity Auction Item No Risk Charity Auction Item catalogs, contact us today at www.BWUnlimited.com.

Friday, February 20, 2015

T.E.A.M. - Together Everyone Achieves More

Together everybody achieves more and play well with others, isn’t that what we teach our kids?  From the moment our children can understand what we are saying to them, we tell them to get along with others and help people.  We get them involved in team sports, teach them how to support the team and do their very best, giving it all.  If they show talent or a love of the sport they are playing, us as parents will do everything in our power to ensure they follow that passion.  Plus do everything we can, especially financially, to help their talents along.

Recently, I began to learn about just how much of a commitment it truly is to follow that passion out.  The expenses of having your child involved in a travel sports team is financially daunting.  Either the equipment, the entry fees, the tournament fees etc., it gets real expensive quick.
Several months ago, I had the great opportunity to meet Coach Phil Gaughan of the 1st State Hornets located in Dover, Delaware.  Phil is a coach of an eleven (11) and under kids travel baseball team.  During conversation, I asked him about his fundraising activities.  That is when my I couldn’t believe just how much work he and the parents of his team were doing to ultimately profit very little.  But the problem became much worse when he began to tell me about sports team fundraising in general.  I was and still am astounded at the endless fundraising activities that these teams, more importantly, their families were doing on a more then routine basis.  I then asked just how much it took to be a part of a travel team and that is when I stepped up and began to lead them toward an incredibly profitable fundraising event with a lot less work.
https://www.facebook.com/events/391428377673384/As the days move forward, Phil Gaughan could not believe just how easy it was.  I gave him direction which he followed and continues to follow to a “T” and watched how his earlier fundraising efforts was simply no longer going to be an option.  The event which we are assisting the 1st State Hornets with is now the renown 2015 FSH Sports Bash being held on March 21st. 
From that, we began to discuss just how many kids, teams and parents are involved in team sports across the nation.  Since we, BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising, are incredibly busy helping charities all across North America, we simply did not have enough time to focus on team sports. 
Phil spoke with a good friend Matt Berardicelli of the Delaware Championship Baseball and the two came and sat down with me.  We discussed how we could help sports teams all across North America greatly enhance their fundraising efforts. 
Now you should understand, I don’t normally partner with anyone due to my overwhelming need to ensure the integrity of what we are doing.  But from the start, I knew that Phil and Matt felt the exact same way I do and have heart and passion for Sports and most especially team sports, the kids and their families. 
From that conversation based on all of the endless non-profitable fundraising activities that teams are doing all across North America, Total Sports Solutions Unlimited was born (TSS Unlimited).  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising and TSS Unlimited will bring an incredible option to Sports Teams that will greatly assist them with all of their fundraising needs. 
No more will Sports Teams and their families need to beg for money or conduct 100’s of fundraising activities. 
I fully support Phil and Matt, most especially Total Sports Solutions and together, we will help teams and most especially the kids involved, fundraise for everything they need to raise money for and more.
For more information about Total Sports Solutions Unlimited, "LIKE" them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tssunlimited
BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising leader in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is the most trusted charity provider in North America, assisting over 1,400 charities and benefit fundraisers each year.  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising was founded on one simple belief “Charity First.”  With BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising’s assistance, along with an exclusive partnership with Total Sports Solutions Unlimited, Sports Teams across North America will raise more money than they could ever need in a much quicker and easier way.  For more information about how we can help you or your team, contact us today at www.BWUnlimited.com.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

LIVE AUCTION ITEM: Hand painted, autographed and framed Gordie Howe Jersey

Items for a Live Auction must absolutely be unique or hard to find in order to receive maximum visibility.  But when you find an item that is truly "One of a Kind", you shouldn't even question if it fits the Live Auction catagory.

A perfect example of an item like this is our BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising Exclusive handpainted, autographed, custom framed and executive matted jerseys. 

We are incredibly proud and lucky to be exclusively representing David Fatla of Legends Sports Art.  David painstakingly handpaints an image on an autographed jersey, bringing it to an incredible keepsake and collectors item.  These works of art are truly "One of a Kind."

Seeing it here, truly does not do it justice.  Plus, our Custom Framed and Executive Matting will make this museum quality.  This incredible item is headed to the Livingston County Humane Society Fur Ball on March 7th in Howell, Michigan.  For more information about the Livingston County Humane Society and learn how to be a guest at the Furball, go to http://lchumanesociety.com/ for more information.

Watch this YouTube video of David actually painting the Jersey above.

If you are planning a Live Auction, charities must go after items like this or are hard to find.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising Leader in a "One Stop Shop" convenient setting.  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising all across North America for providing the absolute best charity auction items at absolutely no risk.  Most important about the autographed items BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising provides which is different then other charity autographed item providers is that our items are 100% authentic.  Also unlike other charity providers, all of our items are 3rd Party Authenticated by the two (2) most reputable autograph authenticators in the world - JSA and PSA/DNA.

We also provide a wide array of Charity Travel Packages, incredible Home & Office Decor and beautiful Jewelry.  If you would like to see our catalogs or would like more information on how BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising can help you and your charity, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When should the Silent Auction close and how do we close it?

This is a question which we get asked 100’s of times and to be perfectly honest, the answer is very distinct.  Understanding that we, BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising, is either a part of or helps over 1,400 charities each year, our experience level in regard to event timelines is vast.   With over 40 years of combined Charity Fundraising experience, this is all we do – Fundraise for Charities.  Unlike many fundraisers (employee & volunteer) who host an event once a year, we spend each either consulting, planning or assisting charities all across North America.  Over the years we have been involved in fundraising, we have tried every single way there is over and over and over again determining what is the most successful way to set up, manage and eventually, close a Silent Auction. 
We are here to provide expert advice to Charities.  Whether you take and use it is simply up to you, however, we are here to help and guide you to success.

The main issue that I want to convey to our charity clients is - Time Management is the absolute key to your ultimate success.  Time can be good to you or bad, it's totally up to you.  Use a an event time line along with an overall plan, your guests will appreciate and definitely noticed your professionalism.  As part of our Event Services assistance, here is what we have learned:  

Lesson #1 - A Silent Auction must be diverse in the items that are present there.  However, it cannot appear “Junky” with items that have little to no value. 

Lesson #2 - Silent Auction items must be intermingled with high quality items in order to support higher bidding on the lesser items. 

Lesson #3 - Sectioning off the Silent Auction (i.e. Sports items in one section, jewelry in a section, trips in a section etc.) hurts the bidding of individual items in those sections.  All items should be intermingled in order to force your guests to review every single item there instead of splitting the crowd (ie. Sports fans go here, jewelry lovers go there, those interested in travel go there etc.) 

Lesson #4 - When the event opens, the Silent Auction should be open. 

Lesson #5 – The starting bids should not be high even if the items are of “No Risk” to your charity, here is the rule of thumb: 

1.     Donated Items – the starting bid should be high enough to be worth it, but low enough to get the bidding started (BW Items should be started at 20% above the cost to non profit, Donated items should be 1/4 of the retail value.) 

2.     High Starting Bids – if the starting bids are too high, the first time someone reviews the Silent Auction, the high starting bids will scare them away and they will not return to bid later.  Plus they will tell other guests the same.  Start the bids low to inspire bidding and start a bidding war.   

Lesson #6 – When should the Silent Auction close?   

a.     The answer to this "Age Old" question is based on many years of experience and investigation.  Whether a charity follows our direction is up to them, however, here is the answer: 

·        Whether a Silent Auction runs for 2 hours or 4 hours, the items are only going to receive the same amount of bids, despite the time it’s opened. 

·        When people first arrive at your charity fundraising event, they do not go to the Silent Auction.  When they do, they browse and rarely place a bid.  They check out what’s available, identify what they like and then sit back down.  

·        A smart bidder will “Stalk” the items they like and wait to see if anyone bid.  Uneducated bidders will immediately place bids.   

·        A smart bidder will then ask the organizers when the Silent Auction is closing.  When that time draws near, they will begin to “Snipe” the items, watching if there are any bids and placing higher competitive bids.  They will stand near the item or items waiting for the Silent Auction to close and for other bidders.

b.     How to inspire high bids on the Silent Auction:
·        When the allotted Silent Auction closing time draws near, around 20 to 15 minutes prior, someone should start announcing “The Silent Auction is closing in 15 minutes”…that is the ALARM CLOCK.  At this point, you will see many of your guests going to the Silent Auction to begin the bidding process. 

·        At 10 minutes, 5 minutes and 1 minute, announcements should be made alerting your crowd that it is closing.  

·        When the time comes to close it, announce it’s closed. 

c.    When to close the Silent Auction: 

Ask yourself this, was your last Check Out process a “Mess”?  Do you think your guests noticed it?  Don’t you think that tells them something about the professionalism of your staff and ultimately your charity? 

·        Whether you leave the Silent Auction running for 2 hours or 4, the items there are not going to get any more bids.  The bidding starts in the first hour then ends abruptly a few minutes prior or exactly when the Silent Auction is closing.   

·        We will commonly close the Silent Auction 15 to 20 minutes prior to the Live Auction for three (3) valuable reasons: 

·        It allows for our Clerk to tabulate the winning bids in preparation for the Bids in the Live Auction. 

·        It forces full attention by your guests to be placed toward the next phase of the Fundraising Event which is normally one of the financially successful fundraising platforms, the Live Auction and if there is a Donation Plea commonly referred to as the "Fund a Need." 

·        It does not place any undo pressure on the clerk or anyone involved in the check out process, providing enough time to tabulate the Silent Auction, the Live Auction and the Direct Plea.  With the bulk of the work already being completed with the Silent Auction.   

NOTE:  Commonly, after the Live Auction, guests will begin to go to check out.   However, if you follow the advice provided herein, you will experience a fluid, stress free Check Out process at the end of your event.  Remember, allowing your guests to leave your event with a "Bad Taste" in their mouths due to a poorly ran  check out process, will ensure much less success with tickets sales the following year.  Remember, you still have Raffles & Game prizes to give away...it's about time to complete everything so that your guests aren't inconvenienced.   You do not want a "Mad Rush" from your staff getting the Bids tabulated at the very last minute when everyone wants to check out and go home.  Leave them with a pleasant experience.

d.   How to close the Silent Auction: 

·        Most important about this topic is that people are still bidding or watching the items they bid on.  Commonly, active bidders are standing there near their items waiting for the bid sheet to be picked up to ensure their victory. 

·        Prior to your event, one (1) person should be tasked with closing the Silent Auction and one (1) person (commonly the Master of Ceremonies or the Auctioneer) should make the announcements. 

·        When the time is announced that the Silent Auction is closed, that appointed person should be noticed by the announcer and pointed out (Ask them to waive their hands so that everyone can see her/him). 

·        The “Closer” should be standing at Silent Auction Bid sheet #1 then begin to walk down the Silent Auction picking up the bid sheets. 

·        If there are 2 or more people actively bidding, the “Closer” should allow them to “Bid it out” in their bidding war.  Once the last bid is placed, the “Closer” should confirm it with both bidders then pick up the bid sheet and continue through the remaining bid sheets. 

NOTE:    Since announcements are made (5 total at – 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute, Closed), everyone in the room was informed of the Silent Auction closing.  They also see your guests going to it to bid.  If, you do not allow everyone to place their last bids, you may have to deal with angry bidders – we commonly hear “I didn’t know it was closing, I wasn’t able to bid.”)  Rushing over to the Silent Auction and quickly removing the bid sheets will stop people in their tracks, especially if they have been waiting for the last few minutes to bid.  Inspire a bidding war, because in the end, you are hosting a Charity Fundraising event and high bids are vitally important to you. 

By following the steps above, you will see a marked change in the success of your Silent Auction.  Give everyone a chance to get engaged into your Silent Auction.  Create excitement around it and you will be highly successful at the end.  Or not follow the steps above and continue to see the same result. 

If you would like to learn more about how to plan, set up, manage and especially how to have a highly successful Silent Auction, contact BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising today at www.BWUnlimited.com. 

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising Leader in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  With over 40 years of combined expert fundraising experience, the expert fundraisers study highly successful fundraising trends across North America on a day to day basis.  This allows BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising the unique ability to provide expert advice to charities on the way and means to greatly enhance their fundraising goals.  If you would like to learn more about BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising or how to host a Highly Successful, Highly Profitable charity fundraising event, contact BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising today at www.BWUnlimited.com.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Are you running on a Charity Fundraising "Hamster Wheel"?

If this my Blog makes you mad, good because that means you are listening and hopefully learning, that’s my role in life…to help you learn and become a successful fundraiser. 

Over the many years that we have been helping nonprofits and benefit fundraisers across North America, I have seen or heard some of the most crazy fundraisers you have ever heard of.  What is shocking is, the amount of work, time and money goes into it with little to no success.  The charities are working their butts off, running as hard as they can but never seem to get where they want to go like a Hamster on a Wheel.  Running, running and running as hard as they can without moving an inch.  But time and time again, these charities climb back onto the wheel and start again.  Are you running on a fundraising hamster wheel?   

We were given the ability to run for a reason.  Either running from Lions, Dinosaurs, bad guys or tragedies.  But we were given that ability to ensure that we arrive there quickly.  It’s almost like climbing onto a treadmill.  We run and run and run but don’t move a foot.  The same holds true with these outlandish, fundraising methods.  Have you ever heard the term “Don’t reinvent the wheel”?  Most smaller charities seem to think that the methods that the “Big & Rich” (aka “Successful”) won’t work for them or they are “overdone”…these are just excuses.   

Recently, I have had the pleasure of meeting and partnering with two great men whose only desire is to help youth sports teams and their families across North America – Phil Gaughan and Matt Berardicelli of Total Sports Solutions Unlimited (for more information on how TSS Unlimited can help your team, please visit their website at www.TSSUnlimited.com).  While talking with them, they began to tell me about all the financials hurdles sports teams face while trying to attend and play in tournaments across the nation.  More importantly, the fees take an incredible strain on the families whose children are participating must place an enormous financial strain on them.  These fees don’t even include the yearly costs for being a part of the team, the equipment costs, time and even the commitment.  I applaud parents who decide to commit to something that big.  I too am a father whose son is an athlete, so I know and understand what it takes. 

I met Phil Gaughan several months ago when a parent asked if I would help a team he coached – 1st State Hornets in Dover, Delaware.  I jumped in and we started planning an incredible fundraising event called and now known to everyone as the famous "2015 FSH Sports Bash."  Phil and several of the other coaches had the same initial thought most charities do about our services, they are “Too Good to be True” or “It’s got to be a scam.”  Right from the beginning, nearly as soon as we started, they started to experience and overwhelming amount of success.  Confidently, it is something I am accustomed to when helping a charity plan a fundraising event.  The Sports Bash isn’t even until March 21st of 2015 and already they have profited 2 times the amount then they have ever attempted to raise.  Needless to say, Phil is a big fan and now good friend of mine. 

But after hearing the costs, I asked Phil and Matt what methods the teams use to fundraise.  This is when I nearly fell out of my chair.  The reason is, the amount of time and work it takes to do this is incredible with little to no profit.   

Now, if this offends you, then you better start thinking about changing your methods because it is reality.  Here are several methods Teams and smaller fundraisers that are used: 

Super bowl block pool               Restaurant nights           Shaking a can

Bat a thon                                    Selling mulch                    Lottery match

Pizza cards                                   Selling candy bars            Baked sale

Poker night                                  Quarter auctions             Gift wrapping with Amazon

Christmas tree/wreath sale      Car wash                           Gofundme accounts

Gift certificate raffles                Sell t shirts                        50/50 Raffles

Money Wheels                           Plant Wheels                    And the list goes on and on….

After you take the amount of time it took the plan one of these fundraisers and to actually execute it, then remove the actual costs divided by the amount of people it took to do it…I can bet, in fact I would put my house on it, that you (whoever is reading this) would not work your job for that.

But somehow, charities accept it…they accept their financial failure.  But do know what happens, these unsuccessful methods only push you to climb right back up onto the “Hamster Wheel” and starting running. 

Charities MUST utilize the methods that the “Big & Rich” charities are utilizing!!!  Why, because these methods are successful!!!  I am not even going to begin to describe how demeaning it is to stand out in front of a store begging for money. 
When a charity fundraiser says that these methods will not be successful in their demographic or any reason why they can not use these successful methods, they are just excuses for failure - plain and simple.  In fact, on most occasions when a charity tells me that that is what they want to do, I back away from them because they are not willing to learn.  Some people just don't want to succeed, a belief which simply goes without understanding.

Charities must change their fundraising methods to give people what they want instead of begging them to do something they do want to do in the first place.  Charities must focus on successful methods that are “Tried and True.” 

The known is, and take it from a 6 ft. 5, 280 pound red meat eater, people like to

Eat, Drink and have a good time with their friends.  That’s it…there is nothing else.  I love a good time, love good food and cold drinks.  I love to laugh, hang out…relax and let my hair down (what very little hair I have lol). 

Plan your fundraising event accordingly.  Give people what they want…and you won’t have to beg them to do it.  If you would like help planning, hosting and managing a “Highly Successful Charity Fundraiser”…give us a call or contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com – or – or climb right back up on the “Hamster Wheel” and start running again. 

"Like Us" on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bwcharityfundraising

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising Leader in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising has helped 1,000’s of Charities, Non Profits and Benefit Fundraisers across North America exceed their fundraising goals year after year while putting them on fundraising track of success.  If you would like more information on how BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising can assist you and your fundraising efforts, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

The absolute importance of Marketing on the Social Networks for Charities

Are you on Facebook?  Twitter? LinkedIn?  Instagram?  Pinterest?  Google Plus?....Do you have an email address?  No?!?!?!  Why not?  Are you living in the stone ages?

Today, the most effective and powerful tool a charity has in it's arsenal is the social networks, more importantly, Facebook.  Facebook in and of its self is its very own internet.  Everyone who is anyone is there, waiting to be marketed to and not only is the single most powerful tool to market on, its 100% FREE.  Stuck between the pictures of peoples kids, pets (which I’m guilty of), funny video’s, rants about the government, motivational pictures and quotes, there are huge companies marketing with various direct and indirect ways.  These companies spend an amazing amount of money to advertise there.  Why do you ask?  Because everyone is there…EVERYONE.  Oddly enough, many charities do not use the power of the Social Networks to advertise them and their missions.  But for this Blog, we are going to solely focus on charity fundraising events and the marketing there of.

I hear the same thing all the time “We are going to hand out flyers for our Event”, “We are posting information about how to buy tickets and all the pictures of the items on our website.”  But you never see any of the information on Facebook or other social networks. 

Let’s look at this as if you built a house.  You spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building a beautiful home tucked back in the woods.  It’s hidden behind tree’s and a long turning driveway, it’s so hidden, you can’t see it from the road.  The only thing you see is the mailbox on the side of the road.  You sit there in your beautiful new home hoping and praying people stop by to see your amazing new house,  you even cooked a huge meal for your guests, but no one ever shows up, because you didn’t invite them – That’s your website.  Your website could be incredible, offering everything you can imagine including photos and testimonials – everything.  But without something inviting them to visit it, they will not come and check it out. 

Look at the Social Networks like a huge community of people, your friends, family, supporters and many new faces and names.  These people are waiting to be shown just how great you are and more importantly, how “AWESOME” your fundraising event is going to be.  They would love to know that you are going to host a huge event…but you have to tell them, tempt them to come to your website and buy tickets.

While I was building BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising, I sat like a 3rd grader and listened to everything there was to know from my good friend, Web Designer Bob Lynch of BV Creative.  Bob would talk for hours about the importance of the Social Networks and in fact, that is how we went from a Mom & Pop start up to the Leader in Charity Fundraising in North America - through marketing on the Social Networks.  Today, we are present and active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest and obviously BlogSpot.  Why?  Because it's the #1 way to market yourself and your company (ie. your Charity and it's great work). In fact, is that the way your learned about BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising?
Bob Lynch of BV Creative Web & Graphic  Design said:

“Being present on Social Networks is vital to a charities ultimate success.  By posting photo’s and information to a waiting public, they are leaving “Bread Crumbs” to follow back to a charities website.  By utilizing Facebook to educate their supporters about their charity fundraising efforts, they will also attract many new supporters and be able to entice them to continually supporting them.  The Social Networks are Key to their success.”

When a charity who is hosting a charity fundraising event does not utilize the Social Networks, they are in essence, hoping that people visit their website.  However, people are in reality “Milling around” waiting to be told. 

The old ways of marketing have gone away much like the dinosaurs.  Print Adds, Mailings, Billboards and TV Commercials have become ineffective.  Today, companies that are following the trends, totally utilize the Social Networks.  However, you must be open to new ways, new trends and if you are, you will see a marked change in your success rate.

Here are some BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising “Tips & Tricks” on how to market your fundraising efforts on Facebook specifically:

1.     Photo’s – After you have determined what items and travel packages you are going to have at your event, ask us to email you the images (which we would be glad to).

2.     Posting on Facebook – Then post the images on Facebook either singularly or in an album.

3.     Description – Write a short description of what the image is, where it will be (your fundraising event) and how to buy tickets or visit your website to purchase them.

4.     Tagging – When you are posting the images, use the “Tag Photo” option.  Scroll through your friends and tag everyone possible.  What happens is, the images will then appear in your friends, friends news feed.

5.     Sharing – Sharing is “Vital” to the success of the images and your marketing.  Ask everyone involved in your event to “Share” the photos.  Ask your friends to share the photo’s.

6.     Event Page – Create an event page.  Invite your entire friends list to join it and ask everyone who is helping you and your charity to do the same.  This will greatly help you sell tickets, get donations and market the items available at your event.  Post photo’s there, links to where people can purchase tickets etc.

If you are not willing to use the methods I've described above, your competition will, in fat, they probably already are.  In fact, they may have hired a Social Networking company to do it for them.  They are competing for the same fundraising dollars you are.  Whose going to be in lead?
If you would like to learn more in-depth tools and tactics such as the use of "Hash-Tags" (#), contact us, we can walk you through it. 
So, are you ready to start leaving the “Bread Crumbs” and attracting people to you’re your charity fundraising event or are you just going to sit in your beautiful home back in the woods and wait for everyone to show up?

But, most importantly, much more important than your website, Facebook is key to your ultimate fundraising success.  If you are not on Facebook, you should be.  Facebook is where everybody and everything is.  If you would like more information about how BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising can help you on the Social Networks, contact us today at www.BWUnlimited.com, we would love to hear from you.  More importantly, "Like Us" on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bwcharityfundraising

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a leader in Charity Fundraising in North America in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  The expert charity fundraisers at BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising can provide you with the keys to your ultimate fundraising success by staying on the “Cusp” of the most successful ways to market both your charity and your charity fundraising event.  If you would like our help Planning, Managing and Hosting your next charity fundraising event, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com.