Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Missing Spoke Fundraising -

When you were a kid, do you remember riding your bike or even jumping ramps?  I can remember when I was a child, looking at the “Spokes” and wondering what they were for.  Then one day, I had the bright idea that I wanted my bike to look “Cooler” then the other kids, so I decided to get my father’s wire cutters and cut a bunch of the spokes off.  Bad move.  As soon as I started to ride, my bike came crashing down with me smacking the pavement hard.  I can still remember it to this day – Bad Idea.  I found out, obviously, that all the spokes held the wheel together.

On a daily basis, I see people hosting endless fundraisers all across North America.  In fact, because I am in the industry on a national level, I can’t seem to get away from seeing it.  I have seen everything…every little way that charities and people attempt to fundraise – it’s amazing what people will do to fundraise $1.00.

What happens more time then not is, people will see charity or group “A” doing a fundraiser.  Or they will attend a fundraising event that charity or group “A” is doing and get ideas from them for their own fundraiser.  They will then go back and begin to plan their fundraising event (which we will call event “B”) based on what they saw at the “A” event.  But what they don’t realize is, that the “A” was not successful.  Plus in turn, when they take ideas from the “A” event, they will miss a few important details and fundraising event “B” will be even more unsuccessful.

For instance, a common fundraising event in and around Baltimore is called a “Bull Roast.”  In Delaware and Pennsylvania, they call them “Beef & Beer” events.  It’s basically an event that is relaxed and they cook beef over fire, commonly referred to as “Pit Beef” – it’s great, believe me.

These events over done over and over and over again.  A very common theme is that they utilize “Old & Tired” unsuccessful raffles.  These raffles are done over and over and over again, they are – 50/50’s, Plants Wheels, Money Wheels, Money Boards etc.

I want you to ask yourself this – if you are trying to fundraise, why then would you give money away as a prize?  I have heard all the excuses “People love it” or “They always give the money back.”  True, everybody loves to win money.  False, 83% of the time people DO NOT give the money back.  These raffle’s are extremely inefficient and are not profitable.  Yes you do make some money, but again, what are you trying to do?  Raise money? 

Plus, another common thing people do is only utilize donated products - Tons of Gift Baskets & Gift Certificates etc.  In fact, they will even look to see what donations were donated by who and they will then approach the same people!  It’s Reality!  They don’t realize that the items there didn’t do well.  Plus they didn’t get all the information on how the raffle works, how you sell it, etc.

The problem is, after the fundraising event, charities never go back to analyze the profitability of what they did!  They just keeping repeating the “Same Old Style” fundraisers year after year after year.

In regard to fundraising raffles, remember the simple fact that people “Like to Win”!  It doesn’t matter what they win, as long as they have a chance to win something.  Smaller is always better, give out a bunch of prizes instead of one (1).  Donated items such as Gift Certificates and Gift Baskets are fantastic as raffle prizes.  Plus instead of bringing 1/2 of their retail value, it will bring 10 times the retail in a raffle. 

Or another thing that drives me nuts is when we consult a charity on raffle's that truly work and are highly successful, then they change it to something else and it's a disaster.  Why?  Because they missed a few spokes!  It happens all the time.

So, like me when I was a child, they are missing a “Bunch of Missing Spokes.”  You have to look at everything on it’s own, ask questions and educate yourself.  You have to ask yourself “Would you give the money back?”  Doubt it. 

Remember this – everything has a shelf life.  In order to be a highly successful fundraiser, you must be different and unique.  But more importantly, you have to be smart.  Think through things, talk it over…but make sure you are not missing a few spokes.

If you would like our help, contact us today at

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising leader in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  The fundraising experts at BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising can help guide both you and your staff through the myriad of fundraising pitfalls toward an extremely successful fundraising event.  Contact us today at – we look forward to hearing from you.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Demand Authentic Authentication

Don't be fooled by the fact that a company provides a Certificate of Authenticity with an item.  The proof lies in the credentials of the authenticator.

Charities should be very aware that there are several companies that provide autographed items which are wholeheartedly couterfeit that prey on charities. 

The mere fact that they tell you they were 3rd Party authenticated only means they have someone else saying they are real.

In the Sports autograph industry, the standard in regard to autograph authentication are 2 companies - JSA or PSA / DNA. 

Furthermore if you are considering procuring items from a company and want to protect yourself and your charity, not only ask who the authenticator is but also ask if they have a photo of the person signing the item which they are providing.


BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising Leader in a " One Stop Shop " convenient setting.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hamster Wheel Fundraising -

Have you ever watched a hamster running on a wheel?  When I do, I wonder if the poor little hamster thinks he or she is actually going somewhere.  Or worse yet, if the little hamster even realizes that the harder it runs, the harder it works to get somewhere, it is actually doing the opposite – going nowhere fast with a lot more work and energy.

What does this have to do with fundraising?  Lately, I have seen people working their butts off holding endless fundraising events.  They spend endless hours planning different fundraising events, trying to raise as much funds as possible – which is a very honorable trait.  

However, what they fail to realize is that with each fundraiser they host, their audience grows less and less.  So the harder they work to fundraise time and time again, like the hamster on the wheel, the less they make. 

How do I know this?  Because I am running on a wheel myself.  Why am I you ask?  Because people know who I am and how many events BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising does.  In fact, I am asked all the time by our clients if I can get people to attend their events – impossible.  But I can tell them how to for their own event. 

With each fundraising attempt a charity or cause conducts, they are marketing to the same people or supporters.  Their supporters only have so much money to give, its reality – in fact “The Reality of Charity Fundraising.”  Also, each time you announce a fundraiser, the “luster” of what you’re doing or trying to do gets less and less.  People start to ignore the charity because they are constantly being asked to donate, buy something or attend a fundraiser of some type.

With that, the actual charity now begins to work harder and harder to try to raise the funds.  Furthermore, with each fundraising event (because they are coming constantly), your charities image will get hurt.  Why?  Because the same people are constantly being asked to donate, buy something or attend an event. 

How do you fix this?  Plan one BIG fundraising event each year, which we call an “A” Event.  Then, a smaller fundraiser six months out, which we call the “B” event.  Put all effort into planning your “A” event which are commonly Gala’s or some type of large Event.  With all of your effort going to that one big event, people will not be overwhelmed with constantly being asked to donate.  You will see a much higher return with a lot less effort. 

Ask yourself this; are you ready to climb off the wheel?

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising a North American Charity Fundraising leader in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  Even though BW Unlimited is known for our Charity Auction items, we also assist charities all across North America with successful event planning, management and hosting of their events.  With all the pitfalls charities go through during the planning stages, BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising guides Non Profits down the Road to Successful fundraising - check out our Event Services page.  If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, please contact us at, we look forward to helping you.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Charity Auction item

Continuing our 3rd Party Authentication Policy, this Deion Sanders Dallas Cowboys autographed Full Size Helmet is authenticated by JSA.  Plus a picture is also included of Deion signing the helmet.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising Leader in a " One Stop Shop " convenient setting.

Sunday, April 12, 2015