Sunday, January 27, 2019

THE “SECRET”: How you and your charity can raise much more money utilizing this “Secret Fundraising” tool.

Note:  Only the people who took the time to read this will benefit from it.

Prior to launching our company, I was involved with several charities involved in the outdoors.  One of the company’s I was extremely familiar with was and still is “Ducks Unlimited.”  Last year, as reported by Charity Navigator, Ducks Unlimited Total Net Profit was $195,923,938.00.   “DU” as they are commonly known by, is a fundraising machine.  This one charity has fundraising so figured out that they make nearly $200 million dollars each year.  Incredibly successful. 

What does “DU” know that you don’t?  They mandate that anyone fundraising use high quality items which they supply.  Now, the items which they supply are not “Consigned”, the fundraising entities (known as chapters) have to purchase the items directly from “DU.”  After the fundraising events, the cost of the items is deducted from the Gross of the event.  What does “DU” know that you don’t?  The answer is this – they, as well as other charities who have adopted this practice, know that they must have great items in order to make much more profit.  Believe it or not, they do not want donated items.

When we started, our company identified the fact that there were currently 104 Million charities in the United States.  We then took the idea from charities like “DU/Ducks Unlimited” in regard to using high quality items and began to introduce it to the charities outside of the outdoor charities.  However, we decided instead of trying to sell these products to charities, we would consign them.  We came up with the plan that charities would be able to use our items, mark up the starting bid above our costs by at least 20% and no matter how high the profit, they would keep 100% of it.  If the item or items did not sell, they could simply return them at no cost to them.  I understood the importance of it and the fundraising impact it would have for charities – but unfortunately, the charities did not.

Immediately we were met with resistance.  We heard commonly “Our charity does not allow us to use items we have to pay for” or “We only accept donated items” or “We are against using items that are consigned.”  What they failed to understand or realize is simply this – they pay for the venue which they are holding the fundraiser, they are paying for the food, the decorations, the printing costs, the bar and everything else but when it came to the tools which would help them raise the money they need, their thought process shut off completely.  They wanted and would only accept totally free items. 

Over the many years we have been in business, we have studied every single fundraising trend there is.  After specifically studying donated items, we found that donated items only bring 1/8th to 1/4 of their full retail value.  Why so little?  Because the event is attended by people who live locally, the event itself is local and the items are donated by local businesses – if the guests wanted them, they would have gone and bought them themselves.  Furthermore, after speaking to the same businesses who donated – they informed us that the items they donate are ones that are not selling in the stores.  People are always looking for a deal.  The most drastic thing that stood out is that two (2) of the most common items used in fundraising events are Gift Cards and Gift Baskets.  I have asked our clients for years this question “How many Gift Baskets did you give away to your family or friends for the holidays?” and every single time I have been told “None/Zero.”  Furthermore, I’ve asked everyone how many times have you bought yourself a Gift Card?  Again, they laugh and say “Never” – that is why they are both called “GIFT Cards / GIFT Baskets” because we give them away as gifts.  No one will ever pay anywhere near what they are worth based on this simple observation.  But yet, every single day, charities across the nation still insist on getting and using these unsuccessful fundraising items as the keys to their success.  
No matter how hard I tried to tell or convince them, they were not going to do it.   Slowly, charities began to accept the idea and started using our items.  Those charities experienced immense profit and would commonly say “This sounds too good to be true, what’s the catch?”  My response was and still is “It’s good and it’s true, but it’s not too good to be true – there is no catch” and I put it (our policy) in writing on our website and in contracts.  Slowly it started to catch on.

Then one evening, as if a light bulb went off, an idea came to me which would revolutionize the use of our items and could possibly even change the thinking of the charities who refused to use consigned items or items which they had to pay for.   I am going to share it with you and you too will realize just how brilliant it truly is.
The Secret is “Underwriting” or Sponsoring the items themselves.

As you are already well aware of, routinely charities offer differing sponsorship levels – Gold Sponsorship for $5,000.00, Silver Sponsorship for $2,500.00 etc.  Some sponsorship's are much higher.  However, the fact of the matter is, most people can not afford these levels of sponsorship.  However, they can afford much lower, much more affordable monetary sponsorship's such as $250.00. 

Here is the Secret – Businesses such as Real Estate brokers and Agents, Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants, Dentists, Consultants etc. have nothing to donate other than money.  These people are never approached and asked to donate unlike your local jewelry store.  However, if you offer them a chance to “Sponsor” or “Underwrite” the cost of an item, they will.  Let’s say you approach Jane from ABC realty.  Jane looks at the items available, chooses one and writes you a check for the cost of the item.  You then place the item on your Live or Silent Auction with a tent card in front of it reading “Sponsored by Jane Smith, ABC Realty”, while marking up the “Starting Bid” 20%.  When the item gets bid on and no matter how high it goes, you and your charity now keeps 100% of the funds brought in because “Jane from ABC Realty” paid for the item and received marketing in return.  WIN WIN.

Now here is the best part of “The Secret” – If the item does not receive a bid, you simply return the item back to BW Unlimited and you keep the sponsorship money “Jane from ABC Realty” gave you.  You can not lose.

Using this secret “Brought to you by the great people of BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising”, you will raise more money then you could ever dream of while giving many more people an opportunity to help you.

For secrets like this and many more, contact us at  We would love to help you EXCEED your fundraising goals each and every year.

Friday, January 18, 2019

FEAR - Why Fear is your worst enemy

As a national business owner, I listen to business books (I listen to books on Audible while I drive or in my office because I don’t have the time or the attention span to read them) and watch videos of some of the most successful people in the world.  They all share something in common – their messages.  Oddly enough, if you read them, watch the video’s and listen or read the books, they all same the same things.  And here is probably the #1 thing that separates the successful from unsuccessful people.

Fear kills ambition, fear kills growth, fear kills dreams and goals.  Fear is the #1 reason for two (2) things but they are the reverse of each other:

#1 – Fear keeps most people in their comfort zone.  They are afraid of leaving what they know and going outside of their comfort zone because of fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of Risk, fear of the “What if’s.”  They would rather be miserable and accept what they have instead of seeing what they could have – if they only leave their comfort zone – but nothing grows there in their comfort zone and the scenery never changes.  They blame and hate successful people because of their wealth etc.


#2 – Fear is all a part of success.  Successful people live outside of their comfort zone and know that “Without Risk there is no reward.”  In the beginning, they were afraid but decided to move passed it and try.  They made mistakes but used those mistakes to make them better.  They climb the ladder of success by initially getting over their fear and getting use to risk.  Their comfort zone does not exist and they thrive outside of it.  They are hated for their success but it only fuels their desire to become more successful.  The reason the “Rich get Richer” is because they are used to risk and have learned that fear is all a part of the journey.  The “Rick get Richer” because opportunity finds them and then they take the risk and become even more successful.

Why am I writing this?  Because recently I was speaking with a charity who needed our help in the worst way.  Their fundraising efforts were not successful which also stunted their growth.  While speaking to them, they had all the parts and pieces to make them successful which made me even more excited because I could see their fundraising event being incredibly successful.   However, their board saw it differently. 

Even though our fundraising resume is vast with many more 5 stars reviews and recommendations than anyone ever needs, with a track record of insane success with our charity clients – they were afraid.  Their fear had them questioning our integrity even though you can’t swing a stick without coming across our successes.  Ultimately, their fear stopped them from moving forward.  Even though I had clearly explained how they would profit, their ears were closed to my words because FEAR was the cause.  Their FEAR will ultimately stop them and possibly even force them to close their doors.

However, within a day or so, I met with another charity who had the same fear initially.  Prior to meeting with us, they thoroughly “Vetted” us and found out everything they needed to know.  But after hearing everything I had to say, answering all of their questions…they were so excited, they jumped on board quickly and we started planning two (2) events while also helping them with other fundraising efforts. 

What’s the moral to the story – there is no plank that you have to walk out on.  In order to be successful, you must get over your fear of moving forward.  Success lies on the opposite side of your fear and comfort zone.  You must take the leap, assume risk just to see what could happen – success if what will happen.

Here is another story about the exact same thing – my wife and were out for dinner and I saw a young girl running around working her butt off.  She was extremely friendly, had a permanent smile on her face and was working hard for the few dollars left on the table for tips. 

I called her over, introduced myself and told her about my business.  I told her that we were looking for people like her and told her what we pay our employees.  She was shocked and said yes that she was interested.  I gave her my card and told her to email me.  After several days and not hearing from her, I went back to the restaurant and approached her.  I asked her why she hadn’t reached out to me and she said “It sounds too good to be true and other people who work here said there is no way it’s real.”  I told her we are 100% real and invited her to come to our meeting…she walked away.  Several days went by, no message so I went back.  I sat her down and spoke to her.  I told her that very few times in life, opportunity will come knocking on your door.  You have to answer it and take the chance…She came to the meeting and now she is a part of my staff.  She went back to the restaurant and told those who said we weren’t real that we actually are.  She took the chance, got over her fear and now look.

In summary, FEAR will eventually kill you if you let it.  You must get over your fear and accept the possibilities in order to grow.  You have to leave your comfort zone or you will never ever grow beyond what you are already doing.

If we can help you, please reach out to us at, we would love to help you.