Monday, April 22, 2019

Missing the Mark - Alternative Fundraising methods

Over the years, I have spoken to, observed or advised charities across North America.  The numbers are in the 10’s of 1,000’s and continue to grow each year.  I’ve spoken to and helped charities in every state and most of the Canadian provinces.  One single issue comes up all the time, charities or nonprofit organizations trying to find an alternative method of raising funds outside of a Gala or Dinner.
I recently spoke with (2) individuals from charities or groups that desperately needed to raise money.  One of these groups was actually deeply in debt and needed to fundraise to get themselves out of the financial hole they were in.  They were calling me asking for help but when I told them what we would do, both decided not to move forward because they feel that there are other ways to raise the funds they need other than hosting a social gathering. 

These charities represent many across North America who believe that “Gala’s” or events like that are over done.  They believe that there are other ways to raise a major amount of money like these events do.  Sadly, they are mistaken and inevitably work harder to raise less.  They will aim all over the target but the bullseye and miss the mark they so desperately need to.

These events are social, people get to purchase a table and be with their family or friends for a fun night out.  They can enjoy great music, great food, drinks and bid/win amazing items.  They also get to support a charity which they feel close to all at the same time. 

Creating an event causes everyone to come and attend and these are normally held on a Friday or Saturday evening.  Guests get dressed up, are relaxed and enjoy the evening out.  Sponsors on the other hand are attracted to such an event for marketing reasons and therefore will make large financial donations just so that the guests see that they support the charity hosting the event. 

When people are relaxed, enjoying themselves they are quicker to open their wallets and hearts to help the cause.  Furthermore, there is no better time to educate the guests on the mission of your charity/nonprofit.

Think about it, who doesn’t enjoy a great dinner and an evening out?  The bigger the event, the larger the attendance will be which equals larger donations and a successful fundraiser.

Give people what they want!!!  Have you seen Facebook lately?  On people’s birthday, they are asking for their family and friends to donate to the favorite charity.  There are GoFundMe pages posted every single day all over the country.  People get overwhelmed and "Numb" to charities because everywhere they turn, they are being approached "Cold" and being asked to donate.

But if you give people a great night out at a very nice place, who wouldn’t want to go to that?  If done correctly, your guests won’t even realize they are donating so much or donated at all.  These types of events are entertaining and that is why they are successful if planned and managed correctly.

If you would like to host an incredibly successful fundraising event, BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising would love to help you.  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North America Charity Fundraising leader in a convenient “One Stop Shop” setting.  Contact us at, we would love to help you and your organization exceed your fundraising goals.

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Fundraising Secret: Successful fundraising is “Common Sense.”

Every single day, I am astounded at some of the things I hear when it comes to charities or groups fundraising locally or across our great country.  For some unknown reason, the people planning the fundraising events turn off their brain when it comes to planning one of the most important aspects of their organization – Fundraising.
See folks, successful fundraising is honestly “Common Sense.”  However, the charity planners shut it off when planning their events.  Why?  Because “Common Sense” goes against what the old school mentality is about successful fundraising. 

Here are some examples:

Example #1 – Charity Entitlement:  Each charity across our country believes people should donate simply because.  That’s correct – simply because.  Whether it’s simply because they asked people or simply because they are great etc.  What they fail to realize (Common Sense) is that there are millions of charities across the country acting the same way.  They fail to realize (Common Sense) that the same people they are asking have also been asked 1,000 times to donate to their causes.

Example #2 – Fundraising Event Planning – Charities believe that everything should be donated.  From the place where they are going to host their event, to the catering and the bar and that the band or DJ should play for free.  However, (Common Sense) if everyone donated to everyone who either tried to hold an event there, who wants them to cater their event or a DJ/Band to play the event, those places or businesses would quickly go under (Common Sense).  Charity Fundraising is Business folks.  Charities should also understand (Common Sense) that if a business is donating, it’s not going to be the best for their guests (Common Sense).  The business will donate what they can afford to donate.  A Venue (place) is in the business of renting out their facility to people and organizations like the charity (Common Sense).  Charities will often host their fundraising events as “Less than” venues thinking that it’s better to go cheap so they can profit more.  Also, charities often will go very cheap when planning the meal their guests will receive and will have a “Cash Bar.”  Then the charity will sell their tickets for an astronomical amount.  But…(Common Sense) affluent people and even middle income people will not go to an event at a “Less than” venue and when they get there, (Common Sense) see the small or cheap meal they are receiving but paid much for (Common Sense) and realize they have to purchase their drinks – They financially shut down (Common Sense).  They think to themselves (like we all would and do) “Well, if I paid “X” amount of dollars for my ticket, that’s enough since I’m not receiving much” (Common Sense).  Then the cash bar (Common Sense) – If people are spending money to buy drinks, where are they not spending it?  With you and your charity !!!  (COMMON SENSE).

Example #3 – Donated Items – For some reason, charity fundraising groups really shut off their brain here but it’s “Common Sense” if you just think about it.  Charities believe that since they are entitled and that every single business should donate an item or items to them, that everything they have in their event should be 100% free.  The problem is again (Common Sense) – there are 104 Million Charities in the United States and businesses in your area are “BOMBARDED” with charities and groups asking for donations.  Business owners can not possible donate to everyone who asks (Common Sense).  So they will often donate items that are not selling in the stores.  Plus it’s local people, attending a local event with items donated by local businesses right?  If your guests wanted to those items, they would go to that business and buy it themselves (Common Sense).  So, they attend your event and you display items they don’t want but will purchase them for a “Deal” (Common Sense).  The charity puts Gift Certificates and Gift Baskets on their Silent Auction and expect people to bid high at retail or above – but they NEVER EVER do !!!  (Common Sense).  Have you ever bought yourself a Gift Certificate?  How many Gift Baskets did you give away to your family or friends over the holidays?  The answer is NO or NONE (Common Sense).  But the Fundraising event planners forget this very important aspect and shut off their “Common Sense.”

Here is another secret – When planning your event, think as if you are a guest there.  What type of venue would you like to go to and what would you like to eat and drink, what would you bid on….than plan your event accordingly.  Simply use “Common Sense”!!!

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a charity fundraising leader in North America in a convenient “One Stop Shop” setting.  If you are planning a fundraising event and want to be ridiculously successful as all of our clients are, contact us at – we would love to help you.