Raise More Money at Your Events


Unknown Speaker 0:00

Unknown Speaker 0:03
Oh, well, hey, everybody, welcome to, Hey, your boot camp crew has come with, I think probably one of at least my favorite topics, number one. And then number two, one of my favorite humans. And we’re combining it today to give you all of the trade secrets on how to make your next fundraising event. Extraordinary and special. So I’m glad you’re with us live. For those of you who are joining us here. If you are not, and you are listening to us in the replay high, you get to enjoy this just as awesome as we are, make sure that you are sort of letting us know who you are in the chat, number one. Number two, if you’ve got any questions, drop that into chat tool and sort of make that throughout our presentation today. And really, it’s not going to be a presentation, this is going to be a conversation with someone who has raised millions upon millions of dollars for organizations just like yours in your communities. And we’re going to talk about all the things that we’re seeing from trends, to best practices to idea generating together, we’re gonna make this one of our more interactive, more just how to you’re going to do awesome at your next event, sort of webinars today. I am ecstatic to introduce by the way, first of all, we should get to Sammy. Hi, Sammy. Hi. I we always seem to forget to introduce each other because we’re always on these together, but good to see you as always.

Unknown Speaker 1:44
So I’ve had the delightful opportunity to chat with our guests. Over the last I would say year and a half ish. I’ve learned an incredible, incredible amount of things from him. I have been challenged, by the way that he conducts himself in the amount of energy that he brings to an actual room itself. It’s amazing. Give a warm welcome to our guest expert today. Dean Crownover. Dean, welcome to the Hello, hello. Hello. Good morning. Good evening. Good afternoon, I think right? Are we all are we’re in 16 different time zones right now. I would imagine for sure we’re going to do that. So I before we start off with this, let’s I want to give a kind of a 5000 foot view on who you are what you do why we’re talking today. All good things. Dean floors yours, my friend. So I’m Dean, I am a professional, full time because that’s the number one number two question I get are is as part time No, it’s well done.

Unknown Speaker 2:52
Benefit auction specialist. as designated by the National auction Auctioneers Association. I was the first in Georgia to get that, which means I am qualified to consult and to do the gala. I only do nonprofits. I’ve never sold anything that wasn’t for a charity of some kind. I come from entertainment. And that is my edge that I have 30 years of live entertainment, film, TV, mostly corporate. And I got thrown to the wolves one day, and about 1415 years ago and had to do this little school auction I was a funny Frenchman. Oh, because Moulin Rouge had just come out. And I was walking around with to Cancun girls, and they said, Oh, and you have to do the live auction to Okay, now there were no live auction shows. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just made it up. I’m sure it was horrific. But it stuck. And then people started calling and then I went to auctioneer school for Georgia, you have to be licensed, and then joined the NAA. And let me tell you what, I had a business in six months, and it is

Unknown Speaker 4:07
waiting list only now. It’s phenomenal. I love raise money. I love it. Well, we love having you here because we’ve got a lot of nonprofits and organizations and chambers, who are interested in raising a boatload of money, so why not bring the best on to chat about it. So we’re gonna talk a little bit up, we’re talking about a whole bunch of things. I’m gonna set you up with questions and you’re just gonna hammer out answers. Again, ask away in the chat if you’ve got any additional ones that we’re not asking where you got something that you want to do a follow up on. Let’s start with kind of the State of the State of fundraising events. A lot has changed since 2020. Some things are coming back, some things are going away. But as you are traveling the country as you’re doing some of these events, what are you seeing currently as kind of the like, what’s going on? Give us kind of an overview. I got to see the big

Unknown Speaker 5:00
This thing and l were referenced that yes, in March of 2020 24 hours to get my first virtual event up and running. So those ran for about 18 months. Then about August, late August, early September 2021. We were back in a room, but it was half the audience’s, ironically making double the money, because it was the right half of the audience’s who had the wallet, which was great. So the live auction was doing great. The the funding or the Paddle Raise, which I’m sure we’ll discuss, has always been doing great. It’s the number one moneymaker at an event. And that doesn’t include sponsorships or tickets just for revenue stream.

Unknown Speaker 5:42
Now, the biggest thing I’ve seen come now that we’re the first quarter of 2020, or 2020, what are we 2023, I have no idea I was a construct, that doesn’t matter anymore. When we are the closet and put me on a stage and then put me back in. And what

Unknown Speaker 5:58
I have learned and what I’ve see by far is everything is back to normal. What may have sold at the live auction, a year and a half ago, because everybody was cooped up. And let me use a real life example.

Unknown Speaker 6:14
In 20, early 2022, I sold 16 trips, that normally would have been four.

Unknown Speaker 6:23
Because everybody’s cooped up, and they’re ready to go, they’re ready to give they need a vacation. Now everybody’s gone through that cycle. And they’re back at all their events, everything is back to normal. So now we’re back to your four or your you know, if it’s a consignment your the money for the live auction is gone back to pre COVID Normal.

Unknown Speaker 6:42
The funding need petrol rates is still doing great. So that’s a little culture shock for a client who may have done doubled last year. Now it’s getting back to normal and you’re back to competition with other events. That’s the biggest thing I’ve seen. But the second one is giving, giving, giving people are giving. And that has not stopped.

Unknown Speaker 7:07

Unknown Speaker 7:09
is there a strategy, because you consult with every one of these groups and what I love most about your your position is that you don’t just hop on stage and then do the song and dance pony show you build sort of a a process by which you go through and say, Okay, who is who’s coming? Who’s the ticket holders? Were your VIPs? What does that look like? You walk us through? Let’s just say we’re starting a brand new event, or we’re curating our guest list for the event. What are some of the things that we want to we want to start with? What are the questions we want to ask ourselves? What are the what are the thought processes we want to begin with as we build our guests for the event?

Unknown Speaker 7:52

Unknown Speaker 7:54
And you’re right 90% of what I do is because most people book me a year in advance. So it’s all the planning because I never take a job where I just show up. So I need to be embedded I need to be your diplomat, I need to be a spokesperson for your cause. I need to know all that. Right? It’s very important. And I help with the run the show and the revenue streams.

Unknown Speaker 8:13
I would say when they’re looking the there’s there’s two schools of thoughts. Are you having a fundraiser or are you having a friend raiser, right? This right so much? I want you to say that again. Because this is this is so invaluable, because it’s the difference between whether you’re gonna make money, or you’re gonna build your list, fundraiser or a friend raiser correct, and neither was wrong. When they come to hire me.

Unknown Speaker 8:41
I do about 80 jobs a year 80 to 100. Somewhere in there. 99.9% of them are a fundraiser meaning we’re building it as a fundraiser first to make money. It’s disguised as a party. Right? But it’s very tactical. The friend raiser is awareness. So the difference being we when we look at fundraiser, it’s about the wallets in the room. And I just made to be blunt, you know, it’s it’s really, as we say, in the business, warm bodies in a room do not make a successful event. It’s the right bodies. Thus, in 2021, when we could only have certain amount of bodies because we needed space. Six foot between people. They invited the ones they looked and this is the first thing advice I tell a client, let’s run a report of who came the last time you had the event. And most of them have mobile bidding software they’re using so we can run this report, run it from highest amount given or bought, what did they buy or give all the way down to those who didn’t? And it’s an eye opener, because they look at the bottom third and go they didn’t buy or give anything? No, but they came and drank and they came and ate and you paid for them. Well maybe their ticket price paid for but you didn’t make much off of that. So you

Unknown Speaker 10:00
Let’s look at who is coming. Now let’s look at the top of that list. Patrick, what is the next thing that they have to do? What is the next thing? When they look at that list they have to do? Well, besides invite them? Yes. But how? What first of all, this is why? Well, I think you and I have this.

Unknown Speaker 10:21
It has to be in person, it has to be a relationship building, it cannot be this cold assumption, you just mail something in the mail. And I think where I’m at, because again, what I loved you saying earlier is it’s okay to want to make money from these individuals. The assumption is, is that you don’t talk about what it is, is a fundraiser, like you’re like, oh, no, I don’t want to talk about money. I don’t want to talk about how much we’re going to raise. Because there’s somehow we feel bad that you’re inviting them to a fundraiser. And we want to let them know they’re coming to a freaking fundraiser in the first guest. So if my assumption is correct, you talk to them directly. And you personally invite them call them talking about their Yes, you call old fashioned, pick up the phone, millennials, no texting phone, and you call them and say, Hey, we’re so glad you’re here. Did you know the date? Did you know, you know, we want we want you there. And even comped the big ones and if you need to, but it’s, it’s that personalized service, we need you there. And one of my favorite examples was my own son’s school. And there was a donor and was a tiny school at the time. First fundraiser. First one, we didn’t even have a school building yet. And or charter and because it’s a charter school in Atlanta, and they

Unknown Speaker 11:42
the guy gave five grand, he was one of our biggest donor or biggest sponsors. Nobody called him the second year. I just happen to call him the week before the events that see if he’s going to be there because we’re friends. And he goes, nobody called me for my sponsorship, I gave that money away to another organization.

Unknown Speaker 11:59
How could that be lost in it? How did they lose that? So keep tabs call keep keep it personal. Now.

Unknown Speaker 12:12
Let’s go to what you just said. When I hear we don’t want to talk about fundraising, I probably won’t take your job. Because I’m the opposite. They know why they’re coming. Yes. This is not the king’s new King’s new clothes. I mean, are you kidding? They, if anything, what you do, and I’m a big fan of market, weeks in advance. I’m a big, big, big fan of letting couples make decisions at home. How much are they going to give during the phone and eat? How much do they want to spend on that live auction. So you’re gonna give them all that information a week or two in advance, and you’re gonna mark it that alone, then you’re gonna assume nobody got any of those. And when they walk into the doors of that event, it is all around the room. It’s like walking into a casino that here’s the craps tables. And here’s the blackjack. And here’s the slots, and here are the specials, right? So you want to make sure that you are telling them. Here’s all the ways you can give. But, Patrick, what’s the other thing in the room? What’s the most important thing in the room? In addition to that, it’s just the funder need the why. Who are we helping? I want that all around that room. Did you notice I love little facts. I love them. Did you know you know we do this thanks to your donations. I want that all around in that room. And the idea that you get to set this up prior to the event as well, where you don’t just let them know why they’re there. The time they’re there. It’s an emphasis. And it’s a real emphasis on what you have been telling them in your pre conversations and your pre emails in the wise. So they get there and they’re reminded, Oh, yeah. You know what Patrick did talk about that Catia did talk about that. Missy did talk about that they were they’re having conversations about the why before they even got to the room. And then yes, like you just said it’s reemphasized every single place you go. And now we’re getting the more specific that we’re working when I’m doing run a show with a client.

Unknown Speaker 14:22
If the welcome is say, by the board chair.

Unknown Speaker 14:27
Then let’s say the executive director comes up later, which I usually like to set up the Padres. They’re each re emphasizing something that they said that that has already been placed everywhere. It is building on the same facts because you need repetition. Now you’re not just saying the one fact you’re you’re talking about a lot. So for instance, if it’s a group and we’re talking about the four programs that we’ve highlighted, because we get real nitty gritty, I want I want to pick most most nonprofits have several little programs that run

Unknown Speaker 15:00
And I, I want to assume your biggest donor doesn’t know everything about what you do, we have to assume that. So you’re giving them new food for thought. So we need to talk about all the little programs and within the little programs, their little one line facts.

Unknown Speaker 15:17
And those are the things that we keep repeating. And and I got down to when I do the funding need, you know, I have worked with them on scripting. Well, let’s do if I have a formula, get my clients because I give them a ton of information. And my job is to overwhelm them, as I’m sure here’s his do. But I like it. Did you know fact? Did you know, tonight, you know, one in five kids will go hungry. That’s the bad part, right? But did you know, thanks to your donation at this level, you can feed 30 kids for 30 days. And that due to this program that we have, so let’s give them as much food for thought as they can. Because if they’re thinking about giving it 100, we want them to give it 250. And I get a lot of people that come up to me afterwards and goes, you made me want to do this? And I said no, it wasn’t me. I was the money motivator. It’s the nonprofit that you’re helping that made you want to do it because you care. But yeah, so So I want to go back to this because this is really, really important point is that you mentioned scripting it out.

Unknown Speaker 16:24
I think one of the worst things that you can do is just freewheel the entire night, and making sure that your speakers read and perform exactly what you want them to say because the setup is so important. Making sure that you re emphasize those particular points, right, if you’re going to build something in the community, if you’re going to do something, this money is going to go to this, this and this and that’s repeated throughout the entire event. Don’t let your speakers even if you give it away on award, even if you give away, you know sort of an honor, make sure that you are having conversations with those who have a microphone in front of them that they know exactly what they’re going to say and do not improvise because it is a it’s a it’s a theatrical performance, you’re trying to build to a crescendo, which is your funding need. And I before we forget about it to the people in the room that you’re having the conversations with prior to, you can say to them on the phone, while you’re talking through what this event is going to look like. You are one of the few individuals in the community or that are involved in our community that have the capacity to help us at the level that we need. I think and do correct me if you think I’m wrong, it is okay to admit that everybody knows that that person that you’ve invited has the capacity to help and you say so so that they have the expectation to bring the checkbook to the table.

Unknown Speaker 17:54
Or even if you can get which there’s two pieces of homework for the funding of the Paddle Raise that I tell a client early on, number one, secure the highest level donation that you can get, and that’s usually looking at the data and who was that person and who is the closest person to make the call to that donor? Yep. Right? So that’s secure it.

Unknown Speaker 18:18
verbals fine, and they don’t even have to be in the room for it to count. I can we make a we can make a really big deal out of that Mr. Miss Smith couldn’t be here tonight, but they’re giving it 10 grand, let’s make a really big round of applause for them. Who else will give? Now if nobody else gives? That’s okay. Because we just give them another round of applause and move to the next one because it’s a win it doesn’t suck the energy out of the room. Right? So that’s homework number one, homework number two, because that decides our first level. homework number two is sell a sponsorship for it. Nope, a lot of people don’t realize you can sell a sponsorship for the Paddle Raise and that becomes your match. So it needs to be higher than that first level. So in that example, if 10 grands your first level, sell it for 1520 25 and that such and such company Ladies and Gentlemen, good news before we start, they have a man they have a challenge. If we reach our goal and I’m a big fan of setting and marketing a goal and we market it low that way we go way over Yep, set that one so that one too again, Dean though because that needs to be said too. We say goal out loud. And we do enough research and and understanding that we set it out safe, we say it out loud. We want individuals as a community in that room to go and get it. Market market market. So one of them Mark McKenna. Yes. Don’t be embarrassed by Don’t be embarrassed. Oh my God, no, embrace it. Yep. So here’s what I normally tell a client. Okay, we look at the data. If you made 100 grand in the fund any last year, we’re going to set the goal at 50. And they go oh, well, we want more. Yes, you want more. It’s a marketed goal. It has nothing to do with your internal goals. It’s a marketing goal. We want to make sure we go well over it because

Unknown Speaker 20:00
Has I’m almost all of my events, I put the funding need first.

Unknown Speaker 20:05
And which is I know controversial, but it shouldn’t really, because and 100% of that audience can give him the funding need and only 20% can afford the live auction the funding need is your number one moneymaker, why would you put it first, and it’s the serious part of the night. And we want to have that mood, that tone first, followed by fun and frivolity, right with the live auction and games. So we do that first. And it’s a win win? Well, you mark it that we want to make 50,000. And always put the plus sign next to it, whatever your goal is always to tell them in all your marketing, right? So you’re gonna have posters around the room, you’re going to have rotating slides, you’re going to have this on your mobile bidding, you’re going to send all this stuff out way in advance of things it could do. And of course, you’re absolutely right, one of the worst trends last year, speaker speaking for 10 minutes when we told them to.

Unknown Speaker 20:58
So here’s how you here’s how you squash that 24th font, size font, double spaced one and a half pages.

Unknown Speaker 21:08
That’s what you tell them. And then they go that way, they can’t go past that. But you have to rehearse them. And here’s another word, terrible trend. We don’t get any sound checks. The speakers don’t get up there. I mean, we need them prior to that, to run through it, say, on Zoom. Because when they when we timed it, they would see it well. My clients rarely do that. And by the time we get there, we’re in the middle of doing it. I once had 310 minute ones in a row, half the room left to go to the bar when I went up to do the funding aid.

Unknown Speaker 21:43
That was out of our control, because normally they’re two minutes.

Unknown Speaker 21:47
You know, so that’s, if I can say anything. The attention spans coming out of COVID. are this big now?

Unknown Speaker 21:55
Yeah. Well, and I think the expectations, the expectations of people who have been to events like this now is to shorten everything. Yes. So if you look at your schedule, and you’re saying, Okay, this is going to look to be about from, from our program, part of the event, right, so you can talk about dinner, and you can talk about whatever that’s, that’s a different level of, of timing you want, maybe you want the open bar for four hours, I don’t know what you’re into, it’s fine. The program itself needs to be as succinct. And as short as it possibly can, while giving the maximum amount of information and impact and motivation and inspiration to do your work. The shorter the better. Nobody is going to ever complain about a program that goes too short. Everyone will complain about the one that goes too long. And when’s the last time you went to one of these? And somebody said, I hope they have more speeches. Oh, I love them. I’m not I’m never Oh, my God. And it’s like, listen, here’s the problem. Most of the clients because they’re a nonprofit. And I love my nonprofits, because that’s all my work. I love them.

Unknown Speaker 23:01
They are every day talk about what they do. And they know so much about the cause. And about the stats, they make the mistake of at the event, we have to teach, teach, teach. When you don’t, when they showed up in that room, they already know why they’re there, you now switch to I just have to remind them real quick, here’s how their money will make a difference. And whose lives are changing whether it’s an animal or medical research or whatever. And kids groups, what have you and that they can give so shorter the better.

Unknown Speaker 23:38
A new client will go, but they won’t know everything. No, they won’t. And they don’t want to.

Unknown Speaker 23:46
Kindergarteners, yeah, they will talking to drunk and kindergartners. Yes, this further, that’s a great example. It’s drunk.

Unknown Speaker 23:54
But they don’t have to know because really, you’re looking for curiosity after the event too. And I know that we’ll talk a little bit about post event things a little later in this, but think about think about when you have a conversation with somebody over coffee. And you say enough to get the other person curious to say tell me more about that. Now you’ve hooked them so you want them to go to this event have a really good time be very motivated by the amount of money that you actually made and then you want to have that phone call afterwards the Hey, tell me more. What else do you do? You give them the update on what their impact was? Oh, yeah. Tell me what else do you need? That’s the hook you get for a lifetime of giving and support rather than a one time transactional? I had a really good time at your event only and that’s how you get them by not telling them everything and not boring them to tears but excited that number one goal things Yep. 100% To make them patrons for life. It’s worked on us. And my wife was a development director for nonprofits forever. And

Unknown Speaker 24:54
we now give to certain organizations yearly be

Unknown Speaker 25:00

Unknown Speaker 25:02
there’s something that feels great about it, obviously, and knowing that we have set a automatic deposit or whatever

Unknown Speaker 25:11
you want to turn and especially now, and and I say, This is what I call generation blend. The older millennials are starting to come to these and give a few years ago, they were starting to show up now they’re really giving, the older crowds are getting older. So it’s a blend, it’s a transition. So we need to take them and and the younger audiences and turn them into lifelong patrons. And it’s happening. One great thing I’m seeing and that I encourage

Unknown Speaker 25:43
what somebody asked me the other day, one of my clients, hey, for our yearly giving program, should we mention that? Yes, but it’s not the focus that night. But we give them information in their gift bag on the way out? Or, you know, we do say it’s in a speech somewhere

Unknown Speaker 26:01
as an add on, but it’s not harbored upon Park harbor harped? Yes, you know, no, I think so. It’s good. Okay, so I love I love kind of how we’ve sort of established, hey, here’s kind of the things events are back, you’re not going to do as much travel, you’re gonna get sort of like an equal number of items that you saw pre pandemic, and that’s great. We kind of have the flow of the event, which is you’d have a really quick opening, maybe from a board chair. And then you have you know, the executive director, who is going to come and talk to you about why you’re there. Talk to me about the pre funding need. Because again, that’s all we really care about. If you just did an event with a funding need, and you just went home, I’d be happy every single time that I went, I’m doing a lot more of those, I go to a lot of them. So that is that. So we’ll talk about this is why it’s the most important thing that you do at an event, if you’re not doing it, you need to and you’re losing money if you’re not. But let’s talk about the set up to it for impact stories from those who have been affected or will be affected by the money raised. And then let’s just talk a little bit about the ramp up to the funding need. And then we’re going to talk about the process, you build through it and go through it. It’s usually if you’ve never done a funding need, if you feel weird about doing it for a first time event, and you’re not sure how your community is going to react, because you’re now asking for money specifically without giving them something that’s a weird transition. And I want to make sure we spend enough time hammering home the importance of that, but kind of just walk me through your ramp up sequence of a an average agenda for the evening. And what that seems like so we can kind of have our imaginations run wild. Sure. So there’s two, right, there’s food stations and seated dinner, but they’re going to basically run the same. The only difference is with a seated dinner, we may stop for a course or between courses, right. And this is one of the things that I work with my clients. We’re constantly working on the timing, but here’s the basics.

Unknown Speaker 28:02
It’s a welcome. And I like a board member, somebody like that, who thinks the sponsors kind of sets up everybody why we’re here. And the messaging is very specific.

Unknown Speaker 28:16
And then usually we take if it’s a seated dinner, take a break, right, let them you have to give them time at their tables. Either way, if it’s a food station, and they’ve already gone through the food line, they’ve already had their talk talking at tables, and then we start the welcome and we go straight through the show. So that welcome, at some point now becomes the set the beginning of the setup of the funding. Now, if there are little, sometimes there’s awards, that kind of thing, we might put one in the welcome, we might put one after the fundraising. So I look at what they need to do and kind of figure that all out because you don’t want to do it all. Like if there’s three or four awards, oh my gosh, don’t do it off the top. So let’s take those out. The next part is the funding needs setup. And what I like is the executive director to come up and do a two minutes State of the Union of where’s this nonprofit?

Unknown Speaker 29:10
Thanks to you. This is where we are. And this is where we’re going.

Unknown Speaker 29:16
That funnels down into a family or a testimonial story. That could be a two minute video.

Unknown Speaker 29:25
The one two punch that I love is a video, two minutes or less, followed by a live testimonial, two minutes or less, could be a client could be a caseworker depending on what it is and you know if we can’t have clients up there like we’re not going to bring kids up if you know it’s an

Unknown Speaker 29:42
something that’s really hard to talk about. We’re not going to put them in the spotlight.

Unknown Speaker 29:47
Homelessness we’re not going to have somebody come up unless it was a really great rags to riches story where they’re doing wonderfully now that’s different. So when that ends they end is when the executive director thanks

Unknown Speaker 30:00
SEM and says keywords. And now we need your help. Let’s bring up Dean.

Unknown Speaker 30:07
That’s, and now we need your help. That’s gonna be the next title is how many’s six words, that’s gonna be the next title, my book, The next book title. And now we need your help because that is where we’re telling the audience, it’s your turn, you know, everything you need to know. Now it’s time to give, so that it’s a really simple setup. But it has so many specifics in it.

Unknown Speaker 30:33
If you like you said, if you treat your audience and give them short things, they are going to love you back by giving. And again, think about what what we’ve talked about already, which is you’ve had conversations with your major donors, your major contributors, your community members, your biggest supporters, your rock stars who have been there with you for from the time of this project or the beginning, you’ve got them, you’ve had conversations with them, you’ve gotten them to the event, they’ve had a cocktail or two, you’ve welcomed them warmly, they’ve had some food, they’ve listened to your stories, they’re now being primed and ready. They want to give, they wouldn’t show up if they didn’t want to give number one, right? Which means now you get permission to ask them for money. Dean, how do we go through? And what does it sound like to go through the funding need? From just let’s start at five grand and work our way down to 100 bucks? What does that sound like from a professional like yourself? Sure. And I want to say something on that they were primed. I had a guest come up to me the other day and goes, Hey, I went to this other event. They didn’t ask me for anything. And I couldn’t believe it. And he was upset. Because he knew they didn’t ask, Well, what. So he already knew he was waiting. And he was insulted that he wasn’t. Okay, so we picks about five or six, seven giving levels, as we stated earlier, the first level, you’ve already got a guarantee at. So let’s just call that 10 grand, or five grand or 2500, somewhere in there, right? So then the natural suit is 10, grand five, grand, 2500 1502 50, and 100. Those are your basic sum up, sometimes we change the numbers a little bit if 250 becomes 333, because that sends a kid to camp, right, whatever. But for the most part, that’s it. And you’ve marked these well in advance and in the room. So what happens is, when I come up, I go ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to their six giving levels when you hear level you are very comfortable giving at In fact, if it hurts just a little bit, that’s the level you want to give him hold up, you’re better number, I’m a huge, huge fan of technology, don’t get me wrong. And they work hand in hand with what I do. But there is a connection using a ID number where they hold it up. And the room sees them versus going into their phone to put in their give. That’s impersonal.

Unknown Speaker 33:03
We didn’t have a question about this, because there are a number of people who watch this, who are in rural communities where and there are smaller communities where there is a feeling as if if you are if you ask them to raise their hand, it’s embarrassing, and they don’t want to be acknowledged. And there’s this fear of them not wanting to I don’t want to do this. This is not how we’ve ever done this kind of thing. And I want to specifically hammer on this topic, because they’re the small

Unknown Speaker 33:33
organizations who are going to do a funded need for the first time ever, are going to be very weary of asking their community to raise their hand, tell me why I shouldn’t. And that’s the opposite should happen. Because they are grownups

Unknown Speaker 33:52
who can give you help. And if you do not allow them to give, you’ve shot yourself in the foot, let them decide you are not their keeper. They’re not children. Let them decide. And I’ll give you a great example.

Unknown Speaker 34:06
I get this every so often not as much anymore, but still I got it a couple months ago. Well, you know, we really are afraid we don’t want to embarrass anybody. Well, there’s a case where, let’s just say the first level they know they have a 2500 Maybe or 5000. And oftentimes, I will say our first level is 5000. But was there anybody in the room who wanted to give above that? You know, and that’s the worst thing they want to happen. And all of a sudden two people go, we will give it 10

Unknown Speaker 34:37
I’ll tell you what happens the next year. 10 is the first level and they’re calling those people because they saw that it wasn’t embarrassing. I think they’re worried that people like me are gonna get up there and and there are those auctioneers who will get up there and berate I don’t do that I’m if you give $1 I’m gonna make you feel like you gave a million. I mean, I want it to be a

Unknown Speaker 35:00
want everybody in that room to feel like we’re all in this boat together. But if you don’t let somebody raise and be what they want to be and show, if they don’t want to show, they’ll do it anonymously, after.

Unknown Speaker 35:14
And that’s different. We treat that differently. They’re in the vast minority, most people and they’re not doing it out of ego. They just want to raise and be part of this experience. And if you don’t let them, you’ve done them a disservice. And you did yourself a disservice. Now, I was I was told by a board member, back in the day when I was running these things, which was, how dare you assume these people don’t want to give to you? And it has stuck with me for a very long time. And that is, it’s, it’s a bit so no, I just thank you for that. Because I think well, you hear that over and over again. But when you go through the different levels, what I like and we have scripted this.

Unknown Speaker 35:57
There’s a couple of ways to do this. And I’ll tell you the new way that I’m really excited about. So the old way and still is pretty common is is me know, ladies and gentlemen are next levels. 2500 Did you know and again, my formula I give them there’s my fax, and then here’s what it could do. And it’s not earmarking money, it’s just giving them example from a different program. Right. And so we’ve written those out during virtual, what I call the fireside chat. And where because it was just me and an executive director on camera. So we had a conversation, it was a fireside chat, I would pose to them. It’s the same formula. Here’s the problem, Mr. or Mrs. Executive Director, answer this question about it. And then they would be and we scripted all this, they would fire back. And then I would say what it could do. I brought fireside chats to the live stage last year, right. But now, getting back to short attention spans, I’m doing less of those. And here’s the new fun thing that I’m really promoting.

Unknown Speaker 37:02
At each level, if possible.

Unknown Speaker 37:05
Let’s have your staff and or clients film six or seven videos meant well maybe film 10. So you have some to use 10 second videos. So it worked like this of them, the client or staff saying what that money could do. So I’ll set it up. Our next level is 2500. I want you to meet Barbara.

Unknown Speaker 37:27
She works in such and such department here at the organization. Barbara, take it away. Hi, I’m Barbara, I do this do Juno and she’s still going to do the did you know facts that we’ve written out? And then did you know and this is what it could do? Thank you for giving.

Unknown Speaker 37:41
What this is done these little 10 Second 15. Second, I call them little tic tock gives. Because what it is it’s talking to the younger audience who you know, we want it faster, we want more video, we want less of this talking at me. And it shows more faces

Unknown Speaker 38:00
of who they’re helping or people who are on the front line helping right. So it’s, it’s an easy production thing to do. You film it with your camera, I mean your phone, and it makes a world of difference. You just have to rehearse it a little bit. Like my wife had a bunch filmed for our son’s school. Thank God, she got like 10 or 15 film, because half of them were not usable. Because somebody filmed them when in between classes when lockers were slamming. And you couldn’t hear the kids. So the other half was in a quiet room, right. So just be aware of when you’re filming that kind of stuff. But we used it. We sent out videos before the event, the ones we didn’t use some of them. And then we use different ones at the event, they became a marketing thing.

Unknown Speaker 38:47
So go I go level by level.

Unknown Speaker 38:51
I don’t let the audience know where we’re at. I am not a fan of a thermometer. I believe if you show a thermometer, once you hit your goal, they’re going to stop giving or they’re going to slow down, keep them in the dark. I have clerks on the side, your volunteers that I’ve trained and I bring the paperwork who are writing it down, and I know where we’re at at any given time. So when we get to the end, they hand me this for the sheet that says how much we just raised. And then I tell the audience, I’m a big fan of telling them that you don’t have to tell them what you raise all night because sometimes that’s hard. But they want to know did we meet our goal. Thus, the goal was the marketing thing. And I’ll have the audience I’ll say what was our goal? And they’ll yell back 50,000 or whatever it was, and I’ll go I’m so sorry, you didn’t make that. But you made 275,000 And they go nuts and then the live auction follows suit and that energy is huge.

Unknown Speaker 39:47
If you are not doing a funder need at your event, I will just reiterate. You are leaving money on the table and you’re not doing your due diligence to raise as much money as you could you need to follow Dean’s advice by doing this. Now we go

Unknown Speaker 40:00
into the live auction out there I actions auction items that do better than others do. Are there specific ones that we’re looking out for this year. Now that travel is kind of ramped down that only only travel what are we looking for? So you said something about earlier that the live auctions kind of the normal stuff. First of all, food travel, entertainment are always the number one thing the live auction has gotten smaller. Yeah. I’ve talked to a bunch of my colleagues nationally, three to five in my area, three to five is now the new normal because of attention spans. So if you’re doing three to five

Unknown Speaker 40:42
I like a really solid food. That’s a chef’s table that could be in number one in home catering number one, or a party a party in a box which entertainment food liquor all in a box right? That’s really great tastings educational component in there, love it cooking, where people cook and experience and then sit down and eat love all that is our travel. Like I look like a local celebrity or like a mayor comes and cooks you dinner if you can get that I did one in Savannah for the savannah Music Festival last week, and the executive director is coming to your home. He’s cooking. We sold that one three times for 6100 each. I was shocked. I mean, that was because they want it put the savannah Music Festival in their house and they’re going to talk shop about it. Guess what, I bet those buyers become lifelong patrons.

Unknown Speaker 41:39
Travel. There’s two forms. So local, but beach houses if you obviously not where you are, but Atlanta, you know, beach houses we’ve been covered in snow for nine months. You just get a hairdryer and melt them and you gotta beach. You’ve got

Unknown Speaker 41:57
you know, your New York’s all that. But here’s what you got to have still people want in any of this, what is the component that I can’t buy anywhere else, if you’re in an event, I can look up on Google Flights or whatever and, and hotels.com. And I can put a package together right then in there. But if you say and this is an extreme example, extreme, you’re gonna have lunch with Brad Pitt. Okay, now you put something I can’t get anywhere else. But using Savannah Music Festival, its executive director, and he’s just you have him. That’s enough of a unique component.

Unknown Speaker 42:38
Entertainment. So travel, by the way, coming out of COVID. bucket list items are number one Tuscany number one last year.

Unknown Speaker 42:47
I’m pushing Portugal now because a lot of people have gone to decimal, but everybody’s looking at their bucket list. So what you need to do is go to your board and your biggest donors and ask them where do you want to go vacation in the next three years.

Unknown Speaker 43:05
Get this information back and go shopping for this stuff. Get a consignment if you need it. But a consignment is is a prepackaged vacation that you can buy from companies you want you want to give your stocking your store, right, you want to sell out at over 100% fair market value, give them what they want. Yeah, and I just want to stop you there. Because that’s such a good piece of advice is that we assume a lot about our attendees, and we assume a lot about our donors. And we make asses of ourselves all the time by not asking and act like like, asking them to come to the event. Like asking them to donate, asking them where they want to go, what’s hot, where they want to attend, we start a bidding war with your top individuals who go there before the event even starts and have them talk smack at each other about how they’re gonna read. Yeah, that’s it. It’s okay. I think I think a lot of what we think about gala events or big fundraisers is it’s all Hush, hush, hush hush until we go to the event. Don’t be be audacious about it, be loud about it, expect the best and put a goal out there and just do it because that’s going to get people talking about it before you even get into the ballroom itself. So I think you know, I’m in the south, so they got no problem, you know,

Unknown Speaker 44:32
talking I mean, we don’t in the north and maybe you’re a bit more conservative. Right. So here Yeah, I mean, don’t worry about that stuff.

Unknown Speaker 44:43
Amazon doesn’t and I compare everything to Amazon. When you’re doing a write up on a on a live auction item. Amazon gives you everything you need to know about that item and then some. So that’s what you need to be doing. So use your marketing the same way that you don’t want to leave out details you want to let people know

Unknown Speaker 45:00
Let me Oh entertainment by the way, entertainment is Taylor Swift is the big thing this year I’m so I sold just this weekend.

Unknown Speaker 45:11
And this is concerts,

Unknown Speaker 45:14
sports, anything you can get VIP like food added parking added. That’s your unique component. Best seats. Will Taylor Swift right now it’s so big. I just sold two tickets

Unknown Speaker 45:28
for tickets for seven plus 1000. But then at an event in the middle of the event I kid you not and I want to this was for Muscular Dystrophy here in Atlanta, benefiting ALS. I want to give a Maris Bank A big shout out in the middle of the event, I get it. My client runs to me. Oh my god, they just gave us 16 tickets to Taylor Swift. Can you sell them right now? 16. So what I did is during at the end of the underneath, because a live oxygen was coming in later I teased it and said we just got it. We sold it for 25 grand, she’s just out the blue. And so anything that had and why did she sell she’s going to tour again. And many times why this time, because she crashed Ticketmaster last year, right. So it’s everybody thinks you can’t ever get these again, what you can? Well, the other thing to do, and I love the setup to this as well is use your network and those who are in attendance to find the items that people want as well. Right. So don’t just think of your audience and your partners and your cheerleaders as attendees to give you money, look at them as access to things exactly like that. If you have somebody who is in your community that is very connected to the arts world, or to the theater world or to the music world, lean on them to say, Hey, listen, you have an experience like this too. And they will still come to the event and they will still donate and they will then give you this as well.

Unknown Speaker 47:02
The best example of that, they have season tickets to something and that they are happy to give up a night. And they have good tickets VIP. And did you know that a lot of

Unknown Speaker 47:18
sports or arenas or wherever you have that there’s a donor button, instead of selling it, you can donate it that is like I the Atlanta Hawks, we’re members and

Unknown Speaker 47:30
they they promote don’t if you can’t come to the game, donate them to a cause, which I love. I think that’s brilliant. So think of it that way. Don’t be afraid to ask. And it’s usually the board who has access to this. Somebody has a boss who works for a bank who has a box at this at this arena. And we’re not saying we need the whole box. We need two tickets. They’re going to be with other strangers, but they’ll be best friends by the end of the night.

Unknown Speaker 47:57
I’m telling you, this is the best stuff. It works. But the live auction is not live auctions. Good funding need is key. If you’re not doing a funded need.

Unknown Speaker 48:09
We need to talk yeah, we do you have to do it, you have to do it. You’ve given us so much to think about we’ve got about 10 minutes left. Can we repeat everything we said again, we could do it in the top just and just go real quick on the top. We’ve by the way, I think we squeezed in like two and a half hours worth of information at the speed by which we’ve done this. So just you’re all it’s Bonus Bucks for you guys here. But let’s let’s talk a little bit about what you do after the event. Because what frustrates me most about small, maybe even medium sized nonprofits, even the large ones who just think of themselves as we’ll just do it every year, they stopped talking to the people who attended until the next time that save the date or that invite goes out the very next year. And it kills your momentum from your huge mistake. What what are we looking at from when we should talk to them how we should thank them? What does that process look like to you? And again, everybody who’s listening to this use your own discretion and but you have to build out a calendar. But Dean What do you suggest the best way to follow up for the entire year rather than just rely on them to just remember what the date is next year. So I’ll give you the calendar. And let’s start with their gala. Several weeks or months before the gala when you go to start the ticket sales for the gala on your usually a mobile bidding site right? And I’ll just use contabo are one cause

Unknown Speaker 49:33
issues one cause one cause you set it up and all you’re at that point selling tickets but they have an automatic donation thing the funded need that you set up as the same levels right so that’s, that’s open. So several weeks out you’ve started that as we get closer you’re doing to save the day to now or you’ve done the save a date now people are buying tickets we’re getting closer you open up the silent auction this

Unknown Speaker 50:00
Saturday by noon, a week before the event,

Unknown Speaker 50:05
because they start bidding and previewing the live auction. And if they can’t be there giving in the fund any pre gifts, free gifts, free gifts, very important. They’re bidding, they’re getting emotionally attached to your cause to these items. The bidding is really hot and heavy that weekend dies down a little bit during the week because they go back to work. But the night of the event, boo,

Unknown Speaker 50:28
you keep that funding need open on one cause another week after. And in that week, you promote to those who couldn’t be there not to the people came and gave, you’re not asking them for more, you’re asking them to send it to their database of people who could not show up who may really want to know more about this cause. And you’ve given how much you raised at the event somewhere in an email that week. And I like by the way, promo videos, if you had any kind of photography videos, any of that narrowed down to a thank you video about 30 seconds to a minute and show them what a great time they had, you’re going to use that later in next year to remind them why they need to come back. Right. So then throughout the year, you’re going to probably do several little fundraisers, you’re doing a walk, you’re doing some kind of online, something, you want to vary what you’re doing, and you want to invite them to all of that at the same time. You’re also dropping information about the patron program.

Unknown Speaker 51:31
And then sometimes you’re not asking them for anything. You’re just giving them food for thought

Unknown Speaker 51:36
updates, every ever what you did with the amount of money that you made that night new gods, you have to sprinkle that out throughout the year. And again, reminding them What amazing work you did, but helping them remind themselves because again, we were we have the attention span of naps. People forget about that I didn’t even remember I went to that event. Unless you remind them on a regular basis that they will then click home. Now, one thing I do love if you can do this, and I don’t have everybody who can do this, because of the they haven’t booked the venue yet.

Unknown Speaker 52:09
If you can say at the end of the event, when I’m ending, or the emcee comes back up and says, big on the screen, save the date. And then you have one cause text that out to everyone because it’ll go to everybody who’s registered, whether they’re in the room or not. And it will say May 5 2025, or whatever it is save the date. That’s our next event if that can happen. Now you’ve got your save the date that you can play with throughout the year to on every one of your fundraisers, the 5k Walker, whatever. You’re adding that day

Unknown Speaker 52:51
can you hear me? Did you freeze?

Unknown Speaker 52:55
Like no, I can’t hear you. Oh, there you go. It’s the snow. I’m blaming snow just froze the internet.

Unknown Speaker 53:02
Hey, somebody wrote something here. Um, I have to put on my glasses. Is when I’m getting old.

Unknown Speaker 53:09
If you do a Paddle Raise first in the live auction? Do you do a final ask for gift at the end? No.

Unknown Speaker 53:16
I think that’s greedy. You are ending the live. I mean, you’re ending the fundraising portion. And now you’re saying it’s time to party. That’s where it’s the band. It’s Thank you. You’ve given we’re not going to ask anything else I met somebody wants to said, Oh, we do two or three gifts or funding needs during the event. But they all bombed.

Unknown Speaker 53:38
Is that then the follow up? Right? Like that’s the power of what you just said in the follow up that you remind them of? This is the event this is how awesome it was later. Yes. Then like instead of having to do that final ask at the end of the event, you’re doing those final drippings in the follow up and people could give additionally if they felt like maybe they wanted to. Yeah, and it’s really not the people who came it’s for people who didn’t come

Unknown Speaker 54:04
that’s when you’re Mark you’re doing a target audience like that. Don’t you’re not asking the people you’re thanking the people game you’re just thanking them and that is it.

Unknown Speaker 54:13
Don’t ask? Yeah, in the chest. So here’s what you’re gonna see. This look at this hand deck and right here. In the chat you’re gonna see two links number one paddles up book.com where you can get a free download of this book. That’s still true. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. What what what is this? What’s your oh my god, I these are all the things that came out of virtual all the new best practices that I saw. And instead of me explaining to all my clients, because there was so much new information, I just wrote a book and I give it to all nonprofits. It is nothing but information. This is not about Dean and booking Dean. It’s not that it is all information. So paddles up book, just put in your name and email address and you’ll get the PDF if you wanted to go to him.

Unknown Speaker 55:00
is on and buy it, please do. If you need a hardcopy, and if I see you, I’ll autograph it. But get the free copy first. I’m cheap, get the free copy first. I’m gonna go see you someday, and I will get that I’ll sign I’m gonna come to you in the snow. Right? Well, I know. Also, if you need to work with you and work with dean.com, you should go there. We’ve got a couple of minutes for a couple quick questions if you’ve got it. Do we have a question from Ellen? Yeah. Does the title and type of the event affect the funds? So does a gourmet picnic versus a gala? So should we expect more money at a gourmet picnic or at a gala? What are your thoughts? I think you’ll make the same amount of money. Because you have structured it the same. And I’ve done all sorts of crazy ones. The theme doesn’t matter. The theme is icing. It’s just fun. I gotta tell you, gala does come with a stigma of stuffy does. And it’s we’re getting less and less of those. And we’re getting more themes like 8070s I keep waiting for somebody to do the Back to the Future. Under the Sea dance. Why won’t somebody do that please, God, somebody do under the sea dance, I want to wear on a coat with seahorses on it anyway. So I’m gonna make this my personal personal journey this year is to make sure that somebody does that and then invite you up to do that.

Unknown Speaker 56:20
I think because it’s really nice to hear too, because again, when we’re in the sort of me a lot of this is Midwest, where we kind of stake our claim here. And a lot of that is that gala stuffing thing has a connotation. And I think that is that’s a great, that’s a great reminder that it’s just the process by which you have communicating and inviting and doing this. So I did one in Connecticut and I have one in Atlanta, horse therapy, equine therapy, and I love the range of hope and a rising star and what they do we do it on the dirt floor of the barn arena or wherever the horses are. Because I’m a big fan. If you can do it at your place and show them this is what you’re supporting, like school gyms and things like that are my favorite not big ballrooms, because that word, all you have to do is look around and go, this is what you’re supporting. Man. They have more fun wearing their in this case, they work with their cowboy boots. We had a country band, you know, we have it had nothing to do with stuff a gala.

Unknown Speaker 57:29
It was all it’s still about who you’re supporting. That is the foundation of every one of your events. I Dean as always, you were legitimately like the best. I love it. We got one more final question, then you are up today? No, no, no, we’re fine. We’re Bueller. What everyone here is awesome. Yay. Dina, is there a two small number of attendees? There’s a small rooftop event where you can have a small number of guests. Do you do a format the same as a large Gala? Or is there an optimum number of people in the space or at the event to raise money? So that’s a tough one to ask, right? Because everybody’s different. So I have done ones where there’s only 50 people, they were Hi wallet did people the program was 20 minutes long. Because they not everybody had a seat. It was a cocktail party. It is get right in there, do it make it happen. And it was basically a funded need. Right? So I think you need to look at the audience and go, Well, if this is on my top 50. Donors, then it’s going to be successful. And I want to remind every nonprofit and especially this year, they’re coming up with these arbitrary goals.

Unknown Speaker 58:53
We need to make this if I hear that, again, we need to make this well, why? Because that’s the number I came up with. That has nothing to do with your data. And what really is. So don’t come up with a high gala goal of 300 people. For that 50 people, it’s going to be very different. So don’t don’t wreck yourself with these arbitrary goals. You made them up. Every one of your events you start at zero. No matter what happened last year, you don’t you’re not gonna have the same wallets. You don’t know where they are in their spending. Are they being affected by a recession? Did they lose their house? I don’t know. Did they retire and they’re, they’re cutting back? You don’t know. So you’re starting at zero you the only thing you have your circle of influence on is building it. Where it’s still going to be fun. It’s going to be succinct and you’re giving them the information and and hopefully you’ve invited the wallets who can come and give

Unknown Speaker 59:50
and you’ve given them an opportunity. That’s it unload generosity because they want to and you’ve given them the platform to do so Dean, you’re the apps

Unknown Speaker 1:00:00
look best. You are so much for being with us today. I hope everybody has been sort of just obsessively listening to this and has been enthusiastic and motivated to this. I mean, this is the best thing ever for a snowy day you’ve warmed our hearts. Well, it’s

Unknown Speaker 1:00:20
hey, if somebody has questions, I think yeah, all my info is in the book or on my website. There’s my email address. It’s something we talked about the you didn’t quite understand. Just send me an email and then I’m, I’m happy to answer it. You’re welcome. Any best of the business, my friend thank you too soon. Appreciate it, everybody. Bye. For one last piece of housekeeping for those of you that are in the nonprofit boot camp the replay for this video will be in your dashboard within the next 48 hours. So make sure you check it out there and we’ll have all Dean’s links there as well.

Unknown Speaker 1:00:54
Thank you growing small towns You are amazing too.

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