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Date: September 12, 2012
Contact: Rudy Rosen, 512-671-0054, firstname.lastname@example.org
Money for the Cause: A Complete Guide to Event Fundraising
The easy to read, complete guide to raising more money for causes that matter, by author Rudolph Rosen.
Austin, Texas – New from Texas A&M University Press, Money for the Cause: A Complete Guide to Event Fundraising is an easy to understand comprehensive guide to event fundraising that will help the millions of members of nonprofit organizations raise more money for their cause, regardless of their fundraising skill. From backyard fundraisers to grand ballroom events, the techniques described will produce net revenue in good times and bad.
“What I see too often at fundraisers are highly competent staff and volunteers incompetently running fundraising events, missing easy opportunities to fund their cause. Anyone can act incompetently if he or she doesn’t have the knowledge to act otherwise. Money for the Cause was written to provide those very competent dedicated people the knowledge, aids, and real-life examples that will enable them to plan and stage high net revenue producing fundraising events,” stated the book’s author, Rudolph Rosen.
The author applies each topic to the widest possible range of events and organization size, providing practical detail and multiple examples for different types of organizations and effective fundraising activities. Each chapter begins with a pertinent, real-life anecdote and focuses on a major area of event fundraising, including team building, site selection, auctions, raffles, food and drink service, social media, websites, planning, and much more. The book is beautifully illustrated with fundraising artwork by renowned artist, Katie Dobson Cundiff.
“There are literally 10s of millions of volunteers in organizations of all sizes who would benefit from this book,” according to Alan Wentz, former a top executive of Ducks Unlimited, an organization where volunteers hold nearly 5,000 events annually.
As executive director of an international nonprofit Rosen was responsible for the world’s largest annual fundraiser for conservation causes, a several day event that raised over $8 million. Through fundraising and legislative advocacy working in leadership positions in some of the nation’s largest nonprofit conservation organizations and agencies, Rosen and the many teams of volunteers and professionals he has worked with have raised over $3 billion for environmental conservation causes. He is currently a research professor at Texas State University where he is working to fund a start-up initiative on management of nonprofit organizations.
Money for the Cause can be purchased through major booksellers and the publisher, Texas A&M University Press http://www.tamupress.com/product/Money-for-the-Cause,7084.aspx . For further information see http://www.moneyforthecause.org . Read Rosen’s fundraising and nonprofit organization management blog at http://www.event-fundraising.com .
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RUDOLPH “RUDY” ROSEN, is a research professor at The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University. He is currently working on start-up of a nonprofit leadership initiative on research and instruction on management of nonprofit organizations. Rosen specializes in executive leadership and management of nonprofit organizations and public agencies, cause-related advocacy, and fundraising.
As executive director of an international nonprofit he was responsible for the world’s largest fundraiser for conservation causes, an annual event that raised over $8 million, and he was director of a regional office for another nonprofit where each year the organization’s volunteers held nearly 5,000 fundraising events. Through fundraising and legislative advocacy, he and the many teams of volunteers and professionals he has worked with have raised over $3 billion for environmental conservation causes.
Dr. Rosen has served in international, national, and regional executive leadership positions in three of the nation’s largest nonprofit conservation advocacy organizations: the National Wildlife Federation, Safari Club International and Ducks Unlimited. He is also president of a management company specializing in highly personalized services in start-up and turn-around of nonprofit organizations, fundraising and support in management of conferences and meeting events. He has served as an environment cabinet member for two governors, and was director of public resource agencies for the states of Texas and Oregon. He has served on over 130 nonprofit and government national and international boards, commissions and committees and has written over 400 articles and presentations on organizations, conservation and policy.
Rosen currently writes a blog on fundraising and nonprofit organization management (http://www.event-fundraising.com) and recently wrote Money for the Cause: A Complete Guide to Event Fundraising published by Texas A&M Press (http://www.moneyforthecause.org).
Book Title: Money for the Cause: A Complete Guide to Event Fundraising
By Rudolph Rosen
Illustrations by Katie Dobson Cundiff
Texas A&M University Press
There has never been a greater need for raising money necessary to support the causes that will help build a sustainable future. The author explains methods and secrets to holding fundraising events that will raise net revenue in good times and bad.
Money for the Cause is an easy to understand comprehensive guide to fundraising featuring methods adaptable to situations faced by all who hold fundraising events. The author explains basic through advanced techniques for events, large and small, that can be duplicated by everyone from novice volunteers to experienced event planners.
With over 30 years of leadership experience in organizations holding several hundred to almost 5,000 small to large fundraising events each year the author knows the landscape well. But his fundraising experience goes well beyond events alone, drawing readers’ attention to the full breadth of fundraising opportunities that can be associated with events, such as recruiting members, product sales, funding partnerships and donor stewardship.
Each chapter begins with a pertinent, real-life anecdote and focuses on a major area of event fundraising, including team building, auctions, raffles, food and drink service, planning, budgets, games, social media, websites, site selection, donations, entertainment and more.
The author applies each topic to the widest possible range of events and organization size, providing practical detail and giving multiple examples for different types of organizations and their fundraising activities.
This is a comprehensive book, but an interesting read due to the author’s use of real-life stories, easy to follow examples, sample materials and many other aids to fundraising success. While easy to use for beginners, it also allows more advanced event planners or students of fundraising to delve deeply into event fundraising techniques, fundraising ethics, legal issues and much more. There is also a special “advanced” section at the end of the book covering tricks, little known options and ultra-high revenue generating techniques that are often the secret behind the phenomenal success of some events.
The book is beautifully illustrated with fundraising artwork by renowned artist, Katie Dobson Cundiff, making the book even more enjoyable to read.
Whatever the funding objective may be, Money for the Cause: A Complete Guide to Event Fundraising will quickly become indispensable to anyone involved in mission-driven organizations, whether as a volunteer, professional, student, teacher or total beginner wanting to raise money for a cause.
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
What do you hope readers will learn or gain from your book?
How to plan and put on high net revenue producing fundraising events, from A to Z.
How did the idea for your book come about, and how did it evolve as the writing process progressed?
From the beginning I wanted to cover all aspects of event fundraising. But the notion of a truly comprehensive text that would be easy to understand for total novices yet delve deeply enough into the subject for seasoned professionals came about when I saw a need for a book for classroom instruction at the university level. I had taken on start-up responsibility for an initiative to provide university students instruction on how to manage nonprofit organizations. Yet I knew of no books about event fundraising that met an academic standard, and provided practical advice that students could use after leaving the university for real-life event fundraising. Because it is being published by a university press, Money for the Cause has gone through an extensive professional “peer” review to meet university standards. This doesn’t mean the book is hard to read or understand, it just means it has undergone rigorous evaluation by people who know fundraising. This book is designed to be useful and understandable for beginners, yet comprehensive enough for students at any level and equally useful for practicing professionals.
What prompted you to include artwork in the book?
I met the artist, Katie Dobson Cundiff, in the course of fundraising in several past professional positions. Her artwork is phenomenal and both she and her husband, Travis, are active in promoting events and donating artwork and art related items for use in fundraising. Illustrating the book with Ms. Cundiff’s art that has been featured in fundraising events around the country seemed like a natural thing to do.
What research was done for this book?
The information for this book is drawn from life and professional experiences. I have traveled to every state and many countries where I have experienced event fundraising events, large and small. Causing me to pay all the more attention, I have been directly or indirectly responsible for fundraising of many types in all states and many countries in leadership positions in organizations where staff and volunteer members held events.
What objective did you seek with this book?
To help people who are passionate about achieving good in the world raise more money for their cause by giving them a readable book that will enable them to plan and put on high net revenue producing fundraising events.
REVIEWS AND PRAISE FOR MONEY FOR THE CAUSE
“. . . there are literally tens of millions of volunteers in organizations of all sizes who would benefit from this book. . . This book will help to avoid the “trial and error” approach I see most organizations making as they attempt to raise funds through events . . . should be read by any professional fundraiser or by anyone who is in charge of their local charity fundraiser. It should become a part of the library of anyone who aspires to be proficient at this important part of charity work.“–Alan Wentz, former chief conservation officer, Ducks Unlimited Inc.
Rob Bruno of the Foundation Center, New York, calls Money for the Cause, “…a comprehensive guidebook intended for novice and veteran event planners seeking to raise net revenue through fundraising events.” –October 17, 2012 (Click here for the full review)
2013 University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries. Selected by the Association of American University Presses
“I have always had the greatest respect and admiration for Rudy Rosen, the Master Fundraiser. This book is a trove of his experiences which can help and heighten our effectiveness in financing our efforts” —Dr. J. Blanton Belk, Jr., founder and chairman emeritus of Up With People, Inc.
“Rosen is well-qualified to write this book as he has served in various leadership roles that provide an important reservoir of nonprofit experience and fundraising acumen.” —Larry Schweiger, president, National Wildlife Federation
“Rosen’s book is essential for any event fundraiser. Perfect for those who are new to fundraising, it walks through every aspect of planning and executing a successful event. It’s also a great asset to anyone running a fundraising event who has been challenged to raise more. Rosen illuminates how the details can make or break your event. He lays out how to maximize donations by focusing on your donor mix and layering on varied and numerous opportunities to give. His years of experience help you avoid the pitfalls and develop a successful event aligned with your mission and supporters.” —Nancy J. Painter, vice president of executive search, Olive Grove Consulting
“In this book, Dr. Rosen explains in a very understandable, clear, and concise way precisely what to do, what not to do, how to do and how not to do the myriad things needed to translate a worthy cause into a successful social force. It should be considered mandatory reading for all organizational volunteers, as well as their higher-level professional staff. This book is based on Rosen’s lengthy career in the non-profit world. It is this decades-long experience that has provided the real world examples that are used to enlighten the reader and, hopefully, preclude the many kinds of mistakes that so often happen. Truly, this book represents a roadmap through the minefields faced when well-intentioned amateurs attempt to function in a complex and at times litigious society……Although Dr. Rosen is at home in academic settings, this book is a testament to what he also learned while literally in the trenches of the non-profit organizational world. In other words, he’s been there, done that and now shares all of those valuable experiences with the rest of the world.” —Steve Comus, director of publications, Safari Club International; author; and award-winning photo-journalist
5 Tips for a Successful Silent Auction. Intuit GoPayment Blog. http://blog.gopayment.com/money-trends/5-tips-for-a-successful-silent-auction/ — March 29, 2013, Susan Johnson, feelance writer specilizing in business and personal finance.
POTENTIAL AUDIENCE/READERSHIP OF MONEY FOR THE CAUSE
This book was written for the millions (perhaps tens of millions) of volunteers who help hold fundraising events for charitable causes each year.
There are approximately 1.3 million charitable nonprofit organizations in the U.S., where the number of members in any one organization can range from millions to only a few people. Organizations and their members are found from the largest cities to the most rural locations imaginable, and these nonprofit organizations where members and staff raise funds are found in many countries.
Millions of volunteers and staff come together each year to hold fundraising events. As an example, volunteers in one of the organizations I worked for held almost 5,000 events each year, involving over 60,000 volunteer workers. The YMCA is an even larger organization, and they claim 600,000 volunteers raising money. These are but two organizations among the 1.3 million in the US.
Fundraising events are held by churches, service organizations, medical research foundations, little leagues, and many other types of organizations.
Events where an organization’s members and staff seek funding for a cause are the subject of the book. The millions of volunteers and staff who help raise money for a cause are the target audience of the book.
Money for the Cause excerpt
Chapter 11: The Mission and Strategic Speech Making
One of my favorite volunteers used speech opportunities at fundraising events to extraordinary advantage. He was so good at boosting event fundraising through his speech making that he had become a regular speaker during the evening fundraising. By the time I met him and watched his performance, he was no longer an officer of the organization, although that’s what started him down this path and where he gained his experience. His time for ranking within the organization had passed, but his time at the podium had as much currency then as when he had been president.
His speech was always an emotional one. He worked with physically challenged youth, and the organization raised money for this work. He always had one or two of the young men or women he had worked with at the event. They would appear onstage with him. They would talk, or attendees would be shown a video. As this was taking place, past or current officers who had personally donated money to this work would arrive onstage, seemingly drawn by the unfolding emotion. As this was taking place, the speech making would continue growing in emotional appeal. This was not a dirge, nor was it happening by chance. It was a quick-paced, well-orchestrated drama.
When all was in place, seemingly from out of nowhere, a person would be heard from the floor of the event room. He or she would ask, “May I speak?” The individual would then say, “I want to make a contribution. May I do so?” The person would be told “yes.” Then another would stand and ask the same. All attendees heard the exchanges.
What the attendees did not hear were the conversations that had taken place in advance of the speech. These occurred when the supporters who came to the stage and the donors who stood and pledged funds discussed the sequence of this carefully crafted strategic speech and stage play. Invariably, others would stand and make pledges. These were attendees following the lead of the first two, but all orchestration had ended by this point. The new people who stood and contributed had been compelled by the speech and appeal of others. Considerable funds would be raised.
As a final option to the orchestrated speech, an item in the auction to follow was sometimes linked to the motivational speech. Attendees would be told that proceeds from the auction of the particular item would be dedicated to fund the program that was the subject of the speech. The speech maker would join the MC and auctioneer when bidding started on that item.
This is strategic speech making at its best, and there is nothing deceitful about it. The speech maker was effective because he was personally compelled by the work and the work was in line with the mission of the host organization. He meant everything he said. He personally contributed time and money to the work, and all the people who stood in support contributed as well. This was an honest display of support and an honest depiction of the work done and need for funds. The fact the appeal was well orchestrated and rehearsed did not make it any less sincere. It made it more powerful.
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Attendees at a fundraising event need to hear about the host organization and the important mission and work to be funded by the proceeds of the event. All speech making to this end needs to be brief, orchestrated, and scripted to ensure it is well presented. It should not be so detailed that listeners become bored or so long that attention wanes. But these are speeches just the same. This advice contrasts with the belief among some event planners that no speeches whatsoever be allowed at events. Speeches, they say, may distract attention of attendees away from fundraising.
I say baloney to any advice that discounts the fundraising power of pitching the host’s cause. Banning speeches about what the organization does discounts the organization’s mission as a cause to celebrate. It ignores the idea that an impassioned emotional appeal can increase fundraising success. The MC should remind attendees throughout the course of an event about the host, the charitable cause, and why funds raised are so important in accomplishing good works. The host has an obligation to speak to attendees, if for no other reason than to inform them of the work that justifies the organization’s nonprofit status. This information need not be presented like a memo to the board of directors. Instead, it should be presented in a personal, well-scripted, emotional, and orchestrated way. It should draw attendees to the host’s mission and tug at their hearts to be part of the host’s work through spending money at the event.
The Event Host’s Greatest Fundraising Asset
The mission is the heart and soul of a nonprofit charitable or social-advocacy organization. This mission is often also called its “cause.” The organization’s work is presumably to accomplish this mission and further the cause. And presumably, an organization’s fundraising event’s proceeds will mostly or entirely be used to fund the work, further the cause, and over enough time and with enough funding eventually accomplish the mission. Presumably this is so. Savvy host organizations want attendees to get the message that money from the event will fund and eventually accomplish the mission. This message is a powerful potion used to affect attendees’ attitude toward fundraising opportunities offered at an event. It can also boost overall attendance. ……….
Excerpted from the book, Money for the Cause: A Complete Guide to Event Fundraising by Rudolph Rosen. Texas A&M University Press.