Standing near the former president of the United States was a tall, handsome African dressed in a blaze of traditional Masaai red. Barely 20 years old, the young man was the son of a chief and in time would become a chief in his African homeland. But he was not with the former president because of politics or tribal status. He was a student whose education was being funded at a leading university in South Africa by members of the audience. He was among the “motivational elements” assembled at this international nonprofit organization’s premier fundraising event where more than 15,000 members had assembled for four days of fun and fundraising.
At one of the event’s several formal dinners, to be followed by a major auction, members heard the young African speak of his dedication to the cause of wildlife conservation. They listened intently as he told of his commitment to take what he had learned from members of the organization during his visit and go back to his country to use his new knowledge as a leader. The members were enthusiastic and renewed their commitment to fund education of young Africans at African universities.
Later the former president spoke, introduced by a celebrated former general of the US Army. This was yet another of many attractions driving $8 million in revenue orchestrated by the host organization over the four-day event. The people who came gave. Many received something of value in return by bidding at the auction and playing raffles, while others simply gave to the cause. When they returned home, many members worked to hold their own local fundraisers. They duplicated the banquet/auction/show format at events in their own communities. They raised money and funded favorite causes locally, as well as helped fund the international organization’s conservation, humanitarian, and education work in the United States and throughout the world.
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Time and again, a simple fundraising formula is duplicated. Each time it will be a success when done right. It will work in good financial times and bad. Money for a cause will be raised. Fundraising events range from elite affairs in large cities, where black tie and gown definitely are not optional, to the “meat and potatoes” banquet auctions and backyard barbecue fundraising events held in thousands of small towns in rural America. This book covers them all, describing methods adaptable to any situation and illustrating basic through advanced techniques that both novice and veteran event planners can duplicate to raise net revenue to fund important mission-related work of nonprofit organizations, large and small.
Let’s Get Started
This book is primarily about fundraising through events that include auctions, raffles, games of skill and chance, food and drink, photo opportunities, merchandise sales, exhibits, tours, and entertainment as the main attractions and key sources of net revenue. All these activities can be part of a successful fundraising event. The examples, theories, and techniques described apply to virtually any fundraising event where attendees are offered opportunities to contribute to a cause, but not everything in the book will apply to all events. Choosing which to use in a given situation is discussed at length, because the mix of fundraising activities—for example, many or few, low dollar or high—determines ultimate net revenue raised for an organization’s basic operations and mission work. In this book I explain how using a major event as a centerpiece for fundraising can allow first-time event planners to succeed and experienced event planners to multiply their best efforts of the past. I will also reveal tricks and trappings of planning and holding financially successful events.
An organization need not hold an event to successfully raise money, but this book will explain how to use an event as the centerpiece of an annual repertoire of fundraising that will produce high net revenue. Volunteers and staff of nonprofit organizations can deliver spectacular results for a worthy cause in good economic times, and generous results in times of economic downturn, by hosting a well-organized, well-run event……….
Excerpted from the book, Money for the Cause: A Complete Guide to Event Fundraising by Rudolph Rosen. Texas A&M University Press.
(c) Rudolph A. Rosen, 2012