Spent most of this week playing. Returned from a great vacation. Spent two full days with my boys which included weed flower bouquets, walking along hidden river, and donning bathing suits and rainboots to splash in mud puddles. (Awww)
I also got together with Lara Dickson from Deep Dish Creative, and Mike Hayes from Magic Hat to plan Burlington Social Media day. That was sort of work-play. Speaking of work play, clear your calendar for Wednesday June 30th if you are anywhere near Burlington, VT.
After years of subtle judgment over my husband’s daily comic subscription I have recently joined in. I guess it was google reader that wore me down. Clicking to subscribe became part of my work life. I love reading about email marketing, online auctions, donation solicitations and other 501c3 nitty gritty stuff for hours a day, yet sometimes I just need another perspective. Preferably one that doesn’t include images of fish drowning in oil.
So I signed on to laugh at my email once a day with Gaping void.
This image is used without permission but with much admiration from Gaping Void. See the double link…maybe Hugh won’t ask me to take it down.
What does this have to do with winwin? That other fish. The one who is not google. That’s us. It is such a challenge to explain my startup without referencing other companies. I try to describe our reach and impact, events that we have run, etc. Nothing seems to light the fire of understanding more than citing names that people know. So winwin? We are event brite meets mail chimp meets ebay with a wordpress web site on top. But is that really more descriptive? I guess so. It seems to be the way folks introduce one another in this web based softworld. Whatever meets whatever, the new google. How postmodern.
1. Have a reconciliation meeting before the event.
Know who will be doing the reconciliation, collect all expense receipts and enter into database, and have a plan for when and how you will be counting all that cash you rake in.
2.Have those sponsor and key volunteer thank you notes prewritten.
Leave room for final details, but they can be addressed, clustered with thank you gifts and waiting in cue. Consider giving your board gifts before the event, this acts as a motivation and a time saver. 3. Have a set of volunteers that you keep fresh for breakdown and wrap up.
Bring in a clean up crew to arrive for the last 1/2 hour of the event, and keep a few volunteers to make those inevitable runs to return supplies and drop off sponsor thank yous.
bonus. Select next year’s date and location before this year’s event.
You can advertise it in posters at the event, your attendee receipt, and any follow up thanks you’s. It keeps the momentum rolling, and requires significantly less energy than a full stop and full start.
Corporate sponsorship… Not even an image for this one, I have to keep it super dry and business-like. I don’t think that event organizers take this seriously enough. Remember: your event should be paid for before a single ticket is sold. Use your fixed expenses to determine your minimum sponsorship goal. If the goal seems daunting either slash your expenses or take a cold, hard look at your event. Friendraisers are great, but not if they cost tons of staff time, and you don’t have clear goals for follow up. But that is another post. Here is the reality of what it takes to make corporate sponsorship a winwin.
14 months before event.
Seek media sponsorships and ask for numbers of impressions/dollar values for ad space provided, if you can solicit high enough media value companies can sponsor your event from their marketing rather than foundation budget.
Clarify your event mission and demographics and establish sponsor targets ranked by historical connection, alignment of their offerings with your mission and demographics, and personal connections within your organization.
12 months before event
Set sponsor levels, with a tangible list of sponsor benefits. Obvious benefits include logos on promotional materials, make sure to include print run numbers, your audience demographics, and growth rate if this is a multi-year event.
Establish and list how many sponsors at each level you will have, and whether the levels are cash, in-kind or trade
Promote the higher levels with additional presence at your event, and brainstorm that might look and feel like. A demo station for a new product, supplying guests with branded totes, providing logo hospitality baskets for the restrooms, supplying samples or coupons for goody bags. Allow them to cut your costs with etched wine glasses as give aways, or having balloons and facepainting at a family event.
Assign a board member or volunteer to each sponsor prospect, set up pitch meetings, and bring your ED, founder, or board chair to all of the highest level asks.
11-8 months before the event
Write and execute sponsor contracts. These can be online or on paper, but having both sides agree to terms is worth the effort.
Begin board and volunteer sponsor education…each event volunteer should be able to name all top level sponsors and their business mission statement. Board members should be using sponsor services and businesses. This is all in the name of a winwin. If you can’t show enthusiasm for their offerings, consider that they are not a good fit for your organization.
8-2 months before the event
Ongoing communication with sponsors about event development.
Share any of your organizations programming triumphs/ challenges overcome outside of your event.
Promote any intitiatives your sponsors may be engaging in to your twitter/fb/email lists.
Solicit sponsor thank you gifts as you do your asks for auction items, and in kind sponsorships this year.
Remind board members and volunteers to make themselves known when they are taking their business to sponsor’s stores, etc.
2 months before the event
Visit or call each mid and top level sponsor to ask how things are going, answer any questions, re-visit any event exposure allowable at their level. Share any press and PR initiatives to date, and coordinate these last pitches with their PR and marketing teams.
Collect materials from sponsors for give aways, promotion, tables (banners, posters, candy, mugs, etc)
Begin sponsor thank you notes, and gift assembly. Assign follow up of lower level sponsors to board members and hospitality volunteers.
Ensure you have print quality logos. What looks good online may not on a sign.
Week Before the Event
Confirm guest list with sponsors.
Thank you signage and recognition materials double checked against list for full inclusion, correct levels, and spelling.
Day before the event:
Invite key sponsors set up their own displays or walk through and inspect your set up. Last minute surprises about placement can sour a positive relationship.
At the event:
Note on your check in which tickets were sponsor comps (winwinapps automatically does this for you), give them some sort of sticker, pin, or badge that marks them as sponsors, ask all volunteers to thank your sponsors (we don’t do that part).
Let your photographer know who your key sponsors are so you are sure to get excellent images of them to include in thank yous.
Add a note on your sponsor thank you signage for attendees to thank anyone seen with a gold clothes pin (for example)
Invite potential future sponsors to this year’s event. Assign a hospitality crew to current and prospect sponsors.
Day after event:
Sponsor thank you email with figures and highlights and images from the event.
Week after the event:
Follow up visits to top tier sponsors with notes, gifts and ideally sticker, plaque or other visual commemoration. This keeps your event top of mind and helps with marketing. Consider something functional, like a corkboard.
Then this whole thing loops in a never ending cycle. After years of this I will tell you that close attention to these details (particularly the early ones, where you select a target list based on common interests and demographics) will have sponsors vying for a chance to be associated with your event. And I probably don’t have to tell you that that is a winwin.
Sigma Nu is a fraternity that was founded by three cadets at the Virginia Military Institute in 1868, during the Reconstruction period after The Civil War.
A fraternity founded in opposition to the practice of “hazing,” the organization promotes a code of Love, Honor and Truth.
Over the past 135 years, Sigma Nu has grown into one of the largest fraternal organizations in the world. Over 200,000 men have been initiated into Sigma Nu from over 250 chapters all over the United States and Canada.
Sigma Nu offers its members housing assistance and academic scholarships, and its LEAD Program (Leadership, Ethics, Achievement, Development) has been praised for helping young men become ethical leaders who make a positive impact on their chapter, campus and community.
Currently Sigma Nu is in the process of raising $14M through a major capital campaign. This will go toward preserving their historic headquarters, creating grants and loans for member students, continuing the LEAD program, and endowments for charitable organizations.
Sigma Nu is using a winwin webstack to raise awareness of the campaign, manage its fundraising auction, and invite brothers to the auction and celebration this summer in Boston.
KidSafe Collaborative is a nonprofit serving Chittenden County, Vermont. The organization works to improve response to and prevent child abuse and neglect, providing direct support to families and advocating through partnerships with local organizations. On June 20th, they will host their 6th annual fundraising bike ride in the islands of Lake Champlain.
The idea: To improve child safety and well-being by aggregating multiple solutions together in an integrated way.
KidSafe works on two levels: on a family level, the organization coordinates “Child Protection Teams” that directly address the needs of over 350 children and families in Chittenden County.
To ensure the safety of children, KidSafe recognizes they also need the coordinated support of other agencies. This is why they partner with community organizations to improve the systems (protective, legal, medical, social) which respond to child abuse and neglect. This includes facilitating collaboration between human services agencies and the criminal justice system.
How it started: In 1969, the Community Child Protection Network was formed, a volunteer organization dedicated to improving Chittenden County’s response to child abuse and neglect. Over the years the group has changed in name and structure, but its mission has remained consistent.
Today, KidSafe leads a partnership of over 30 agencies, community groups, and individuals – all working together to improve support systems for area children and families.
How they used winwin apps: On June 20th, 2010, KidSafe will be holding its annual KidSafe Island Ride, which begins at Grand Isle State Park on beautiful Lake Champlain and raises funds for the organization’s important work. KidSafe is using their winwin webstack to manage registration and donations for the ride.
More info: To learn more about KidSafe Collaborative, visit their website at www.kidsafevt.org.
About “winwinner” Wednesday: Each week we profile one of the nonprofits using winwin apps to make the world a better place. If you’d like to be featured on our blog, drop us a line!
In August, 2009, Adam Wilson and Corie Pierce put together a proposal that was approved by the Vermont Land Trust. They were chosen to take over the 143-acre Leduc Farm in Shelburne, VT. Adam and Corie named their venture Bread & Butter Farm, producing fresh milk and meats, vegetables, and traditional breads. This month they are opening a farm store so customers can buy food at the farm and see exactly where it comes from.
The idea: To create a community farm that produces delicious, nutritious food, takes care of its animals, plants and people, and preserves a beautiful piece of land.
Who does what: Adam manages the small dairy; the cows are 100% grass-fed and the farm sells the cows’ delicious milk raw. He also runs the wood-fired oven bakery, where he bakes traditional German sourdough breads. All the flour is organic, local, and milled the day before baking.
Meanwhile, Corie heads up specialty greens production: spicy and mild Brassica-based salad mixes, spinach, lettuces, kale, chard, Asian greens and more, grown year-round in unheated greenhouse structures heated only by the sun. Additionally, Corie runs the educational programs for kids and adults at the farm.
The initiative: Adam and Corie were selected by the Vermont Land Trust as part of their Farmland Access Program. This conservation program helps diversified, experienced farmers gain access to productive, affordable farmland. Bread & Butter Farm’s varied, synergistic operations are well matched for the farm’s soils, infrastructure, and location.
A conservation easement was placed on the land as part of the program, which helps landowners and conservation groups voluntarily limit development on productive farmland and forestland. Landowners still own (and can sell) the land, but the easement remains on the property permanently.
The winwin: Adam and Corie get to do what they love. Locals not only get farm fresh food, they also get to visit the farm and see the operation firsthand. And this beautiful Vermont land gets permanent protection, ensuring the farm will always be producing fresh, delicious food.
East End Brewing Company is a microbrewery based in Pittsburgh, PA. East End makes delicious beers in a sustainable way, and supports local causes through its annual “Keg Ride” event.
The idea: To create a hometown brewery that makes delicious beers in a sustainable way. East End not only produces delicious craft brews, they do it using local ingredients, used equipment, water conservation, and smart waste management.
How it started: Scott Smith was working as a mechanical engineer for a Fortune 500 company and found that his hobby of making beer was something he had a big passion for. He started East End Brewing Company in 2004. At the time, it made sense to purchase used equipment – and from there he started exploring all sorts of ways to cut costs, do the right thing, and make beer in an environmentally responsible way. You can read more about the sustainability efforts of East End Brewing here.
The winwin: Beer drinkers of Pennsylvania get a variety of delicious, carefully crafted microbrews, and the planet gets a little love from Scott’s sustainable practices in crafting them.
How they used winwin apps: This year on May 14, East End Brewing will host their annual “Keg Ride” event, a bike ride to deliver the first batch of their summer “Pedal Pale Ale” from the brewery to a watering hole on the other side of town. Up front, volunteer cyclists pull the kegs on special trailers. Behind them, several hundred cyclists follow the bouncing kegs on a circuitous route around town. When the (secret) destination is reached, riders enjoy their first pint for free. Proceeds from the event go to support 3 local charities. East End is using winwinapps for registering cyclists and auctioning the coveted “keg pulling” slots for the ride.
Late last year, our friend Jen Mincar founded Office Squared (“02” for short), a coworking space in Burlington, VT for freelancers and telecommuters seeking a collaborative workspace.
Not only has 02 been a great space for people to work (we’ve spent most of our time at 02 during the development and lanch of winwinapps), but Jen has also hosted a number of successful business events there.
On May 4, for instance, Office Squared will be hosting an on online display advertising workshop.
Conducted by digital marketing expert Greg Stobb, this session will teach attendees how to cost-effectively target prospects on the web through proper strategy and effective measurement. Partial proceeds from the event will benefit Save Our Strays of Vermont.
Office Squared is using winwin apps to register attendees for the event (tickets are $15 and can be purchased on 02’s winwin webstack).
Also, the winwin apps team has partnered up with Lara Dickson of Deep Dish Creative to help 02 out even further on upcoming stuff, so stay tuned for more…
The author’s example is a public health campaign in West Virginia that specifically directed residents to switch their milk drinking from whole to 1% or skim. Instead of the valuable – but diffuse and difficult – goal of simply “acting healthier,” the campaign gave clear instructions.
What can this mean for non-profits? Quite a bit.
At a recent fundraising auction checkout, one of our cashiers requested “an additional donation to support the work of the beneficiary.” Her line had a smaller than 5% donation rate. Our other checkout line asked winning bidders to “round up their purchase by 2, 5, 10, or 18 dollars” (whatever brought them to the nearest $100 figure). This money would go to purchase a new pick up truck to be used by members. This second line had a 37% round up rate. For a small non-profit that was the difference between $10 dollars in the first line and $475 in the second. Neither was enough to buy a pickup, but with clear instructions the actual dollars in the bank increased by 40 times.
What about you? How specific are you with your asks? Do you tie gifts to specific programs, ask for discrete amounts at particular times, or take advantage of triggers in the environment of your supporters?
Other take home messages from Switch for fundraising:
Follow your bright spots. If a campaign, donor, or programming is exceeding your goals, try to determine why and replicate it.
Marry long term goals with short term critical moves. Your mission is critical, but showing your staff and supporters how you will get there shrinks the change, and energizes giving.
Script the moves. For an organization that fights homelessness, linking a monthly gift equal to 1% of a donor’s mortgage payments can keep your mission front of mind and the amount and timing of donation clear.
Grow your people. Increase their role and identity within your organization. Donors who support a public health campaign might become “messengers” – with their donation receipt you can arm them with support materials and task them to teach 10 friends the importance of breast self exams.
Act more like a coach and less like a scorekeeper. Everything looks like a failure in the middle. Focus on the valleys of a program as learning opportunities rather than failures. There should be no “never” – only “not yet.”
Use the score when it can help you. The herd mentality can work for you. If the majority of your board members have exceeded last year’s gift, use that fact. People tend to fall in line with their peers.