5 Podcasts for Charity Fundraising Advice

audio-blur-broadcasting-635005.jpg
 

As a nonprofit professional (or professional volunteer), hosting a charity fundraiser is a lot of work. It requires organizing, marketing, event planning, sales, people management, and so much more. As fundraisers, we are always looking for improved methods for making our events more cost-effective and profitable. Here are 5 podcasts to help make the efforts of a nonprofit event planner a little easier, or more effective. These podcasts are in no particular order and range from 30 minutes to over an hour in length per episode. It can be great to fit in these helpful tips during a lunch break, long drive, or even during a daily workout routine.

1. The Classy Podcast

This weekly podcast has stories from leading founders and executives in the social sector who hope to inspire the next generation seeking to drive change. 

2. Events with Benefits

Hosted by three longtime event fundraising professionals with 50+ years of combined experience, this podcast seeks to help nonprofits achieve greater success in their fundraising events with less effort. The episodes feature special guests from all different sectors of the nonprofit industry who share their biggest lessons learned, including nonprofit attorneys, directors of events that raise over $1 million or more, benefit auctioneers, and technology companies.

3. CauseTalk Radio: The Cause Marketing Podcast

This weekly podcast, hosted by Joe Waters and Megan Strand, keeps you up to date on the world of cause marketing.  The podcast covers trends, tactics and news related to cause marketing and corporate-nonprofit partnerships.

4. Driving Participation Podcast

This podcast talks with marketers, fundraisers and consultants in order to explore what’s been successful for schools, nonprofits, and associations, in order to attract the right people, maintain their excitement, and encourage them to give back.  

5. Raise and Engage

This podcast if for nonprofit professionals and covers the latest trends and hot topics.  With people speaking from the social good community, it’s designed to help listeners in doing more for their cause.  

Questions To Ask When Holding an In-Store Fundraiser

beer-bread-delicious-5249.jpg
 

In-store fundraisers can be a lot of fun and excitement for both the venue and the organization inviting supporters. Before doing one for the first time with a new venue or organization, it's a good idea to get these details clarified in order to set expectations for both sides.

 

1. What percentage of sales will be donated to the charity?  

It is quite common for a store or restaurant to donate around 15%-20% of sales. However, percentages can vary, and there could be exclusions, such as alcohol, gift cards, or specific product lines.  Make sure to confirm the hours of the event, whether donations will apply to sales all day or only during certain hours, and if there is a minimum number of guests or total amount of sales required.

2.  Can the event be held over the weekend?

It is very common for a restaurant to hold giveback fundraisers between Sunday-Thursday, so as to avoid their busiest times during weekends. Stores may have similar policies depending on their sales and other special events as well. Consider exploring other creative options, such as a late brunch or early lunch for a restaurant not normally open in the morning, or even fundraisers focusing on online or gift card sales for up to a month or more. 

3.  Will the percentage donated include all sales, or only those from guests referred by the organization?

Be sure to clarify whether the percentage of sales to be donated will be limited to only those who bring in a specific flyer or mention the recipient organization, or all sales during the time period. 

4. Does the percentage of sales include both food and drink items?  Does this include alcoholic drinks as well?

Depending on the restaurant, venues may only donate a percentage of food sold, some include both food and non-alcoholic drink sales, while others will donate a percentage of everything sold. Partnering to create a signature drink or dessert for the event can also drive additional sales.

5.  How will the business help market the event? And what type of promotions can the organization do?

What marketing materials will the restaurant provide to the organization? It’s important to think ahead about methods like social media, flyers, e-mail newsletters, message boards, and online calendars which can be used to advertise the event. It is common for a restaurant to provide the charity with a flyer to be used for tracking sales and promotion.  However, many businesses will not allow the charity to distribute the flyer immediately outside the venue during the time of the event, so it's necessary to plan ahead to develop successful methods for marketing the event in advance. If the fundraiser is at a store or boutique, find out if shoppers can arrive early and put items on hold to purchase during the event. Ask if purchases can be made through an online store, which would invite sales from out-of-towners.

7.  How can the event be personalized?  

One of the best ways to increase event attendance and traffic is to feature something very unique, such as teachers cooking or serving food; an officer, director, or the school band performing; a special discount; or a raffle for a coveted prize or experience, donated by the venue or created by the charity. If there are any limitations based on insurance or capacity, be sure to figure those out ahead of time, too!

6.  How will the organization receive the donation?  

After all sales are tallied, how will the organization be receiving the donation? It’s common for a restaurant to prepare a check for pickup within a few weeks from the date of the event, mail it, or even electronically deposit the funds into the organization's account. Some states have deadlines for how quickly funds must be transferred, so it's always a good idea to refer to your state's Attorney General's office for help.

**********

Great partnerships begin with a clear understanding of what each partner brings and what to expect. We hope these ideas enable you to ask the right questions, clarify details, get creative, drive more sales, and raise more money!

Why Both Charities & Companies Can Benefit From Product Donations

Meeting_Agreement.jpg

After months of planning for an upcoming charity event, now comes the time where you have to reach out to multiple businesses and ask for product donations or auction items for the event.  As a resourceful problem solver, avoid becoming timid or hesitant when you make the request, feeling like you’re asking the business for a handout. Instead, it’s important to realize that a product donation actually does benefit the business!

Having an item showcased at an event is an excellent marketing opportunity for businesses, allowing both you and the company to share in a win-win situation.  Understanding that both the nonprofit and the business can win is the key to receiving a successful amount of product donations. Below are some additional tips that can help to prepare as you approach a business asking for product donations or auction items.  

 

Do Research Upfront

Try to first learn what your attendees would prefer to purchase and then find businesses offering those items.  This ensures a better fit for both the attendees and the donor. Also, make sure you understand the demographics (age, gender, location, etc.) of the people attending your event.  Then when speaking to the businesses, you’ll be able to confirm that the event attendees are their ideal target audience.

 

Promote Social Good

With the topic of social good on the horizon, many companies are beginning to realize that supporting a cause can provide the business with successful ROI.  A study by Cone Communications found that 87% of Americans will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about.  A business is not only receiving the opportunity to support an important cause, but is also being offered the chance to promote their product or company to hundreds of people at the event, with very little effort needed on their part.

 

Prepare a List of Benefits

Before speaking to the business, be prepared by compiling a list of benefits you’re able to provide to the organization.  For example, the company will benefit by having a room full a attendee at the event that are their ideal target market, while being able to benefit from a low cost method of marketing.  They will also benefit by being one product among a limited amount of featured items or businesses at the event. This will help the brand in standing out as a featured product. Don’t forget to offer the opportunity to help promote the brand through social media or provide the company with a social media image or video post-event.  Companies would also appreciate receiving links to their site from the event website. Feel free to ask what the company values that you can deliver. It often doesn’t cost more to deliver an additional benefit to the company and it could compel them to increase their donation.

 

If you can follow these steps when approaching a business regarding product donations, then you should be able to achieve a more successful outcome with a win-win for both your nonprofit and donor businesses.

 

GiveBack Fundraiser FAQ

In-Store Fundraiser FAQ - Blog Header.png
 

For those not familiar with in-store fundraisers, here are some basics on understanding these events, including frequently asked questions, examples, and the benefits of hosting an event.  These in-store events can be great fundraisers for charities, as well as opportunities for companies to elevate their social good and brand visibility. Read on to learn more about in-store fundraising and how you can easily find partners to host a fundraiser event!

 

What is an In-Store Fundraiser?

An in-store fundraiser is an event held on a specified day and time, where a percentage of the sales earned during that event are donated to a school or charity holding the event.  These events may also be referred to as restaurant night fundraisers, in-restaurant fundraisers, spirit nights, or in-store fundraisers. Examples of these include Panera Bread’s Fundraising Nights, Chipotle’s Eat For Change, and Fundraising With Dream Dinners, which donate a set amount per participant.

In addition to restaurants, stores and boutiques can also host such events both in-store or online.  For example, Madewell celebrated Earth Day 2018 with a Madewell Mother Earth Tee to benefit Surfrider Foundation, and Picaboo promoted Cards For Causes and Picaboo Give-Back Campaigns.  CoinUp and Fundraisable are examples of mobile apps where everyday purchases or actions can earn donations for participating causes.

 

How Do In-Store Fundraisers Work?

A charity or school can reach out to a business directly to ask if they are willing to hold an event for their organization. This can happen in person, by email, through forms on websites, or through the new GiveBack Program on DonationMatch.com.

We recommend being prepared with some possible dates, an estimated number of attendees, and how you plan to promote the event.  Keep in mind that if it is a franchise, you will most likely need to reach out to the local store manager to see if their specific location is open to hosting an event.  The manager will then further coordinate event details with your organization, such as the date, time, location, marketing methods, and percent of sales being donated.

Based upon agreed upon terms, the store typically donates a percentage of sales from the customers that the nonprofit organization brings into the business on that specific night or time period.  Stores usually donate anywhere from 10%-50% of sales from referred guests, most commonly around 15%-20%. Restaurant events are usually hosted on weeknights, to avoid extremely busy times during the weekends.  

Don’t forget to ask if the percent of sales received is limited to your specific group, or if you will receive a percentage of sales from all guests during your timeframe.  At in-person events, sometimes leaders from the organization are even invited to act as servers or hosts for the night and work behind the counter, greet guests, or hold raffles with guests who make a minimum purchase.  

 

Why Host an In-Store Fundraiser?

Hosting an in-store fundraiser is usually a win-win for both the charity organization and business.  The charity can potentially raise a significant amount of funds for their cause while also enjoying a social event managed mostly by the business. Businesses benefit from hosting in-store fundraisers as well, as these are a low-cost way to give back to the local community while also providing a method for the business to increase their sales and visibility. In the long run, it can be an effective way to gain new customers, repeat customers, and loyal fans.    

 

How Can I Ensure My Event is a Success?

Marketing is key to ensuring any event is a success. The charity must be provided with easy tools (flyers, email content, examples of social media posts) to make sure they can sufficiently advertise the event to their supporters and encourage them to attend.  Since the goal is more sales, everyone should be reminded to invite family members and friends to attend the event as well. Social media can work really well as a means of advertising the event, so make sure you have an engaged community that is paying attention before you start. This can apply to both the charity as well as the business, who may choose to promote these events to their own followers.

Peoples’ tastes aren’t the same, so charities shouldn’t feel limited to partnering with only one company. Hosting fundraisers with a variety of stores, restaurants, and fundraising platforms will enable you to engage more supporters. If you do, make sure you aren’t overwhelming your supporters, though. Although a business benefits from hosting as many events as they can handle, charities who hold more than one event per month may risk it becoming confusing or difficult to properly market, manage, and publicize each one to generate worthwhile sales.

DonationMatch Launches GiveBack Program for In-Store Fundraising

Just Launched!.png
 

The team here at DonationMatch is thrilled to announce that we recently launched a new online platform, The DonationMatch GiveBack Program!  This new product connects restaurants and stores with nonprofit organizations to host in-store fundraisers. The GiveBack Program will be offered as a feature on our main platform, DonationMatch.com.  

The GiveBack program was created to help any restaurant, brewery, winery, store, service, or online company looking to donate a percentage of sales to nonprofits and causes.  The platform makes companies available to causes that are seeking fundraising options, providing easier scheduling and marketing for the businesses.  

Restaurant fundraisers are popular events for charities and schools, because a percentage of the sales earned during that night are donated to a nonprofit hosting the event.  Fundraisers have also been shown to be a great marketing tactic for businesses, by providing another method for gaining new clients and sales, while giving back to the local community.

The DonationMatch GiveBack tool contains many exciting features to assist with organizing an in-restaurant fundraiser.  Some of the program features include:

  • Giving local fundraising leaders direct access to eligible programs

  • Easy event scheduling

  • Online marketing tools

  • Event tracking and reporting

  • Customizable automated reminders and workflow tools

  • Detailed records of event fundraising history

  • Ability for companies to view event fundraising records for donation decisions

Through the easy-to-use platform, restaurants can receive fundraiser requests, be able to provide event promotional tools to charities, and view analytics post-event.

“We are very excited to launch our latest product, the DonationMatch GiveBack Program, said Renee Zau, CEO at DonationMatch.  “Current DonationMatch clients had expressed a need for a tool that efficiently manages and streamlines the process of hosting restaurant fundraisers.”  Companies who contributed to the design and creation of the GiveBack program include: Buffalo Wild Wings, Dream Dinners, Picaboo, and Henebery Whiskey.

Zau is pleased to launch the GiveBack Program to provide even more functionality to the DonationMatch platform.  Companies interested in trying out the new platform can sign up online through DonationMatch.com and may begin using the Starter option free of charge.

 

About DonationMatch: DonationMatch is a social enterprise that creates online cause marketing software for companies and nonprofit organizations. Since 2010, DonationMatch has facilitated in-kind gifts worth more than $34 million. Co-founded and led by CEO Renee Zau, DonationMatch was recently named to the SheEO "Top 25 Ventures" list for U.S.-based companies in 2017.

Events With Benefits® Podcast

audio-black-and-white-business.jpg
 

Experts in the fundraising arena, Renee Zau, Danny Hooper, and Ian Lauth, have pooled their nonprofit expertise to create an educational podcast called Events with Benefits®. Covering topics related to nonprofits and fundraising, the podcast steps inside the world of event fundraising, seeking to provide insights to event planners, nonprofit staff, and volunteers. The episodes are designed to assist nonprofit organizations in achieving success with fundraising events and raising money.

The Events with Benefits podcast episodes are each 30 to 40 minutes in length, allowing listeners to gain quick access to new ideas for future events. Episodes feature special guests from many backgrounds within the nonprofit industry, who share their personal experiences and lessons learned. Listeners can subscribe, stream or download the podcast episodes, which are available on iTunes and at EventswithBenefits.com

 
 

One of the most popular episodes is #6: Thinking Big with Noah McMahon, Founder and CEO of Anonymous.  McMahon, who specializes in holding multi-million dollar events, explains his 3 building blocks for having a lasting relationship with donors and event sponsors, in order to multiply the impact of funds raised.  He also shares many extremely helpful event planning tips.  

Meet the Podcast Hosts:

  • Renee Zau, CEO & Co-founder of DonationMatch.com, has personally worked on over 50 charity events and mentored over 100 business owners.  She personally has experienced and understands the frustrations and challenges that people face during the in-kind donation process.    

  • Benefit auctioneer Danny Hooper has had an award-winning career through thousands of on-stage performances and the creation of Danny Hooper Productions.  He has also had experience as a recording artist, motivational speaker, comic emcee, and celebrity benefits auctioneer.

  • Ian Lauth, VP of Marketing at Winspire, works for a company that provides unique experiences for charity auctions or fundraisers, allowing users to place exclusive travel packages into their charity auctions.  

The Engagement Issue: Rallying Your Employees to Donate

advice-advise-advisor-7097.jpg

 

Guest Post By Tiffany Rowe

Consumers love to hear about companies with philanthropic sides, but the headline “Acme Corp. Gives $250k to Charity” rarely turns heads (or encourages clicks) in the new world of social media. Instead, businesses gain more visibility for their deeds when their entire workforce is engaged in doing good. Unfortunately, motivating workers to participate in donation drives or volunteering is easier said than done.

Employee contributions are incredibly beneficial ― not only do they add to a company’s donations but they have been shown to boost productivity and profits through brand image. Here are some strategies to help any business engage its employees in philanthropic efforts.

Make It Understandable

A significant barrier that prevents many charitable organizations from receiving the donations they deserve is a lack of information. If a potential donor doesn’t understand an organization’s aims, it’s unlikely he or she will cough up any cash. The same is true within your company: If your employees don’t fully comprehend the good they can do by donating or volunteering, they probably won’t waste their money or time.

Therefore, it behooves you to educate your workforce on your philanthropic goals. You can contact the organizations you support and request resources, like brochures, to help explain their causes and practices. Alternatively, you can schedule meetings between your teams and representatives of charities, during which your employees can become educated about donation and volunteering opportunities (and perhaps score some sweet swag).

Social media is an incredibly useful tool when it comes to encouraging charitable activity. You can promote workplace donation by urging your employees to visit the social pages of the organizations you support. There, they can learn more about recent activities hosted by the charities as well as upcoming events that might be of interest. UNICEF and the World Wildlife Fund have particularly effective social sites, though you might want to support an organization closer to home. As long as your employees understand the goals of your company and your charitable partners, you will find it easier to generate employee good will.

Make It Easy

Even when employees fully grasp the implications of their potential good works, many will not participate because it demands too much effort. For example, food and toy drives require employees to spend time shopping for specific items and bringing those items to work ― or worse, to another location where the charities make collections. Fewer employees will bother engaging with charitable goals when it requires additional time and effort.

Instead, you must make it as easy as possible for your employees to contribute. Online donation opportunities are perhaps the best option because they allow your employees to add money in any amount at any time from any place; therefore, they don’t feel any social stigma for contributing too little, and they can add more whenever they catch the benevolent bug. You might also institute payroll deductions, which automatically takes a donation from your employees’ paychecks every payday, so they can participate in doing good without thinking about it.

If you want your employees to make donations of items as well as cash, you should be flexible regarding the type of gifts you’ll accept. Boat Angel is an excellent corporate partner as it accepts vehicles and vessels in nearly any condition and supports a wide range of charities that your employees can feel good about. You shouldn’t be restrictive of the contributions your employees make if you want them to feel engaged in your good works.

Make It Too Good to Miss

Any remaining employees who refuse to engage with your corporate giving attempts might object with the phrase, “What good does it do me?” Fortunately, you can win these holdouts over by incentivizing employee donations and volunteering in a number of ways to ensure that the activity truly does benefit everyone involved.

Plenty of charities offer gifts and rewards for donations, and you can do the same for your employees. For example, contributions of a certain size might earn workers gift certificates; you might even encourage teamwork by holding a catered lunch once donations reach a particular amount. Likely, such opportunities will ignite your employees’ sense of competition, which could earn you the donations you crave.

For the most part, people enjoy doing good. However, in a corporate setting, you must make it obvious and easy to do the right thing. Once your employees become engaged with your philanthropic goals, you won’t have to try so hard to earn donations; they will come to you ― as will the extra productivity and publicity associated with them.

About the Author: Tiffany Rowe is a marketing administrator who assists in contributing resourceful content throughout the World Wide Web. Tiffany prides herself in her strong ability to provide high quality content that readers will find valuable. She enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. Favorite quote: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

The New & Improved DonationMatch is Here!

apple-business-computer-39284.jpg

 

By Renee Zau, CEO of DonationMatch

After a year of gathering feedback from current members, supporters, UX experts, mentors, partners, and more members, we are excited to announce that the new and improved DonationMatch platform is here! We hope you're having a great start to 2016, and this makes it better.

There were quite a few ideas which were weren't able to squeeze in (Rick and Tim especially, thanks for your invaluable input), so keep an eye out for even more bonuses to be released over the next year.

For now, here are some highlights of what's new:

 

A New Look

Our new design hails from switching our CMS (content management system), which meant selecting a new template, framework, and our ever-hardworking CTO Darryl rewriting the entire site from scratch.

DonationMatch_New_Menu.png

Menus are now on the left of the dashboard. These should look familiar (companies will see "Find Events" and "My Items" in lieu of Find Donations and My Events, respectively); general workflows are the same.

The dashboard remains your starting point, with messages and other to-do's now organized into highlighted sections, and with activity stats (and *new* organization totals, too) below.

No More Usernames

Log in with just your email address and password--easy peasy! All profiles using with the same email address will be accessible with the same login information. This means you can...

Switch Between Profiles Easily

Once logged in, you'll see the dashboard of the last "organization" (nonprofit or company) you managed. If you represent more than one organization, switching between them takes just a click in the upper right corner (name/arrow) and selecting the profile you want to manage next.

Adding organizations to represent = no extra logins! (Verification process still applies.)

See All Unread Messages In One Place

Inbox too full? There's now an easier way to handle private messages. In addition to message previews on your dashboard, you can also click "See New Messages" in your To-Do area to see matches with unread messages on one easy, sortable list. Also new is that each is timestamped with date/time sent.

 
 New showcase pages

New showcase pages

 

Show Off Your Good Work

Every organization now gets a showcase page to publicly share with others. It includes links to your website, social media accounts, and the most popular information from your profile. Use this promotional page to boost awareness about your charitable activity--it's even one-click shareable!

How do you find your showcase page URL? Click on "My Profile" to see your page. Copy the "https://..." link address from the navigation bar and share it--and your praiseworthy work --with others!

(For Nonprofits) Add Referral Codes Provided by Companies

Given a DonationMatch referral code by a charitable company? You can now add codes yourself through "My Account" to ensure you reap the benefits of being their direct referral.

What's on YOUR wish list for a web-based donation system? Tell us in the comments below, and come to www.donationmatch.com (or register if you're new) to see how these our platform's new features can knock even more time off the event planning process!

Where to Start Your Opening Bids in an Auction

auction DLHfoundation2016.jpg
 

By Renee Zau, CEO of DonationMatch

Every year, Benefit Auctioneer Sherry Truhlar is asked by a few auction chairs, “Sherry, let’s review the opening bids on these live auction items.  Where shall we start them?”

In this video and the post that follows it, she addresses why you shouldn’t care about opening bids. The science behind it is just as important for increasing your results from your silent auctions, too.

[Thanks for being so generous about sharing your insider knowledge, Sherry!]

-----------------------------------------

Benefit auctioneer Sherry Truhlar publishes "Benefit Auction Ideas," a bi-monthly e-zine for auction chairs seeking to improve the financial results of their charity auctions. Get your own copy - and a complementary procurement gift - at www.RedAppleAuctions.com.