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Building Organizational Capacity: The Signature Event AFP Annual Conference-Rhode Island Chapter April 27, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Building Organizational Capacity: The Signature Event AFP Annual Conference-Rhode Island Chapter April 27, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building Organizational Capacity: The Signature Event AFP Annual Conference-Rhode Island Chapter April 27, 2012

2 “The Situation Room” : What’s at Stake? Your organization is seeking to expand its capacity to raise funds from private sources. You believe there are untapped opportunities to expand your reach and strengthen your organization. Developing a creative and diverse plan for private fundraising, including a signature event, will create an opportunity to broaden your base of support. Your board’s fundraising efforts are good, but need to be strengthened. Outreach to an expanded list of individuals and institutions, that may include a new profile of leaders, will be necessary to move fundraising forward.

3 Signature Events are a Strategic Tool to Build Fundraising Capacity Maximize efforts in all areas of fundraising. Create momentum and a sense of urgency. Raise awareness, financial resources and friends

4 A Reason to Communicate: Unlock Ongoing Success with a Special Event Identifying New Constituencies, Friends, Philanthropists Volunteer Leadership and Board development Case for Support Public Relations and Visibility Annual Fund/Annual Giving Program Major Gift Fundraising Corporation and Foundation Grants

5 Playing in the Sandbox: Identifying and Making New Friends Identify and secure co-chairs and a host committee with two primary responsibilities: securing event sponsors and donors and making a gift in support of the event. It’s all about the lists! Establish sponsorship levels that reflect the full range of donor capacity, both institutional and individual. Rate, screen and segment lists & assign appropriate “ask” levels and committee members to solicit prospective donors in each giving category.

6 Playing in the Sandbox Part 2: Growing Volunteer Leadership Recruit influential and high profile volunteers to an organization as event chairs, committee members who are also asked to become event sponsors. A special event helps to clarify the roles and responsibilities of an organization’s primary volunteer leadership – its board of directors. Event volunteers can be groomed for potential board seats, and other volunteer leadership, helping to move governance to its next level.

7 Stay True To You: Build A Case For Support that Aligns with Your Mission The special event itself provides a unique opportunity to showcase your mission, accomplishments and vision for the future. Incorporate elements of your organizational program in the event program. Create a theme that ties to your mission Save the Date, Invitations and Program Booklets provide opportunity to articulate the case for support Program Booklets can be designed as “annual reports” and used throughout the year & they allow you to recognize your donors through ads and lists

8 Getting the Word Out: Public Relations and Visibility Identify an awardee whose work ties to your mission and who can bring cache, interest and financial support; Ask awardee for list of invitees. Save the Date & Invitations Use of Media: Traditional and Social Kick-off events: Utilizing existing program plans to create a buzz”

9 The Event Process Create a Budget and Fundraising Goal. Work to net at least $100K Develop a Gift Pyramid Determine Date and Secure Appropriate Venue (Weeknights seem to work) Develop Timeline for Key Aspects of event planning and production: securing awardees, co-chairs, host committee, honorary co-chairs, and soliciting sponsors

10 The Event Process cont’d Secure 95% of income from sponsorships. (Remember: corporate budgets are set before the end of the calendar year) Invite all constituents in your “sphere of influence” Solicit in-kind donations for flowers, entertainment, advertising, and printing Offer a short program that maximizes opportunity for socializing and sharing of organizational values, vision and mission.

11 Now What?: Annual Giving A key element in event planning is to develop a comprehensive and responsive invitation list. This process forces an organization to review and refine existing databases, collect additional names from sources such as the board, host committee members and other sources. The process of mailing “save the date” cards and invitations helps to “clean” lists and leads to the refinement of the organizational database for future mailings and solicitations. Event ticket buyers should be added to the annual appeal process.

12 Now What?: Major Gifts Prospects who are rated as having major gift potential can be researched to confirm future giving potential and natural points on interest. The special event planning process naturally divides the audience into categories that correspond with opportunities for involvement and levels of giving. It is important to recognize and develop individualized strategies and tactics to reach the segmented audience during and post event.

13 Now What?: Corporation and Foundation Grants Special events create the opportunity for donor recognition and cultivation via the program booklet, podium acknowledgement, signage, etc. Programs funded by foundations or corporations can be highlighted and promoted. Efforts during and after a special event can focus on the partnership between the organization and its funders, creating opportunities for communication, cultivation and relationship building.

14 The Signature Event: What will it take to succeed? Staffing and infrastructure A clearly articulated vision and event goal, both programmatic and financial Volunteers who are committed to your success A sense of humor!

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