How can you raise more money at your fundraising breakfast or fundraising event?
In today’s video, Tom Mesaros gives you his recipe for inspiring audiences to give more at your event. He shares what words he used to significantly increase the donations given to a particular organization.
Tom, by the way, is the from The Alford Group. They’re a terrific group of folks who help nonprofits all over the country.
For your own free subscription to Movie Mondays, click here.
Chris Davenport says
How have you been able to raise more money at events? Please share any thoughts, comments, or stories with others. Thanks.
Melinda McBride says
Tom gives a great summary of how to structure a successful fundraising event:
1) Foster social bonds among attendees (he doesn’t go into details on this, but perhaps through shared activities or facilitation by table captains)
2) Have one speaker talk about shared values. His example was a church group, so the shared values were based on a biblical calling. Other groups would have their own shared values.
3) Invite a beneficiary of the group to talk about how the group has changed their life. If the group doesn’t provide direct services, a person who is close to the work the group does could give an inspiring talk about how the group has made a difference in the world.
4) Have a board member or other representative of the group talk about how the group exercises good stewardship over gifts to build trust in the group.
5) The person who makes the final pitch–the ask–summarizes the *best* points made by all the previous speakers and builds on what has been said before. Talk about how we are here to do the extra ordinary, about past, present, and future giving. Most important, talk about how people can give more by spreading their gift over time–monthly or quarterly payments. Bring up that people probably came with an amount in mind, but ask for more (because of all the great things they just heard about this group). Show people how they can give more with a pledge over time.
Tom says that this approach has resulted not only in increased gifts for each event, but that as people come prepared to give more, gifts have continued to increase each year.
He also talked about how it doesn’t require a big, fancy gala to raise money. His example event cost about $10/person (put on by volunteers) and raised an average of about $8125 per person. It likely required a large commitment from the volunteer committee, but that kind of result keeps volunteers motivated.
Ruth Dodson says
I am new to fundraising and this is helpful.
Volunteer – Executive Director
StandUp For Kids – Olympia
Joy Stephens says
Tom is inspiring – I really enjoyed his video.
Nicely edited Chris!!
Great advice and guidance! I also find it helps to have leaders at the tables – ie – people who can talk about what we do – either board members, ambassadors, or participants. Make a real connection.
mark yaroslawitz says
Thanx for your great line “we are not here to do the ordinary but to do the extra ordinary for this school that always does the extraordinary”. It was very well accepted.
Thank you for the Great advice!
Fred Northup says
I love some of the language here. A few thoughts that I use as a fundraising auctioneer:
1. I like to do the “ask” in large part before the speaker whose life has been changed. Assuming they are well scripted and rehearsed, then the audience should be really ready to give after their speech. Too long a pitch after the speaker and you lose the emotion – so I cap what I say after the speaker to maybe two sentences. I don’t improvise – I think it’s important that the paddle raise be well scripted and well rehearsed.
2. In those two sentences after the emotional story, I feel it’s important to look FORWARD. “You just saw how your generosity changes lives, and how YOU can break the cycle of poverty for a family in our community. We have six families hoping for a home this year. When you raise your paddle right now, you are providing that home”. – and then I start the paddle raise.
– Fred Northup, Jr.