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Mission is on the menu: Want to increase giving? Consider Table Ambassadors!
Want to increase giving? Consider Table Ambassadors!

Five lessons from an apple picker
Eight years ago my husband planted a Honeycrisp apple tree in our front yard. And being Minnesotans we are very biased that all Honeycrisp apples—if not the ones from our very own front tree— are the best on the planet. Of course, we place a premium on the fruit that the tree produces because there is some amount of work in getting to the point of harvest. Between the watering, the tiny amount of spraying, and the occasional pruning of the branches, there is something very satisfying about getting to the place where we can pick our prized apples.

Nonprofit Donors – It’s Scary Out There!
I participated in a Halloween costume party last night for the Humane Society Pet Rescue and Adoption Center. Everyone went overboard with their costumes and everyone had a fun time. I dressed as “Death” and wore a black robe with my face totally covered with a non-transparent mask.

Should we say goodbye to our Silent Auction?
Considering dropping your Silent Auction? Read here first!

What Comes First, the Chicken or the Egg?
While I’m not going to debate chickens, I am going to help you explore your fundraising gala. During my consulting over the past seven years with non-profits, there has been a lot of discussion regarding when the live auction should be conducted during the evening. Many groups want to “set the tone” with keynote speeches, awards and videos, all in tune with the mission. While these things do set the tone and ensures the guests know the non-profit’s mission, I would like to offer a more profitable suggestion.

First Impressions
First impressions matter! How often did you hear that growing up? “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” I was always told. Your event is no different.

Are Boring Speeches Sucking the Fun(dRaising) From Your Event?
Thinking about your personal attendance at a fundraising event, why are you there? Is it to have fun, see friends, and eat a nice meal? Hopefully you also attend to support the non-profit. More than likely, the guests at your event also have this same “agenda”.

5 Cost Effective Tips for Event Promotion
It is better to have 200 informed, engaged and committed attendees at an event who are ready to spend money, than 400 people who are learning about your organization for the first time. Informed. Engaged. Committed. You get your guests to that place with a communications plan that interacts with them throughout the entire year. Once you have an informed and engaged audience, you can implement the following five cost-effective tips for event promotion:

Show Me the Money! Getting Guests Excited About Your Top-End Auction Items
You’ve prepared everything for your gala/auction event including invitations, item procurement, forms and the venue. You’re all set for the big night, right? Not necessarily. What have you done to inform your guests of the big ticket items that will be offered during your event?

Ch-ch-ch-changes
Changes can be exhilarating, exhausting, frightening—and life-boosting. Some are long in coming; others can happen in the blink of an eye without warning. How you handle a transition may depend on your circumstances, your demeanor, or both.

Today is National Auctioneers Day
Auctioneers have their own day? Oh yes!

In short, digital contributions are at the least a significant contributor to the immediate future of fundraising.

Silent Auction Item Displays
Gussy up those silent auction item displays!

Every fundraiser has too much to do, too few people to accomplish it all, and too many great ideas that are languishing because of a lack of time to bring them to reality.

James Dean and the Oreo Smile
Between galas, a-thons, breakfasts, luncheons, special giving days, and donor recognition, many development pros and volunteers flame out if they don't take steps to stay engaged with their own mission. If you feel your fundraising batteries are running low, consider volunteering for the program you raise money for. I did and this experience got me fired up to get back to it.

Pet-Friendly Packages Can Make You Money
Imagine the mental message you will send when instead of a property being listed as “No Pets,” that restriction is lifted and shifted to “Pet-Friendly.”

That Whooshing Sound is Your Deadline Flying By!
How many times have you come to crunch time on your event? We suggest you start the planning of your auction event 10 months out.

Benefit Auction Institute Launches in Two Cities, Aims to Re-Imagine Benefit...
Benefit Auction Institute announces its launch, aiming to re-imagine the way nonprofits raise benefit auction funds.

From generational transfer of family wealth, to Generation X's ascension to leadership, the Chronicle of Philanthropy has identified key trends to watch for in 2015.

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