Mission Focused Fundraising Events

We’ve been talking a lot about mission lately on the PCNRC blog. In the latest issue of Grassroots Fundraising Journal Lindsey Harris and Karla Vazquez have some great tips for planning an event that’s fun for attendees, raises money, and aligns with the mission of your organization.

  1. Focus on yeventour mission: One difficulty of fundraising is motivating your entire staff to participate. When fundraising does not seem directly related to your mission even if you know the money will be going toward that mission, staff members may have trouble being as enthusiastic about a fundraising event compared with a service-minded event. Harris and Vazquez suggest organizing a fundraising event that also includes service to the community. For example, the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) organizes an InterNASHional food crawl with local restaurants that are run or employed by immigrants and refugees. Attendees buy tickets that raise money for the TIRRC and they also get to interact with and support local communities while enjoying some delicious food. The TIRRC found it was much easier to get their staff involved with the event because it was much more entertaining and meaningful than a simple banquet for networking with donors and funders.
  2. Reach out to a different audience: Another issue with fundraising is getting stuck asking the some people or groups for donations every year. By making a fundraising event open to the community where participation is necessary and exciting people who have never heard of your organization are more likely to attend and become interested in your work. TIRRC’s food crawl helped attract college students in the area and created a new demographic to support their organization.
  3. Find in-kind donations: During the planning stages of the event create a list of all the separate expenses. Then brainstorm your organization’s connection with local businesses or individuals with specific skill sets. By contacting people to donate things like water bottles, office supplies, or ad space in a publication many of the costs of making the event happen can be covered and it is sometimes easier to have someone commit to a certain item or service instead of a writing a check for an unknown reason.
  4. Take risks: It can be hard to determine when an extra cost will pay off and add to the success of your event in a big way. The TIRRC wanted to try to meet their goal by trying a new idea when the organized the food crawl and they decided to hire a professional festival manager. This cost the TIRRC a lot of money but it increased the quality of the event and set them up to contact higher-level sponsors for the next year. The success of this decision reminded the organizers that it is important to push themselves so their event continues to grow each year and they gain momentum.


Lindsey Harris and Karla Vazquez. “Throwing a Fun, Profitable and Mission-Aligned Event”. Grassroots Fundraising Journal.

Our Programs in the New Year!

2016Happy New Year!

Many of you are probably back in the office and flipping or opening your calendar to January 2016 (well for those who still have those old-school paper calendars). Well, we wanted to share with you some of our upcoming programs so that you can use a pen to write it on your paper, yes paper, calendars. If you want to save the dates on your electronic calendars, we are good with that too.

Grant Basics 1 and 2 – January 27 9:30-11:30 & 12:30-2:30, July 20 9:30-11:30 & 12:30-2:30

Grant Basics 1 – March 1 9:30-11:30, May 11 10-12, September 1 1-3; November 4 2-4

Grant Basics 2 –  April 5 9:30-11:30, June 8 10-12, October 6 1-3

23@4 – February 23 4-5 (Speaker Jaclyn Garver about Press Releases), March 23 4-5, May 23 4-5, June 23 4-5, August 23 4-5, September 23 4-5 (topics may include Budgets, Board Meetings, Record Retention, and Donor and Financial Management Software). If you have a topic idea, feel free to leave a comment below or send us an email!

23 @ 4 Programs are resource presentations packed into one hour. These are not intended to be workshops or classes, they are intended to provide attendees with an overview of the topic with reviews of as many resources and materials possible within 60 minutes.

Social Media Marketing Seminar – April 21 11:30-1, May 19 11:30-1; July 21 11:30-1

Meet the Funders – August 2

Stay tuned for a future post for Get on Board event dates!

*Schedule subject to change.

Building A Healthier Community Grant


Lutheran FoundationBuilding A Healthier Community

Grant Deadline – March 1 at 12 noon EST

The Lutheran Foundation (TLF) staff will be conducting Building A Healthier Community (BHC) grant workshops for any organization interested in attending.  Staff will provide information regarding the application process, using the online grant portal, as well as other key components, tips and tricks.  This will also provide an opportunity to ask specific questions.

The workshops will be held at The Lutheran Foundation office located at 3024 Fairfield Avenue, Fort Wayne.


Workshop Date Workshop Time Registration Deadline

(12 noon)

Registration Link
January 7, 2016 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm January 4, 2016 Register for January 7th
January 19, 2016 9:00 am to 10:30 am January 14, 2016 Register for January 19th

.  You must register each individual attending from your congregation.  To register, choose the workshop date you plan to attend and select the appropriate Eventbrite registration link.

 If you have specific questions, contact Sue Faust by email at sue@thelutheranfoundation.org or by calling 260.458.2112, ext. 316.  For additional information, visit our website at www.thelutheranfoundation.org.

Summer Social Media Series

We are kicking off the summer Social Media series next month!  Get answers from professionals and connect with your peers.

Amber Foster, our Marketing Minute guest blogger, is hosting this brown bag lunch series for the third year. This year’s sessions are:

  • June 24th – “Successful Social Media Campaigns” by Stephen J. Bailey, Web, SEO, & Social Media Development, Detailed Web Design
  • July 15th – “Content Management” by John Felts and Jasmine Bejar
  • August 5th – “Blogging 101” by Jaclyn Garver
Stephen J. Bailey
Stephen J. Bailey

Session I: Successful Social Media Campaigns
Presenter: Stephen J. Bailey
Date: June 24, 2015
Time: 11:30 AM -1 PM
Location: Meeting Room C
 *Bring your own lunch

Stephen will be discussing the three most common avenues of social media for businesses: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This will be a basic and informal presentation with an open dialogue and discussion both during and after the presentation.

Stephen lives and works in Downtown Fort Wayne. In 2011, he left Corporate America to turn his web design hobby into a full-time business via his company Detailed Web Design. He manages social media accounts for over a dozen companies, has built over 100 websites since 2006, is driven by SEO results, and works extensively in almost all digital marketing avenues. He has worked with a wide range of companies including national and small businesses as well as nonprofits. He is the recipient of the 40 Under 40 Award for the Class of 2015 in Northeast Indiana.

Click here to register for Stephen’s session.

Are you a health related nonprofit? Read this!

Meet the Funders this year (date to be announced soon) will focus on the health field. All participating funders in the panel discussion and forum will be from local foundations with health related interests or missions.

At this event nonprofits serving the community’s physical and mental health needs will have the opportunity to learn about each funders’ giving guidelines and programs.

Tell us:

  • What topics would be beneficial for discussion?
  • What burning questions do you have?

Please vote in our poll or post your questions in the comment area below.

Nonprofit Speed Dating is Not a New Concept

I recently came across this article on the Nonprofit Quarterly website. As an intern who is new to the world of nonprofits, I thought that our program, Get Connected: Nonprofit Speed Dating, was a novel idea that hadn’t been tried before. Well, I was wrong!nonprofit board

The Board Match event held annually since 2005 in the San Francisco Bay Area has had remarkable success. According to the article, the most recent Board Match event attracted 150 nonprofit organizations and 1,000 potential board members. What a success!

“Speed dating events like Board Match can help self-perpetuating boards meet and recruit candidates they would never otherwise have considered. Self-perpetuating boards, unlike an elected or appointed board, also have the opportunity to recruit for specific skill sets. At the Board Match event, nonprofits could use the opportunity to advertise for and recruit board members with specific knowledge, such as legal, financial, or technical expertise.” –Jennifer Jones

Are you a potential board member who would like to bring something new to an area nonprofit board? Or are you a current board member seeking potential candidates with fresh, innovative ideas? Check out the Get Connected: Nonprofit Speed Dating information here. Help us attain the success of Board Match, and help your board expand to new heights.

Marketing Minute – Free & Inexpensive Marketing Techniques

amber recker 3-12

Marketing Minute is a monthly post series by guest blogger, Amber Recker

Since I started guest blogging here a year ago, my goal has been to empower nonprofits to market themselves. I want to clear up the misconception that marketing will consume an organization’s time and money. There are many free and inexpensive ways to market your organization. Here are a few ideas and suggestions to kick start your efforts.

1-     Community calendars

Most local newspapers, entertainment publications, and public television stations have community calendars and accept submissions (they want content after all). To capitalize on these opportunities, dedicate a member of your team to submit your event and program information, which can usually be done via email, on a regular basis.

Here is a list of resources to get you started:

Don’t miss our recently updated Updated Media List that also includes a link to more resources on Online Community Calendars – Lettie

2-     Radio Interviews Continue reading