Keep at it – A Fundraiser’s Journey

A Fundraiser’s JourneyKelly pic

Kelly Updike for PCNRC

Two separate instances have converged in my head. Ouch!

The first is from a meeting with Dan Swartz, he of Wunderkammer Company. Dan is planning his second annual Design Week, for which he has obtained a sizeable grant to pay for speakers and marketing. This has given him the freedom to obtain great speakers to participate. People who are significant to their field in a national and even world-class way. Some have local ties to this region.

Dan says he just asks. He figures out how to contact the person, by email or through an assistant, and he asks. He says the person will usually reply and is gracious. Sometimes the person says yes, which means Design Week will again have some phenomenal speakers.

The second is from the My City Summit organized by Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI). This year’s theme was diversity. At this event, too, the speakers were local and national, all terrific.

I left this event thinking about our roles in these changing times. We are cranky, according to the keynote speaker, Rich Benjamin. Another speaker, Fort Wayne’s own Courtney Tritch, pointed out that diversity is a needed economic driver. People move to areas where there is freedom and respect for all. Each speaker asked us what we were doing about it.

On the surface these two meetings were very different. But they both ended up in the same place in my mind:

It does not matter where you are politically, uppercase R or D. What matters is that we work every day to make a difference. Our organizations in particular directly impact others.

What are we going to do to help others continue through these times?

We ask and then we ask again. Simply, purely, clearly. As fundraisers. As advocates. As caregivers. As artists. As one human being to another.

Ask. Don’t stop asking.

 

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.

Are You Ready for One-Day Group Volunteer Projects?

Our agency continues to receive requests for group volunteer projects. They can be youth groups, school groups, church groups, corporate groups, and all assortment of combinations in-between.

Here is what the volunteers want from their volunteer project:

  • They want their group volunteering activity to take from 2 to 4 hours.
  • They want to be all together as much as possible, to socialize throughout the experience – they don’t want to be isolated from each other individually.
  • They usually don’t want to have any obligation beyond that one-time volunteering experience.
  • They want the experience to feel like they have fun, they make a difference, and then they leave.

Group size: The larger the group – the harder it is to find opportunities. Unfortunately, volunteering opportunities for large groups are very hard to find. Finding a group volunteering opportunity for 6 people is much easier than finding a one-day opportunity for 150 people. And, it’s okay to say NO if the needs of the group does not match your agency, the time-line is too short, the liability is too great, or you do not have enough staff to support the project.

volunteer

Here are some suggestions for working with a group:

  • Designate a group leader
  • Walk through the project with the group leader at least a month to 2 weeks prior
  • Make a list of supplies needed for project (rakes, shovels, gloves, paint, aprons, etc.)
  • Agree (in writing) who will pay for any needed supply items
  • Have all volunteers pre-register (it’s OK to not accept walk-in’s). Consider creating a free online volunteer registration form in a site like Sign-Up Genius.
  • On the day of event have all volunteers sign a liability waiver
  • Give written job descriptions for each assignment
  • Have a short group presentation to explain what they are doing and the difference it will make
  • Have refreshment (even if it’s bottled water)
  • At the end of the project, include a short time for reflection with the group and talk about their volunteer experience
  • Have a short post-event meeting with the group leader
  • Thank everyone as they leave
  • Send a thank-you note to each volunteer and tell them what a difference that their service has made to your agency.

Think ahead: Your agency may have a number of un-met needs that would be perfect for a group:

  • Set up tables and chairs for an event
  • Clean up after an event
  • Cleaning the landscape in spring and fall
  • Sorting boxes of records and items in your storage area

Here are some classic group activity stories from our agency:

  • Last year we had a corporate group that requested a project for 70 people. The time line was 1 – 4 PM on Saturday, October 7th. (With two weeks’ notice) Outcome: we found 3 parks that needed clean up.
  • Another group was doing a Youth Church Conference and they wanted a 2 hour project for 300 youth ages 14-16. The time line was a Sunday from 1-3 PM. Outcome: We declined.
  • A group of (well-meaning) ladies wanted to rock new-born babies in a hospital nursery for two hours one Thursday a month. Outcome: Would not consider even asking a hospital!
  • One dear lady and her friends wanted to bake birthday cakes, and deliver them, to children of prisoners housed in the local jail. Outcome: The jail Chaplains nixed the project.
  • One talented gentleman wanted to build small houses (like on the TV shows) for homeless individuals. He wanted us to set up the classes and he would teach the volunteers. Outcome: We declined.
  • A group of Air Force recruits wanted a 3 hour project that would require strength and hard work. They had just enlisted and thought that this would be something that they could do for the community before starting their service the next morning. Outcome: They lifted heavy tree branches and spread playground mulch at a city park.

My guess is that you have some great stories to tell too! Volunteer groups can be a blessing but they require patience and planning.

 

jeanWritten by Jean Joley,
Executive Director of Volunteer Center
for PCNRC.

Grantmakers and Grantseekers

babyRecently the author, Ve Le of “Nonprofit with Balls” blog posted two pieces about the irritating and aggravating things that grantseekers and grantmakers do. The posts are humorous and relatable. Ve complied and created two lists of items that trouble grantmakers and frustrate grantseekers. He collected the lists based on comments from the Nonprofit with Balls Facebook page. Funding Logistics Aggravation, Incomprehensibility, and Laughability (FLAIL) Scale is the title for the items that bother grantseekers and Grant Response Amateurism, Vexation, and Exasperation (GRAVE) Gauge as the title for the items that bug grantmakers. As you can tell already, its comical.

You can look at Ve’s lists and perhaps complete the exercise by finding out your own FLAIL Scale score or GRAVE Gage score below.

GRAVE Gage

FLAIL Scale

Here’s Ve’s original post on the FLAIL Scale and the GRAVE Gage.

 

Job Opportunity – Science Central Positions

POSITION: Development & Marketing DirectorScience Central Logo

DESCRIPTION: Science Central, a hands-on science center (physical, natural and applied sciences), is currently hiring a self-motivated, creative, outgoing, highly-skilled and organized individual to direct its development, grant writing, fundraising events, advertising, and public relations. This position is a professional, senior-level job reporting to the executive director and requires significant experience in those work areas, high-level writing skills, the ability to multi-task, and extensive knowledge of community/regional funding sources. This is a “hands-on” position and the employee will spend much of their time doing as well as directing. Duties will include – research, write, review and monitor grants; write interim and final grant reports; develop and update the grant/development databases and due dates; establish and cultivate sponsorships with businesses and corporations; fully manage fundraising events such as the annual gala and golf outing; both attend and plan staff and committee meetings; develop banners and tv/radio ads; coordinate and maintain the calendar for, and write and design newsletters, brochures, press releases; direct graphic design activities; develop and coordinate partnerships with media, community organizations and foundations; maintain web site and social media outlets; organize and maintain all electronic and hard copy marketing and funding files and records; cultivate members as a donor base; supervise full- and part-time staff; manage Strategic Plan components such as marketing plans, annual fund, fundraising plans, etc. Continue reading

Job Opportunity – Embassy Theatre Positions

Embassy TheatreThe Embassy Theatre is a busy downtown Fort Wayne nonprofit, historical venue with many stage and private events. It has increased bookings thanks to a spring 2016 completion of a ballroom, rooftop patio and new bars. Must be able to work nights and weekends. Employees are needed in the following positions:

Event Associates

Work shows and special events and in the box office. This year-round part-time position requires evening and weekend hours. $9-$12 per hour. Send resume, three references and cover letter via e-mail to Kelly Maahs, kmaahs@fwembassytheatre.org or mail to Embassy Theatre, front of house director, 125 W. Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46802, by Oct. 14.

Bartenders

Applicants for this part-time position must have a current Indiana alcohol permit, documentation of having completed the state-required alcohol class and proven experience working in a fast-paced, high volume environment as a bartender. Experience working catered events is a plus. Salary range is $14-$16 plus tips for special/catered events and $4.75-$6 plus tips for stage events. Send resume, three references and cover letter via e-mail to Megan Lytle, megan@fwembassytheatre.org or mail to Embassy Theatre, front of house manager, 125 W. Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46802,
by Oct. 14.

Patron Services Ticketing Associate

Work in the box office with excellent teamwork, retail, customer service and financial skills. Experience in a box office setting with Ticketmaster preferred. This full-time position requires evening and weekend hours. Starting at $15 per hour. Send resume, three references and cover letter via e-mail to Kelly Updike, kelly@fwembassytheatre.org or mail to Embassy Theatre, executive director, 125 W. Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46802, by Oct. 14.

Executive Assistant

Provide administrative support to the executive director and executive team. This is a new full-time position. Starting at $15 per hour. Send resume, three references and cover letter via e-mail to Kelly Updike, kelly@fwembassytheatre.org or mail to Embassy Theatre, executive director, 125 W. Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46802, by Oct. 14.

Programming Manager

This new full-time position will manage Embassy-originated programming events, advance shows and serve as backup to programming director. Salary begins at $47,500 and requires evening and weekend hours. Send resume, three references and cover letter via e-mail to Jared Duymovic, jared@fwembassytheatre.org or mail to Embassy Theatre, programming director, 125 W. Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46802, by Oct. 14.

Allen Superior Court Conference on Youth – October 13th, 2016

Building Resilient YOUTH and YOUTH WORKERS: A Trauma-Informed Approach

greatkids_logoWhen: Thursday, October 13, 2016 8:00 am – 4:15 pm

Where: Allen County War Memorial Coliseum (4000 Parnell Ave., Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805)

Cost: $40 Registration Fee ($60 after September 28th)

Register ONLINE with no additional fees!

Keynote speakers are:

Kenneth Ginsburg, MD, MS Ed, FAAP – Our Kids are Not Broken: Fostering Resilience in Marginalized and Traumatized Youth

Jim Sporleder, Educator and Administrator – The Lincoln High School Story: The Transformation of a School of Violence to a Trauma-Informed School of Safety and Hope

To read more about the conference, click here.

The Annual Conference on Youth is funded in part by a grant from Foellinger Foundation.

 

Engaging Today’s Donors

Kelly picA Fundraiser’s Journey

Kelly Updike for PCNRC

We have this really cool event at the Embassy but it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. It’s called the Embatini, a really terrific name. At the Embatini, we provide a special drink and a classy meal and we have it in an exclusive place – on the Embassy stage. We’ve made it intimate and singular. Guests routinely tell us they love it. We want it to be a very extraordinary fundraiser for the Embassy. But it doesn’t raise a lot of money.

Do you have events like that? Where, despite the hardest of work and the keenest of ideas, it just never takes off as a fundraiser?

There appears to be a disconnect somewhere in our event. How do we better link it to our donors? Perhaps this has something to do with how donors think today about philanthropy and what they are expecting from us as nonprofits.

Remember the truly original Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014 that generated millions of dollars and free publicity for ALS? While hugely successful in many ways, the majority of Challenge donors were one-time givers: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/als-and-the-ice-bucket-challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge reminds us that the ways people learn about our organizations are evolving. And the ways people give to us are changing. The good news is that the amount of giving is growing.

If there is a silver bullet to excellent fundraising, it is steady, ongoing attention to people, to individual relationships. We still have to find personalized and relevant ways to connect. As for the Embatini, we continue to evaluate it, to figure out how to create a better link to our donors.

For some information on fundraising trends, go to:

http://www.gailperry.com/top-10-fundraising-trends-and-predictions-for-2016/

https://philanthropy.iupui.edu/news-events/news-item/giving-usa:-2015-was-america%E2%80%99s-most-generous-year-ever.html?id=202

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.