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.

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

New Books: Fundraising and Special Events

Click the covers to go to the ACPL catalog to place a hold.

The eight principles of sustainable fundraising : transforming fundraising anxiety into the opportunity of a lifetime / Larry C Johnson Best-ever directory of special events / Scott C. Stevenson, editor Transforming ordinary people into — fundraising superheroes! –: even those who hate to ask / by Carol Weisman.

Local Partnerships for Raising Funds


For more information on opportunities to work with local the Fort Wayne Komets in raising funds for your organization, click here.

Online Community Calendar Resources

Looking for community calendar resources to share news and information about your events and/or fundraisers?

Community Calendar
flickr: Cambodia4kids.org Beth Kanter

Here is our list in progress – updated June 3, 2013. Many thanks to the nonprofit contributor who shared this with us!

Below are links to local websites with community calendars and a blog or two where you might generate interest your event.

The list is also attached here as a Word document: community-calendar-resources (2)

Let us know if you have links can be added, deleted or updated.

Thank you!

General Community Interest Calendars and Blogs  Continue reading

2013 Training Schedule

Thank you! and Happy New Year!

We thank you for your participation in our programming and services survey last November. We’ve reviewed your responses and based on your needs, are putting together a training schedule to better serve you.

via bryankennedy on flickr.com

Thanks to Alexandria, our intern, our 2013 Training Schedule is now updated and ready for you. You will notice that some of our 23@4 programs are still TBA. We will add details to the training schedule asap.

Additional training and workshop opportunities will come to us throughout the year and we’ll update this blog as needed.

You can also keep up with your training opportunities here at the PCNRC – and with other regional nonprofit training agencies via our monthly newsletter.

You have a permanent link in the Contact Information menu on the right of our homepage. See it there? Right below our address.

See you soon!