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the no b.s. way to plan the perfect fundraiser for your tribe

the no b.s. way to plan the perfect fundraiser for your tribe

Choosing the right strategies for you and your people is absolutely crucial if you’re looking to create fundraising success that you can repeat and grow year after year.

But how do you actually go about doing that? And if we’re really being honest (which here in the Tribe, real is what we do), how do you do that in a way that’s not wasting your time on busy work or stuff that just doesn’t matter?

Here’s what I look at to amp up an event that a specific group of people would love in a way that’s both an efficient and effective use of time.

how I planned my first fundraiser in 3 months and raised 6 figures in profit

how I planned my first fundraiser in 3 months and raised 6 figures in profit

Are you trying to plan your first fundraiser and have no idea what you’re doing? Or maybe trying to turn one around that’s currently a money pit?

Do you also have a crazy tight time schedule to pull off this miracle?

I know exactly how you feel because I’ve been in your shoes.

When I planned my first fundraiser I had not one single Blue’s clue how to go about it.

Sure, I had event planning experience, but I’d never planned an event that collected money past ticket sales so fundraising auctions were completely new to me.

what to focus on when you only have 3 months to plan your fundraiser

what to focus on when you only have 3 months to plan your fundraiser

We all know that planning an event is hard work. There are so many little details that go into making a successful fundraiser and it can take a huge amount of time to plan, even with a team of people working on it.

You’ve probably also heard that most successful events take 6 to 12 months to plan.

Sure, we might all love to have a year to plan an event, but what do you do if you only have 3 months or less? Is that even possible?

6 biggest myths about planning fundraising events

6 biggest myths about planning fundraising events

Have you ever had the experience of finding out what you thought was true because "everyone said so", actually wasn't true at all?

When you don't know enough about something, it's easy to believe the first thing people tell you.

I mean, their experts right? They must know what's best. Plus, it feels safer to trust someone else.

That is, until your own experiences prove what you believed was all wrong.

why your fundraiser should run like a business

why your fundraiser should run like a business

The ultimate goal for a nonprofit is for people to give you money so that you can use it to help others.

They have the amazing opportunity to learn for the best across many different industries and to make massive impacts in their communities.


Here are some of the principles that I’ve borrowed from the business world that I’ve found make any event successful, no matter where you’re starting out.

why your fundraiser doesn't have to be a gala to be successful

why your fundraiser doesn't have to be a gala to be successful

Most people think that if they have any fundraising event, it has to be a gala. But they don’t understand the strategy behind it, or don’t have a strong enough foundation to make it successful.

In this post we’ll talk about some of the biggest issues people come across when trying to plan a large fundraising event (specifically galas and banquets), and how you can turn these challenges into strengths as you plan your next event.

How to keep guests engaged before + after your fundraiser

How to keep guests engaged before + after your fundraiser

Ever feel like planning your fundraiser is like walking 50 miles up hill in the snow (both ways) EVERY year?

Ever feel like all the guests you managed to get last year just don’t seem to be interested this time, and you can’t figure out what happened?

Well, I can tell you that you’re not alone.

So many change-makers feel like putting on their signature annual event is a major undertaking every year.

That no matter how hard they work, they don’t feel like they’re getting any real traction and keep basically starting from scratch.

Here are some proven ways to keep your event guests engaged from the time that they RSVP so that you can build strong relationships with them after the event is done.

How to organize your next silent auction

How to organize your next silent auction

While most of us have seen a silent auction done before or have a basic idea of what they are, silent auctions are one of those things that can be a ton of work or turn your event into a hot mess if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Sounds scary right? Now, I’m not trying to talk you out of having one. Quite the opposite, actually.

Silent auctions are a great way to build new relationships in your community and bring in some extra money for your fundraiser.

Here I’m sharing my top tips on how to organize any kind of silent auction. Whether you’re using paper tracking, credit card swiping, or auction software, here the foundational tips to creating a successful auction.

5 simple ways to give a great guest experience at your next fundraiser

5 simple ways to give a great guest experience at your next fundraiser

Are you struggling with getting people to attend your fundraising event? Or maybe you have plenty of people that show up, but you’re still having a hard time meeting your fundraising goals?

Believe me, I understand. Figuring out how to plan successful fundraising events and attracting the right supporters can take a lot of time and effort.

Sometimes it’s downright confusing and frustrating.

Despite the steep learning curve that can come with learning to plan a successful fundraiser, I really do believe that it’s something anyone can do.

20 fun fundraising event ideas that aren't a gala)

20 fun fundraising event ideas that aren't a gala)

When people think of fundraising events, usually the first thing that comes to mind is a gala. Which makes sense, considering that most people in the nonprofit world have either been invited to or have attended one.

When people think “gala”, they also think of having 200-400 guests and raising multiple six-figures in one night.

The thing that people don’t talk about enough is that galas usually aren’t something you decide to do, and bam, you’re successful right out of the gate.

how to move past fear and explode your fundraising efforts

how to move past fear and explode your fundraising efforts

Do you ever find yourself staring at a super long call list, and struggle to get started? Maybe you tell yourself you’ll start at a certain time, or do it tomorrow.

But more things are added to your plate and before you know it, you've done a ton of work, but never got started on those donation calls.

The list is intimidating. It’s nerve wracking. Your heart beat rises and your palms get sweaty just thinking about it.

My top 10 tips for fast guest registration at your next event

My top 10 tips for fast guest registration at your next event

Today I’m sharing the top tips I use for EVERY SINGLE one of my event welcome tables. In fact, this is the exact checklist that I used to organize a welcome table that checked in 700 guests in 30 minutes! Crazy, right?!

It’s also the way that I organize all of my clients’ registration tables.

So here are the things you need to organize a smooth, easy check in table that will impress your guests and make them love you!

the 3 Things that all successful fundraising events have in common

the 3 Things that all successful fundraising events have in common

I was recently chatting with a friend who is a professional in the nonprofit funder world about events (because what else do you talk about over Indian food?). We got on the topic of how frustrating it can be to see great nonprofits with awesome missions that totally miss the mark when it comes to engaging donors at events.

My friend shared with me three things that they believed every single event should be in order to be successful. And while they were all simple things, and things I definitely help clients to achieve, I’d never actually put them together in that way.

Here are the three things that all successful events have in common, why they’re important, and ideas for how you can incorporate them into your next fundraising event.

Top 5 Signs You Might not be Ready for a Fundraising Event

Top 5 Signs You Might not be Ready for a Fundraising Event

It’s no secret that I love helping organizations put on awesome fundraising events. They’re such a great way for organizations to share their mission and values, grow deeper relationships with their supporters and make new friends that will hopefully jump on the bandwagon in the future.

Let’s not forget of course that you can make thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The epic part- fundraising events give you the opportunity to do all of the above in one go!


So obviously fundraising events are always the way to go and every organization should have one right?

Well, not necessarily.

Questions to ask yourself before planning your next fundraiser

Questions to ask yourself before planning your next fundraiser

Fundraising events are a great way for organizations to build strong relationships with their current supporters, get to know new potential partners, and raise money all in one go!

Having an annual event (or even a few) that your tribe can count on and look forward to also allows you to stay top of mind by having a platform to share the successes you’ve all created together as a community.

Pretty awesome right? Definitely.

But, before you dive right into booking a venue and making invitations, there are a few things to ask yourself first.

How to Get the Attention of Millennials for your Next Fundraiser

How to Get the Attention of Millennials for your Next Fundraiser

I've been hearing a lot of talk lately out in the ether that organizations and businesses all over the country are struggling with a huge problem.

The thing that seems to be flummoxing everyone is the Millennial. Specifically, how difficult it is to get them to engage in well, anything.

I've heard this for many years on the business side, but it’s also become a huge problem with nonprofits, because they don't know how to reach them. 

The Top Positions You'll Need to Put on a Smooth Auction

The Top Positions You'll Need to Put on a Smooth Auction

If you've never done an auction before, it can be pretty crazy trying to figure out all the necessary pieces. How many volunteers do I need? Who does what?

Here is a quick and easy list of the different positions you might need to make up an auction. These are based on best practices, and will vary in detail based on what you're trying to do at your event.

25 Ways to Promote Your Fundraiser + Build Your List at the Same Time

25 Ways to Promote Your Fundraiser + Build Your List at the Same Time

In order to have any sort of fundraising event, what do you need most? A list of people that you can actually invite to join in!

Here is a list of 25 ways that you can build a list for your next event. The methods listed here skip the whole reaching out to complete strangers who aren’t ready or interested in you or your message.

Any of the things listed here will help you to reach people who want to hear from you, people who want to help. They  will also help you to build strong, lasting relationships that you can use well past your first event.

You don’t have to do them all now, or ever. Just start by choosing a couple that resonate with your personality and your mission.

Let’s get to it!