It is the week of Thanksgiving, that all-American holiday that recalls pilgrims, Native Americans, pumpkins and family traditions. In the spirit of gratitude, I’m taking a break and repeating a great show about special events, which raise needed dollars but often at a high price. The staff, board and volunteers are burned out afterward and have little desire to do any other kind of fundraising. Frankly, events often are an avoidance strategy for meeting with individual donors and asking for gifts, and they limit a nonprofit’s capacity for growth.
My guest on this episode was Nick Parkevich, a partner and consultant with Loring, Sternberg & Associates, a company based in Indianapolis, Indiana that serves small to medium-size nonprofits throughout the U.S. They focus on board fundraising and governance training; strategic planning; feasibility studies and more. We talked about how you know if you’re infected with the special events bug, why that’s a problem, and strategies and tools for turning what could be addictive into a building block for strong donor relationships and major gifts.
In the show, Nick mentioned the book Asking by Gerald Panas. We both recommend you read it. In addition, listen to the interview I did last year with Mr. Panas. He is a masterful fundraising coach and every word he says is pure gold in the episode, Raising Money in Tough Economic Times.
I hope you get some great ideas for leveraging your 2013 events to build deeper relationships with individual donors. Enjoy.