Friday, March 19, 2010

AIA - Event Based Fundraisers for Down Syndrome – Michelle Whitten – ED of Global Down Syndrome Foundation - Colorado

This presentation was REALLY exciting to me!!! My friend Joe could really help DSAGC pull this off in Cincinnati! let me know if you want to help me make this happen in Cincinnati!!!

This was about the Be Yourself, Be Beautiful, Jet Set Fashion Show!

Presentation was given by Sophia’s mom is Michelle. They are new – 501©3

Fundraising and advocacy arm of the Linda Crnic Institute for DS – Government advocacy and Awareness building.

Government advocacy – want to increase NIH funding of basic research for people with DS.
NIH Did increase a million dollars. DS was largest decrease of any NIH funding.

Mentioned Jennifer Bekins as a speaker at one of their events as a “World Renowned Expert!” We love Violette’s Speech Therapist!!!

Be Beautiful Be Yourself Jet Set Fashion Show

How do we begin? Vision, goals, awareness goals, Anchor donor support, good volunteers.

Free/low cost events and do a high end events…

People who can pay should pay, if they can’t they shouldn’t.

Geographical reach.

Understand existing events and what will supplement
What other events are in the community that service people with IDD or overlap with our format?

Give yourself a year from concept to implementation if it is a large scale event

Focus on your Unique Selling Proposition.

Financial Committee Chair. Need up to date information.

In year cash donations are helpful.

Get in kind donations – Venue, food, drink, Valet parking, Speaker/Talent Fees, Silent Auction items, Life Auction items

Keep costs to 25-35% of the revenues

Awareness is the centerpiece of a fundraiser most of the time.

Show off people with Down syndrome front and center.

Aim for low hanging fruit.

Measuring your success. Financial success, attendance rates, awareness building measures.

How often to have the event.

The Fashion show

85-90% of people in the room didn’t know about Down syndrome.

Typical Benefit. Table sponsorships. Fashion Show was great.

Very Successful Event.

Hotel was a better event vs. an air hanger

2008 – sold out 800 attendees, $450,000
2009 – sold out 1200 attendees – lots of comps
Reached goal of 1,000,000

Created an Advocacy award – gala plus theatrical event

Will partner with 5 other city’s.

Developmental Disability awareness day a the zoo.

Make our kids and adults the priority and why we should be the recipients of our philanthropy. They are shocked we are the least funded by NIH. Attract people outside the DS community.

Think about who you are talking to they will not be PC and get it…eventually. Inspire vs. creating pity!

How to get local celebrities? Chad Ocho would love this sort of thing! Keep them as a part of this!
Be Beautiful Be Yourself Jet Set Fashion Show.
They can bring the retail sponsor.
Children’s hospital

Selecting the Ambassador – we need the ambassador as someone who is bringing things to the table. He has a HUGE Family with tentacles in the community into the world.

The kids make the audition like a fashion show. The parents have to spin it correction. Typical kids go through that all the time. Have two understudies.

Donor and Data management. What sorts of tools do you use? Everything is volunteer. Small numbers. Underestimation of our own ability. Never spend more money than you are making. Under promise and over deliver.

Find someone with skill set – big foundations…looking at software in constituency management. Donor Perfect. They have invested time to looking at it. Convio common ground software…they want and event modal. Other thing that it will do give everyone credit for referral credit and soft credit.

Sage is the accounting piece.

Auctions – auctions have plants so they will never be embarrassed.

Give you the table but save the money for the live auction – gives you the minimum $ for the bids…

Auctioned signed shirts. Don’t do live stuff that they don’t know about before the room. Dinner with the Sherriff. Round of golf with a celebrity.

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