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Minutes: Tips for Successful Fundraisers (04/23/2014)

April 25, 2014

Invocation:  Scott Burns

Flag Salute:  Luz Maria Ortiz-Smith

Raffle: Sandy Grasso-Boyd

Visiting Rotarians: Tom Wepfer, Sunrise Rotary Marshfield Washington

Guests: Kendel Evans, Speaker; John Reed, Guest of Tom Wepfer


  • The Fireside Chat was last week at Betsy Munroe’s home.
  • Bill Boyd invited members to help at the Rotary Work Day on 4/26 at Elings Park. Please sign up and show up.
  • Suzette Cobb is having wrist surgery today, we wish her well.
  • Mark Reinhart is leaving the club because his life has gotten way too complicated and needs to straighten out his life
  • RI President is going to climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge with other Rotarians to attempt to break two world records. The first is most flags flown at the same time on the bridge and the second is the most people on the arch of the bridge at the same time. They are going to fly a flag from each country that Rotary is in. Half of the money raised by the group is being donated to Rotary.
  • Diana Cecala announced next week’s duties. Greeters: Bill Abel, Fred Gaeden; Flag: Bill Boyd; Invocation: Karen Kawaguchi; Raffle: Ed Fleming; Sgt. at Arms:  Joe Weiland
  • Getting to know you with E. Russell Smith and Jody Dolan Holehouse, who each shared something we don’t know about them. E Russell attended the University of Dayton Ohio and married a Buckeye. He majored in Education. By the time Jody was 10, she had lived in five different places. And Diana Cecala was asked what her first job was after college and what she majored in. She majored in English Literature, and graduated in 1970. Her first job was as a high school English teacher. She attended Wheaton College for undergrad and GW for Ph.D.
  • Pay and Tell with sgt at arms Joe Weiland.
  • The raffle raised $81. Ted Deck won again!

Program: Kendal Evans is president of her own events planning company. Her career started as an intern for Disney, then she worked for a health company, then returned to the special events team with Disney. She formed her company in 2011. Has offices in LA and SB. Clients include: Walt Disney Studios, WB, Montecito Union School, and a secret celebrity elopement.

  • They specialize in different types of events such as corporate, social, weddings, and nonprofit. They like the diversity of working on different projects rather than doing the same type of events over and over. This is important especially in a small community like this.
  • With the Elton John AIDS Foundation they raised $8M in one evening.
  • Good, effective, efficient, successful: These four words define a good event.
  • People love events because they like to socialize. They want to eat, drink, dance, and socialize. A fun event is an important but it’s not always the right thing.
  • Reasons behind an event: create awareness, educate, raise funds…. She advises organizations to pick two goals for an event only since it’s hard to do more than that. How do you measure education or awareness? You have to come up with a number or figure for a goal (ie 18 people to sign up for volunteering).
  • When raising funds, be aware of what you’re spending. What is the cost of raising the funds? How much time and energy is being put in.
  • The event climate is changing. Sponsors are not willing to give big lump sums. Now events have 15-20 local sponsors. They are spreading their funds across the whole community.
  • Advancements in technology have changed the landscape, too. Any event that doesn’t utilize technology won’t be as successful.
  • How effective is an event? Is it getting the message out to the target audience?
  • How efficient is your event? Everyone hates an event that is not well run, and that’s not an effective use of the club’s time. Are you using technology? For example, online ticketing.
  • How successful is your event? Your profit has to be a greater value than your expenses, and you have to consider the time spent by the members.
  •  If you are not bringing in a ROI of 30-50%, it’s probably not the right event. If you are doing a dinner but all the guests are club members, it’s probably not the right event.
  • Should you do an event? Come up with a goal. How do you choose what sort of event to do? Find the target market. An example of a good target market is parents of a school. An event well suited to them is something they all gather and have a good time and raise funds for their kids. Set a measurable goal. You want to know your hard worked hour are going towards a goal. Evaluate how you will reach your goal.
  • Picking a target audience: It’s the most common thing that an event misses. Someone may pay to attend but once they get there, and they are disengaged. If you get the right audience, when the get there, they’ll be more interested in participating in raffles and auctions.
  • What type of event: This is the hardest question. Luncheons, local vintners’ festival and dinner. Also be aware of market saturation in Santa Barbara. Between April and May, there are 30 golf tournaments. Also, it’s the same people giving over and over. One nonprofit said that it was the same 20% that was giving to them at events.
  • You must have a goal – what you can spend, what is your revenue stream? You have to come up with a goal that you can measure
  • How to obtain your goal – use of a planner, chain of command, financial chair, make decision based on the organization, use technology. Under promise, over deliver. Often times, a planner is not the right decision for an organization. If you are only raising $10k, that’s my fee alone. A planner can be helpful by raising the ROI from 30 to 50% and sometimes to 100%. A chain of command is needed to communicate to the members. Not good to choose an event based on personal preferences. If someone in the club can’t do it, find a student from UCSB, Westmont, SBCC, that is looking for a summer internship. This is not difficult.
  • By naming an event the Fiddler’s Convention, it may alienate someone who doesn’t particularly love fiddles. If you want to target the whole community (for general awareness), make an event that has broader appeal.
  • Table at Elton’s John event starts at $250k. Usually this goes to movie studios and execs.


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