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►Who’s the “Voice” of your nonprofit?

July 5, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of branding handout

Who’s the “voice” of your social media posts?

I’m a huge, huge fan of Entrepreneur magazine. In fact, if you’re not already following them on Facebook, seriously, click over there and do it right now.

I’ll wait.

It’s that important.

If you want to be smarter about, well – anything – you should be following Entrepreneur magazine on Facebook.

Their posts are 2- or 3-minute reads about stuff you want to know, and I guarantee you’ll see something each week you want to click on and open.

By the way, I don’t get anything for promoting them. I’m just a super fan.

When I was researching for my presentation to the Working Women of Central Florida, I came across this awesome article Entrepreneur mag posted, “22 Statistics That Prove the Value of Personal Branding.”

It’s about how we (people, you and me) connect better with people, not companies, and you’ll do yourself and your organization a 561% favor by letting your employee’s personalities show when they share posts about your cause.

Since you can control the tone, images and message you put out there, sit down and really think about how you want to be perceived. Is your org inspiring? Are your clients beautiful? Are your services useful? And isn’t life just funny sometimes? (NOTE: If you don’t yet know about FUBI, read about it here.)

You can even let different people shine in their elements. If you’ve got a stellar soul who can communicate all you want to say on all your platforms, give him or her a raise! Otherwise, try trusting your inner circle with the platform that best matches his or her personality, and see if you don’t get more likes, follows, and engagement from your fans.

Categories: Board members, Charity, Consulting, Grab Bag, Other Money Makers, social media, Technology

►Selected as a Presenter, Summit 2013

June 13, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Photo of Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

Selected as a presenter for the Benefit Auction Summit, National Auctioneers Association (NAA)

We’re celebrating!!

Just got word that the committee for the Benefit Auction Summit chose my session “62 Ways to Create More Prepared, Engaged Bidders”!

This is the only national conference specifically for fundraising auctioneers, and it is a BIG honor to present to such an accomplished group of professionals from across the country.

I’m excited to share the “62 Ways” 90-minute session because it’s all about helping my peers help YOU raise more money. We understand that you only have this 1 night, once a year to host your attendees, so we want to work with you to maximize every way to make it easy for people to spend money!

I’ll be covering

  • 20 ways to create the best Live Auction display tables
  • 22 things your auctioneer can do to help people get excited by the auctions and also
  •  20 things you can do as the non-profit to help your audience come prepared to both attend AND spend.

The best part for you?

All of my GALA GAL clients – the organizations I help with their events – you get all 62 Ways to Create Prepared Bidders included, everyday, as part of our consulting relationship. (If you want this for your event, shoot me an e-mail to check if your date is available here.) You’re the reason I do what I do, and why I’m excited to share these ideas with other high-profile auctioneers across America.

To learn more about what Benefit Auctioneers do when they get together each year, you can find content from the Summit in 2010 (my presentation here), and I’ve shared some takeaways  from the other presenters that year here and 2011 Summit here. Apparently I still have to post notes from last year!

Categories: Auctioneers, Better Buyers, Board members, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions

►”America’s Worst Charities”

June 10, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Tampa Bay Times

“America’s Worst Charities” June 9, 2013 3-part series

Back in the headlines, and not in a good way.

“America’s Worst Charities” is the result of a yearlong collaboration between the Tampa Bay Times and California-based The Center for Investigative Reporting, the nation’s largest and longest serving nonprofit newsroom dedicated to watchdog journalism. CNN joined the partnership in March.

I’m all for investigative journalism, and I agree that this story needs to be told. We all want any unscrupulous groups to be exposed, so that America’s donated dollars go instead to groups where they’ll do the most charitable good.

We’ve talked about this before, however, lamenting the possibility that today’s overwhelmed reader takes in the negative sound bite “worst charities” without putting the headlines in context. This year-long series focuses on 50 of  5,800 groups identified nationwide that spend the majority of funds raised on expenses rather than causes. It’s great information that’s important to expose…but there are 1.6 million nationally registered non-profits (and nearly 200,000 congregations), so those 5,800 offenders represent about 1/3 of 1% of America’s charities.

I wish there was such sensational press coverage about the more than 99.6% of known non-profits striving to do the right thing with donors’ dollars. The article says,

“several watchdog organizations say charities should spend no more than 35  percent of the money they raise on fundraising expenses”

Many of you have expenses much, much less than 35% of your intake.

All the more reason for you to tell your amazing story. Share where donated dollars go via your website, Facebook, Twitter, and annual reports. Take 10 minutes to get the Guidestar Valued Partner badge and issue a press release!

You’re out there killing yourself to raise money so you can feed more families, clothe more kids, finally find a cure. It’s okay – no, it’s imperative – that you take time to share your story. We can’t let the bad press be America’s soundbite.

Categories: Board members, Charity, Consulting

►Get the AUCTION! bible, 1 Week Sale!

March 1, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Cover image of the 250-page Charity Auction Manual called AUCTION! The 98 Solutions to Every Charity Auction Challenge by GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor CAI BAS

Write-in workbook to plan your Benefit Auction, step-by-step, used by Professional Fundraising Auctioneers and their clients across the country

Save $100 off the regular online price! It’s the March Madness sale at GALA GAL, so snatch up your 250-page AUCTION! manual by March 7th, 2013. Get “The 98 Solutions to Every Charity Auction Challenge” at your fingertips.

Read a detailed and helpful “Questions to Ask” excerpt here, and just shoot me a message with your e-mail and I’ll send you our mailing address for a check, use a credit card via secure server with discount code Sale49 here.

                 This is the first sale since last July (8 months ago!) so get your copy now 🙂

Money-back guarantee of course.

Categories: Board members, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions, Other Money Makers, Raffles/Chance Drawings, Silent auctions, Templates

►Don’t Risk Your Revenue

July 18, 2012 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Danger Symbol- choose an auctioneer wisely

Don’t Risk Your 1-Night, Once-a-Year Event with just any Auctioneer

Whether you’re the Development Director of a non-profit or a volunteer on the planning committee for a gala fundraiser, you’ve got hundreds of decisions hanging over you.

Buffet or sit-down dinner?

Cocktail or black tie?

Band for background, or dancing?

Online silent auction or traditional?

All of these decisions affect your event, it’s true. But if the money matters, then give at least as much weight to your choice to conduct the fundraising.

That’s a big choice. A weighty choice. A choice with ramifications, no doubt. So you’re not just asking someone. If it was that simple, it’d be no big deal. In fact, if your choice didn’t really matter, you might look to cut costs, perhaps even look for someone to do this for (gasp!) free.Since this particular event (this event you’ve worked on for months) only happens 1 Night, Once-a-Year…well, everything, EVERYTHING, is riding on that person, that night.

No, what you’re really doing is entrusting the financial outcome of your event to one individual. (more…)

Categories: Auctioneers, Board members, Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions, Other Money Makers

►A Soundbite that Sizzles

July 10, 2012 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

Earlier I wrote a post about an article I’d read explaining how to introduce yourself or your organization to someone new:

  1. Explain how you provide a solution to a problem.
  2. Tell a brief anecdote that illustrates why you choose to do this or how you’re exceptional.
  3. Invite your listener to engage further with you by asking an open-ended question.
Here’s another approach to selling your sizzle that’s designed to attract the ideal match:

Categories: Auctioneers, Board members, Consulting, Other Money Makers

►Sell Your SIZZLE!

July 9, 2012 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

Summer gives me time to catch up on all the reading I wish I made time for during the year. In an October 2011 article in Toastmaster magazine entitled ‘The Elevator Speech,” I saw some good reminders about summing up your essence to get people’s attention.

Why should you care about an Elevator Speech?

Image of Elevator

Elevator Pitch – Sell Your SIZZLE in 1 Minute!

Because every day, your non-profit is competing for the attention – and dollars – of the public. Being able to wow folks with WHAT you do, WHY you do it, and HOW you’re the best will help others see the value in helping you and your cause.

The article (more…)

Categories: Board members, Consulting, Other Money Makers

►MC or not MC?

July 3, 2012 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Emcee for your event

Who’s your MC?

I got cc’d on an e-mail that one of my November events confirmed a local TV anchor to emcee (or MC, if you prefer) their gala. This is a common practice which you’ve no doubt seen or done.

There are so many logistics to juggle when you’re planning a fundraising event:

which venue, what entertainment, ticket pricing, getting folks to attend, staffing, auction items and on and on. And who’s going to run this thing??

If your event has a live auction or Fund-a-Need appeal for donations, there’s just too much riding on your 1-Night, Once-a-Year event to risk with just Joe Anybody. Hire a professional who does fundraising for a living, all year long. Once your fundraising is safeguarded, consider asking this auctioneer to serve as MC for you. Benefit Auction specialists will be charismatic and able to command the crowd’s attention. Doubling up like this will save you time and money, since you won’t have to do the back-and-forth to confirm and manage another person or pay for another meal.

If you want a different voice to host your event for whatever reason, then certainly invite a community dignitary,  involve your Board president, a TV news anchor, or even a celebrity in your program.

But whatever you do, don’t hand over your fundraising

to anyone who is a professional something-else!

 

Those well meaning folks can leverage their personalities and knowledge of the crowd in a support role. Use your special guest in direct interaction with your attendees, but leave the auction psychology to the fundraising pro.

Your celebrity or community dignitary can best benefit your event by:

  1. Donating a Chance-of-a-Lifetime opportunity to the auction. (Actress Cheryl Hines   donated a private poker party with her to her favorite central Florida gala!)
  2. Hosting his/her own table for the dinner portion and inviting folks to bid for the chance to move to that VIP table
  3. Working the Live Auction on the floor, shaking hands and encouraging those who bid
  4. Drawing attention to your high-end items by visiting with folks at the Live Auction table during the 90-minute preview time

Your Board president can best benefit your event by:

  1. Hosting a pre-event VIP reception for last year’s big spenders and this year’s sponsors and special guests, giving them an initial hour to sip champagne, schmooze, and shop the auction unencumbered by the masses. These guests might even get a mini live auction with 3-5 things that are only offered to this elite VIP group.
  2. Promote the importance of fundraising by escorting VIPs and likely deep pockets personally to the Live Auction display table and facilitating an introduction with the auctioneer. This serves your guests by making them aware of the opportunities only available that night, and it initiates the rapport important to getting more bidding.
  3. Thanking the event sponsors and really explaining how their large gifts allow you to provide services.

Your TV news anchor (or Board member, CEO, staff member, or services recipient) can best benefit your event by:

1. Sharing the emotional appeal of your mission by putting faces and personal stories to the services you deliver. Getting the right person to introduce the video, deliver a keynote, or set up the Fund-a-Need appeal is crucial.

2. Being available to the guests throughout the night, mingling and adding a welcoming warmth to the festivities.

While several folks are appropriate for various aspects of MC hosting, the money you need to operate for months will come from the auction and appeal proceeds, so entrust the opening bids, the increments, the snap and sizzle of the numbers to a benefit auction specialist.

Categories: Better Buyers, Board members, Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions

►Board-erline Frustrated?

July 1, 2012 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Photo of GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor

Avoid this at your non-profit!

Are you frustrated with your Board members?

Are your Board members frustrated with you? or your expectations?

A colleague from NSA-CF (National Speakers Association, Central Florida chapter) recently broached this topic in his newsletter and blog.

You know how they say that

(more…)

Categories: Board members, Consulting