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►FUBI: Funny, Useful, Beautiful or Inspiring

July 26, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Funny Useful Beautiful Inspiring

Don’t Interrupt – ATTRACT!

As I was preparing my 90-minute presentation on Branding and Marketing for the National Auctioneers Association annual conference, I came across this GREAT article from a cool-looking group: The Emotional Intelligence Agency. Their tagline is, “Be as interesting as the internet.”

In their recent article in Fast Company magazine, they explain how marketing has changed.

The buzz word now is “emotion,” and how to connect in memorable ways with your target audience.

There are “four kinds of emotionally compelling content: funny, useful, beautiful, and inspiring.”

(Read the entire article here)

They condense this to FUBI – an easy thing to remember when planning (or posting) on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, You Tube, your website, or anywhere else.

You don’t have to be all of these, and, in fact, you should consider having a different tone on different platforms. Maybe your posts are funny on Twitter, useful on Facebook, and beautiful on Instagram. You might even assign a different person to manage each distinct “voice.”

So, for my presentation, I made this 4-leaf clover image, because if you focus on being funny, or useful, or beautiful, or inspiring with your posts and content, I bet you’ll get luckier with your results.

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

►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

►About that Safari Trip…

April 15, 2015 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Photo of GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor

Try to avoid this at your non-profit, says GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor

A client called today for advice. They’ve planned to feature a safari trip as one of the live auction items for their event in a few weeks. When I read the description a few days ago, I realized with some surprise that this was not a typical sightseeing safari trip – this was a hunting safari!

I’ve seen and sold a number of safari trips, but they’ve always been photo safaris, or – said another way – photo shoots, not actual shoots.

My dad was a hunter, though I am not. Even though I would greatly prefer to only shoot things with a camera, I understand that a portion of the population worldwide shoots for sport and challenge. I’m comfortable promoting this item during the live auction alongside the other trips and experiences.

However, some of this organization’s supporters called to complain today, with the expectation that the trip will be pulled from the auction.

What should you do if some people feel an auction item is controversial?

Whether it’s selling a puppy, dinner with the embattled mayor, a hunting safari or countless other potential hot buttons, how should your committee proceed?

  1. Pull the item from the auction? After how many complaints, 1? 5? 25?
  2. Only pull the controversial item if the complaint comes from a major donor?
  3. What about moving the item from the more visible live auction into the silent auction?
  4. Should you try the “Sealed Bid” method for this auction item, so that if no one bids, no one knows, but if folks do bid, their names and amounts are known only to the committee?
  5. Or how about sending an e-mail blast or newsletter notification for interested parties to place bids via fax or email or text prior to the event?
  6. Keep the item in the live auction, but work hard to identify someone on the staff or committee or patrons interested in the item and willing to quickly raise a bid card, ensuring that it sells easily if other bidders don’t materialize?

There’s no one right answer, of course. While you may not want to bend to a few disgruntled voices, you also don’t want those voices to complain even more loudly on Facebook or the nightly news if they feel dismissed.

Ask yourself, what could possibly go wrong if we auction this item?

As your committee tries to “think outside the box” for atypical auction items, if you don’t have these conversations early on, you may find yourself – like my client – scrambling to find a solution 1 day before the catalog goes to print.

Categories: Consulting, Event Logistics, GALA GAL Case Study, Live Auctions

►GALA GAL, Featured Presenter for Colorado Auctioneers

April 1, 2015 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Gala Gal Jenelle Taylor as presenter

Jenelle was invited for the 2nd time in 3 years to present at the Colorado Auctioneers Association

A hearty Thank You to O.J. Pratt and all the Colorado auctioneers for warmly welcoming me to present at their Winter Conference this past January. Well, as warm as Denver can be in January, that is!

Since I’d also been one of their invited presenters in 2013, I’d already shared seminars with their members on Boosting Your Brand and 78 Ways to Better your Benefit Auction Business. This year I created 2 brand new seminars for the nearly 100 auctioneer attendees, coaching them on how to create valuable seminars for the public and how to tackle the avalanche of social media outlets in 2015.

I was also honored to serve as a judge for the annual Bid Calling Championship, which one of my BOOTCAMP course alumni (and Boost Your Benefit Auction book contributor) Doug Carpenter won! In addition, the rookie contest was won by another of my BOOTCAMP alumni, Jennifer Clifford.

Congrats to all, and thank you again for a wonderful, educational, fun-filled (if chilly!) trip.

Categories: About GALA GAL, Auctioneers

►BIG Giving went up in 2013!

January 1, 2014 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

While the numbers aren’t out yet about how much average Americans gave last year, gifts over $1M are up over 2012, and there’s nothing bad about that!

I’m glad to hear that the largest single gift came from Facebook’s founder, and wowed to see that he and his new wife’s gift is valued at nearly one billion dollars. With a B.

The largest donation of 2013 came from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, who announced in December that they had given 18 million shares of Facebook stock to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The gift was valued at more than $990 million. This was the first time donors under the age of 30 have made the nation’s largest philanthropic gift, according to the report.

Read about the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s report here, and hope some trickles down!

Categories: Charity

►Your Auction is like this Carousel

July 14, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of Albany Oregon carousel horse

Heartwarming story of calling in favors and working together creating a memorable, signature brand.

I had to smile at this lovely one-page story in today’s Parade newspaper insert, “Riding High: A Struggling Town Creates a Little Magic.”

I saw so many parallels to charities I work for:

  • affected by the economy
  • needing to reinvent itself
  • it began with one person’s idea
  • folks were skeptical at the start
  • started with only $150!

And I see several inspiring lessons in this uplifting tale:

  • get small parts of your big picture dream sponsored by supporters
  • use every person’s connections to call in favors and ask for whatever you need to be given (‘somebody’s aunt knows somebody’s uncle who comes down to lend a hand.’)
  • as parts of your larger project are completed, promote them around town for visibility
  • encourage lots of people in the community to get involved

If you think of your silent and live auction acquisition plan like this amazing carousel project, you can create an auction event for your guests that is unique to your organization and serves to raise your visibility in the community.

Think about what amazing auction package(s) you can design by calling in favors from your supporters. Your idea might be a behind-the-scenes experience at a sporting event or concert, an amazing private dining event with music, luxury transportation, and fine wines, or a “spa day for six” package. Brainstorm every aspect of the experience you’ll need donated, and then ask everyone to call in favors from folks they already know (no cold-calling required!). As you get great auction items confirmed, promote them on your website, on Twitter updates, and on your Facebook page.

You’ll gradually build support for unusual, creative auction offerings which raise your profile in the community and involve many supporters in your future success.

Categories: Better Buyers, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions, Sponsors

►Jazz Up Your Save-the-Date Cards!

July 8, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Image of Save the Date card

Creative social media spin on a boring Save the Date card

Do you send a Save-the-Date card to your mailing list? Do you send it as soon as you sign the contract for your venue, or wait until 2-3 months before your big day?

Here’s a great, creative example with a hip nod to our obsession with social media, available on Etsy for $35 http://tinyurl.com/etsysavethedatecard

 

This sample was part of  the “10 Geeky Wedding Invitations” article http://tinyurl.com/geekyinvitations packed with fresh ways to get guests to save your special date on their social calendars.

Check it out, and this year, add some personality to your standard Save-the-Date card.

 

Categories: Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Templates

►First-time Event Done Right, 12 Do’s

May 22, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

You may have heard that I got invited to Paradise Island, The Bahamas (made famous by the Atlantis mega-resort) to do an auction last month.

The Purple Paws Live Auction was a first-time event, and yet it was a smashing success, exceeding all expectations and likely to double in revenue generated next year.

Here are 12 of the many things the BAARK! all-volunteer team did so right:

  1. Awesome Chairperson.  Passionate about the cause, well connected, and tenacious.
  2. Get businesses to underwrite major costs and write sponsor checks. 
  3. Get help from an auction consultant on item descriptions, displays, order of sale, the evening’s timing, volunteer roles, etc. Sarah used the AUCTION! book I sent her, and we talked extensively in e-mails and phone conferences.
  4.  Venue with appeal.  Use committee and sponsor connections to get the place folks have heard about but never had the chance to see.
  5. Sold-out event. Start with a small venue so you can sell out, and use Facebook and social media to really push ticket sales. If you don’t have a mailing list or Facebook Fan Page with hundreds of folks yet, build THAT first. 
  6. Auction items matched to your guests. Nothing random. Each item specifically sought after because of its broad appeal to the attendees. Plan before you ask.
  7. 100% donations. For a first-time event especially, there’s no point in paying for auction items, as that takes your hard-won donor dollars and gives them away.
  8. Prepared Buyers! “Bodies aren’t bidders” we say. Sarah and I made sure that the guests were fully aware of the Live Auction Opportunities and How to Bid, using prior e-blasts, displays, handouts, Power Point, and microphone announcements. 
  9. Zippy Schedule. Keep your guests entertained and attentive, with food, games, Live Auction and Fund-a-Need donations all flowing nicely from one to the next.
  10. Mission Message. The 3-minute video they created was perfect before the Fund-a-Need, showing clearly the huge impact of more dollars and donations.
  11. Event Support. Well trained staff and volunteers add so much to a great guest experience. We all met in person prior to the event to answer questions and build a confident team.
  12. A Gala auctioneer. Truly, a fundraising event NEEDS to be equal parts entertainer, ambassador, and marketer. Not only was the audience laughing and smiling the whole time, but they were reminded to give generously to the cause, and 72% of the Live Auction items sold for more than they were worth.
Your Mission.
Accomplished.
I look forward to the chance to do it again. Maybe with you 🙂 Just shoot me a note.

Categories: Auctioneers, Better Buyers, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, GALA GAL Case Study, Live Auctions, Sponsors

►Congrats to the Red Wagon Gala Committee

April 22, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Red Wagon Gala Christ Child Society Naples

GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor conducts the 2013 Red Wagon Gala for Christ Child Society Naples

Here’s a quick example of great post-event press coverage, Red Wagon Gala in the Naples Daily News.

This nice summary and accompanying photos ran just days after the event, and serves multiple purposes:

  • appreciating those who just attended
  • publicly thanking major sponsors
  • recognizing the hard work of the committee and volunteers
  •  and raising visibility for the organization.

This kind of coverage has to be arranged in advance, so that a reporter and photographer are in attendance.

For your next event, take the time, no – make the time –  to reach out to local papers, TV stations, society magazines, or even area event website managers to get a commitment for coverage for this 1 Night, Once a Year event you’re pulling off!

After all, we all know that once it begins your event whirls by so fast that you’ll probably need  to read about how it all went too 🙂

Categories: Charity, Event Logistics, Live Auctions, Sponsors

►How’s Your Charity’s Reputation?

February 27, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
What Are They Saying About You?

Protect your charity’s reputation with the public

What’s the public perception about non-profit organizations, and, by extension, your non-profit?

Yesterday’s headline on Slate.com “Why America’s Charities Are So Uncharitable”  http://tinyurl.com/YourCharity immediately tightened my stomach. ‘Arrgh, bad press,’ I thought, worried before I’d even read a word. Arguably, that’s part of the problem. Is it possible, even likely, that thousands (or millions) of Americans will read only that headline?

How can you proactively address any negative press about charities and turn it to your advantage?

In the text, author Ken Stern (long-time nonprofit executive) comments on the number of nationwide charities (1.1 million, not counting congregations) and the sometimes questionable causes the IRS approves for 501(c)3 status. He sees problems with lost revenue, increased competition, and yes, damage to the public perception of non-profits in general. He provides several examples of nonprofit organizations which seem to be benefiting their profit margins more than the public good.

“When so much of the American charitable sector seems so uncharitable, it is perhaps time we remind ourselves what a charity is really supposed to be.”

So, what can you do to protect and enhance your charity’s reputation?

Show and tell your story:  the behind-the-scenes actions you are taking, impacts you are making, lives you are changing. Get photos onto your Facebook page (several times a week!), put 1-2 minute video clips up on YouTube, and write longer content on your web pages.

Want to earn the public trust? Show and tell your way to greater visibility and transparency. If you don’t, those supporter dollars could go to another organization.

Categories: Consulting

Free Conference Call to “capture and capitalize” wisdom

June 18, 2012 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

In your job, whatever it is, every day you’re either offering your expertise or listening to someone else share his/her expertise. And every day, you’re wasting wisdom that could be leveraged to save you time, which saves you money, which means more for your bottom line. Take a few seconds to do this one thing, and you’ll build your arsenal of resources and get smarter, all for FREE!

Capturing your Expertise

Think about it – if you work with a charitable cause, in the course of your day, you may (more…)

Categories: Technology