Monday, October 16

Shouldn't events tie to mission?

Yesterday I walked in one of the local American Cancer Society walks for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While my team raised about $5,000 for the walk, but I'm not writing about it to brag. More importantly, I think it is critical for fundraising events to be tied (either as a symbolic theme or actual linkage) to the organization's mission.

For example, the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer theme of the ACS walk has several connections to the important work ACS does to help those diagnosed with cancer. Survivors lead the walk, walkers are encouraged to wear a sign showing the name of a person who has battled the disease, and along the route signs point out important prevention tips.

This is in contrast to some of the cocktail parties I've been to recently that raise money for a specific charity without any tie-in or connection to the nonprofit's mission. I've always given special event fundraisers the benefit of the doubt. I'm a direct marketing guy who likes to see donors support the cause because they understand the problem, solution, strategy we articulate in our mail and phone appeals... not because they want to party and the proceeds go to a good cause.

For example: it seems to me that there is a good way and a bad way to use duct tape as a fundraising tie-in.

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