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Fundraising Banquets: How-To

Notes from a presentation given by Michael Cloud
at Success '97 (notes taken by Stacy Van Oast)
  1. Create a very special occasion or invite a very special person to draw people
  2. Invite people
  3. Put on a good event
    • only have one speaker
    • allow speaker 40 minutes MAX
    • get people dressed up (they'll feel good about themselves and about the LP)
    • sell tix for $25-$35 each
    • don't have a head table
    • sprinkle "celebrities" around room, placing one at each table
    • you can have someone else introduce the keynote speaker, but YOU write the intro - just give the facts: a brief bio, etc. - 5 minutes!
    • begin during dessert
    • allow questions after the speech (not during)
    • fundraiser person has speaker sit down before questions are taken (after speech) while he makes a pitch, then keynote speaker answers questions, then fundraiser announces how much has been collected and asks for more, then speaker can answer more questions,etc.
    • don't hand out contribution cards until you begin actually fundraising (otherwise people will give less than they may after they've heard your pitch)
    • ask for money for specific projects and describe the benefits
    • people will want to know "what's in it for me?" - tell them
    • give awards and have other announcements AFTER fundraising
    • make sure everyone feels that they've made a difference
  4. Do not use these motivations to raise money:
    • No Guilt
    • No Fear
    • No Pain
  5. Have fun!
    • tip: ask people to write checks while they're laughing
    • the fundraiser's job is to entertain AND inform
  6. Rules:
    • tell people specifically what the money they're giving is for
    • tell them specifically how much money you want
    • ask them if they feel comfortable saying "no", but ask them to consider saying "yes"
    • tip: ask for "hush money"; have everyone hold up a $20 bill and promise that the fundraiser will shut up

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