How to Produce Successful Fundraising Events with Laurien Towers

LAURIEN TOWERS began her diversified career of over 30 years as one of the producers of LIVE AID, immediately followed by several other live global telecasts. Laurien has produced and directed multi-cultural events internationally including with Eastern Bloc nations, concerts, animation, film, and theatre. Her expertise includes strategic planning, creative development, and production of special events, benefits, concerts, live global telecasts, animation, documentaries and film festivals.

Ms. Towers has extensive experience in Special Events Production & Management. She has worked internationally with government agencies, non-profit organizations, private companies, performers and media worldwide to create and establish joint business ventures and entertainment co-productions. Laurien has organized, produced, directed and managed the logistics, travel and promotional details for business conferences, benefits, concerts, live global telecasts,theatrical, film and video productions. Additionally, she has managed and represented international musical acts for charitable events and commercial concert venues in the U.S.

Dedicated to promoting cross-cultural understanding and cooperation, Laurien has been involved with the development and production of positive, innovative projects that focus on children, humanitarian, and environmental issues. She has served as Executive Director for Medicine for Humanity, an international non-profit organization dedicated to improving
women’s health worldwide, and consults with other non-profit organizations to develop creative projects and mutually beneficial alliances with local venues and businesses for fundraising events.

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Interview Transcript

Hugh Ballou: Hey friends, welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. Russ, we got another good guest today, thanks to you. You reached out and talked to Laurien. Russ, how are you today?

Russell Dennis: It’s a fine day here in Aurora, Colorado, right by Denver. We’ve got Laurien Towers. Brilliant lady who has done a lot of events. She is here to share her wisdom with us about how to run an event for your nonprofit. Some of the things that will enhance your success.

Hugh: With that lead-in, Laurien, welcome.

Laurien Towers: Thank you, Hugh and Russ. I am honored and privileged to be here with you. I love what you guys are doing. I’ve watched diligently the past few months. I’ve been an event producer for what feels like my whole life, over 30 years. I have worked on huge events, live global satellite shows. I began with Live Aid. I was in the former Soviet Union for a number of live telecasts and concerts. I did a film project with them. I have worked in the Caribbean. I don’t just do large events. I work with smaller nonprofits. I just came up to Washington to work with one and do an annual one. I have worked with churches and kids’ groups and Save the Whales. I am well-versed and love doing events for causes to help them raise money, awareness, and make a difference and expand the great work they all do.

Hugh: Thank you. We have some specific questions we want to ask you. Before we get into that, I want you to give us some perspective. Why should people have events? Then what is an example of an event that went wrong?

Laurien: How long do you have?

Hugh: I want to get into the questions, so give us a summary.

Laurien: I prefer to focus on the ones that work. In any case, why people do events. The first obvious one is they want to raise money for their cause, organization, church. How can we have a big party and have people come support us? That is not the only reason. Sometimes it is a new organization, or you moved to a new location, so you do it to invite the community into my home to see what I do and what I’m passionate about and hopefully inspire them to be excited about what you care about doing, as I am. A lot of it is about awareness and outreach, expanding your base, whether it’s just community relationships, and your support base, donors, long-term, to help you do what you love doing.

Russell: What are some things people need to look at? I want to have a fundraising event. What are some things people need to look at before they make a decision to try to do an event?

Laurien: For me, it always starts with a strategic plan. Where are you? Looking at reality, where you are right now, what resources do you have? I don’t mean just financial. Do you have a staff that is 100% dedicated to what they have to do every day? Do they have a huge workload so they can’t take on another thing? Or do you have volunteers? Do you have someone specific to do events? That is a key piece. When you get into the event, the event takes on a life of its own. I don’t care if it’s a bake sale or Live Aid. They are a living entity. You look at the resources you have, your team. Identify your strengths. What do you need? Is it easily accessible to you to do it? Sometimes people start off with wanting to do a huge event to make a difference. Then you look at it and go, “I can only do a bake sale.” Start with where you are. I believe in stepping stones.

Russell: There are a lot of parts to unpack. Getting back to what Hugh asked, talk about some of the things you have seen happen where some of the key parts were missing. Events that went off the rails.

Laurien: I think the first thing is you are not clearly defining your goals and not really identifying who is going to take on which role to make it happen. Getting ahead of yourself. Not following step by step. We are going to have this festival. Where are you now? Where are you going to have it? You have to consider weather, the location, all the things that can go wrong. If you are doing a live event, something will go awry. You will have to watch the football game on Sunday. You have to be prepared to do that. That is the key piece, the one I see over and over again, people jump in and don’t have a clue. They start promoting it before they have all the pieces in place. Then they have to backtrack. It’s taking time. A lot of it is you don’t have enough lead time either. Oh, we can do that next month. No, you really need a significant amount of lead time to prepare properly.

Russell: Are there specific rules of thumb in general people want to look at from a time perspective as to how far ahead we need to look at this for an event?

Laurien: My key always is to do a minimum lead time of 4-6 months. You’re asking for extra problems and challenges to show up if you do it any sooner than that.

Also, it depends on your location. Weather is a factor. Both you and I and Hugh, last month, couldn’t do things outdoors. If you planned it, it was probably going to be postponed.

Other events happening in your area. Pay attention. There are calendars everywhere. If you want to do an event, but there are 10 others happening in that period of time, they will take your audience who would come and support you.

Russell:What types of things go into looking at who the audience is and who you want to bring in to your event?

Laurien: It’s about what your focused on. I heard you the other day talking about the homeless community. People who care about the cause. That’s where you want to go. Who do you want to identify? Who would you like to get engaged with your organization, who is not already aware of it? Sponsors. Your legislators. The mayor. Congresspeople. Reach to the audience that you know. You want them to come help support you. But you want to broaden your community. The reason you’re doing an event is to broaden your outreach in all areas, including funding. The more people you have on board, the more people you have access to.

Russell: Everything costs money. It requires some thinking about what sort of expenses you will have and revenues. There is the dreaded B-word. Budget.

Laurien: Everyone loves to talk to me initially because I love to brainstorm and create. That’s the fun part. Then I say “budget.” They go, No, no, we don’t have a budget. Well, you have to have one, even if you get absolutely everything donated, which I successfully did last year for an event here. We were not out of pocket for everything we needed. Everything came through to support the funding goal. However, that is not always the case. So you do have to create a budget. If you’re going to need it for your event, it should have a cost line item, even if you know someone is going to get it for you.

Russell: What are some of the line items you should include in your budget? I know there are an awful lot.

Laurien: First would be where the event is being held. If it’s in your own living room, that’s not a cost. Usually there is a venue cost. There is sometimes staffing costs. There is food. Catering. If you want to have beverages, even if it’s a conference and you are going to serve coffee. My goodness. I am going through all the items off the top of my head. Your promotions. Your printing. How are you going to get the message out there? Social media is popular. There are a lot of people who will attend who don’t do that. Again, know your demographics. If it’s a youthful audience, social media is great. Email is great. But there are times where you want flyers and posters.

Russell: Are there some common line items you see people miss repeatedly when putting a budget together? What are items people overlook?

Laurien: I would say people most often overlook are the obvious ones. If you’re going to have a silent auction, you have to have pencils and pens and paper for people to sign up. They get left at the office. I have seen that happen over and over again. The other things you don’t take into account are decorations. You want to offer a giveaway, and you didn’t plan time to get pens with your name on it so you can give something away to the people that are attending as a thank-you. I have seen ridiculous things. You are having a bake sale, and there is no water or juice or coffee. You forget the silverware. You have the plates and napkins and decorations, but no plasticware. As many events and items as you can think of, people leave them off.

Hugh: Laurien, people think about booking a room. It will be an evening event from 7-9. They don’t think about how long it will take to set up and clean up. It’s part of what an event planner says. How long will it take you to set up? What time do people arrive? It needs to be set up by 6. It will take you two hours, so you need to be there by 4. Then people have to break down. I didn’t have a tear-down crew. Some of those things cost money. You can book a room for two hours, but six hours is a different cost.

Laurien: Correct. A two-hour event is half a day because that’s how long you need the venue.

Hugh: Russ asked this earlier, and I wanted to probe into: If we are planning an event, SynerVision is planning an event in May. It’s February, so we’re good. March is one month. April is two months. May is three months. We have 90 days to put it together. How do you determine how much time you need to promote an event and pull the details together? Is there a magic formula? Or do you have a paradigm?

Laurien: I touched on this before. 3 months is respectable. You probably already have an idea in your mind of what this is, and you have done it prior to starting as of today. You want to line up your speakers and get everybody in place ahead of time. You’re getting a sense of what you need to do. I missed the last part of your question because of my cat attacking me. Sorry.

Hugh: What we’re doing as leaders, we think about the event. I’m trying to think about why we would want a person like you to help us. Part of what I’m thinking about is to challenge me on my budget assumptions, challenge me on my timeline the day of the event, challenge my timeline on lead time, and challenge me for thinking through my goals for the event. I might think it’s just to raise money. You might say, Hugh, but part of it is to let people know more about the results of what you’re doing and engage them. You need volunteers.

Laurien: Exactly. Those are all the components. You’re right. Someone wants to raise money as their goal. No, you want more. You want people to get excited so you gain a support base. You do need volunteers. Unless you have a huge budget and can pay for everything, you need volunteers. You need to plan set-up and break-down time, those extra things that need to happen during the event. You want to let people know at the event why they are supporting you. What are the great things you’re doing? What are the wonderful things you plan to do with this money you raise? It’s a return on investment for the nonprofit, not just dollar signs for the investor. It’s about the impact that you have on the lives and the community or the cause that you are making a difference in a positive way for. You want people to go away feeling like, I understand why Hugh is so excited about his organization. It has a bigger vision I wasn’t aware of before.

Hugh: Also, we’re putting together the articles for our next magazine. It’s all around brand. Brand is not your logo; that’s a picture. Brand is what you stand for. Every event you do represents your brand. I have attended a few local nonprofit events. Dinners that are also a pitch for money. Here is what we’re doing, here is what we’re doing next. Or a luncheon. One of them had trouble with technology. The videos didn’t play. The mic didn’t work for the presenter. The luncheon was an hour. I had to leave at an hour and a half, and the speaker wasn’t done. There were variables like that. What is the start time and the end time? Have you thought about production? What will each element take? Have you scheduled a rehearsal on-site to check technology? You have offered an event checklist of five bullet points. There are lots of things like that that I would assume a person like you would help us think about these little things, that when you add them up, they help you represent yourself as a better brand.

Laurien: The checklist I gave is very brief. The first five key things you need to look at. There is so much more that goes into an event. If there is a concert, you have to have a sound check. If you are doing a performance, you have rehearsals. We had two rehearsals at the venue. We had to book it for that. We tested our video and audio. The piano, the musicians, all those pieces. Those are the things. The talent is going, I am going to sing. That’s great, but the behind the scenes is what makes it happen. The audience has to hear it, so it’s not a disaster, but a great experience. Yes, obviously someone needs to be there to say, “As a speaker, you were supposed to have 10 minutes, and you have just gone into 20. We are way over.” The guy with the hook. Get him off stage. Gently prod him and move it along because we have an audience we will lose, especially if it’s a business at a conference. These guys are busy, and we don’t have time to expand what you thought was going to be an hour meeting.

Hugh: Absolutely. I wedged my way in here. Russ was on a roll here.

Laurien: I appreciate it. This is good. Thank you for doing that.

Hugh: This checklist is a good basic guide.

Laurien: I’d be happy to talk to people. When people do email, as they go through my website, there is a way to indicate your question, and I will get back to you.

Russell: We have a new community here where we do Q&As. It’s a great place to join. You can ask your questions about anything nonprofit-related.

One thing we talked about was volunteers. What are some of the things you find are attractive to people to entice them to volunteer? What are some of the motivations that you’ve seen with people who volunteered to staff different charity events?

Laurien: Usually the volunteers are already supportive of your cause. They are passionate about it. Sometimes they are students, and they don’t have time or money to be involved in a bigger way, so it gives them the opportunity to be involved. Get to a concert, and they are helping to promote it so they don’t have to buy a ticket and still see it and participate. I believe in feeding them and supporting them and saying thank you. Be grateful to everybody, including sponsors. Show your appreciation. The volunteers I have always come away saying, “Wow, I think I got so much more out of it than I gave.” That makes it rewarding for them. Some of them have found out I want to go into this field because they had that experience.

Russell: Who in the organization should take point on this? Some organizations are large and have access to a lot of people. Who should be your point person inside of a nonprofit to take on this challenge?

Laurien: I think the person that is the most comfortable being well-organized and can see the big picture. You have to be able to see the big picture in order to backtrack to where you are and what steps need to be taken. I really recommend that one person is their main focus. Making this event. That is their priority. All the pieces, identifying one other support person that can help do the details and the follow-through. There are so many pieces. You want registration. Who will respond? What if someone needs a refund on a ticket? There are minute details, and you need to know and have team members who meet weekly or daily to say, “Okay, where is the checklist? Who is responsible for this? Did you do it?” I have been at events. We are in the office, and our pens were across town. We had to go across the street and buy a new set because we had silent auctions and people had nothing to write with. Minor details. Who is responsible? Whose job was that to be responsible for it? It’s important.

Russell: What are some of the things the board can do to help support that person? If that’s their one job, and the event is big, that’s a big job. How can the board support that person and set the table to help that person succeed?

Laurien: If you have a board, the board is supposed to be supporting the executive director to do the job and help you obtain sponsorships. They can help you find the volunteers. They can be the ones who help you take on a role and support what you need to handle. If you need catering and creators and presenters of more information about the organization, they will help. The board has to be engaged. You guys need to follow the integrity and overall vision of what your organization is about. If they are not on board, it’s like pushing a boulder up the mountain.

Russell: That’s quite an analogy. We have a lot of mountains up here. It’s hard enough getting to the top of them without pushing anything.

Laurien: A team effort is important. Board, volunteers, staff.

Russell: What kind of special functions would certain staff members in a nonprofit take? Are there certain tasks for events that specific staff members in an organization would be suited to tackle?

Laurien: I want someone who can handle a database. As you are getting inquiries, you want to capture those email addresses. Ticket sales. We used recently Brown Paper Tickets, which helped a lot. A lot of people didn’t go online to do that; they were at the door. Data is a big deal because you want to continue to build your database for events. Answering the phones. Taking registrations. Following up with your catering needs. Someone who will be responsible and capable of insurances in place. Liability insurance, you may need. Getting all the details the venue needs you to have. Talent, speakers, those kinds of things. Make sure their needs are met. I have done concerts, so you have to have a green room for your talent, and make sure the crew has their necessities. If you have audio/visual and tech people, you want them to help you with documenting your event, even if it’s just a photographer. That is another way for future promotion. Your website development. Who is handling your website?

Russell: Lots of moving parts for sure. One of the keys to being successful as a nonprofit is for people to know about what it is that you’re doing. Are there some common pitfalls that nonprofits have when they are looking at marketing an event? What things should be included in marketing? That is a broad term.  

Laurien: It’s a broad term. You want to get the information out about who, what, when, and how. Who are you? Why would people want to come to your event? Not just because of the event, but why they would want to support you. What makes you unique? I have a calendar of events in front of me; why should I go to yours? Get your information out. We touched on social media earlier. It’s a big deal now. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are all important. Email is a personal touch. If you have contacts, call them, send them an email of specifics. Sometimes a private invitation to a pre-event or something to make it important to them is good.

Not only what you have done, but also what your goals are. Why did you get inspired about getting involved with this cause? You want to have other people have that experience, to get ignited, to want to be involved with you and support what you’re doing. Also awareness. We have had kids go door to door to hand out flyers and posters and get them in storefronts. Sponsorship is another category, but you have a lot to offer sponsors to help you as well.

Hugh: Can we explore that a bit? It’s convincing sponsors. That is not a donation. That is a marketing thing. Sponsors want to be in front of your audience. Do you help people think about the messages they need to communicate to sponsors, or why it’s good for their business brand to be associated with your nonprofit?

Laurien: I do that all the time. In fact, on the last event I did, I was fully sponsored. All of our costs were covered by in-kind sponsorships. In-kind sponsorship is easier to obtain normally. Nonprofits actually get the cash donation. You should package a sponsorship package up front when you do your strategic planning. Look at what you have to offer. People think they don’t. Yes, you do. You have a venue. You have signage. You can put the banner up for the sponsor. You have an information table at your event that gives the sponsor ability to be in front of your audience to give their message. How are they tied in with you? Why are they supporting you? Let them have access to your audience to address them about why they are sponsoring you and why they care about you. There are a lot of things you can do. You have a website; give them presence there. Promote them. Let people know what they’re doing. There is a lot to offer a sponsor. Printer sponsors are my favorite because you need printers. If I can get a printing company to be excited about what we’re doing and get our information out there, I have someone to help me do my banners, program, flyers, and posters.

Russell: All sorts of things could probably be sponsored. What are some of the common mistakes that you see nonprofits make when approaching sponsors? What are some common misconceptions that people have about what sponsorship is and what isn’t?

Laurien: They go in not saying the things they can offer the sponsors, not doing enough research to see what it is that would entice the sponsor to be involved. What is the sponsor looking for? Think about that. Not what you’re asking them to offer you and pay for, but what you can do for them to expand what you’re doing. It’s like a reverse view of how to approach someone. I do that with who you’re inviting to the event. What are they going to gain from being out of your event? Whether it’s the purchaser of the ticket, attendee, or a sponsor, look at what you can be of service and what you can be offering to them, and not just what they can give to you. That’s a mistake.

Russell: What are some good examples of the type of value that a nonprofit could put on the table to entice a sponsor to come in that meets what they’re looking for?

Laurien: The value could be your demographic. Who are you inviting to your event? Is it 200 people or 1,000? Are they the audience that the sponsor wants to be in front of? Are they the ones who are going to help expand the sponsor’s business? They’re local clientele. The local supermarket may be able to provide you some of the items you need for your green room or your catering, and they want those constituents to see them and see that they’re there for them. Come to our establishment versus someone else’s. Banks also. If you have a bank, people don’t understand who they can go to. If you have an insurance company, do you have a bank? Doctors. Massage therapists. Anything you frequent is a potential sponsor if they can be excited about what you’re doing. If nothing else, if you’re going to have a silent auction, that is who you will go to. Get them to contribute an item to your silent auction, and they get promotion and are donating it. They are getting their product out, and you are getting some support that helps you with your fundraising.

Russell: Every sponsor is going to have a different motivation based on their business. Are there some good rules of thumb in general that a nonprofit can use when approaching a potential sponsor? What would you say are some things they should consider before approaching a potential sponsor?

Laurien: I have done that recently. I walk in and let them know what the organization is, what we’re doing, why it’s important. We would love your support in this way. Sometimes I think instead of you telling the sponsor what you want from them, it’s like getting in a conversation. How do they see themselves being able to support you and participate? Sometimes it’s writing a check. I didn’t expect it, but I got a check. I thought it was something else, but I got a check because that’s what they wanted to do. I was pleasantly surprised. Others were a part of the chamber of commerce there. We had an event a couple months ago. I put out a senior discount deal. I said something about the organization who buys a block of 10 tickets will get the senior discount. I had five sign up right away. I had the tickets sold, the sponsors, and put their names on a banner we were already printing. It was creative, and it was a pleasant surprise. It was fun. Everyone had a good time. I think those are the things. You approach them, they are excited. I found that people want to support, but sometimes they just don’t know how. If you give them options. I walked into one years ago and was asking for a silent auction item. They came back and donated toys for Santa to give away. I had no clue that was going to happen. They had them left over and needed to get rid of them. It was a blessing all the way around. Be open to being creative, and let those things come.

Russell: It almost sounds like for some folks, making an ask can be a scary proposition. It almost sounds like, Hey, take a chance because you never know what sort of underlying motivation they may have. You may be pleasantly surprised at the result.

Laurien: I have been quite frequently. When you have an event, a lot of people fail to do the ask. You need to have someone. If you are not the one comfortable to do the ask, find someone who is, and give them executive power.

Russell: Is there any one specific person that businesses and potential sponsors are more responsive to when that ask is given? A certain staff member or board member that they respond to more than others.

Laurien: I think it comes down to personality about the person who is asking and how passionate they are about the cause and how much they believe in it. If they have been touched personally themselves and have a personal story about the organization, the personal stories or testimonials are the ones that trigger the greatest response in people giving. I was the director for Medicine for Humanity for years. The difference that people’s lives were changed. We had one of them who came from Uganda to speak about how their life was touched by this organization. That absolutely caused no dry eyes. Those are the stories. Maybe they physically don’t do the ask, but they are telling their story, and someone says, “This is how we make a difference. This is how we need your help to do so.”

Russell: As a percentage of the time that you spend presenting your program or organization, is there a good mix of people who have benefited from the work you do? How much time is devoted to them? Where do you put them in your program, if you’re running one?

Laurien: I’m not quite clear about this question.

Russell: As you have an event, you have a program, usually the way you make presentations on some of the work you’re doing. The people you’re serving, how much time do you allocate in that program to have people give a testimonial in front of the audience?

Laurien: It depends on your program. You don’t want to take too much talking head time. You want it to be effective. Depending on the length of time, I know Hugh knows this, get the people who are the key people who will be the most powerful. Take that time. Intersperse them if you want to have more than one so they are not back to back. I would not do more than 10-15% of your time to devote to that. You want to have a good time. Even if it’s a conference, get the information, what did they come there for? This is the added piece. You spice it up.

Russell: I imagine with limited time, if you are putting a program together, is there a specific time in a typical program that would be the best part of the program for placement of these people to talk about the impact of the organization in their lives?

Laurien: Probably halfway through. I would do the entertainment. Get them excited. If you have entertainment. If you have video presentations about your organization. Follow it with someone who can speak to what you just showed. Entertainment is wonderful. Singers, performers, dancers. Right after that, they have had the fun, maybe a silent auction, they had a break. Then come back and remember why we’re here. You want a flow. You want it to reach a peak and continue, not completely go down until the finale, where you get people together. End it with something entertaining and fun. That’s how I try to do it.

Russell: I imagine that’s tough to do especially if you don’t have any experience doing that. That would require an expert who has a lot of cycles through that type of thing.

Laurien: It is entertainment. No matter what it is, you need to capture the audience in some way. Whether they are there for a serious business conference or a luncheon or a cocktail party or just coffee, it’s community. It’s not a party, but it is. It’s embracing people to come together as a community to get them excited. If one person sees someone getting excited, that’s infectious.

Russell: You mentioned videos. There are a lot of different things that can be done to mark an event and an organization. Is there an ideal mix as to what type of marketing materials that you produce?

Laurien: It depends on the organization and your message. If you do have a quality video presentation, put it on your website. Offer it elsewhere. Do it on Facebook. Your LinkedIn. Places where people know what you’re doing. If there is local TV advertising and you have a budget for that, or a radio spot, get it out there to the broader audience. It does depend on the level and the quality. I hesitate because I have been a producer in TV. If it’s not a good quality, I would hesitate to put it out there. That’s just me. I would encourage someone to get quality documentation of your event. Video or great photographers so that you give your best presentation.

Hugh: That is one thing that people need you for. They don’t think about those things after it’s over. I owned a photo business at one time. After it’s over, I’m as guilty as anybody, people ask me, “Did you take pictures?” I went, “Duh, no.” I am so busy doing what I do. We want to be Superman. I want to present. I want to run the event. I want to get all the people there. I want to manage the whole event. Really, I just need to be present and present when people do the recording. You can use those recordings and fundraising to promote other events. One important thing I see is when people come together, and you develop this new sense of community. It’s what I call a new architecture of engagement, as people come together and are doing something together.

On your event checklist, there are five items. #1 is define the goals. What do you want to accomplish here? That is so important. Why do the event? Oftentimes, I see organizations do an event with a lot of volunteers and board members, and they only bring in a dribble of money. That may not be your only goal. There might be a series of events that leads to larger funding. So one is define your goals/objectives.

#2 is identify your team. It’s important to have people tasked with specific things. Not just assume they will do it.

#3 is create an event proposal. Everything you will do, put it there.

#4 is create an event budget. That’s the B word. Where is the money coming from? Maybe people say, “We can’t afford that.” Don’t stop there. Think about who you know that could help you fund it. You don’t need to take it out of your regular funding; you could have special funding. You’re right. It’s in your strategy, your overall plan. You want to put this in there with enough money to do your job.

#5 is set a date and book the venue. You don’t want to have it all line up and find out you can’t get the venue.

*Sponsor message from Wordsprint*

Back to you, Laurien. What do you want to leave people with today?

Laurien: I heard you say something earlier when people say, “I can’t afford that.” Think outside the box. Have fun with it. Be creative. We go back to the strategic plan. What do you want to do? Why do you want to do this event? If you can’t do it, then what can you do right now to propel what you’re ultimately wanting to do? Find the people. If you don’t have it, you have boards and staff. Say, “This is what I’d like to do.” Even your friends. You have no clue who whom you know will know. That space might be available. Don’t give up. Don’t be discouraged. Everyone can make a difference. You can get the word out about what you’re doing and increase your outreach and awareness, which will ultimately increase your donor base.

Russell: Thank you. Lots to think about. Lots to unpack. Grab a copy of that checklist. Get in touch with Laurien for a deeper dive. There is always more than meets the eye to these kinds of things.

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