January 2, 2013

Calendar of 2013 nonprofit & social change conferences

The graphic recording created during Socialbrite’s “You Need a Strategy” session at the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference.

SuperGuide to events for nonprofits & social good organizations

JD LasicaHere’s our roundup of conferences in the nonprofit and social change sectors coming up in 2013. This has become an annual tradition here at Socialbrite, and we hope you’ll bookmark this page and return to it throughout the year — we’ll be updating it throughout 2013 as more conference details firm up.

We’ll be reporting on many of these events and invite you to share your coverage or observations on Socialbrite, or let us know and we’ll tweet it or Facebook it. Throughout the year we’ll publish monthly calendars on the first of the month. Continue reading

July 12, 2012

Slap Cancer: 5 lessons from a successful cause campaign

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, fundraisers.

JD LasicaI‘ve seen my share of fundraising campaigns over the years, but one of the most impressive has to be the campaign put on by Brianna Haag and her team of volunteers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The nonprofit’s fundraising competition, which started 22 years ago and now exists in 73 chapters of the organization nationwide, generated some great events at the local level this year. Coming out on top was Slap Cancer, a 10-week series of events in the San Francisco Bay Area that raised $207,000 for blood cancer research and garnered Brianna honors as the Society’s Woman of the Year.

Brianna shared her thoughts on how other organizations can use social media and event planning to hit their fundraising goals in this 6-minute video interview on Vimeo. Continue reading

October 26, 2011

Vivanista to host first-ever fundraising summit

Fundraising Summit

Learn how to disrupt the traditional practices of charitable fundraising

Guest post by Stacy Coleman
Senior Marketing Associate, Vivanista

Join us on Nov. 11 and 12 in San Francisco to take part in Vivanista’s Charitable Fundraising Summit, which will bring together volunteer leaders, fundraising event chairs and nonprofit development staff for inspiring keynotes, expert panels and training workshops.

With the goal of arming fundraisers and volunteers with tools to increase their fundraising effectiveness, The Fundraising Summit will address how to:

  • Improve fundraising profitability and long-term viability in an uncertain economy
  • Acquire new, tangible fundraising tools that can be integrated immediately
  • Gain access to experts for real-life fundraising and donor-loyalty advice

The summit kicks off Friday evening Nov 11 with the VivaBrite Awards, which will honor individuals and nonprofits who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, fundraising acumen and creative thinking with respect to the successful execution of a charitable event.

Know an individual or organization that deserves the award? Nominate them using this link: vivanista.com/vivabrite-awards/nominate/ (Nominations close on Monday.)

On Saturday, Nov. 12, the summit will continue with a full day of workshops, panels and keynotes from leading experts, addressing key areas such as generating event revenue, social media and building sustainable audiences. Socialbrite founder JD Lasica will be speaking on the social media panel.

Additional speakers include: Bestselling nonprofit author Kay Sprinkle Grace; (RED) creator Tamsin Smith; GirlUp at The UN Foundation director Gina Reiss-Wilchins; LinkedIn nonprofit community leader Bryan Breckenridge; and director of nonprofit services at Causes, Susan Gordon of Causes.com, among others. See the full lineup of speakers and the summit’s schedule.

Special offer for Socialbrite readers!

Register now at Eventbrite. Socialbrite readers get a 20% discount by using the SOCIALBRITE-VIP code. Continue reading

September 21, 2011

10 tips for a successful fundraising event


How to wow your supporters at your next event gathering

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, NGOs, event organizers, fundraising professionals, social media managers.

This is Part 8 and the final installment of our series on social fundraising. See below for other articles in this series.

Guest post by George Wooden
Founder & CEO, BW Unlimited

With so many fundraising campaigns taking place online these days, nonprofits have fewer chances to interact with their supporters face to face. And while fundraising events may no longer be the most important component of your organization’s fundraising strategy, it’s still a good idea to host an event for your supporters and take the opportunity to interact with your community.

Here are 10 key pointers to help you make your next fundraising event an extraordinary one.

1Pick the right venue. Your guests should be treated to a wonderful venue with an expert staff. As your guests enter your event, even in the parking lot, the appearance of the venue is vitally important to their overall experience.

2Plan as if you are a guest. When planning your event, examine it during the planning stages from the perspective of a guest and not as the organizer. This includes meal selection, items for your Live and Silent action (if applicable), as well as presentation length.

3Plan to plan.  Well before your event, meet with your event committee and discuss all aspects of the event. Go over your event time line over and over so that everyone is familiar with the flow. Ensure that everyone understands their duties and what they are responsible for.

4Meal should match the ticket price.  When reviewing meal choices for your guests, do not pick what you like or what is economical, pick the meal that your guests will truly enjoy. A fantastic meal is the cornerstone of a great event; a bad meal will ruin their experience. Continue reading

March 28, 2011

10 media relations tips for your nonprofit

Follow these do’s and don’ts to get a better shot at press coverage for your event

Guest post by Cherie Louise Turner

Events benefit from media coverage. And seeing a story about your hard efforts or seeing photos of your fundraising event receiving coverage in social media and traditional media is satisfying and exciting.

Getting good media coverage is a challenge. But It can become much more rewarding, for you and your chosen media outlets, if you develop good relationships with their editors. Having been on the editorial side of the equation for more than a decade, I have dealt with a huge variety of approaches from those seeking my attention. Here are my top five dos and don’ts to creating great relationships with editors.

DO follow these steps

  1. Know the publication
    It’s amazing how few people follow this simple rule. Consider: why would an editor be interested in working with someone who doesn’t take the time to know what her publication is about? It’s both a matter or respect as well as efficiency: if you know the publication, you’ll know what type of story about your event to pitch. A well thought-out and appropriate story idea is far more likely to be of interest to an editor.
  3. Be mindful of an editor’s lack of time
    Editors are often on deadline or juggling multiple projects; they’re busy just like everyone else, and it’s easy to catch them at a stressful time. So be efficient in your dealings. Yes, your event is important; it may be your top priority. But it’s only one of dozens of other things the editor is dealing with. Be mindful of her side of the situation, too.
  5. Know what you’re looking for
    There are three basic ways events get coverage: a calendar listing, post-event coverage/a story about the event itself, a story about someone or something linked to the event. Know what you’re looking for before you call or e-mail a publication. If you’re looking for story coverage, present some compelling storylines to follow. What’s inspiring, unique or newsworthy about your event? Give an editor something to work with, and you’re more likely to get in the publication.
  6. Be politely persistent
    It’s a good idea to make sure your materials reach the right person. Start the process by sending your materials via e-mail. If you haven’t

    What’s inspiring, unique or newsworthy about your event? Give an editor something to work with.

    received some sort of response within a couple of days, a polite follow-up e-mail is completely appropriate. E-mail gets lost or sometimes accidentally passed over; it’s OK to just ensure that yours actually got seen. If that second attempt doesn’t get a response, phone the editor. If you’re still not getting any response, make one last attempt and then move on. Editors are always looking for content; if you know they’ve seen your materials and they’re not responding to you, it’s safe to assume they’re not interested. Put your efforts into finding another outlet that is.

  8. Get materials in on or before deadlines
    This applies both to your original press releases as well as any requested materials. Know when a publication starts planning its issues; know that some magazines plan months in advance. Time your submissions accordingly. If you are working with an editor who’s interested in covering your event, make sure she has everything she requests when she requests it. If you show yourself to be a reliable resource, you’ll be top on that editor’s list of people to work with again.

DON’T make these mistakes

  1. Don’t insist that your event or story idea is perfect for the publication
    That’s the editor’s job; she knows her publication and decides what will work and what won’t. Offer the information, and share what you honestly believe will be of interest to the readers (and not just serve to be self-promotional). If there’s still no interest, move on.
  2. Continue reading

January 6, 2011

Vivanista: Live well and do good


Lifestyle site offers resources for charitable fundraisers

JD LasicaOne of the terrific new resources for those learning how to host philanthropic fundraisers is Vivanista, a very cool San Francisco startup that offers a wealth of resources around charitable events.

I recently chatted with co-founder Annie Vranizan in their San Francisco offices about the organization — which is due to receive its 501(c)(3) status in a few months — its goals and best practices around live events .

“We believe women can lead a philanthropic lifestyle” without being professional philanthropists, Annie says. “If there’s a charity gala in New York, how come someone in San Francisco can’t learn from that and replicate that model?”

Watch, download or embed the video on Vimeo
Watch or embed the video on YouTube

The classy site offers a wealth of how-tos, tips, tools and best practices, everything from interviews and profiles of women who are chairing charitable events to strategies for getting corporate sponsorships.

One of the site’s most popular features is its events calendar — you can see fundraiser ideas ranging from a cupcake party to a fashion show. One thing I like is that the fundraisers are real-world events, not impersonal online begathons.

Strategic advice around live fundraising events

Other notable features and services offered by Vivanista:

“If you’re going to do a wine tasting or get your girlfriends together, why not attach a cause to it and raise money for something you’re passionate about?”
— Annie Vranizan

http://vivanista.com/parties-for-a-purpose/“>Parties for a Purpose. Says Annie: “If you’re going to do a wine tasting or get your girlfriends together, why not attach a cause to it and raise money for something you’re passionate about?”

• They’ve just selected five 90-second video finalists in their Parties for a Purpose contest. The winning nonprofit will be awarded $1,000. Head over and vote!

• They also provide Fundraisers in a Box, a kit that gives you everything from the outline of your fundraising event to the corporate sponsorship letter to estimates of volunteers, a time frame and a theme that aligns with your mission.

• In the near future they’ll be offering event consulting services to help get fund-raisers off the ground. Continue reading