CEO Insights: Golden Goosebump Moment

February 28, 2020
2 min
A grid of shapes, a portrait photo of Justin Wheeler, and the words "CEO Chat".
Justin is Funraise's CEO, a co-founder, and a bad-ass, experienced nonprofit fundraiser. Like a true fundraiser-turned-founder, he breaks down the concepts behind Funraise's mission everywhere he can make nonprofits' voices heard.

Event fundraising in my opinion is one of the hardest channels to master.

It requires an insane amount of production if you want to do it right and make it something your donors are proud to bring their friends to.

I’ve helped plan and run many galas and from my experience this is what I’ve found works:

  1. Make sure that your mission can be clearly understood through the visual assets used throughout the venue.
  2. Make sure that your staff are clearly identified and train them how to approach people during the cocktail hour to introduce your work to new people.
  3. Get rid of the silent auction and replace it with a well-produced “Fund a Need” auction that engages everyone in the audience while at the same time showcasing your work.

It doesn’t have to be complex, it just needs to be well produced and professional, especially if you want donors coming back and bringing their friends.

Can't listen to the video? Scroll down to read the transcript.

Video Transcript

Walk me through the process that you will walk an organization through to create that moment? I mean, that's obviously very planned, right? It's like you can't just hope it's gonna happen? It's scripted. Yeah. So walk us through, your process in like helping an organization create that moment. So we look at the timeline of what their event looks like and then we look at past data and kind of find out where, you know, their fundraising has happened before. So, like, okay, we're gonna do this here. But we need a story.  We need something that's going to really tug at the heartstrings that's gonna inspire people to give and what are your story, we call story assets that are available. Is it a particular survivor? Is it, you know, someone that's been affected by the mission? And maybe it's a parent, maybe it's, you know, someone that's involved there and then how are we gonna tell that story?  Are we gonna tell it with video? Are we going to create some type of production on stage or within the audience? Or is a combination of both? I mean, how are we, you know, utilizing these story assets to then create those goosebumps? So we do a lot of brainstorming. We do a lot of kind of storytelling and creating of what this is. And usually, the reason I call it the golden goosebump moment is, when I get goosebumps, I know it's going to work. I'm like, oh, my gosh. That's it right there. Let's tell that story. And then how do we tell the story and then how do we identify the right moment and the right time? And really, it's about striking the right note and striking the right tone. It's kind of like the blues vs jazz. There's the blue note. So how do we create that note at to happen at the event and then using that to then push us forward within the fundraising.
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