Why Offer Gold for Your Next Fundraiser

gold fundraiser event ideas

At a time when donors are less open-handed as a result of a tough economic climate, and their willingness to commit to new products or services is curbed; it has become unsmilingly challenging for fundraisers to get by. The sting of the Great Recession can still be felt, can’t it? People don’t seem to give as much for fundraisers (maybe because they don’t have as much to give?)

Alas, it would seem like the spirit of charitable giving has shriveled up like a dead spider in the shadow of irreconcilable government debt, looming inflation, and short-tempered currencies. Boo, hiss.

Consumers and donors are still in a place of tightening their clasp on their finances, being cautious about how they spend and spending shrewdly when they do. Do you suppose this is a change in spending habits that will quickly turn around?

And yet your fundraiser needs funds! You need to keep the lifeblood of your organization flowing, but who to look to in these trying times?

The last thing you want to have to do is to start cold calling (groan). Do you really enjoy asking your strapped, would-be sponsors for money over the phone?

But what else are you to do? Go to another mixer and grease palms like a used car salesman? How do you send off a successful fundraiser in the throes of an erratic economy, with so many people facing rising prices, treacherous currencies and domestic budgets?

Okay, enough scarcity thinking. How about a better way?

How about cooking up fresh and unique ideas, whereby you give value first and in a form where your prospective supporters can benefit? (Novel idea, right?)

Yes, they are still interested in supporting causes they believe in. Many organizations have grown more discerning these days, however, so they won’t just buy into anything anymore. Be that as it may, there are a number of golden opportunities for fundraisers waiting to be leveraged to raise tremendous funds and rally the participation of your sponsors.

And speaking of gold…

Cash-for-Gold Fundraiser Events

Cash-for-gold fundraisers are an increasingly popular way to raise money that involves giving back and improving your sponsors’ wallets.

trade in gold jewelry and coinsFor the occasion, guests are invited to leave their wallets at home and to turn over their unwanted gold jewelries and ornaments for cash. They then get to take home cold, hard cash for their unwanted heirlooms. And the buyer or organization that you cooperate with will make a sizable donation to your cause, based on the value of the exchange.

These cash-for-gold events can be effective at quickly raising a generous amount of funds toward a specific goal, but be sparing with these types of fundraisers! Although the patrons of your worthy cause might be thrilled with the cash they get in return for flipping over their unwanted treasures, you may guess there is only so much they are willing to part with.

Still, there is another way to use gold as a catalyst in your fundraiser event and I bet this idea is more in line with the classy, sassy image you are trying to convey to your sponsors. As in, this next idea actually makes you look innovative and classy as opposed to—well—“pawn shop.” (There. I said it.)

Gold Bullion Cards: A Gold-Plated Idea for Branding Your Fundraiser

What better way to brand your organization and to make a distinctive impression, than to prize your deserving supporters by rewarding them with 999.9 karats of pure-grade gold?

save gold club cardIt is an exclusive way to show your appreciation for your sponsors and to brand your business, charity, or organization. Oh, and it’s also terribly cool.

Gold providers, like PAMP Suisse (Switzerland) and Karatbars International (Germany), supply pure currency-grade gold bullion embedded credit-sized cards for easy handling. More importantly, one of these companies, Karatbars, now allows you to create your own customized cards where your name, logo or other meaningful image may be placed alongside the highest-grade gold available on the market today.

What’s more, since you’re buying small amounts—1 gram, 2.5 grams or 5 gram bullion—these branded cards are an affordable and impressive leave-behind; a terrific way to say to your donors, “You are golden to us.”

How to Use Gold Bullion Cards at Fundraiser Events

Include Gold in Your Sponsor Packages

branded gold cardSo, how to use this marketing magic, right? A great way to use these branded cards is to include them as a sponsor benefit. Certain sponsorship levels would then earn them a gold card (or several gold cards for their executives, holiday gifts, etc.) depending on their level of participation in your fundraiser.

Decide on names for sponsorship levels, and the value in gold bullion that each will receive for their degree of support. For example, a top-tier “Platinum” or “Benefactor” may get a 5-gram gold card (or five 1-gram gold cards) in addition to promoting them to your audience and the other perks you offer your sponsors.

Add Gold to Your Silent Auction

Need more contributions to your silent auction? Likely. Try a gold card branded just for your event. You can even purchase a clear, plastic stand for a few bucks to enhance the presentation. Just make sure the write-up includes information on the quality and weight. Most of your event attendees are unfamiliar with buying gold bullion, so your description will be part education, part sizzle.

Afterglow

Hopefully you see how these types of incentives can be very effective at encouraging your sponsors’ participation in your fundraiser. You could even expand the use of these branded gold cards into other rewards, benefits and prizes for both your supporters and your staff.

Gold is such a resilient and versatile resource. It has the potential to become the cornerstone and the hallmark of any fundraising initiative. Gold is an inflation- and bankrupt-proof medium that has stood the test of time for centuries.

P.S. – Interested in offering gold bullion for your next fundraiser?

I highly recommend Karatbars International for this. They tend to have the best pricing and they have a great designer on staff who helps with your artwork. If you are interested, call me and I’ll answer whatever questions you might have. If you get my voicemail, leave a message and I’ll call you back. Cell: 517-258-4040. You can also get more information at http://savegold.club.

In support of your efforts,

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Marketing Idea #127: Silent Auctions

silent auction

Not only do silent auctions bring in money for your cause, they can also be a great marketing idea for nonprofits seeking new donors. Because you’ll need to do a little pavement-pounding to collect the items up for bid, you’ll have the opportunity to forge new relationships within the local retail community, leading to future revenue.

Get Organized

Putting together a silent auction is a lot of work, but it isn’t as hard as you may think. The first steps are to organize your mission statement, write a letter to potential donors, and create a form through which they can submit donations of merchandise or gift certificates. Set up deadlines on when the items need to be collected and when the auction will begin and end. All this information should be in the cover letter handed out to local business owners and managers.

Recruit Sponsors

Next, you’ll need to take a walk. Have two or three of your employees canvas several retail strips within your community. Make sure they can speak intelligently and passionately about your cause. Widen your search for items by advertising the auction on social media and Craig’s List. In your online advertisement, you’ll have the opportunity to reach out to potential bidders, too. As donations roll in, take a photo of each and share them on Facebook, Twitter, or your nonprofit’s website to further entice the bargain-hunters and philanthropists you aim to reach.

Select the Venue

An essential part of a successful silent auction is finding one high-traffic venue willing to host a board of items for a few days to a couple weeks. Small, locally-owned coffee shops and organic grocery stores are both excellent options. Typically charitable, they’ll also be hungrier for cross-promotion.

Promote, Promote, Promote

Once you have a bevy of items, a venue, and a schedule, continue to promote via print and social media. Customers can register online, receiving a bidding identification number in the process. Set up your auction board with attached photographs and space for bidders to write their I.D. number and bid amount. Don’t forget to supply pencils.

Let Them Know Who Won

Once the auction has ended, collect the bids, and notify all winners by the contact information required for registration. Appoint a time and place to pick up and pay–perhaps your non-profit headquarters over the course of a week. After that week, if a winner has not collected his item, default to the next highest bidder. This part of the process usually takes a while, with winners floating in and out over the course of several days.

Now Go Launch Your Silent Auction

A successful silent auction can bring in hundreds, even thousands of dollars depending on what type of items you receive and how many you collect. While a fair amount of hard work, it’s an excellent way to spread awareness of your cause and pull in revenue at the same time.

Contact us for more advice on how to make your small business or nonprofit a success.

Marketing Idea #83: Tradeshow Giveaways

Marketing Ideas Tradeshow Giveaways

The best and most obvious reason for visiting some tables at trade shows is for the free giveaways. You will find that many people will make the rounds to collect the free stuff. In some cases, the booths without free giveaways may experience lower traffic as a result. It’s a cheap ploy, but the right giveaway can gain you exposure you wouldn’t have had without it. Of course, you have to question the quality of your traffic if it’s only coming over to steal another one of those great metal pens…

Tip: Have fun with your giveaways! After all, if it’s really good, it will likely end up in the hands of their kids.


 

10 ways to master the tradeshow giveaway game

by Susan Friedmann

Walk around any trade show and you will be able to collect a bag full of trade show giveaway items all designed to promote business. Everyone enjoys receiving a gift. Gift giving creates a favorable impression. It can build goodwill, be an incentive, communicate a message, and create awareness. However, how many promotional giveaways do an effective job?

Before jumping into the trade show giveaway game consider the following 10 ways to master the tradeshow giveaway game:

Define Your Audience: Having a focused objective for your trade show giveaway will also help you decide who should receive it. Consider having different gifts for various visitors. You might have different quality gifts for your key customers, prospects, and general passers by.

Set Your Goal: What do you want to achieve by giving away a premium item? Trade show giveaway items should be designed to increase your recognition, communicate a message, motivate an action, or promote your small business. It’s important not only that the message have an impact, but also the premium itself.

Find the Right Item: There is a multitude of different items you could consider as a premium giveaway. However, which one will best suit your purpose? To select the right item, decide on your objective. Do you want it to enhance a theme, convey a specific message, or educate your target audience? Set a purpose to make your selection process easier. A promotional specialist can also help you make an effective selection. Remember your company image is reflected in whatever you choose to give away.

Add Your Message: Is there an item that naturally complements your marketing message? Have the message imprinted on the item with your company name, logo, and phone number. An important aspect of any gift is to remember who it was from long after the fact.

Set a Price: The price range for trade show giveaway items is enormous. Quality, quantity, and special orders all impact the price. Establish a budget as part of your exhibit marketing plan. Consider ordering the same item for several different shows. The greater the quantity of your order, the lower the individual unit price.

Establish Qualifiers: What must visitors do to qualify for a giveaway item? There are several ways to use your trade show giveaway effectively:

  • as a reward for visitors participating in a demonstration, presentation, or contest
  • as a token of your appreciation when visitors have given you qualifying information about their specific needs
  • as a thank you for stopping at the booth

Use the Pre-qualifying Secret: Trade show giveaways can be used to pre-qualify your prospects. One company uses playing cards. Prior to the show, they send “kings” to their key customers, “queens” to suppliers, and “jacks” to new or hot prospects. They request that the cards are brought to the booth in exchange for a special gift. When the cards are presented, the booth staff already knows certain information about the visitor. They can then act on their previous knowledge and use time with the visitor more productively.

Have a Sales Incentive: Will your trade show giveaway directly help future sales? Hand out a discount coupon or a gift certificate requiring future contact with your company for redemption. Consider premiums that will help generate frequent visits to customers and prospects, such as calling you for free refills.

Inform Your Target Audience: Novel trade show giveaways can actively help to draw prospects to your booth. Make sure your prospects know about it. Send a tickler invitation with details of the giveaway, or create a two-piece premium, sending one part out to key prospects prior to the show and telling them to collect the other half at your booth.

Have a Tracking Mechanism: Establish a tracking mechanism to measure the success of your trade show giveaways.

If it is a redemption item, code it so that you know it resulted from the show. Post-show follow-up could include a question about the premium: Did visitors remember receiving it, and how useful was the item? After the trade show, critique your giveaways with your exhibit team:

  • Did it draw specific prospects to the booth?
  • Was it eye-catching enough to persuade passers by to stop?
  • Did your customers find it useful?
  • Did it project the right corporate image?

There are plenty of exciting trade show giveaways for you to choose from to avoid the usual pens, pencils, and key chains. Make your premium work for you by applying the 10 ways to master your trade show giveaways and experience show success…it will be money well invested.


Susan A. Friedmann, CSP, is The Tradeshow Coach, and author of “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies,” working with companies to improve their meeting and event success through coaching, consulting and training. For a free copy of “10 Common Mistakes Exhibitors Make”, e-mail article4 (at) thetradeshowcoach.com, or visit her website www.thetradeshowcoach.com.

Marketing Idea #46: Throw a Party

Marketing Ideas Throw a Party

Whether a holiday or a “client appreciation” party, getting your clients together in the same room and collectively thanking them for their loyal patronage can help you make clients (and friends) for life. Depending on the nature of the organization you operate, you may also have key staff members available to assist with mingling and mixing.

Variation: If you have a large organization, you may separate the employee party from the client party, but certainly both are worth having. Employee parties offer the opportunity for internal marketing; client parties, external.

Marketing Idea #54: How to be Arrested for Fundraising

Marketing Ideas Arrested for Fundraising

A number of good causes offer a “lockup” program to enlist members of the community in raising funds. The idea is to publicize a mock arrest and jailing (though you may really be handcuffed and driven to the local jail in a police car) in exchange for “bail” (contributions to the cause). The arrested then contacts the members of his own network to solicit for a set amount of funds in return for his freedom. Once bail has been made, you’re set free. If you can’t be away from your job, there’s often a “house arrest” option. Sign yourself up, and publicize it as widely as you can. You’re gaining a life experience, a wonderful story, and good karma.