~ NOVEMBER 17, 2009 ~

LIZ PERSAUD: . . . there's a little green symbol

that looks like a recycling symbol, if you will, with two

arrows. So feel free to hit that button, and you can

refresh the PowerPoint presentation.

Just wanted to give a little introduction to

Katherine Wertheim, who joined us at the National AT Reuse

Conference in September in Atlanta. Hopefully some of

y'all that are on this webinar had the opportunity to visit

us down here in Atlanta.

We had a very, very successful conference talking

about strategies and solutions working with AT reuse across

the country, getting programs up and going and, for the

ones that are up and going, just really talking about


With that being said, sustainability, Katherine

came in and did a wonderful general session talking about

diversified funding strategies. She had some really cool

tools and solutions and some great tips that some of our

centers have actually implemented.

And what I wanted to share with y'all, which is

absolutely exciting, we found out a few weeks ago that,

after Katherine presented to us, one of our centers

actually here in Georgia, the Columbus Library -- they also

house the Columbus Library Accessible Services and CATOC,

which stands for the Columbus AT Outreach Center -- took

Katherine's advice.

They applied her strategies and her tips. And

within a month -- it was actually about two weeks after

Katherine spoke -- they asked -- they literally asked the

community partner for some funding assistance, and they

received $50,000, which is a huge, huge deal because

Columbus Library and CATOC are just now starting their


They're just now getting into the swing of AT

reuse, getting AT out to the folks that need it in the

community. So this is a huge deal, $50,000, as y'all know,

creating a lot of great things in the Columbus community

and being able to really stretch those dollars and be able

to put it to some exciting things. So we were really happy

to hear about that.

With that being said, I'm going to actually pass it

over to Katherine. Now, Katherine, I just want to say

thank you for joining us.

Y'all pay attention. She's got some wonderful tips

and solutions.

And Katherine, the floor is yours.

KATHERINE WERTHEIM: Thank you so much, Liz.

So my name is Katherine Wertheim, and I am a

professional fund-raiser. And whenever I have to say that,

I always feel like I'm standing in front of an A.A. meeting

or something and saying, you know, "My name is Katherine

W., and I have a fund-raising problem."

I knew I had a fund-raising problem when I was 17

and my high school youth group needed money, and I got

tired of doing the car wash and the babysitting for

dollars. And so I just asked people for money, and they

gave it to me. And no one said to me, "Oh, this is

difficult. This is challenging."

The thing that I love about fund-raising is there's

real results. You know what the goal is, and it's pretty

clear how to achieve the goal. And it is challenging.

Sometimes it can be emotionally difficult. But it's so


You know, in college you do something good, and you

get an A. In fund-raising, you do something good, and you

get $50,000.

So I just think this is an amazing way to make a

living, and I'm glad that y'all are willing to listen to

what I have to say and that you are going to spend the next

hour and 20 minutes with me.

So there's a couple of things that we're going to

accomplish in this webinar. One is that I want to do a

short review of what I talked about at the AT reuse

conference and just go over some -- three key points.

And then today we're going to talk about events,

three different kinds of events you can do: small events,

large events, and information-only events. And we'll talk

about the purposes and how to specifically accomplish each

different kind of event.

Now, the next webinar in December is going to be on

specifically how you sit down with someone and ask them for

money. So I hope that you will join me for that.

For everything that I say today, if you find that

you have a question later, you can write me at

katherine@werth-it.com. I also have a blog on my website

at werth-it.com, and you're welcome to post questions there

as well.

But I would be happy and delighted to work with any

of you. You have a cause that's close to my heart. Both

my parents were assistive-technology users. My dad was in

a wheelchair at the end of his life. My mom was a

wheelchair user. She had a handicap-accessible car first

and then a wheelchair van.

And my uncle as well is deaf. And so throughout

his life he's used assistive technology. And my sister is

learning disabled. So she used Recording For the Blind and

Dyslexic. So, like I say, you're close to my heart.

So let's talk about a short review of what happened

at the AT reuse conference. The first thing that I want to

talk about is called the C.A.T.E. formula. The second

thing I'll talk about is painting the fence, which is how

you get volunteers to do things for you. And the third is

some websites that will solve your problems.

So Liz, if we could advance the slides.

So let's talk about the C.A.T.E. formula. This is

spelled C-A-T-E, and it is specifically how you decide what

kind of fund-raising is useful for you based on what kind

of resources you have.

So there's basically four resources that any

organization is going to have. And you're going to have

them in varying amounts. So don't feel bad if the answer

to each one of these four is, oh, we don't have much of

that; we don't have much of that; we don't have much of


So the four resources are:

People. In other words, how many people you

have -- staff, volunteers, whoever you can get.

Time is a resource. How many days before you need

the money. There's fund-raising that you're going to do

based on you have three or six months, and that's going to

be possibly different kinds of fund-raising than you need

to meet next week's payroll.

And Liz, you can advance the slide.

The next resource you might have, again varying

amounts, is money. There's some kinds of fund-raising that

don't cost any money at all, so it's immaterial whether you

have money or not. Those are, in fact, the most effective

kinds of fund-raising. But if you have money to invest in

fund-raising, there are kinds of fund-raising that are

appropriate for you.

And your final resource is the story that you have

to tell. And this will be different if you're a start-up

organization or if you've been around for a dozen years or

a hundred years.

So let's plug these resources in and see how this

works. C.A.T.E. stands for cost, amount, time, and effort.

So the "cost" is the cost of doing whatever

fund-raising you want to do. I would suggest you include

staff time. Because a lot of people forget about that, but

staff time is a cost because there's other things you could

be doing with your time.

"Amount" means the gross amount that you want to

raise. And so if you take away cost, you'll get the net


"Time" means the number of days that you have until

you -- from the day you decide to do whatever kind of

fund-raising you want to do until the day that the money

comes in.

And "effort" is how many people need to be


So let us take an example of some kind of

fund-raising that you might want to do. Let's take grant

writing. A lot of people start grant writing the first

thing. And the reason why is because it's low cost. The

dollar amounts you can get are very high. The time is

lengthy. It might take you three to six months to hear

from a grant-maker. But the effort is only one person.

So a lot of people start with foundations first

because, hey, low cost, high amount, low effort. Those are

all very good things.

But the problems are that you're going to be turned

down about three out of four times. So the money is

unsure. I'm not saying that to steer you away from writing

grants. I'm just saying there's a flaw to it.

The thing that the C.A.T.E. formula doesn't cover

is emotion. How do you feel about a kind of fund-raising?

So the reason why people start with grants is it's fairly

easy emotionally. It's like writing a college paper. In

college you do what the professor tells you; you turn it in

when they tell you to; and you get a grade based on your


And that feels very comfortable to people. And so

grant writing is a lot like that. So that's why people

think to do grant writing first.

As another example of using the C.A.T.E. formula --

which, by the way, has nothing to do with my name being

Katherine. It's just the acronym I made up.

But another example would be direct mail. So you

get in mailings from charities asking you for money.

You've seen these. Well, the reason why people do them is

they are high cost, but they can raise good dollar amounts.

They do take some time to put together, but once you're

doing them frequently, you can put them together in a month

or two. But mainly the effort is low.

I used to send direct mailings for 131 chapters of

the American Red Cross. I worked at the headquarters. And

it was basically just me and my boss, and we could mail out

5 million pieces of mail.

So people who have money to put into direct mail,

because it's high cost, will do direct mail because it's

low effort. One or two people need to be involved.

So I'll pause here for a moment and ask if anybody

has any questions. Please -- no questions? No one? Okay.

If you decide you have a question, please put it in as an

instant message.

So you can use the C.A.T.E. formula to measure any

fund-raising technique, now or in the future. So if a

board member has some idea about some kind of fund-raising

that you can do, you can just run it by the C.A.T.E.


Where this is useful is that it keeps you away from

fund-raising that wastes a lot of your time. For example,

I was speaking in San Diego, and somebody had done a

fund-raiser that raised $600, and it took six people a


And my reaction to this was, "Why didn't you just

ask the six people to give you $100 each and not take a

month of your time?"

And their reaction was, "Well, but what we did

educated people."

And I said, "Yes. And you could have had those six

people go out and ask ten of their friends for money each,

and they would have spent less time and still educated at

least as many if not more people."

So you can see how the C.A.T.E. formula is a base

for starting.

Now, I have this posted on my website if you want

to go into it for a couple of pages of text. And my

website again is werth-it.com. And there's a section on

resources, and has a whole longer explanation of what the

C.A.T.E. formula is.

So Liz, if you could advance the slide.

The next thing I want to talk about is what I call

painting the fence. And painting the fence is actually an

expression from a book by Mark Twain called "Tom Sawyer."

And in this book Tom Sawyer wants to spend his day having

fun, but his aunt has assigned him to painting the fence.

And he does not want to paint the fence. Painting the

fence is not enjoyable. It's just work.

And one of his friends comes over and starts

harassing him, like, Oh, ha, ha, ha. You have to paint the


And Tom Sawyer talks about, No, no. This is

difficult, and only certain people can do this, and it's a


And he is so persuasive at making this sound fun

and enjoyable and challenging that people think, Wow, this

is an absolutely fabulous idea.

And by the end of the day he has convinced a whole

bunch of kids to paint the fence for him. The fence has

now been painted three times over. And, in fact, he has

all sorts of goodies in his pockets like marbles that kids

gave him in order to pay for the privilege of painting the


So this is an analogy to how you get people to help

you. You don't necessarily make it only sound like fun.

You also make this sound like a challenge. People like

challenges. They're completely willing to sign on and do

something that's challenging if they see that it might be

beneficial to them or it might be enjoyable or it might be

something that they've never done before.

Let's face it. Once you're past 30, you pretty

much know what you're doing. You know the route to take to

work. And you know the other route you take if that route

is closed. And you know who your friends are. And life

gets a little boring. So people are up for challenges.

If you get people to help you, it may seem at first

that it's just going to take a lot of time, and you could

do it just as well yourself.

But the truth is is that other people bring things

to the effort that you wouldn't bring. Like first they

bring their friends. If you look at how many people are on

your e-mail list, and let's say you have 500 people on your

e-mail list and you've got 100 on your Twitter list and 200

on your Facebook list, and you go to a congregation that's

got 400 members. You probably know a thousand people,

which is great.

Each of those people probably knows a thousand

people. So you can reach a lot more people if you engage

other people.

But also other people think to do things that you

don't think about doing. So, for example, I had a woman

telling me about her organization was going to do a

fund-raising breakfast, and they were going to honor a

couple of judges, and it was going to be 7:00 a.m. on the

morning of February 15th.

And I looked at her, and I said, "Everybody on your

board of directors is married."

And she said, "Wow. You know, now that you mention

it, I think you're right. But how could you possibly --

how could you have known that from just what I said about

this event?"

And I said, "You're doing an event the morning of

February 15th, the day after Valentine's Day. Married

people know they're not doing anything interesting on

Valentine's Day. Single people still have some hope that

something might happen. So your board has to all be

married because nobody said, 'We shouldn't do this the

morning after Valentine's Day.'"

But other people think of things to do that you

wouldn't think to do. If you get a bunch of 20-something

volunteers to throw a fund-raising event for you, they're

going to throw it in a bar for happy hour because that's

what single people think to do. It wouldn't cross your

mind to do it unless you're 20-something and used to going

out to bars.

So diversity means reaching new people. And the

more you engage other people, the more they engage people

that you don't know.

If any of you are LinkedIn, you can see this where

your network might be a couple hundred people, but their

networks are also a couple hundred people. And within two

or three levels, you're reaching hundreds of thousands of

people. So that's the point of engaging other people.

The trick for me -- the main trick of engaging

people is to figure that you're going to have to ask at

least four people for every person that you need.

Sometimes this is not true.

Sometimes the first person you ask is the person

that will say yes. But other times you have to plan on

asking more people. It depends what it is.

I did an event last year, and I had 350 people in a

room, all of whom had been invited by someone else. And

the people doing the inviting, there were 43 of them. But

in order to get 43 people, we had to call 160 people.

Now, I personally called 100 people, and I engaged

two other people to call 60. So we reached 160 people. We

got 43 to say yes. And those 43 people got more than 350

people in a room.

So plan on contacting four potential volunteers for

everything you need.

Ask people for things that they are good at. My

synagogue had something that I thought was kind of clever.

The rabbi was on sabbatical for four months, and so they

came and they asked me if I would do a Friday night sermon.

I thought, okay. I've done a sermon once or twice before,

three times, but -- not my usual work, but I'm a

professional speaker, and I go out and speak to people. I

can certainly speak to people about something other than

fund-raising. I'm happy to do that.

In the meantime, they approached my plumber

brother-in-law. He's a professional plumber. And they

said, "We would like to make this frame of all of these

tiles that all the kids are doing to welcome back the

rabbi, and would you make the frame?"

And his reaction was like, "Okay. I'm a plumber,

but I do have all the tools necessary to make a frame.

It's unusual. It's different. A little bit of a

challenge. I'm happy to do that."

Now look at what my synagogue did. They didn't ask

my brother-in-law the plumber to speak. He would have

turned them down. They didn't ask me, the professional

speaker, to make a frame. I wouldn't have been able to

make it. They asked each of us for things that they knew

we were good at. It can be something that's not somebody's

career but something that they have within their skill set.

And then the final thing is, ask people to do

things that are meaningful. There used to be this idea

that you could have all of your receptionist duties handled

by women who would be volunteers. And they would come in,

and you'd have one women who was 9:00 to noon on Mondays

and another who was, you know, 1:00 to 5:00 on Thursdays.

That's over. That's really rare to find people who

still are willing to do that. There's a handful left, but

they're dying out. People want to do things that are

meaningful, that are an enhancement to their résumé, that

they can brag about.

When people are at a cocktail party and someone

says to them, "So what do you do in your spare time?" they

don't want to say, "I answer the phones," or, "I stuff

envelopes." They say, you know, "I put together a photo

shoot for 15 people to tell their story about how they were

helped by the local AT reuse group." That's an interesting


So you want to give things to people that are


And I will shut off my mic for a moment and ask, if

you have a question, please speak.

Okay. I didn't hear any questions. But again, if

you have a question that you would like to post, please put

it in the public instant-message section, and I will keep

an eye on that.

So Liz, if you could go to the next slide, I'd like

to talk about some websites that might be helpful to you.

Obviously I've already mentioned my website, but I

have a list on there of six different websites. And this

was mainly things that people said to me, you know, "Look.

Can you help me out here? I have this problem." So you

want to go there, and that will give you some websites.

The things I'm going to talk about next are going

to be about creating new events. And what you want to do

on that is -- I really recommend a company called Benevon.

They used to be known as Raising More Money.

And they have an absolutely tremendous system for

doing events. And some of what I'll talk about is stuff

that I learned from them. You do not need to spend the

$12,000 for their seminars where you invite a team of six

people, although it's useful. You can pretty much buy

their books and learn what you need.

So I'll talk a little bit more about that. But

they have a 17-minute video on there that's just

tremendous, and they explain their system for you for free.

Evite. If you have not been on Evite, I really

recommend it. It's a way to put together a list of people

for an event and get them invited very quickly.

My website. You can always post questions on my

blog, and if I don't have an answer on my website, I can

write you up something specific to your purpose.

And finally, there's this company called Strategic

Coach that I think is tremendously useful, and I would

really recommend them.

Strategic Coach is a company that's really designed

for people who are making $100,000 a year to teach them how

to make $200,000 a year. And what you want to do for that

is -- well, I mean, I just want to say they're not biassed

against people. They do also help people who are making a

million dollars a year, and they teach them how to make two

million a year.

But anyway, strategiccoach.com, they have a bunch

of books. They do free teleseminars. And they really have

a completely wonderful system for how to organize your

life. And one of the things that they talk about is

getting other people to do the things that other people can


So I really recommend them. And if you go to their

site, I think you'll get a sense of why I'm recommending


So let me ask one more time if anybody has any

questions. I'll cut off the mic just to make sure that you

have a chance to ask them.

Okay. I will assume that, if you have questions,

you can instant message post it.

So going on to our next slide, I want to talk to

you about different kinds of events. Now, I am not an

event person. I like things to be short and quick, and I

don't want to do something that's going to take four hours

or require me to have a date or require me to spend $250.

So I'm not really an events person.

But there are kinds of events that are useful.

They're not the black-tie galas. They're events that are

mission-focused and informative.

The neat thing about events is that I think that a

chronic problem for people in the world is that people are

lonely. And so events give people energy. Not everybody.

It works better for extroverts than for introverts. But

they do have a place in the fund-raising world.

But what I want to get organizations away from is

the idea that you have to do a gala. There was an article

in the New York Times. They did a whole section just on

giving and donating. But one of the articles said that

there were 278 events in New York to raise money in one

month alone. You know, that's insane.

I was talking to somebody in Ojai, California. And

he comes in Monday mornings, and his staff says, "How was

the weekend?" And he said, "I ODed," which means that he

went to too many events in a weekend. So there's people

who are just overdosed on events.

But I don't want you to do black-tie events. And

the reason why is they don't fit into the usefulness of the

C.A.T.E. formula, which is they're high cost -- yes, they

can raise high amounts, but the costs eat up the amounts,

leaving you with a low net. They take six months to a year

to plan. And they involve a lot of people.

Further, I don't like them because they're not

mission-focused. You know, what good is having a dance if

most of the people you're helping don't dance. You know,

that's not mission-focused.

So I don't want you to do events that are

transactional in nature, in other words, where people

basically are paying for entertainment. I want you to do

events that are mission-focused, that -- where you get a

chance to talk about what it is that you do and engage

people in that way.

So there's different kinds of events. There's

short, quick fund-raising events. The point of short,

quick events is people can spend an hour; they can hear

about what you do; and they can be asked for money.

This is not the way to get large amounts of money,

but because they're endlessly repeatable, they're good.

You can keep doing them over and over.

There's information events, which are not about

asking for money. They're just about getting people in to

see what your organization is. But it's a way for people

to steer other people in.

And then finally there's the large events.

So I will cover these each in detail, and then I

will give you time to ask questions.

So next slide.

Let's talk about small events. If you know any

politicians, you've already been to a small event that

raises money. How politicians do this is that they'll have

a dessert or a coffee.

It will be at somebody's house. They'll be in your

neighborhood. That person will invite you. You'll come.

You'll have a little coffee. You'll see the other

neighbors. You'll hear the politician speak for a brief

amount of time.

Somebody else will then stand up and say, you know,

"The campaign needs to send more postcards and put up more

yard signs. Who here will give?" And they pass the hat,

and people give.

The reason why politicians do that is, they're

endlessly repeatable. The politician can go to five in a

weekend. He can go to five in a day. He can go to five in

an evening. I've seen politicians do this. You may have


I was talking to a group of people about how you

would do five of these in a weekend. Friday night

cocktails, Saturday morning bagels, Saturday afternoon tea,

Saturday evening wine and cheese, Sunday tea. Very


And one guy raised his hand, and he says, "When I

was 25, I put together a bunch of these with two other


And I said, "How many did you do? What do you mean

by 'a bunch'?"

And he said, "Well, the three of us put together a

thousand of these events in one day."

I was like one day. Three people put together a

thousand events in one day. So perhaps when I say you

could do five in a weekend I'm not being ambitious enough.

But he did it for a governor's campaign. A woman

was running for governor, and they did a thousand of these

in one day. And they were 25, and there were only three of

them. So it's possible to do these a lot.

There's a whole explanation of how to do this.

It's a two-page explanation. It's the kind of thing that

you can print out and give to your board members and

discuss with them how to do this.

And that's on my website. It's in a secret place.

It's not listed in the website. But if you've had a

seminar with me, you know that this site exists.

So you go to werth-it.com/seminar, and you'll see

that there's a bunch of documents in there. You're welcome

to nose around. But this one's called "Hosted Event."

So what you want to do with this is have two

people. The first time you do it, you can just invite the

board members and maybe spouses or friends. But really you

want them to all see: Here it is at someone's house; you

all should be looking at this as to here's how you do this.

So let's say you had Saturday or Sunday morning

bagels and orange juice or coffee. And so it's two people.

We'll call them Pat and Chris just to be gender neutral.

You can picture who you want for Pat and Chris.

So let's say it's Pat's house, and Chris is going

to do the ask, the request for money. And you might have

at this house somebody who can talk about how they've been

affected by the work. They can do a testimonial.

So you send out an invitation. And Evite.com is a

great way to do this. It's completely free. And so Pat

has the nicer house, say. And let's say Pat's house can

take 15 people. So you want to invite 75 because 80

percent of the people you invite won't be able to make it

on any particular day or any particular time.

I've done this. I've done this in a one-bedroom

apartment. I've had three dozen people in my one-bedroom

apartment. It's crowded. But for an hour, you can pretty

much do anything.

So you figure out how many people you can hold and

you invite five times the amount of people, which takes

guts to do, but it works. And in the Evite you're going to

make it absolutely crystal clear to people this is going to

be a fund-raiser. And tell them there's no cost to attend.

Because you don't want a cost to attend. You don't

want people to say, "Oh, I don't know if it will be worth

$20," or, "I don't know if it will be worth $50." Because

that gets back into transactions. You're not here to make

this fun. You're here to make it informative.

So you say, "Bring your checkbook. We will ask for

money. If you are moved to give, there's no minimum;

there's no maximum; every dollar counts.

And what you'll find, when you make the pitch for

money, is most of your friends will give what you think is

a standard amount. Like if your standard amount is $50 --

if people ask you for money, and you give $50, probably

most of your friends are $50-givers too.

But there will probably be -- in any crowd of, you

know, 15 people, there probably will be one person who will

give you a surprise amount of like $250. And you might

never have asked them before, and they never saw you do

anything before, but they are particularly moved to give.

So there might be a surprise in there.

You can probably raise -- I don't know. It depends

on where you live -- $700 or $1,000. I've seen these raise

$4,000. Depends on who your crowd of people is. But

mainly it's cheap to put on.

So the two hosts, Pat and Chris, just get oranges

and bagels, and somebody makes coffee. How the event looks

is you tell people it will be, say, 10:00 to 11:00 on

Saturday morning. Or if all your friends are Jewish, 10:00

to 11:00 on Sunday morning. And coffee and bagels. Please

come by. Hear about the cause.

Swear to them it will be one hour. "You will get

out on time." People are so appreciative of that. And

then, you know, it's probably ten or fifteen minutes until

people arrive, and they arrive late. You can start about

twenty minutes in. The whole thing's going to take about

twenty minutes, and at the end people get about twenty more

minutes to eat and talk to each other.

People are going to be intrigued about coming

because, if they're Pat's friends, they don't know Chris's

friends. And if they're Chris's friends, they don't know

Pat's friends. And so having two people just means that

people will want to meet others.

Because, again, loneliness is a key problem. And

if they see that there's people invited they don't know,

they might come just to meet other people.

But also having two hosts just keeps it on task.

You know, one person can promise endlessly they'll do

something, but if somebody else is bugging them of, "Have

you designed the Evite yet? Have you bought the food yet?

I've invited my people. Have you invited yours?" they keep

each other on task.

So you can hold this really, really quickly. You

look around, and you say, "Ten days from now. What am I

doing in ten days from now?" And that's all people need.

You can look at your own schedule and say, "Do I have

anything on the schedule ten days from now?" And if the

answer is no, put it on.

You can do it midweek. It can be wine and cheese

before people go home for supper in the evening. Or it

could be cake and coffee after the supper hour.

Again, judge for yourself. What's the time of day

that you can make an event? If the only thing you can do

is first thing in the morning, invite other people for

first thing in the morning. Play around with it a little


So what's going to happen during the actual event

is that there's 20 minutes in the center where everything's

going to happen. So the host welcomes people. And if

you're just doing this with two people and you don't have

anyone else, it's just going to be the two of you.

But you can make a presentation about what the work

is. If it's two people putting on the event and they

invite a staff member or a testimonial, that person can

talk about the work.

But what I want to avoid is making the staff member

do things. The staff member should not be inviting people.

The staff member should not be going and running out and

getting the bagels or the coffee or the wine or the cheese

or whatever it is. The staff member's only job in this

task would be only to show up and talk about the


And make sure you're doing things that the staff

member can make. I would rather see you do a weeknight

event where it's just an hour after work and the staff

member can still get home to their own life than something

that's going to chew up a Saturday, especially if the staff

member has kids.

You can also just get someone who does a

testimonial. And you have somebody who's been helped by

the organization that says, "Here's how I was helped, and

it really changed my life." And chances are, as an

organization, you have dozens, possibly hundreds of people

who can do that testimonial.

So you might talk about the organization for maybe

seven minutes. And maybe if you have a testimonial, that's

about five minutes. Pretty short.

If you have some pictures you can pass around,

that's a great thing to do. Or if you have, you know, a

two-foot-by-three-foot board that you can hold up on the

table and that has pictures on it, that's great.

It doesn't need to be a terribly intellectual

presentation with facts and figures. You can have some of

that in there. I would rather see an emotional

presentation where somebody says, "This made a real

difference in my life."

If you really can't get a testimonial person to

come, if you can go out and film them with a camcorder and

show it on your TV, that's good too. But I don't want you

to get caught up in the technology. I want you to be able

to rattle off these events constantly.

And what they do is they bring in people who don't

give a lot of money, but they start building up your list.

There's a huge number of organizations in this country

where, if they just added 200 donors in a year, that would

be a great year.

Because people who give you money could give again.

And if somebody starts out with a $50 gift, eventually they

can be upgraded to $100, $200. If you get them really

involved, eventually $500.

But mainly there's just a lot of individuals in

this country. 75 percent of the money in this country is

given by individuals. Only about 11 percent by

foundations, 5 percent by corporations. The rest is given

through bequests. You know, these percentages are rough.

It's pretty exact.

But it means that dead people in this country give

more than corporations. So if you're spending all of your

time chasing down a corporation to give you $1,000, instead

go out, have a small event, and ask a group of people. And

just keep repeating this endlessly.

Really you should be able to knock this out -- the

first time might be a little scary. Maybe you need more

than ten days. But at some point you'll be knocking these

out in ten days.

You don't need a lot of time to do it. You don't

need a lot of money. Plugging it into the C.A.T.E.

formula, you can see it's low cost. It's okay dollar

amounts, but because it's endlessly repeatable, it builds

on itself. The time to put it together is only ten days.

The effort's only two people.

Start learning how to knock these out very quickly.

And again, if you have questions, you can just post them on

the board, and I will see that.

So let's talk about a variation on the small event:

an event that's information only. Now, the nice thing

about this is you can hold this on -- anyplace. You can

hold this in the office.

And Liz, if we could see the next slide, that would

be great.

You can do this anywhere. You can do this anytime.

Oh, Angelina, had a good question: Who makes the

ask at the small event?

If it's Pat's house, make Chris do the ask. You

know, Chris does not get off the hook for the hard part.

Between any particular two people, Pat and Chris, one of

them will have the nicer house, the other person gets to

make the ask.

Oh, and let me just say about making the ask, say

what the money will do.

Angelina, that was a great question.

What will the money do? So give three examples.

And the examples should be around about what would an

individual who's one of the people there give.

So if your crowd gives $50, say what $50 will do.

And then maybe go up to the next dollar amount that seems

logical. So say what $100 would do.

And then pick a dollar amount that's big but what

everybody in that room could do. So like if you look

around, you say, "These 14 people are good for about

$1,000," say what $1,000 would do.

You can break it down into smaller amounts. You

can break it up to larger amounts. But give people a


And then when you make the ask -- and again, I have

this all in my paper on my website. When you make the ask,

so you say the three dollar amounts and say, "Who here will

start us off by making a gift?" And then shut up.

Most of the time, virtually all the times I've done

this, somebody will hold up their hand and give the first

check. If you would like to reduce your anxiety and make

sure that somebody gives, ask a friend to be the first


Now, this particular friend, you want to choose

somebody who's an extrovert and somebody who kind of likes

attention. I like to call this the goofball friend. You

have -- one of your friends is kind of a goofball. And

this is the person who's most likely to heckle you. That

person is the person you ask to do this.

And you take them aside in advance, and you say, "I

want you to be the person who, when I say, 'Who here will

make the first donation?' you're the one who waves around

your checkbook and says, 'This sounds great. Sign me up.'

Oh, and by the way, then you actually have to give."

And by setting this up with your friend in advance,

you know that you're going to get at least one check. But

if it does make you a little -- you know, feel strange

that, "Oh, my God. What if I ask for money and nobody

gives money?" setting this up with your friend in advance

will help enormously.

And frankly, the person who is your goofball friend

knows that they're the goofball and is completely willing

to keep quiet until this moment. And this will shut them

off, and it really works very well.

I was actually speaking at a Rotary Club in

Fillmore, California, and it was like a 6:30 in the morning

Rotary meeting. And it took me an hour to drive there.

And so I was not the happiest person.

And one guy starts interrupting while I'm speaking.

And I said, "Oh, my gosh. You're actually the goofball.

I'm going to need you in a minute. Hold on. We'll come

back to you because I actually need you."

And everybody laughed because they knew he's the

goofball. They knew he heckles the speakers. Nobody

warned me about this, of course, but they knew that he

would do that. And sure enough I came back to him and

said, "This is how we're going to need you."

So does anybody else have any questions? If you

would like to type them in, I will keep an eye out.

So the variant on the small event is the

information event. And the information event is how you

introduce new people to your organization.

One of the challenges is that board members may be

hesitant to refer their friends to you if they're going to

be asked for money. But people do understand that you need

more people to understand what it is that you do.

And so you want to create a small information event

that you can do on a regular basis and that you can do

anywhere where you're going to talk to people about what

the organization does.

And you're looking for one of five outcomes when

you do one of these events. One outcome is that somebody

becomes a donor. But you're not asking for money at the


But other outcomes would be that they become a

volunteer. Or there's somebody who might actually use your

services, and they become a client. Or it's somebody who

can be an ambassador for your work and talk about what it

is that you do to others. This is especially useful if you

have people who commonly could make referrals if they knew

more about what you did. Like, for example, doctors or

people who fit prostheses. I can't even say that. Excuse


The final person that would be good to invite is

somebody for public relations. The local anchor on your

news station or the local editor or students in the college

public-relations class.

So any of those five people would be good. And you

may not know when you're inviting people which of the five

that they'll fit into. You may be thinking of them as a

volunteer, and it turns out they have a mother who could

use your services, and, you know, so their family becomes

clients of yours.

So one of these information events, it will be an

hour. You can play around with what time works for you.

It might be during the day. It might be right after the

workday, so 5:30 at night. It can be held in your office.

It can be held in someone's home.

What happens during these events is -- my

preference is is have a board member to open it up and to

introduce everybody and kind of then see what goes on. And

this also gets board members more likely to invite people

because they see these happening every month.

And then you have the executive director talk

perhaps about what's the purpose of the organization;

what's your vision; you know, what would you do if you had

more people to help or more money or more resources.

You can have somebody do a testimonial of how

they've been helped. You can do a tour of your office if

that's interesting to people.

Or you can show off assistive technology, for that

matter. You can, you know, talk about, you know, "Here's

27 different kinds of assistive technology. Here's what a

computer that voices for people does, and here's why

autistic children need it." So you can hold up things and

actually talk about them.

But make it interesting. Make it informative. And

the first time you do it, have -- just do it for staff or

board members or volunteers so that you practice on people.

Then you can put a notice on the local credits list

you're doing this and in the local newspaper and on the

radio. You can post a notice for volunteers to invite

their friends.

All you want to do is get maybe ten people at a

time to this. But if you hold it every month, that's 120

people over the course of the year who have heard about

your work.

And then the thing that's important to do

afterwards is follow up. So you call people up. And

there's only five things you want to do in that phone call.

There's three questions you want to ask.

First you're going to thank people. So that's the

first thing you're going to do. And then you're going to

listen as you ask the three questions.

And the three questions are: What did you think of

the presentation? Do you see yourself getting further

involved? Is there somebody else that you can refer us to

who should see it?

And take notes. And make those phone calls within

say three to five days of the presentation so that people

remember it.

And, you know, 90 or 95 percent of the people will

say it was a good presentation. But, you know, some people

will have some good suggestions. So make sure you

incorporate people's suggestions if you think they're good.

And it might be that they just didn't understand a

word or a phrase or a piece of jargon. Or it might be that

there's something you could do differently during the tour.

And then from the follow up, that's where you

decide whether to put people on your list or not. If they

say, "Nice organization. Not for me," then take them off

the list. Don't add them to your database. But if they

say, "I'd like to get involved," then figure out a way to

involve them.

So that's how to do an informational event. Once

you've held them at your office a few times, you can take

the show on the road. You can go out to local

corporations. You can ask big corporations to have a

brown-bag lunch for their employees, and you can give the

presentation where they work. And that's a good way to

reach people that you wouldn't reach otherwise.

You can have one of these only for people who might

be possible board members and ask them to, you know, think

about being on your board and just do the presentation for

them so they know what they're being asked to do. And then

you would follow up by calling them up, setting up a lunch,

and having an actual discussion.

There's a whole batch of ways you can do this. You

can do it for local foundations that are already supporting

your work and ask them to refer you to other people.

So a lot of this is -- you can find out more about

it at Benevon.com. They do a wonderful explanation of, you

know, their take on how to do these.

But they're, again, very repeatable. And that's

the way that you get board members around the thing of

where they don't want to -- their friends to be asked for

money. Or they don't want to ask their friends for money.

You're telling them, "This is only to inform people about

what we're doing."

And so now if you have some questions, please post

them on the public chat. Otherwise, I will start talking

about large events.

Liz, if you could advance the slide.

So me personally, I do not like gala events. I

have a wardrobe filled with gala outfits. It's not that I

mind dressing up. I don't like them because they're based

on the idea that people need to be entertained in order to

support your work.

I was going into a gala event with a couple of guys

who are millionaires. I was basically one of their dates

just because he couldn't get a real date. I'm constantly

surprised by the number of people who are millionaires and

who are sitting at home alone on Saturday night.

So we're going into this event, and the local radio

news reporter thrusts a microphone into the face of one of

the millionaires and says, "Why are you here tonight?"

And the millionaire says, "It's a wonderful evening

and a terrific cause."

And the reporter puts down the microphone and says,

"Really. Name the cause."

And the millionaire had no idea. And the radio

reporter said, "Thank you for a really useless quote."

And I could see he was disgusted. He probably saw

this all the time. It was just the right price for that

millionaire to take a couple of friends out for an evening.

I don't like that about events. I don't like that

they're just interchangeable. Once you've done the dinner,

dancing, silent auction, live auction, you've seen it.

There's just not that much that the caterer is going to do

that's so outstandingly different that you remember it a

week later.

And they're not mission-focused. And sometimes

they even exclude the people that benefit from that


You know, I've seen organizations where they were

doing a big black-tie gala for poor inner-city children,

and of course the inner-city children aren't even at the

event. So if your own clients can't even come to an event,

you have to ask why are you doing an event like that.

I also don't like galas because they exclude huge

numbers of people. My sister's a good donor to a number of

causes, but she can't get her husband into a tuxedo. She

couldn't even for their own wedding. They have two

children. Babysitters are now running $14 or $15 an hour,

and you can't get them for Saturday night. It upsets her

children for her and her husband to go out anyway. They

don't want mommy and daddy leaving.

So she doesn't go to gala events. She's somebody

who can give you $100 or maybe even $1,000, and she's not

going to come to your gala.

It also excludes people like my friend who's 79 who

no longer drives at night. It makes her uncomfortable. So

even though there are causes she gives significant amounts

of money to, she doesn't want to go to the gala.

It excludes anybody who can't get a date for

Saturday. It excludes anybody who doesn't feel comfortable

wearing black tie. So just the whole idea of black-tie

galas, I don't like them.

But the main thing I don't like is the average one

costs 67 cents to raise a dollar. I think that's

unconscionable. If you really said to donors, you know,

"Your $250 will provide $100 worth of help," people really

wouldn't want to really give it to you. So I'm against


Instead you can do an event that focuses on your

mission. And I was part of two of these just in the past

week where I was the person who stood up and did the pitch.

And they were both lunches. Lunch is great because it's

cheap. You know, the place that charges you $60 a head to

do a simple dinner will charge you $30 for lunch.

You can also do breakfast. You can do the

breakfast of champions. Plenty of business people can do a


People who have children, they can send their

children to school, or they can have their spouse handle

their kids in the morning, and they can come to a


But lunch is great because most people don't have

to deal with their kids or a babysitter for lunch, and they

can sneak out of the office for an hour.

So think about an event where, if it's one hour and

it's lunch, you have to get everybody through the door and

fed, and you have to talk about your work.

So you can have a board member or the executive

director talk about what the organization does. You can

show a short video, maybe seven, eight or nine minutes, no

more. You can have one person talk about how they were

helped by the organization. And then you have somebody

pitch for money.

And the pitch should talk again what are things

that people can pay for? What does it cost to run?

Now, the Benevon idea of this is ask people for a

gift for five years, that they make a commitment for five

years. And, you know, maybe five percent of the people in

the room might say yes to that. But now you know where

your money is coming in for the next five years.

Benevon also suggests ask for $1,000. That's

really bold. I can tell you that it works. There's an

astonishing number of people who can do $1,000. And if

you're thinking, "Wow. $1,000. That's a lot of money,"

well, yes, but it will do a lot of good.

When I was talking before about small-amount events

and I said, if your idea is that $50 is a nice donation and

all your friends think that $50 is a nice donation, there

are people who think that $1,000 is a nice donation.

$1,000 is only $83.33 cents a month. That means it's $3 a


There are plenty of people who can shake loose $3 a

day. You probably are already spending $3 a day on

something. It might be coffee, lattes. It might be cable

or Internet at home. So you might think $1,000 a year is a

lot of money, but you might be surprised you're already

spending that kind of money.

So getting in the people to these large events,

start by inviting your volunteers. Invite them in a

personal way.

So like let's say you have a certain number of

volunteers, and they come in on different days of the week.

So find a Monday volunteer to invite all the other Monday

volunteers. And when they start that phone conversation,

they say, "Hey, I volunteer on Mondays. So do you. I'm in

a different time, but I figured I'd call you."

Get the volunteers to invite other volunteers. Get

the other volunteers to invite their friends. For every

information event that you had -- and you have people's

phone numbers because you were calling them up afterwards

to follow up -- invite those people.

They've seen your work. Maybe they got involved or

they told you that they were interested. Now you invite

them to be asked for money.

When you invite people, make it clear there's no

cost to attend. Have it sponsored. This is where you can

ask some corporations to sponsor it for you. And

corporations are willing to do that, or maybe some

individuals are willing to do that. So no cost to attend

means that people get to decide what's the amount that they

think is good.

Instead of saying, "Is it worth $50? Will I be

entertained for an hour?" they decide what's a good amount

of money for them.

You might not have felt brave enough to ask for

people to give you $1,000 for an hour, but they might make

that choice. Half the people who attend won't give you

anything at all. The other half might give you an average

gift of $500 or more.

Of the two events that I did in the past week, one

had close to 400 people attend, and they -- out of 400

people, they raised $98,000. If you think about that,

$98,000. $98,000 from 400 people. That's not bad.

If you tried asking people for $240 a head, those

people would have said no. And if half the people didn't

give, that means that the other half were giving $500 each.

And that was a lunch.

The other event was much smaller. They had 47

people attend, and they raised I think about $54,000. So

again, they weren't asking people for that much money, but

people were willing to give it.

Obviously some people gave more than others. And

it goes back to the principle I said about, if most of your

friends are giving $50, somebody's going to surprise you

and give you $250.

Well, obviously at an event like this, not

everybody's writing a check for $1,000 a head, but somebody

might surprise you and write one for $5,000, and that makes

up for the other people who don't give.

So this kind of event there's -- there's no silent

auction, there's no honorees.

My problem with silent auctions, I personally like

silent auctions. You know, I like going around the room

and seeing what the items are and maybe bidding on things.

I like picking out things for silent auctions. I like

going and, you know, picking out a half a case of wine and

carefully thinking about it.

But the problem is, even though I enjoy doing that,

silent auctions only make about two-thirds of what the

items cost. So I'm sitting there picking out $120 worth of

wine, and it's only going to raise $80. It would be better

for me not to donate the wine.

Angelina asked another question.

Thank you for asking a question, Angelina.

For the people who were doing these events, it

says, were these people already familiar with the

organization like with the Benevon model?

Of the people who attended those two events, a

number of people were familiar, a number of people were not


So the Benevon model says the first time you do a

luncheon, 20 percent of the people should have already

spent an hour on a tour with your organization. They call

them point-of-entry events, the information events. The

second time you do it, 40 percent should be familiar.

If you start by inviting your volunteers, you

automatically build to a room that has 20 percent of the

people already engaged in your work.

I was actually a volunteer for an organization for

20 years, Recording For the Blind and Dyslexic. We make

recordings of textbooks for students who struggle with


Nobody ever sat me down and asked me for money.

Periodically they'd ask me to the black-tie event. I'd get

an invite every year, I guess, $250 a head. But I can't

get a date; I don't want to spend $250; so I never went.

I never really felt asked for money. I mean they'd

send me direct mailings every once in a while. I think I

gave some money sometimes.

I was volunteering an hour and a half a week for

decades, for two decades. And in the meantime, I would

write thousand-dollar checks to other organizations because

I never felt asked for money. Once I started doing this,

then I felt asked for money, and then I gave.

So, yes, some of these attendees are familiar with

the organization. But I've gotten people to make $25,000

commitments for five years who had never heard of the

organization before they walked into that room and saw that


So thank you, Angelina. Good question.

And one other trick to all of these is the powerful

testimonial. You want someone who gets up in front of that

room and makes people cry.

And if you're doing information events every month

with testimonials, at the end of the year you'll know who

does the most powerful testimonial. That way you don't

have to necessarily have an audition or ask people what

they're going to say. Just watch.

And when you test 12 different testimonials in a

room full of ten people, at the end of the year you'll know

who should be speaking at that luncheon.

So feel free to post if you have more questions

about this.

Here's one other kind of event I want to talk about

just because this comes up a lot in my work. This is not

an event to raise money. But I want to mention it briefly.

One of the problems that organizations have is it's

hard to get stories of testimonials. And what happens is

you scramble around a lot to do it. You call up somebody;

you go over to their house; you have to arrange for a

photographer. Then at the end it turns out, after a

two-hour interview, they don't want you using their name.

The whole thing is a pain in the neck.

So one kind of event I would really recommend you

do, which will help you in your fund-raising, but it's not

a fund-raising event, is to have a photo shoot at your

office where you invite all the people that you serve to

come in on one day and tell their story of how they have

been helped.

You need one volunteer photographer and one

volunteer videographer. And plenty of people can do those

two tasks and are happy to volunteer.

Have it on a weekend. And that's all you're going

to do for eight hours is just shoot people -- you know,

take photos of them.

And so you sit down, and you're -- for the video

you're going to have the standard number of questions. And

ask people to spell their names, and ask for permission to

use the video. And then you have it taped. And you spend

a few minutes with them, and you have them talk about how

did the organization help.

You can immediately post this on your website.

People will use it as viral video and send it to their

friends. You can use it for PSAs with the local cable

station or television station or radio station.

And, you know, somebody who sits there and in under

a minute they say, My name is, and I was helped, and my

life beforehand was like this, and my life now is like

this, and it's all due to this organization. That's very

powerful. And people will go to your website to see these.

But mainly it makes your life easier for the next

year. So every time you're sending a thank you note, you

quote one of the testimonials. And every time you're

writing a grant, you attach statements from four of the

testimonials. You quote a story in your newsletter and use

photos from the photo shoot.

The neat thing that happens is people will bring

their family for the photo shoot, and then you post it on

Snapfish or Flickr, and you let them have professional

photos of themselves.

And for each of these people who come in, just have

a permission slip that they are giving you permission to

tell their story and all their materials. And then you

don't have to worry about getting stories or testimonials

for like the next year and a half.

So I really recommend that as an event. It really

takes about four days prep work in advance, and then the

setup day is a long day. So let's say you wanted to do

this the second week in December. And so the second

Saturday in December is when you'll do this.

So you spend the first week, Monday through Friday,

with a volunteer to make these calls, and you call all your

beneficiaries, and you book them in for a specific time

slot. And you book people a half hour apart. And you have

a couple of volunteers in the office to show people the

office if they're not used to seeing your office. Maybe

you usually come out to them.

But like if you started this on December 1st, you

could have the whole thing done within two weeks. And the

last thing you do with the photos is you frame them, and

you put them on your wall. Takes about a day and a half to

print everything out and frame it. You do it on beautiful

glossy stock. You can do them in black and white. And now

your office is covered with photos of the people you serve.

People are so impressed by that when they come into

your office and they see, Wow. Look at all the people that

you're helping. And isn't this absolutely amazing work

that you do.

So that finishes up what I wanted to say about


Next slide, please.

I'm going to take questions in a minute if anybody

has questions.

Next time, the next webinar is on December 15th.

And I'm going to cover how you sit down with people and ask

them for money.

And really in an hour and a half you're going to

learn everything that you need to know: How you get board

members to sit down with people and ask them for money; how

do you know how much to ask for; how do you basically get

somebody to set all of your appointments for you; how you

do anywhere from 25 to 50 appointments in just three weeks;

what do you say during an appointment; what happens before

you ask for money; what happens the moment you ask for

money; what's the five responses that people have when you

ask for money.

I mean, you're going to learn everything. And at

the end I'll tell you even how you can, within half an

hour, train your entire board with one video on how to ask

for money, and it will be really short and chic and simple.

And so I hope that you will come back to hear this again on

December 15th.

Liz will post the transcripts for this and this

webinar at the Pass It On Center website. I will also post

this on my website. I'll post it at werth-it.com.

I have a blog. And if you have some question that

you didn't really want to ask on the webinar or you're

listening to this later, you can go to werth-it.com/blog

and post your question.

You can also write me privately. And if you'd like

to, you know, not have your question be obviously from you,

you can say, "Look, can you just say this is from somebody

in Connecticut," or, "Can you give me a fake name." And

you'll see on my blog there's questions from Matthew in

Arizona or something like that.

And so you can write me at katherine@werth-it.com,

and I will post your questions privately.

So we have a few minutes until the end. So I'm

going to close off the mic, and if you would like to ask a

question about what happened at the AT reuse conference or

about any kind of event, I would be happy to take your

questions now.

LIZ PERSAUD: Hello everyone. This is Liz with

Pass It On Center.

Thank you, Katherine, for that wonderful session

and just all your tips and solutions for fund-raising for

our centers.

Does anyone have any questions for Katherine that

she can address now? Again, you can always e-mail

Katherine privately, as she said, post something on her

blog. You can send something to the Pass It On Center as

well too.

But we do have a few minutes before we're supposed

to wrap up. So do we have any questions or comments for


All right. Well, it looks like we -- there are no

questions. And so if that's the case, we will go ahead and

wrap up.

Again, feel free to visit Katherine's website,

werth-it.com. Feel free to e-mail Katherine. And again,

you can post questions on her blog.

Once again, feel free to get in touch with any one

of us at the Pass It On Center if you have any questions.

Hopefully y'all will join us next time on

December 15th. As Katherine says, she's going to talk to

y'all about how to sit down with one person and ask for

money. Money is always a good thing.

So please come back and join us on December 15th.

Any questions at all, feel free to contact us.

And thank you again, Katherine.

Thanks everyone for joining us. Take care.