Hello everyone from everywhere! Thank you so much for taking the time to follow the Fundforte Fast Tracks, blog, channel, and podcast! Welcome to track number 005, Fundraiser History! If you're reading up on the blog, listening in on the podcast or watching over on the channel, I just ask that you do so safely and responsibly by assuring your attention is set on matters that are urgent or important to the well being of yourself and others around you.
As we go along through the Fundforte Fast Tracks, my ultimate goal is to empower you to envision, plan and execute your events and fundraisers more efficiently and creatively. As you get to know our company, myself (Beaudy, the founder), our tracks and yourself, there will be some work to do at the end of the segments so that you can stay aligned with the ideas that come about during the tracks as you listen to, read or watch them. Paid courses to the memberships will be launching as well and our pintables will be updated and featured here in the fast tracks series also, so please stay tuned for all the exciting new releases and freebies that were designed to save you time, money and resources!
Today’s track is dedicated to fundraiser history.
When we think about our fundraiser history, we are going to try to remember now your feelings and experiences dealing with fundraising as mentioned in tracks 003 & 004 and most importantly, why you felt or experienced those certain things. This will allow you as a planner to dig deeper into what you want your clients, customers, guests or supporters to feel and experience for your events, fundraisers, and programs!
Some questions you can use to get a head start on the segment work are below and my answers are in yellow. By being as transparent and truthful as possible, you will be able to feel free to learn from any mistakes you have made in the past. If you’re not familiar with my fundraiser experiences, you may want to go back and listen to tracks 001 and 002 to get a feel of why I am very transparent with my past. (It may help you be transparent with yours.) This will speed up your ability to heal from the experience if it was a bad or embarrassing one, laugh at yourself for any mistakes and most importantly, learn what you could do better next time!
1. What is your earliest recollection of fundraising or assisting with anything fundraiser related?
a. My parents were always active in my schooling and loved being involved in the Parent-Teacher Organizations that were created to ensure student activities and fundraising was executed. My earliest recollection was when I was in Kindergarten and during the meetings I was asked to go around and sell books for $1.00. If I met my goal, I’d get to choose any book that I wanted. At the end of the meeting, I was so stoked because the librarian ended up letting me choose ten books instead of one, and I lugged away all the science textbooks and science books I could get my hands on.
2. Was this early experience a good, bad or neutral one?
a. This was a great one, it was one of the first instances where I felt the entrepreneurial spirit and had an understanding of what a fundraiser was. As the librarian explained that they received these books by donation and wanted to fundraise with them to purchase some fun carpets for the different sections of the library.
3. What is your worst recollection of fundraising or being a part of a fundraiser?
a. My worst recollection was not necessarily during a fundraiser, event or program, but how I felt hurt from some bad news. During the final practice day of my senior graduation ceremony, our principal had announced to us that all of our funds had been stolen. This was the funds that we had worked our asses off for four years to generate, the majority of the fundraisers were chaired by me and my friends. My heart sunk, I was angry, lost for words and disappointed in the administration who was responsible for the funds being stolen. I was also nine months pregnant then and was absolutely furious, I had to sit and breathe as I felt like contractions were happening. At the time, I felt that this news was way bigger than what was said to us, that not one person could have been responsible. But, I have forgiven, just never can I forget what happened. We trusted these adults to conduct business appropriately and bottom line, they let us down. To this day, many of the details are still blurry, unpublished and kept secret and a lot of money is owed to my class of 2010 peers which we were supposed to use for our 10th-year reunion that is coming up next year. So, it’s still something I try to discuss as situations like this, unfortunately, happened often.
4. What is your most embarrassing recollection of fundraising or being a part of a fundraiser?
a. The most embarrassing memory I have was not during a fundraiser or event but something that happened afterward. Again, you may want to review track number 002 to have an understanding of the things I went through during the time with my ex. It was during our son’s first-grade year that we raised some money for his school with a haunted house production. My ex and I were both Parent Teacher Organization officers and were tasked to hold on to the funds to purchase some equipment. Unbeknownst to me, my ex had touched the funds in my safe and stolen hundreds of dollars out of it. I cried, I screamed at him, I was embarrassed and hurt because he took it and spent it on who knows what. (This was the time where he was working on his recovery to methamphetamines and there I was, thinking he was making progress.) I had to use my business funds to replenish the money and purchase the equipment that the fundraising was intended for, so replacing the money was just a small portion of my worries. We were position holding officers entrusted to secure items for the children of the school and my partner wasn’t to be trusted, I was so hurt because he made it seem like he was doing well with the recovery of his drug addiction and I was so ready to turn him into the police. Within a few days, he was able to pay my company back, but that was another incident that got me closer to terminating my toxic relationship with him.
5. What is your worst recollection of supporting or attending a fundraiser, how could you have improved the situation? How could your host have avoided or improved the situation?
a. The memory I observed was seeing that a family had fought over who would receive the proceeds of a fundraiser. It just broke my heart to see them arguing about it and that they didn’t know how to mediate the situation. This is another service we offer when it comes to fundraising, we advise the beneficiaries on the fairest ways to conclude where the funds raised go, including how much, how often and why it should be so. The host could have avoided the situation by agreeing to terms set above beforehand, rather than afterward.
6. What is your favorite fundraiser memory?
a. I have several that I can save for other tracks, but my favorite was when my mom would do fundraisers for schools by selling AVON products. She climbed her ranks through fundraising with AVON and would do so by giving the schools great commission deals, throwing pizza parties for the winning classes and giving prizes out to all the top performers of the fundraiser. She was amazing and was recognized for her achievements in local magazines and at the national and global AVON offices where she even won prize money and took my dad on a cruise vacation. Our family was very supportive of her efforts and I remember our house being filled with AVON boxes that she had to get a new car, she hired assistance, box trucks would come by to off-load her orders, we’d have to raise canopies and section out each part of the house, garage, and canopies to fill the orders properly. I remember getting paper cuts and having to use the paper balm to help her fill her campaign booklets. Seeing her coordinate fundraising programs like that inspired me to be very active in raising money for my class and organizations I was a part of.
7. What is your most profitable fundraiser to date?
a. One of my biggest regrets was not keeping track of how profitable my fundraiser plans and ideas were ever since I first started being involved in fundraising. I just kept mental tabs of the experiences, ideas and over the years, learned that keeping data was important. In 2017 my laptop with all my data and pre-made plans were stolen out of my car at my house. Then I learned another valuable lesson…it’s not just the data, but backing it up as well. I do remember though how much funds and value I have raised for myself and my endeavors. Currently, the money I have raised for myself over a 10-year span is over $25,000 these are through contests, grants, scholarships, and awards, but that topic will be covered on another track. So I'll speak about how you can achieve the same for yourself, your business and/or your organizations.
Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of my fundraiser history with you and I look forward to hearing or reading your answers as well!
Thank you again for following the Fundforte Fast Tracks, blog, channel, podcast and facebook group! You can find all this content, submit your questions, contact us and more at www.fundforte.com . Please subscribe to the Fundforte Fast Track Membership at the website as well, for the free or paid plans. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and Anchor for the freshest custom creative event solutions by Fundforte! Thank you and remember to make today a great one! -Beaudy Marea G. Camacho Founder of Fundforte