Thursday, November 26, 2009

Don't Be These People

Nobody likes a party crasher. I thought we all outgrew this after college. As an event planner, unexpected guests, as well as last-minute RSVPers (and cancellations) irk me. I can't help it, it's in my brain cells... even though I have been one of "those" people many times. In the non-profit fundrasing world, last minute guests can mean more money or publicity for your cause. However, crashing a party that you weren't invited to is never a cool thing.
Couple Crashes Obama State Dinner:,8599,1943072,00.html

Here is an article about a non-profit organization, "The Moth", that serves as a venue for all types of people to come together on certain nights and tell non-fiction stories about the chosen topic of the night. Being known amongst my friends for entertaining, non-fictional, often wacky "Jen Cole stories", this is definitely an organization that sounds interesting to me. Additionally, I've been learning in class that a big part of being a good fundraiser is being a good story-teller (basically, you are telling the story of the organization in order to raise funds). Those are some reasons why this story interested me, on top of the fact that they threw a masquerade ball as a fundraiser. Happy reading and hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!
Masked Raconteurs Tell Tales at Moth Ball and I Have a Blast:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Practical Way That One Non-Profit Raises Funds Through Special Events

"Charity Makes Money From Renting Ballroom"

I love this story from the Chronicle of Philanthropy about how a non-profit that provides affordable housing to low-income people with AIDS purchased a dilapidated old hotel, fixed it up to it's former glory to provide housing for it's constituents and raise funds from renting out it's ballroom. You can have your event at the Prince George Hotel while helping this nonprofit - Common Grounds - support itself. What a great way to raise funds and be self-sufficient! It's my two favorite worlds meeting - special events and a social service organization.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Special Events in a Recession

New York Times had a great special section on giving yesterday. It can be accessed here:
There was an article that was especially interesting, "Galas Dispense With Some of the Froth":
It highlighted how the Special Events industry has been reacting to the "Great Recession". As one event planner put it, it's forcing planners to become more creative because charities do not want it to look like they are spending all the money that they raised on the gala. Some interesting ways they are making events more economical include toning down the formality of the events to make them more casual, offering chicken instead of beef, and changing centerpieces to short stemmed flowers (which are cheaper) with more candles. The article goes into more specific examples.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Google Grants - Marketing Your Event

On Thursday I attended a seminar at Google on the use of Google Tools for nonprofits. The seminar also covered the process for getting a Google grant, which gives nonprofits free use of AdWords (the featured advertisements to the top and right of your search results). Since Google grants has become popular, they warned that it may take between four to six months before you hear if your proposal has been approved or rejected. However, if you have an annual event or know well in advance that you have a big event coming up, applying for a Google grant is a great way to get free, very targeted and effective marketing for your event. Even if you don't get the grant, AdWords allows you to name your own budget and therefore can be an economical marketing tool for your event.

For more information, visit

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Inaugural Ball

Welcome to the inaugural post of my blog! Forgive the cheesey post title, I'm new to this! I'm aiming to post once or twice a week until I get the hang of it, then we'll see if I can pick up the pace a bit. If you are a kindred spirit who loves parties, making a difference, the non-profit world, or just stumbled across the blog and find it even midly entertaining, please follow me. I'm always up for making connections (somehow the phrase "meeting people" didn't seem as applicable on the internet), so let me know that you are out there. I want to follow you, too!
Now, for my first, very basic post.
One of my favorite websites for event planning is BizBash. It's essentially an event planner's Bible. Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, LA, Miami, New York, Orlando, Toronto, and Washington are all featured cities on the website where you can find venues, caterers, suppliers, event planners, and industry news.

I told you this was going to be basic. :) However, as I learn more, I plan to make this a little more in-depth.

Thanks for reading!