Archive | January, 2013

Get me a Bloomberg!

29 Jan


How do you find a wealthy donor that will give you a million, or a billion dollars?

Acquisition mailings?  (Dear Friend….)

come to mama!

I like you

Tweets?  (RT @needabillion if you can help!)

Facebook posts? (Like Me so I know you are interested!)

Telemarketing?  (“I’m hoping you can help me, by directing me to someone that can write a check for one billion dollars”)

I read this article in the NY Times about Mayor Bloomberg.  He is hoping to give away his fortune of $25 billion (with a B) before he dies.  This $25 billion (with a B) is his money that was earned by working hard as an entrepreneur.  Recently, Mayor Bloomberg has given another $350 million to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins. This additional $350 million put him over $1 billion in lifetime donations to his school.  Over one billion dollars to the same place.  How many buildings on that campus do you think are named after him?

I wonder who the lucky Development Officer (or better yet – EVP of Distinguished Giving) is that gets to work with Mayor Bloomberg.  Do you think Mayor Bloomberg donated his hard-earned billion bucks because he responded to a piece of direct mail, or a tweet, or a facebook post, or a telemarketer call?   Er, Doubtful.

Someone from Johns Hopkins has been cultivating a relationship with Mayor Bloomberg for a while.  Years.  Decades.  Donor relationships are successful, and fruitful, because of the time and effort put into the relationship.  Electronic dating works for a while, but if you want to get married – then you should get to know the person, in person, first.

Here is another good article about entrepreneurial philanthropy that will be helpful to those readers that have a few million, or billion to donate.

We are lucky to have people like Mayor Bloomberg in the world.  People who want to donate their wealth to make the world a better place.  Now I just need to find “a Bloomberg” that attended Barbieri Elementary so our PTO can focus on things other than fundraisers.  

 I need u



Logistics fun in NYC

23 Jan


New York City. A logistics wonderland. We took the kids for the MLK Holiday weekend and I was able to take some fun photos during our travels.

TKTS Time Square

Pockets full of money and no one to give it to

Pockets full of money and no one to give it to

All of these people are waiting for hours to exchange their money for a discounted theater ticket. Hours in line!!  I will never understand why anyone would make a customer wait in line to give them money. Perhaps they could get more ticket agents down there so the line goes more quickly.

Remember this when setting up your registration tent.  Have plenty of volunteers so that your walkers do not have to wait a long time to give you their hard-earned donations. It is not good customer service to make some one wait to give you money. Ever. EVER!

If you saw my previous post about fave porta-pottie names, then you know I am a fan.  Here is one I have never seen before:

Call A Head.  Get it?

Call A Head. Get it?

This was placed in the South Street Seaport area.  We went to walk around and found that the area was devastated by Hurricane Sandy and most of the shops are closed.  The area is desolate.   Many store fronts had tape on the windows and construction permits indicating water damage. So sad.

Elevated police station Times Square
I was intrigued to see this 4′ x 4′ box about 20 feet above the ground.  How do they get up there?

How do they get up there?

How do they get up there?

DSC01086 DSC01087
I took some photos while waiting on the top of our double-decker tour bus.  One of of the cops waiting to board was holding a verrrrry large coffee cup.  I doubt he was wearing a catheter, so
I’ll leave the pottie situation up to your imagination.

Worked well, needs improvement

15 Jan


tell me!


One of the most important things you can do after your walkathon is to check yourself.  In the words of one of my fave RHOA ladies… “Who’s gonna check me, boo?”

How did the walk do – other than the obvious indicators of walkers and dollars?  Some things you can control, and some things you cannot.  Mother Nature is one of them.  What about the other things? Things that provide customer satisfaction?  Things that make your walkers want to come back?

The day after the walkathon, I would always send an email to staff and volunteer coordinators titled “364 days to go!”

While the event was fresh in their minds, I wanted to know what went well and what needs improvement.  Who best to give me a reality check than the people who volunteered their time and talent to make it happen?  I would always receive a big-honkin’ load of responses.  Good, bad and ugly.

This kind of immediate feedback is crucial for the successful planning of the next event.  I would print-out these responses and make a list of things that are, and aren’t fixable.  Many of the nasty-gram responses were in reference to the early-hour they had to arrive or the culinary selection of snacks.  However, there would always be a few delightful gems in the bunch that I could fix for the next year.

These literary opinions would be kept in an obnoxious-colored file folder on my desk so it would always be easy to grab for an occasional perusal of the previous event.  Make sure to give credit to the person that offers a money or time-saving suggestion!  Sometimes it is the little things that make a big change!



thanks for trying!

5 things to do during walkathon “off-season”

8 Jan


5 things for your radar


Ahhhhh, the off-season.  Miller Time – yes?  Your walk is over and you have 364 days to prepare for the next one.  What to do?

Here is a list of 5 things to keep on your radar as you prepare for the next walk:

1. Database

Clean it up!  Junk-in means junk-out.  You need clean data to run the reports indicating your top walkers, teams and companies.  Go thru the database to de-dupe it and delete the dead weight.

2. Thank-yous

You may have seen my previous post about thanking the walkers, donors and sponsors. Do it in a timely manner so you have time to properly organize your pitch to have them join you again.

3. Expenses

How much did it cost to operate your walkathon?  It is hopefully under 20%, and you can identify ways to bring the costs down for next year.   Plan a date with your Accounts Payable person to check things out.  Perhaps you can get discounts if you order some of the non-negotiable stuff early.

4. Permits

If you liked your location, and it worked well – LOCK IT DOWN for next year.  See if there is a discounted fee for paying early.  Same thing for potties, tents and toilets.

5. Inventory

When the boxes came flying off the truck and you took the junk out of the trunks – where did it go?  Did you go thru it first to make sure you did not misplace a registration form or a check? Time to make sure you are not be storing any food (now moldy) for the next walk.   Sort it, clean it, count it, box-it-up and tape-it-closed.  Write the quantity of each item on the outside of the box. Boom!

high fiveDid you really think you were going to be able to relax when the walkathon was over?   Plant the seeds now so that they bloom in time for the walk!