Five Points for Planning your 2014 event or fundraiser by Toni Earls

Five Points for Planning your 2014 event or fundraiser

If you are planning an event for your business in 2014, now is a great time to get started. Whether it is a networking event or a fundraiser, staying on top of your planning with a checklist will aid your efforts immeasurably. Keeping yourself organized is fundamental to the success of an event. Consider these suggestions when planning yours.

1. Be clear about the purpose of your event, whether it is a fundraiser, a networking opportunity, or something in between. The Fundraising Authority recommends: “Before doing anything else, you must decide what the purpose of your event is. Is this truly a fundraising event? Or does it have other goals?…details for your event will depend on knowing what goals you are trying to achieve.”

2. Begin preparations early on, at least 3 months out for a large event, according to Marriot. Their comprehensive checklist includes these beginning steps: “…develop the program and budget. Book meeting site and support services. Check calendar of local events to avoid conflicting or inappropriate dates.” You can also use this time to contact attendees and if necessary, make travel arrangements. The more thorough and detailed you are at the start, the less likely you are to encounter problems closer to the event.

3. The importance of your marketing is highlighted by the Fundraising Authority’s checklist. “You need to convince your supporters that your organization and event are worthy of their time and money. Draw up an entire marketing plan for the event.” Whether you are a small business looking to network or a non-profit hoping to fundraise, it is imperative that you orchestrate a persuasive marketing campaign to entice people to your event. “ ‘Getting the word out’ [methods] include…mailed invitations, direct mail, phone banks, word of mouth and the event host committee.”

4. Remember, people won’t come and/or they won’t donate if you don’t ask. Event 360’s advice is applicable in a fundraising or a networking event planning situation. “The golden rule of fundraising is: You raise money when you ask for it. You don’t when you don’t. ASK! Make a list of everyone you know and everyone you come in contact with during the course of a day – everyone is a potential donor.” There are also many potential guests for a networking event in this pool of people. Be judicious about your requests but don’t hesitate to cast a wide net.

5. Finally, remember that the influence of your event doesn’t end when the tables are cleared away and the lights are shut off. It is important to follow up with clients or donors, and to thank them for their attendance. Fundraising Authority advises: “Make sure that the organization takes the time to send thank-you notes to everyone who is involved in your event, including contributors, volunteers, staff and vendors.”

In short, be purposeful in your event design. Plan ahead and keep abreast of the situation throughout the events planning stages. Market your event like it is a new product and don’t be afraid to ask people to attend or to donate, depending on the situation. Most importantly, remember to say thank you when it is done.

SOURCES: http://www.thefundraisingauthority.com/fundraising-basics/fundraising-event/

http://www.marriott.com/Multimedia/PDF/check_time.pdf

http://www.event360.com/assets/files/Event-Fundraising-Checklist.pdf

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Can You Afford A Virtual Assistant?

Most professionals view having a virtual assistant as a a great idea but a novelty. This post will outline the cost structure to having a virtual assistant as opposed to having an on site employee.

Lets work out the numbers:

Consider an on site employee at a minimum of $15 per hour.                               Calculate:

$15 x 40 hours                                                                         =                                     $600 Weekly

$600 x 4 weeks                                                                       =                                      $2400 Monthly

$2400 x 12 months                                                                =                                      $28,800 Year

+ 35%  (Taxes & Benefits)                                                    =                                     $38,880 Annually

(Now add in lunch breaks, office space, equipment, supplies, technology, non-productive hours, sick & holiday pay, that is some big money, which is not always being put to good use)

Now consider a Virtual Assistant at an example rate of $25 per hour.  First, figure out approximately how many hours you will actually require of your virtual assistant, for this example lets assume 20 hours per week (each individuals specific needs will vary).

$25 Hourly Rate for a VA                                                                            Calculate:

$25 x 20 hours                                                    =                                                500 Weekly

$500 x 4 weeks                                                   =                                                $2000 Monthly

$2000 x 12 months                                            =                                                $24,000 Annually

Total Cost =    $24,000 Annually

Virtual assistants work as subcontractors so you never have to worry about taxes or providing insurance. VA’s work from their off-site offices and provide their own equipment, supplies and technology. Not to mention, with a VA you do not pay for lunch breaks, potty breaks, sick, holiday or vacation time. The client doesn’t have to be concerned about non-productive hours as they are only paying for the work received. Even if you only require part-time assistance just divide the both numbers in half because utilizing a VA will allow you to cut the hours of on site assistance at least in half as a VA can do a considerable amount more in an hours time as opposed to an onsite employee.

Evaluating the above example, we can see that utilizing a Virtual Assistant will give you an absolute minimum savings of $14,880! That extra savings could purchase you more than 6 months of additional VA service!

Now the question goes from “Can you afford a Virtual Assistant?” to “Can you afford not to have a Virtual Assistant?”

At McClure Virtual Business Solutions, our team offers highly competitive rates  and a wide variety of prepaid packaged plans that offer additional savings. In addition to our great rates, we offer Client Loyalty Rewards and Referral Programs. We offer free, no obligation consultations as our rate plans are customized to fit the individual client needs.  Our philosopy at MVBS is to simplify and streamline the lives and businesses of our clients so that they may conduct both aspects in the manners in which they most desire. Contact us at mccluresolutions@hotmail.com for more information or with any questions you may have.

May 2011 Feature Client

Our featured client of the month is Fitness Brokers USA.  MVBS assists them on a monthly basis with database management and invoicing.  Fitness Brokers USA is a full service, pre-owned fitness equipment company that buys and sells to commercial and residential customers worldwide.  They offer personal, one on one consultations to help you reach your fitness goals. ‘Tis the season for getting in shape, so be sure to check them out.  Get great deals on commercial fitness equipment and strength training items by visiting their e-store at http://stores.ebay.com/Fitness-Brokers-USA.  Stay up to date on their latest arrivals by “Like’  their Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fitness-Brokers-USA/187670107943109. For answers to all your fitness questions contact, Joe Gulino at fitnessbrokersusa@gmail.com or Noel Roby at Noel.P.Roby@gmail.com. Check out their website at http://www.fitnessbrokersusa.com/ .