Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Good Start

So what's happening? Well, the week got off to a good start yesterday morning with an email from Leighann at Yelp- inviting us to be Yelp's charity of choice for a huge event they have coming up in August at the Natural History Museum at Harvard- over 500 people will be attending. Guests are asked to make a financial donation to Project Smile at the event- how cool is that? Yelp is such an awesome site- if you haven't been on it, definitely check it out. It is a free site where memmbers review all sorts of businesses and discuss different topics. I go on there a lot, I haven't written many reviews, but I definitely use it to research restaurants and other places. Yelp is also very involved in community events which I particularly appreciate. They helped sponsor our date auction last year, our Sugar and Spice event and this year's date auction too.

We've also recruited a fabulous group of single ladies for the date auction. It's funny- things were moving really slowly with recruiting bachelorettes, but all of a sudden, we had 6 ladies signed up and now we only have 4 more spots to fill. What a relief! All the girls are beautiful too and very accomplished. We will have photos of most of them on our site in the next few days. Most of the recruiting comes from word of mouth- one of the women that signed up was featured in Improper Bostonian's most eligible singles, she then got a friend to sign up as well, who also got other friends to sign up. We have another woman who was featured in the Improper issue as well. Now, my problem is swinging the other direction- I need more single firefighters and police.

Another Anniversary event sponsor has returned- a platinum sponsor too! So that was more good news today. We are doing OK in terms of financial support for our Anniversary event. I know that "doing OK" isn't exactly a technical term in fundraising language, but it sums up where we are. We have less sponsorship dollars than last year, but it definitely could be worse, so we are OK.

It is so important not to discount yourself or services. That doesn't mean that one can't negotiate or compromise in certain situations, but once you establish a value for yourself and your product, you can not dilute that value by discounting yourself. Example: We established sponsorship rates for our events- these rates obviously include a list of benefits that the sponsor receives for their support. We do sponsor exchanges on occasion, particularly when it comes to event marketing. But recently I was asked that along with the sponsorship trade, we offer free tickets that the sponsoring company will then turn around and sell to their members (sponsor keeping the profit). Now, we can't do that. First of all, financially we can't afford to lose the ticket money. The date auction is one of only 2 big events this year and needs to bring in some serious money- giving away a block of tickets for someone else to profit from is not feasible. Second of all, and perhaps even more important than the money, is the simple fact that our event has an established value to it and we are not going to dilute that value by giving extra things away. Our sponsorship rates are set and we stand by them. Giving away our tickets for outside sale, along with the trade, was not even something that I even considered, but it was a good reminder of how important it is to stay strong and not discount ourself.

Well, I think that's it for tonight. I'm tired and need to write my list for tomorrow. I'm feeling in the mood for watermelon and blueberries- so delicious! But it is 1:25, so I should just go to bed and be all bright and perky tomorrow morning. OK, bright and perky is stretch for me in the morning, but at least awake and functioning. Until tomorrow friends...

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