Meetings, Events and Anniversaries… what works and what doesn't?!
BrittanyYeley Posts: 13✭✭
edited November 2022 in Tech Tips & Virtual Engagement
-Does your foundation host an annual meeting? How do you make it impactful year after year?
-What is most important to keep in mind for celebrating big anniversaries?
-Do you host special events that have been particularly popular?
-How do you engage non-donors in your community?
Thanks for the conversation yesterday! I wanted to share the link to our June 2021 Annual Celebration that was really well received, especially since it was virtual. It was a quick around-the-county-style look at the impact our donors make possible. As we approach our 30th in 2022, we are hoping to use that same idea and build on it.
I also shared for our anniversary we are using the following motto to make sure we reach as many of our key publics as possible: During our 30th anniversary, we celebrate our donors, partner, history and community. We are planning to have projects/programs/events that reach all of the people in those buckets.
Thanks, Genna, for sharing! We just worked on a 2-year plan and I love this for our 2023 event and can start planning during 2022 to have all of the footage to do something similar!
No annual "meeting" for us. We do host an annual "Celebration of Community," which is open to anyone.
(For those who might be bored tomorrow night (11/5), the program portion of the event -- 15 or so minutes -- will be live on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CFNEIA )
I am really loving all of the responses on this topic! Thank you all so much for sharing
Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for participating yesterday. Please share other ideas for future Coffee Talks with us. Many thanks.
We do host an annual luncheon. Several years ago we decided to forego bringing in the traditional keynote speaker. We brought in a comedian that first year who tied a nice, neat bow of philanthropy at the end. Attendees loved it. They "got the message" while being entertained. The next year we brought in a husband and wife team. He the musician, she the artist. He performed his songs while she live painted. Paused long enough to tell the story of how a community came together in 24 hours (through one of the online giving platforms) to raise enough money to help her family replant an apple orchard that was destroyed by an arson-started prairie fire. It was a moving story and luncheon experience. The next year we brought in two magicians who went table to table doing close up magic while attendees ate their "chicken dinner." One of the magicians performed a very elaborate "keynote" illusion that had a brilliant, mind-bending philanthropic twist. To prepare for our 25th anniversary, four years ago we commissioned the state's most well-known landscape photographer to come and photograph our county and then to publish a coffee table book of those photos. For 3 1/2 years, he came out in all seasons in all weather conditions and went to every corner of our large county. This year in celebration of our upcoming 25th anniversary, we unveiled the coffee table book and showed slides of the book while local university jazz professors played original music set to the slides. At the end, we "went all Oprah" and gave each attendee a free copy of the book. Our luncheons are now sell-out crowds and an event no one regrets having to attend. At the same time, they leave inspired toward philanthropy and improving our local quality of life.
@LaurenWolpin This has just come up in our office and I thought it might be an idea for a Coffee Talk (or maybe not - just a thought!). Some of these are going to be directed by National Standards, but I know every CF is different. What are everyone's policies and procedures for their Board of Directors and Committees? What term limits do you have for both? What processes do you have as far as new members for both? Do Board Members rotate committees? If so, how often? How often do both meet? How do your Board Meetings flow? Do you have any events or special things you do to engage your Board Members more? To encourage them to be an advocate for your CF? So often it feels like a rubber stamp situation.
We just completed our "Cheers" event last week, and it was a wonderful success. Everyone was so happy to be together again! It is the second "Cheers" event we've done but skipped 2020 due to Covid. We anticipated celebrating our 20th anniversary last year but instead celebrated 20+ 1 this year. We kept our guest list to only donors and organization funds, with a cap of 150 guests (we had about 125 attend) based on the space size. Our in-person Cheers event was at a local art gallery. We served beer, wine, non-alcoholic drinks, and catered with heavy horsd'œuvres passed through the guests by catering staff. We asked that everyone that attended to be vaccinated (honor system) and masks were required except while eating or drinking. We awarded grantees from two grant programs and celebrated the amazing generosity of our donors. We did not broadcast any of this event online or live.
Hope this is helpful!