The Wickeds continue to celebrate Sheila Connolly’s book birthday for Razing the Dead. Today we’re talking about our best fundraising efforts, in honor of Nell Pratt and her many adventures in the Museum Mysteries.
Liz: There’s something so gratifying about asking for money for a good cause. One of my favorite fundraising experiences was chairing a live and silent auction for an animal rescue group I worked with – we raised tons of money for the furries. My most recent experience, though, was the annual fundraising breakfast for Safe Futures, a domestic violence and sexual assault center where I’m a board member. We raised a record-breaking amount for the organization and it was so satisfying to be part of that.
Sherry: This is a twist on fundraising. When I lived and worked in Cheyenne, Wyoming I was asked to help with the marketing for a campaign called Schools for Cheyenne’s Future. We were trying to get a slight increase in property taxes to fund renovations. It’s not exactly a popular issue especially for people who no longer have kids in the school system. I managed, through the marketing campaign, to show how the schools were used for other events open to all. The evening the votes were counted a group of us sat around a TV watching as the votes trickled in. It passed by a landslide.
Barb: My admiration for people who raise funds for non-profits is boundless–mainly because I would be so incredibly bad at it. Good, highly productive fundraisers whose vision and passion are aligned with the organization they work for are as rare as hen’s teeth and should be treasured. A friend of mine once told me you should never start a rock band unless you’ve found your bass player, because the good ones are so rare. Same thing for non-profits and fundraisers.
Julie: Liz, as someone who runs a non-profit, your attitude it is my dream board member’s. StageSource does some fundraising efforts throughout the year, and we do have donors who help support us. And we contribute to some fundraisers as well–I was auctioned off for a lunch date recently! If anyone has a fun idea for a fundraiser for an arts service organization, I’m all ears!
Edith: I love donating naming rights. In fact, a woman bought naming rights to a character in ‘Til Dirt Do Us Part at at StageSource auction. I wrote her in as a farm subscriber, blah, blah. Then to my surprise she turned out to be an undercover DEA agent! The woman who bought the rights is delighted and has become one of my biggest fans. I did the same for the Merrimac River Feline Rescue Society at their annual auction last fall,
which is incredibly well run and raises lots of bucks. They decided to feature my naming rights in the live auction and put me right up on the stage with auctioneer Randy Price (well-known local newscaster), with a massive photo of my book cover on the screen behind us. The rights went for something like $350! We all had fun, and the winner became an environmentalist schoolteacher in Farmed and Dangerous who even asks Cam out for a date. But I wouldn’t want to work at being a fundraiser full time. I even hate to accost strangers at a farmers’ market where I’m selling books to say, “Do you like mysteries?”
Readers, share fundraising stories in the comments below!