As a young professional, I hear a lot of talk about the importance of maintaining a work-life balance. Every time I hear this, though, I always feel like an essential third element is missing for a truly balanced life: community. Because as important as networking and continued education are to developing our careers, and quality time spent with friends and family is to building our personal lives, volunteering and philanthropic leadership are vital for shaping the world in which we both work and live.
This is why I was drawn to the United Way’s Emerging Leaders program. Our community has so many wonderful industry-focused organizations and young professional groups dedicated to career advancement and education, but finding one that concentrates on developing the philanthropic capabilities of the next generation of leaders in our community is unique.
I had the opportunity to attend Sacramento Business Journal’s “Partners in Philanthropy” recently, where 3fold was honored because of our philanthropic works in the region. Just one of the 72,973,108 reasons I love working at 3fold is because philanthropy is a huge part in what we do. It’s part of our culture. We have time, talent and treasure to give back to this region…and we don’t see it as an option not to infuse that in the community.
As witnessed at the event, many other companies share our passion for investing in this community. 3fold shared the stage with other regional philanthropists such as the Sacramento Association of Realtors, Gilbert Associates, Sacramento Kings, Farmers & Merchants Bank, and Save Mart Supermarkets. Each honoree displayed their unique way of giving back and paying forward.
Which brought us to the moment at the event where the late Mort Friedman was recognized. Many of us who have lived in Sacramento for(ever) a while, know of Mort being the remarkably talented litigator who represented plaintiffs in the Farrell’s disaster in the early 70’s. Others remember him for being a catalyst to bring Nordstrom to Sacramento, and infusing energy into the Arden Fair Mall project.
But what was most noted about Mort, above all of his professional accomplishments, was his spirit of giving back to this region. “We should all aspire to be like Mort,” was a quote overheard at the event. Whether supporting the Crocker or local symphony, or investing in the critical services provided to children and families at UC Davis MIND Institute – he made it a point to give and invest in his community.
Michael Jordan was an international phenomenon during his playing career. I know this seems non-related, but stick with me for a moment… MJ was dynamic, athletic, charming and wildly talented. When his brand launched the “Be Like Mike” campaign – it did something special to all of us who had a front seat watching Jordan’s career. It gave us a sliver of belief that we could, in fact, be like Mike. It made us believe we could dunk, shoot, make gravity-defying layups and win championships. We all aspired, for a moment, to be like Mike.
While MJ was winning championships and making a cannonball-like splash in the NBA, Sacramento had their own version of Mike who was making sizeable philanthropic splashes for the greater good. So then and now, it behooves us as a region to put on the shelf our love for and aspirations to be like #23. Instead, let’s pinky swear that we will focus on being like someone who was a true partner in philanthropy and was immersed in the goal of making this region a better place. Let’s all try to “Be Like Mort.”
Photo taken from Sacramento Business Journal.
It is almost crazy to think that you can gain inspiration and hope from a clean car. But we, the crazies at 3fold & Franklin Pictures, were so incredibly dazzled and inspired at the sight of our cars being washed by the Finishing Touch crew on Wednesday – it prompted us to want to share it with you.
Here is some back story: Cottage Housing Inc., a homeless shelter in Sacramento that provides care for those without a roof, brought a few of its residents together a couple of year ago to brainstorm. CHI recognizes that just because someone spent time in prison, is dealing with addiction and recovery, and doesn’t own a 2 bedroom/2.5 bathroom home, that doesn’t mean they don’t have skills. This handful of extremely talented residents began talking about what skill(s) they had in common and could bring to the table. They immediately found that they were all “car guys” with a background in and passion for detailing automobiles. With a little business planning and forecasting, and using the determination of Finishing Touch Manager, Cornell Battle – CHI has successfully launched their first business. Finishing Touch is a mobile auto detailing business that will come right to your work (or home) and give your car that “once-over” that it desperately needs. “My car went from being a 2002 to a 2012,” a thrilled Andi Justice said about the detail work Finishing Touch did for her and her ride. “It’s never been so clean. Not even the day I bought it.”
“In addition to the quality business service Finishing Touch provides, there is a story behind that story. These people are accomplishing the impossible. They are turning their lives completely around, and it’s amazing to see that happen,” said 3fold’s Gordon Fowler, who is the owner of a now-squeaky-clean car. Cottage Housing deserves a huge thanks and praise for what they have done – not only for 3fold on our wash day – but for our community. As they strive to get families off the streets and into jobs, they looked within their own organization, found some talent, trusted their business-sense, and launched this endeavor. And now cars all over Sacramento (especially in the 3fold/FranklinPix parking lot) are beaming! Franklin Pictures also hosted an Intern Challenge the day Finishing Touch was at the office. The interns were challenged to produce a video from start to completion about the organization; please take a moment to watch the video:
[vimeo id="44943390" width="620" height="360"]
What started out as a belief that a small group of us would get together on a Sunday afternoon for a good cause, ride around in a limo searching the region for clues and answering riddles…turned in to be exactly that! Plus a wild amount of fun and a 2nd place award. Take that, Sherlock!
Capital City Caper, EMQ Families First’s annual limousine scavenger hunt, was where our 8-person 3fold team found ourselves decked out in Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones Men In Black-inspired costumes. What we quickly realized was that we wound up looking exactly like the corps of limo drivers. Nonetheless, with our black pants/white shirts/ties/sunglasses (and even a briefcase), we stormed the Sacramento region looking for secret destinations and prepared to collect clues.
The stops along the Caper were as clever as they were maddening! At 58 Degrees, the goal was to perform a wine taste test (can you tell the difference between a chardonnay and a pinot? Turns out we can!), estimate the number of corks in a giant vase, and answer a word problem that brought back elementary school nightmares. When we arrived at REI, our team had to construct a tent in the lowest possible time – can someone say 68 seconds?!?! At the Sacramento Automobile Museum, we had to match vintage cars to clues – and the fact that none of us knew what model car Colombo drove put us at a distinct disadvantage.
The day closed with us arriving back at Memorial Auditorium for a delicious feast, silent auction (CBS 13’s Dave Bender is quite the auctioneer, by the way) and supporting an amazing cause, all in the spirit of making families and children’s lives stronger. That is what EMQFF does…they #helpkids.
There I was, just sitting down in front of the computer all set to write a professionally-focused blog post on “transformation” when the news broke yesterday that Sacramento is just five city council votes away from perhaps one of the greatest comebacks in professional sports history. Along with transforming Sacramento into the town “it knows it can be” … I feel like I lucked out on the timing!
It is not lost on me or any of us here at 3fold what has happened over the past year regarding the Kings organization. We have become intimately familiar with the saga, beginning with the relocation news that hit us like a bad pass to the side of the head this same time last year.
We watched with anticipation as the mayor reached in and saved the collective life of the Kings’ future in Sacramento — at least for one year.
We watched the community as a whole rally over the summer – supporting the Kings in a way we haven’t seen since the dramatic playoff run of 2002.
And we recently rejoiced at the news that Mayor Johnson “sank the free throw” in Orlando securing the ability for a new arena for the team, the city and the region. (To note: he did not do this alone. Our mayor surrounded himself with a team of smart and dedicated professionals with decades of experience, and alongside a group of business leaders, elected officials and grassroots community visionaries – each of whom have a bigger, clearer picture for how Sacramento could be transformed. As a group, they thought big and acted bigger.)
Often when we work with our nonprofit clients to help them transform themselves into something greater, we ask them to think differently. When helping them craft their strategic fundraising plan or board development plan – we ask them to think not “if” something can work – but “when”.
This group of visionaries, spearheaded by the mayor, was done thinking in “ifs.” They took control of Sacramento’s destiny with a goal to turn upside-down the decade-plus history of failed attempts to bring Sacramento a world class facility to see sports, concerts, family entertainment and other unique events like professional rodeos, motocross and wrestling.
As a native Sacramentan, I have had a few decades to track the progress of this city. Some might offer that progress in Sacramento has worked in two speeds: slow and stop. I, for one, am proud of where we have come and more importantly, where we are now.
Now we are just five votes from allowing the city to put shovels in the ground and begin construction on a new, green, job-creating venue and revenue-generating machine. I have never been so excited to see how quickly dirt can be transformed into something so prosperous for our region.
[Images: Kyle Terada/US Presswire; AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli]
In the first two months of the year we celebrate some major leaders and innovators. We take days to remember and honor Abraham Lincoln, our country’s 16th President, who led the collapse of slavery in this country; George Washington, our first President who presided over the writing of the Constitution in 1787; and Martin Luther King Jr., who led the African American Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.
There are many more worthy candidates that don’t get their own holiday, but definitely deserve their due credit in shaking up the establishment and helping others. Some well known, others, not. This list highlights some people who’s vision and action led to creating a positive impact on millions of people worldwide.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver: A longtime advocate of children’s health and disability issues. Shriver founded the Special Olympics in 1968, which now brings together 4 million athletes with intellectual disabilities in over 170 countries in Olympic style events.
“When we wake tomorrow, let us not forget that we have miles to go to overturn the prejudice and oppression facing the world’s 180 million citizens with intellectual disabilities. But what joy for together we have begun.”
White House Speech
July 10, 2006
Millard and Linda Fuller: Saw the need for decent and livable shelter for those in American and in Third World countries. Out of this need came Habitat for Humanity in 1976. Today, Habitat for Humanity and its volunteers have helped build over 500,000 affordable homes and has served over 2 million people around the world.
“For a community to be whole and healthy, it must be based on people’s love and concern for each other.”
Father John P. Foley, S.J.: In 1995, helped kick start an innovative college-prepatory high school system for low-income families, including one here in Sacramento. Students attend classes and work five days each month in an entry-level job at a professional company with the fee for their work being directed to underwrite tuition costs. There are currently 24 high schools in the Cristo Rey network in 22 cities, serving 6,500 students. A segment that aired on “60 Minutes” can be found on this page.
“Cristo Rey is magical. What you see is that hope, that optimism.”
- Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Scott Harrison: In 2006, Harrison was turning 31 and for his birthday, he asked his friends to give $20 to help fund clean drinking water in Third World countries. Over 700 people came to his birthday and donated to the cause. The result was Charity Water, which to date has funded 6,185 clean water projects and assisted 2,545,000 people in 19 countries in getting access to clean water.
“For me, charity is practical. It’s sometimes easy, more often inconvenient, but always necessary. It’s the ability to use one’s position of influence, relative wealth and power to affect lives for the better. charity is singular and achievable.”
Robert Egger: Egger began DC Central Kitchen in 1989. The nonprofit takes donated food from the hospitality business and farms and instills culinary job training to homeless and hungry adults. 3fold had the pleasure of bringing Egger to Sacramento to speak to several of the area’s nonprofit leaders in the 3fold Spark! series and inspired the group with his client’s stories of survival and redemption. In 2011, DC Central Kitchen produced over 1.8 million meals, recovered over 242,000 pounds of fresh produce, graduated 80 students from the Culinary Job Training program and placed over 87% of the 2011 Culinary Job Training graduates into jobs.
“If you chase money, you’ll be on an endless loop. If you chase results, the money will come.”
I speak in sports metaphor. It’s what I do. I grew up here in Sacramento, the son of one of the all-time winning high school baseball coaches in the area. How surprised are we that my vernacular was shaped by runs, hits, batting average and stolen bases?
Since starting my career in the nonprofit world, I had to slightly calibrate my frequent use of sports metaphors – as my coworkers were not readily equipped with a sports glossary of terms. “So, Scott…when you say that something is in the ‘wheelhouse,’ what does that mean?” (Sigh).
Since stepping out of the nonprofit world and joining the 3fold team to work alongside nonprofits, I have been able to step up my use of classic sports metaphors. In other words: “Scott, you are now free to rove the outfield.…play utility if you have to.” In the spirit of honoring some of the great sports sayings, frequently uttered by many of the greatest sports figures of all time – I thought I would dedicate this post to highlighting my fab five. No…not the Fab 5 comprised of Jimmy, Jalen, Chris, Juwan and Ray. The five sports cliches/sayings that if wisely applied, can work perfectly in your office setting.
Don’t believe me? Step out of the on-deck circle, into the batter’s box and check out below.
1. “Practice makes perfect.” Years ago, former NBA’er Allen Iverson was offended that he was asked to practice. He thought his prowess on the court was enough to suffice. But it isn’t. Work translation: put in the work prior to the game. Whether prepping for the pitch, rehearsing a presentation or role-playing a conversation…practice, AI, does in fact make perfect.
2. “What a homerun!” See also: it was a slam dunk. You get it. The homerun or the slam dunk. Easy points.
3. “It was a total can of corn.” In baseball terms, this refers to the easiest of catches for a player to make. In the work world, it means it’s not a challenge at all. It’s all yours for the taking!
4. “You just need to find your range.” Typically used in the hoop world when a player is searching for the distance he or she is most effective shooting baskets from. Work translation: find what you are best at doing and stick with it. If you are a good grantwriter – write grants. If you are a good salesperson – sell. If you are a good trainer – train!
5. “She really dealt you some chin music.” Chin music refers to a baseball pitchers use of intimidating tactics, by throwing a baseball near the face of the batter – without hitting the batter with it. Work translation: step off…I’ve got this.
Back to live action. What is a sports saying you use often that’s translated to your work life?
[Image via adamsfuller on Flickr
From the Golden Globes to the SAG Awards, culminating in the Oscars in February, Hollywood is rolling out the red carpet to award the best of television and the big screen, Like Hollywood, the first quarter of the year is also when many nonprofit organizations roll out the red carpet for their supporters and hold annual fundraising events to support its programs.
Many of us have been to these fundraisers and patiently wait in line while volunteers look through lists of names and sponsors to mark attendees off as they enter the event. Add ticket sales at the event and it can easily turn into a nightmare for the volunteers, attendees and event organizers. Keeping your event expenditures down will increase the bottom line, but spending some money on ticketing and registration tools is well worth the upfront costs.
There are many online tools available now that make your event ticketing and registration much more streamlined and easy to use for your next event. Here are three event registration systems we like to use for our clients:
Ticket Leap -- www.ticketleap.com
- With TicketLeap, you can set up a ticket page to sell tickets to your own events, no matter how large or small. The ticket purchaser receives his/her ticket electronically via email, once he/she sends payment.
- Customize your ticketing page, plus it’s already optimized for mobile devices.
- TicketLeap enables you to get paid via PayPal or another merchant account. You also have the option to let TicketLeap process your payment and deliver your money to you by direct deposit or paper check.
- Using the system’s free apps from the Apple App Store or the Android Market, you can scan tickets using the camera from any iPhone or modern Android smartphone.
- Market your event with social media integration, create custom email blasts and create promo buttons to add to your website.
- Track your sales and create charts and graphs.
- $1 flat fee for tickets $10 & under
- $2 flat fee for tickets over $10
- 100% Free for all free events
Eventbrite – www.eventbrite.com
- You will be able to customize your page with colors, logos, images, and a personalized URL. Through the online page creation interface, create your custom page using the color theme option buttons, and then click the “Save and Publish” button to finish.
- Eventbrite sends you an email when you make ticket sales, and your customer receives an email with a Portable Document Format (PDF) link that they print out to get their ticket.
- Sell tickets and collect registrations directly from your own organization’s Website by embedding our ticket widget.
- Also has marketing and promotion tools leveraging social media, email blasts, the ability to track affiliate sales and create embeddable widgets for websites and blogs.
- Use PayPal or Google Checkout or take checks or cash at the door for those that wish to pay in person.
- Track your ticket sales through charts and graphs.
- $2.5% from each ticket purchase while tickets are available to purchase on your website and .99 from each ticket purchase plus additional costs for using the various payment systems
- 100% Free for all free events
TicketSpice from WebConnex – www.ticketspice.com/
- WebConnex’s event ticket system allows you to create a custom page for your ticket sales, as well as a “drag and drop” page builder makes it easy to customize your event page and tickets.
- Easily add sponsor logos on items such as your event tickets easily to leverage promotional opportunities
- Once purchased can simply print off their barcoded ticket to your event and bring it to be scanned at the door.
- Flexible payment options with the ability to get the funds sent directly to you, no waiting periods.
- Also offers mobile ticket scanning with iPhone App.
- Like the other two, WebConnex allows you to track your ticket sales through charts and graphs.
- $19 a month while tickets are available to purchase on your website
- $.79 from each ticket purchase
Fundraising events often burn out volunteers and “cost” more than they’re worth – whether in real dollars, human energy, or both. It’s one reason community participation events can be so popular: we talk others into fundraising for our cause.
Blackbaud’s 2011 Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising survey reveals the top five reasons that motivated an individual to fund raise for an organization:
- 69% felt a personal or emotional connection
- 50% responded to a request by friend or family
- 37% were drawn to the physical challenge
- 35% wanted to benefit the local community
- 32% wanted to be part of a company or group team
3fold has formed a team for the 2012 Fight for the Air Climb presented by the American Lung Association. Can’t you just see it, “The 3fold Sherpas – Born to Climb!” And we fit right in to this matrix:
- Some of us have lost family or friends to lung cancer and other breathing related illnesses.
- We were invited by our good friend, Kimberly Weich Reusché, VP for Programs at the American Lung Assoc of California.
- Even a couple of us (not me) are excited about the physical challenge of climbing 34 floors of stairs for this good cause (go ahead, call it a vertical road race – still sounds painful).
- 3fold is all about our community.
- And others will join with us because we 3folders have such a good time together!
Whatever your cause, and whatever your event’s theme, success can depend on how well you engage the community. We want to feel a part of something in order to support it; and if you’re a fundraiser, it’s your job to help us feel a part of your mission.
Meanwhile, want to join the 3fold Sherpas – Born to Climb team? We’d love to have you help us raise $10,000 and have some fun on 24 March. To sign up or donate to our team, go to http://bit.ly/A3thza.
“Thank you notes before playing with your gifts,” my mom would tell me. I would spend the first few hours of Christmas morning handwriting notes to my grandparents and Santa Claus for their generosity. It was torture for a 10 year old. When I became a fundraising professional 15 years later I credit my mother with giving me the most valuable skill any professional can have – being able to say thank you in a timely, personal and meaningful way.
According to Penelope Burk’s Donor-Centered Fundraising, only 40% of donors say they always receive a thank you letter after they make a donation… which means that the other 60% either receive a thank you sometimes, or shockingly, not at all.
So what does this statistic mean for nonprofits? A typical nonprofit will lose 50% of its annual donors between the first and second donation and up to 30% year on year thereafter. Yikes! The lesson here: Not saying thank you to your donors, members, stakeholders, board members and even your staff is hurting you financially!
With your year-end annual appeals wrapping up, here are a few tips to ensure you give everyone on your list a personal and meaningful thank you this annual appeal season.
Pull together all the past notes, letters, phone scripts or any other materials created for the purpose of saying thank you. Make sure they are all consistent in messaging, information is up to date (especially statistics about your organization) and there are no spelling errors before sending out.
It should be a priority to say thank you within 48 hours after receipt. If you send out all your thank you letters at the end of the month, shoot an email or call after hours to leave a message of gratitude right away. I like to set aside the last 30 minutes of my work day to send thank you notes or make thank you calls.
Make It Personal and Meaningful
The goal is to tell your donors “You matter to us and your gift makes a difference.” You’re not going to make me feel that way if your letter starts off with “Dear Friend…” Don’t do that, ever! Know my name. Know how much I gave. Tell me what kind of impact my contribution made in your organization.
For the younger generations who love email and social media it’s easy to hide behind your computer. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a phone call or handwritten note card. They have become a lost art like sewing or cooking for us busy professionals but people appreciate them, remember them, and feel like you went above and beyond.
Didn’t Get Any Money? Send A Thank You Anyway
It’s called cultivation and don’t be short sighted. They didn’t give this year but there is always next year. Didn’t get the big grant you applied for? Better send a thank you note — trust me, the nomination committees will be more likely to remember you next year.
There are lots of times I forgot to say thank you, especially to my co-workers and my husband (my top donors of time, idea sharing and support). I just have to remember to make it a habit and priority throughout the day. So thanks Mom, for making me write those thank you cards when all I really wanted to do was play with my new toys. I appreciate it now.