Dev is an amazing guy that I got to know in Los Angeles through a mastermind group that I was part of. The group continues to be some of the most dynamic and entrepreneurial people I have ever known and a terrific support group. Dev works in the restaurant/hospitality industry and so is in the amazing position of having a space that he can donate for fundraisers and to help nonprofits. The birthday campaign he talks about below doesn’t do his philanthropy justice and I’d like to thank Dev for all he does to help causes - not just on his birthday but throughout the year.
And now, the Dev Dugal interview on his birthday fundraiser:
1) Tell me about your birthday and fundraising campaign. When was your brithday? Was it a milestone? What was your inspiration? What nonprofit did you partner with? Did you tell them in advance? What was your fundraising goal (if you had one) and did you reach it?
I’ve been working with non-profits for quite some time. I realized over time which fundraising events work and which ones don’t produce. I realized that instead of bringing down the life of the party by jumping on the mic and professing the goodness of the non-profit, the structure needed to be tweaked. What has worked for me in the past is to charge people in advance or at the door and collect in advance. Spread the message about the organization thru the mediums used to invite and provide subtle reminders via auto-run presentation/DVD loop to the guests. Also a status update after the event was also fruitful.
Most people want to do good. The spectrum ranges from getting involved to simply cutting out a check. I decided I would structure my fundraising efforts around the latter and if they got more involved, it was gravy.
I’ve done about 4 events on my birthday throughout the years and they have all been fruitful. It’s a good reason to get people out when they have many choices and in the end, the non-profits win with increased exposure as well as fundraising. The organization I partnered with the most is Manav Sadhna. I had personal goals of $5,000 that I didn’t share and we reached it twice. It’s always a win-win situation.
2) Did you use online tools? Did you have a birthday party in person? What was your way to connect with people and tell them about this?
3) What have you done for past birthdays?
All the events have been at bars in Southern California. My relationships allow me to generate donors for product like alcohol or deals with the bar operators for drink specials for my guests. It always works out and everyone has a great time. My motto is keep it simple with the least amount of overhead for the maximum amount of output in terms of fundraising and exposure. 4) Would you do a fundraiser for your birthday again? Was it easier or harder than you thought it would be?
I enjoy it and of course I would do it again!
5) What was the best part? Did you connect with someone you had lost contact with? Any one story you’d like to share?
The best part is when it all comes together. Even better is when I know that the non-profit is in a better position that before the event. It’s not all about the money, but it is the fact that individuals know that my events are structured this way and they keep coming back for more.
6) What advice would you give to someone else who wanted to throw a fundraiser but didn’t know where to start?
It’s a no brainer! Don’t over think it and just imagine what types of events you are not bored at and organize it the same way. Get 10 of your closest friends to commit to get 10 of their friends to commit. Have friends take ownership in the event with you as if it is their own. Create invitation on their behalf so they can also distribute to their network as if they are hosting. It works every time and before you know it, you have a solid guest list of 200+.
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