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Here is this weeks newsletter from Funding101.org  
We are here to help you achieve!

We look forward to making our newsletter the one e-mail you look forward to opening each week because it is filled with helpful tips to make you more successful.


Success is ALL About Being Organized

What would you think if I told you that the single biggest thing that is keeping your organization from succeeding is YOUR lack of organization?  In the horse world (where I come from), I often told my students that just because you are sitting in the saddle, that doesn’t automatically make you the rider.  Anyone who
has been run off with knows that there are times when the horse is riding you and you are, at best, an unwilling passenger. 

The same is true in our organizations, you either take on the responsibility to drive the organization forward in the direction of your choosing (success) OR you don’t, and instead, your organization runs you (failure). Those are the only two choices because business is a dynamic, always moving, always evolving beast.  It never stands still.  It is either growing or dieing.  Based on what you know of your own organization, are you growing or dieing? 

The GREAT news about knowing that success is tied to your ability to get organized is that organizational skills can be learned by anyone who wants to learn them.  They don’t need any special talents to achieve.
 
Let me give you a real example of what choosing to be disorganized can cost you. A local nonprofit that I helped get their 501(c)3 just hosted an event this past weekend. The organization is a member-based art league whose mission statement is to encourage the arts in all age groups through education. Simple?
They currently have about 80 members and need about 400 in order to cover their annual overhead. The event this past weekend was a paint-off, in which the local chamber invited artists from all over the country to come in and during the festival, paint whatever they felt best depicted the Ozarks. The winner got $500.00
and there were a variety of other prizes available. The art league helped organize the event and spent the entire day there helping out. 43 artists in all paid $5.00 each to participate in the event. A couple of days later, I spent five minutes with a board member and asked them the following questions:

1.Did you hand out membership applications to all 43 people? Answer – NO, we didn’t think of it. (membership is $15.00 per year X 43 = $645.00 lost)

2.Did you hand out a list of upcoming seminars and classes that your league is teaching at the gallery every weekend?  Answer – NO, we didn’t think of it. (each class is taught by a professional for $10.00 per class and each course includes 4 classes = $40.00 per person signed up X 43 = $1720.00 lost)

3.Did you invite people to sign up for your weekly newsletter? Answer – NO, we didn’t think of it. (newsletter is free, AND their e-mail address becomes part of the database which is used to send out announcements for classes, events, open houses X 43 people = amazing loss.)

4.Did you ask the chamber for a complete e-mail list of all the artists they invited to the event? Answer – NO, we didn’t think of it. (while 43 participated, the chamber contacted hundreds of groups and individuals = amazing loss).
 
Their lack of organization cost them at least $2365.00 in potential money left on the table. Ironically, with 80 members, each paying $15.00 per year, that lack of organization in ONE event alone cost them more than double their entire annual revenue from memberships alone. Do you see how expensive it can be to CHOOSE to be disorganized?
 
How much money have you left on the table at your events because you didn’t get organized ahead of time and think it through? Below is an exercise that will help you avoid that mistake in the future:
 
The Rule of 10’s:
The Rule of 10’s is what I teach people in my writing classes.  As the author of more than 20 books and more than 1000 magazine articles published, I “get” how to be successful. This technique is something I developed many years ago.
 
As a writer, I pick a topic – ANY TOPIC (let’s say roses because I know nothing about them so it is completely fair). Once the topic is selected, my challenge is to find 10 ways to rework the same research into 10 different articles that I will sell to 10 different markets. 

Here is my quick list:
1.Parent’s magazine – growing roses is a great family experience that costs nearly nothing to do but will teach your children so much about life, teamwork and family,
2.Science journal – the science of growing hybrid roses, (grafting, cross breeding, etc)
3.Green magazine – recycling kitchen scraps/yard waste to create spectacular compost for your roses,
4.Travel magazines – rose lovers, plan your next trip to Portland OR where you can visit with the local rose club members, learn new techniques and tour the amazing city's rose test gardens,
5.Horse magazine – the value of that gold in your manure pile. Bag it and sell your manure to local rose gardeners to use in their compost piles,
6.Money magazine – number of roses sold in the USA per year, total income derived from that corner of the flower market alone, top selling months for roses and why.
7.Senior citizen magazines –now that you have the time, follow your dreams of creating a beautiful rose garden that will bring you pleasure year round and keep you physically fit.
8.Fitness magazines – rose gardening is a great way to burn 300 calories per hour and have something spectacular to show for it,
9.Healthy living magazines – natural pest control for your roses that are environmentally friendly, and work,
10.Crafting magazines – how to use your rose garden to make potpourri gifts for friends and family, how to press roses and create works of art for free,
11.Oh Yea, Gardening magazines – growing roses for dummies, new roses on the market this year, ideal tools to use in your rose garden, how to prepare your soil for a successful rose garden, 101 uses for rose petals,  and the list goes on and on and on.
 
Are you getting my point yet? If each article pays $300.00, by recycling the same research into at least 10 more articles, my $300.00 paycheck just became a $3000.00 paycheck (for the same research).

Let’s use the Rule of 10s and apply it to an event as simple as an open house at your facility. Here are just 10 of the opportunities available to you (be sure to keep track of the cost to you throughout the list – it may surprise you):

1.Contact your local Wal-mart and ask for a $250.00 gift card to offset your cost of refreshments and door prizes,

2.Use the open house as your opportunity to send out 4 weekly press releases to all your local media for the month leading up to the event and be sure to include your website, contact information and that you are always looking for volunteers, (not only does this increase the turnout to your open house, it also gets you on the radar screen of the whole community, gets you more volunteers, more donors and more sponsors),

3.Mention in all of your press releases ALL of your sponsors who are donating goods/services/money to your open house so you get them free press and at the same time, you are sending a message to all the other business owners in town that when business owners work with you, they are well cared for and thanked publicly, (this will make finding sponsors easier and easier for you next time)

4.Post the event on your website a month OR MORE ahead so you can increase your turn-out and be sure to include in that posting that you would like to invite them to sign-up for your newsletter so they can keep abreast of what is happening at your organization and, of course, always invite them to check out your volunteering opportunities. (by the way, the deeper your e-mail list is the more valuable you are to future sponsors),

5.Invite the local press to come to your open house – this is a great way to get huge media exposure for your facility and it is also a great way for you to start building an ongoing, positive relationship with the media so that YOU become their go-to organization when they are looking to fill space, doing any heart warming pieces, local profile pieces, etc. Remember that every time your organization appears in the media, you are accessing thousands of people who would otherwise not know about you,

6. If you notice, the first 5 benefits to your organization all happened during the period that I call the Pre-Event.  Let’s talk about the actual event. Do a demonstration during your event of the work that you do so that the local public can better understand who you are and what you do. If you have a therapeutic riding facility, section off a portion of your indoor, set up chairs and food for your visitors and do a riding demo. If you have a rescue, bring in some of your success stories with their new owners and focus on how fabulous the happy endings are. Remember that people participate in and donate to organizations they know, trust and most of all, organizations that make THEM feel good inside. This is your opportunity to have the community get to know, trust you and want to be around you because everything is so positive. If you are running a community center for at risk kids, invite everyone in to meet the kids or to watch the kids enjoying activities at the center,

7. Invite a local winery or cheese maker or bakery to help cater your event (at no cost to you) and be sure to announce how much you appreciate their participation severa times during the event so you help them gain new customers as well, (for example, our demonstration was sponsored by our friends at XYZ winery, let's give them a big round of applause, etc) Never underestimate the power of gratitude when it comes to sponsors,

8. Make sure you have brochures, business cards and plenty of information about your organization that you can send home with each open house guest.  Be sure those documents include your website and e-mail addresses, phone number, volunteering opportunities, donor opportunities and upcoming events. Until you get on your feet, you can have a member print them off on their home computer printer at no cost to you or have them printed at your local office supply store and ask them to donate the costs and as a thank you gift, you would like to thank them in your 4 press releases in the local media, or offer to promote them on your website for several months or offer to promote them to your social media outlets for a period of time,

9. Invite people at your event to sign-up for your e-mail newsletter or invite them to become a member of your organization or a volunteer or if they have any goods/services that would help your organization, be sure to let them know what you are looking for and that their donation is tax-deductible (assuming you are a 501C3 of course),

10. It is always fun to have a raffle at your events (provided raffles are legal in your area of course).  You can sell tickets for the raffle for a month ahead of the open house as well as during the event and you can post fliers in shop windows all over town announcing that you are doing a raffle for some large item that was donated by XYZ store in your community and the drawing will be held at your open house (include time/date and location along with contact info for more information).  Not only is this a great way to get the word out about your organization, but it is also a great way to make money before and during your event. Shoot for an item that retails for at least $100.00 so people will take your raffle seriously. Remember that most stores keystone their products. This means that the shop owner pays 50% of the final retail cost for the item. So, a $100.00 bar-b-que, for example, would have cost the shop owner about $50.00 and when you add up the free press, fliers all over town, space on your website thanking this sponsor, the value of that kind of positive exposure is worth 100 times the $50.00 donation. In other words, use all the tools you have to thank your sponsors and to add value to their donation to you, and they will donate,

11. Now that we have talked about the Pre-event and the event process, let’s talk about the post event opportunities. After your open house is done, you need to send personal thank you notes to all your sponsors so that you are building a long-term relationship with them. A press release to all the local media outlets recapping the successes of your event and be sure to include thank yous to each individual sponsor. You can also announce the winner of the raffle items in the paper (this is a great way to get people to buy tickets in the future because their name could get in the paper as the big winner.)
 
If you haven’t already noticed, that list shows 11 items (which exceeds my own
Rule of 10’s), however, within that list are more than 30 ideas that you could and should be taking advantage of right now in order to maximize your success. Another thing I want to stress here about that list of 10’s is that NONE of those items cost you a dime.  If there is one point I would like to stress in this week’s newsletter it is this:
 
Everyone pays the same amount for everything; some pay for it with wisdom and an understanding of business and everyone else has no choice but to pay for it with money.
 
The smarter you are in running a business and the better organized you are, the less money you spend to make a lot of money for your organization while you are building positive, forward moving relationships with business owners, your community and your media outlets at the same time. That is the formula for wild success!

 
Have a wildly successful week,
 
Bonnie Marlewski-Probert
Funding101.org
Po Box 548
Yellville,  AR  72687

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