Fundraising Tips

We’ve run over 2000 silent auction events. Let us share what we’ve learned with you!

 

Originally published in the June 2017 AHP Connect.

Fundraising technology is a game changer for fundraising professionals, making it easier to gather, sort and store valuable donor data and insights. Use technology to streamline efficiencies and strengthen donor relationships as you strategically integrate functionality across your systems.

Analyze your data. Fundraising technology makes it easy to track results and provide insights. User-friendly platforms deliver data offering opportunities for fundraisers to make real-time adjustments to their appeals and campaigns that will better resonate with their donor pool.

Offer ways to donate via mobile devices. In 2015, Blackbaud reported that 17% of the Giving Tuesday donations it processed came from mobile devices (1). Convey a sense of urgency along with your needs and encourage quick action with the ‘donate now’ button.

Create technology plans for special events. Incorporate mobile bidding in silent and live auctions to ensure every item has been “spoken for.” Give bidders time to raise more money by opening auctions online in advance of events, creating more excitement and offering non-attendees a chance to donate, as well. Strategic use of technology can also help make the best use of volunteer time. For example, transferring event invitations and pre-registration to an online platform frees up volunteers to spend more time on expanding donor relationships rather than on telephone outreach or tracking mailed RSVPs.

Streamline event registration and event check-in with technology. You’ll reduce the need to recruit multiple volunteers and you’ll help guests avoid long lines at the beginning and end of the occasion. Embrace real-time data to make targeted decisions, such as delivering personalized messages to key donors to encourage higher bidding and make sure all items bring in funds. You might save hours of post-event analysis by accessing accurate reports based on real time check out results. Use these powerful insights to quickly reach out to thank key donors, building stronger more powerful donor relationships.

If events are not a core of your tactical toolkit, crowdfunding offers a new way for donors to get involved. The success of crowdfunding demonstrates that today’s donors want to understand the impact of their dollars on specific projects and programs. Be sure to highlight your needs by emphasizing the impact donations bring to patients. Crowdfunding websites and software allow institutions to use fewer general appeals in favor of more targeted requests for assistance (2).

Hospitals that implement modern tactics may reach and retain more donors and more effectively juggle outreach and relationship building. For example, nonprofits retain only one in five new donors due to negative post-gift experiences. Think about ways to use technology in the service of creative stewardship plans. Try, for example, embed a patient thank you video message in a donor email.1 Bring your appeals and campaigns to life by adding compelling patient stories and images.

Cracking the code of what hospital donors are seeking can be a laborious and often variable process. However, the more multifaceted and customized the approach, the more chances there are of getting it right.

References:

  1. https://www.gailperry.com/top-10-fundraising-trends-and-predictions-for-2016/
  2. http://www.hhnmag.com/articles/3830-why-children-s-hospitals-new-fundraising-approach-paid-off

 

About the Author: Jim Alvarez is the founder and CEO of full-service fundraising technology company Gesture. Gesture has helped nonprofits across the country raise over $300 million since 2011 through the use of technology. Alvarez is the recipient of the Chicago Innovation Award and Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award for his innovative idea and launch of Gesture. Alvarez drives the growing company to make hope happen for nonprofits developing innovative ideas that embrace technology.

 

 

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Tip Tuesday: How to Unite your CEO and Nonprofit Board

Through the past six years of working with charity partners of various sizes and structures, we’ve found that some nonprofit executive directors have a difficult time motivating and engaging their board. Think of your organization as a large sailboat. There are many necessary tasks and responsibilities and sailing requires the help of every member on board; some are responsible for steering, others for the angles of the sails, and more for managing the cables and making sure everyone is safe! Without everyone working together, the boat would stay in place or (worse) sink.

It’s the captain’s job to get everyone “on board” with the goal and motivate the crew to keep up their good work despite any hard conditions.

Assign Roles and Committees

Like a boat’s crew is split up so that all of the responsibilities are covered, a board needs to be separated into committees to ensure all tasks are handled. Here are some of the roles or committees you will need when planning a fundraising initiative or event:

  • Auction item procurement: gather popular items like packages and experiences to increase auction revenue. Check with local businesses and Gesture’s Corporate Donation Guide to get an idea of who to ask.
  • Volunteer management: make sure your volunteers know what they should be doing, when they should be doing it, and how to do it!
  • PR/social media: increase donor numbers and donations at your event by getting the word out about your event to the public. Spread the word using popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also reach out to local news sources to see if they can host you to speak more about the event to their audience!
  • Venue logistics: assign a committee to take charge of securing the venue, organizing the catering, bar, furniture, and other key event details to make the day special. This group of people should be highly organized and preferably have experience planning events so that you can be confident nothing will slip through the cracks.
  • Payment/donation management: ensure you have a safe, secure, and easy way for your donors to pay for auction items and make donations throughout the event. Partner with a mobile bidding and fundraising platform like Gesture to make giving easier at your events.

Separate your board based on their abilities and passions. This will make them more excited to tackle their new project and help create an amazing event.

Leverage Passion

Also, keep in mind that each and every board member is part of the organization because they care about the cause you support. Even though it may be hard to motivate them at times, keep in mind that they too want do what they can for your cause and use that as a way to ignite them. When in doubt, remember to SAIL:

S – stay in charge: you are the leader of this ship
A – ask the board for feedback so they feel heard and you can change what’s not working
I – inspire your board with the mission of your organization
L – lead by example: show the board the types of behaviors you are looking for

Using Gesture for your event will help you with more than just payment and donation management. Gesture offers a myriad of services that can help with social media, bidding management, donor logistics, fund-the-need donation campaigns, and more. Learn more about the services Gesture offers and how they can help to make your next fundraising initiative a success here.

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Six Tools to Amplify Your Fundraising Efforts

Any successful nonprofit can tell you that to retain its donors and recruit new members, they need to pay attention to new marketing trends. Today, studies show that 86% of nonprofits use social media to market their organization, 27% use mobile content, and 20% use mobile apps.

Nonprofit organizations should expect to see mobile-related numbers increase in the coming years as marketing in general shifts towards mobile. The goal of any nonprofit is to be able to serve its public and fulfill its mission. In order to do that, they need to run successful fundraising campaigns utilizing various tools and platforms.

Here are six tools that help nonprofits meet their fundraising goals:

 

 

1. Social Media

Social media isn’t just for selfies. If your nonprofit doesn’t have a Facebook page or Twitter account, you should get on it. In fact, Instagram is also growing in popularity and nonprofits are taking advantage of the impact of visual images to mobilize people to donate. Here are some tips on how to maximize your fundraising on each:

  • Facebook. It’s easy. Facebook added a “Donate Now” button that all nonprofits can add as a call-to-action button on their page. It promises a one-stop, secure donation platform.
  • Twitter. Make sure you create a hashtag for your donation drive and/or nonprofit. Encourage those who donate to share the hashtag. That way you can spread the word further and also track shares and tweets about your nonprofit.
  • Instagram. Use this platform to post photos that create an impact. Demonstrate the needs of the community that the donations will serve. Show photos of donations in action, so your supporters can see the results of their contributions.

 

2. Email

Email is a popular communication channel that can’t be ignored for fundraising efforts. People are often more open to leaving their email address in the Contact Info field than to sharing their mobile number with organizations.

With tools like MailChimp and Constant Contact you can easily systemize your contact lists, segment them, customize email templates for different campaigns, and schedule messages.

Keep in mind that your donors can open emails on mobile, so keep your subject lines short and sweet, and include big and clear call-to-action buttons.

 

3. Event Management Software

An often overlooked strategy when it comes to fundraising, but easy-to-use and effective, event management software can make a difference with ticket sales and overall donor experience. Making it easy for donors to buy a ticket and access information about the event means higher conversions. You can check out Gesture’s Guest Management platform which helps you keep track of ticket sales, donations, and other fundraising efforts in real-time. 

 

4. Mobile Optimization and Bidding

As the world moves more and more towards mobile domination, it’s come to the point where nobody can afford to ignore mobile optimization anymore. People are trained for rapid responses and streamlined mobile experiences.

If your nonprofit’s mobile site doesn’t load fast enough or make it easy to donate through mobile, you’re losing out to other nonprofits who are mobile ready.

Mobile users behave differently than desktop users, so your mobile site has to reflect that. Make the following adjustments to your mobile site:

  • Less images for faster loading time.
  • Shorter text that fits easily on a smaller screen.
  • Accordion menus to economize space on the screen.
  • Shortened sign-up forms that make it easier to fill out on a mobile device.
  • Prominent call-to-action button (like “Donate Today”).

If your organization offers mobile bidding, you will be able to quickly capture donations and bids for auctions from donors’ phones. Partner with an organization that offers mobile bidding and fundraising technology, like Gesture, in order to manage the implementation and processing of mobile bids and donations.

 

5. Texting

Texting works well as a donation platform in a world that is increasingly mobile dependent. In fact, since last year there was a 205% increase in mobile donations. People are more likely to respond to a text than they are to an email or annual report.

Text-to-give has had some incredible results, the most famous campaign being the Red Cross’s earthquake relief drive for Haiti that raised $32 million via text donations. You can try Gesture to enable your attendees to donate directly from their mobile devices.

Also, text messaging is a great way to grow the number of attendees at your fundraising events, and this leads to the increase of your donation income. For example, by using TextMagic SMS software, SAWA-Australia sent event alerts to their supporters and increased ticket sales that way, while People In Need were able to stay in contact with their volunteers.

 

6. Social Website Partnerships

Welzoo is a website that’s dedicated to nonprofits; users just need to make it a start page in their browser. Visitors can pick their favorite nonprofit or submit their own nonprofit as their preferred organization.

Each time you go online with Welzoo, they make a donation to your nonprofit (maximum donation of 6 cents/day per person). By having organization members, staff, and supporters use this site, your donations can start to add up.

Every nonprofit wants to meet their fundraising goals to improve the conditions of the people or environment they serve. With effective marketing tools, fundraising events are more successful, helping to build the resources and reputation of your organization. Use these tools to inspire both new and old donors to give.

Tracy Blanchard is a seasoned writer and blogger. She covers various topics from nonprofit marketing to productivity hacks to customer loyalty building. You can reach her on LinkedIn.

Tracy Blanchard

Tracy Blanchard

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Tip

Don’t Get Lost In The Madness

 

marchmadness-1

 

March is filled with excitement and the country will have its eyes on the “big dance” these upcoming Thursdays-Sundays. With this in mind, here are three tips to avoid getting lost in the mix of the March Madness and create some fun fundraising campaigns around this monumental event.

 

  1. Treat social media as a platform, not a promotional tool: Social Media will be filled with March Madness talk. Instead of being one of the many posting the same old puns and plays on words, create buzz around your cause with specific and positive messaging that draws in a reader to become passionate or increase their support for your cause.
  2. Tell a Compelling Story: They call it March Madness because there is a buzz in the air and the excitement is overwhelming. Stories run rampant around the teams that are participating, many of which are heart-warming in nature. Position your messaging to connect with active and inactive donors. Tell your story via social media and your public website. This is a great time to film an uplifting video or publish a story about how you are making an impact.
  3. Participate or Invite Donors to Participate in a Bracket Fun-draiser: There are tons of people looking for different ways to participate in the madness of March. Create a pool or some type of bracket game around the tournament where the proceeds will proportionally go back to your organization, but the winner can get something cool! Maybe an auction item that did not sell at your event or was recently donated.

Our team is always looking to provide more insights on how to raise more, but if you have questions or thoughts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at partners@gesture.com.

 

Enjoy the madness!

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Corporate Donation List Midwest

At Gesture, we value the work you do, and are ready and excited to work with our charity partners to raise $1 billion dollars in the next five years. In our efforts to help you raise more, we’ve compiled our 2016 Corporate Donation Guide. Get access today!

To further help, we’ve broken out some regional and local chains into regional donation lists. Use the list for your region to bring items with a local flair to your silent auction!

Corporate Donation List Midwest Logo

What’s your first & last name? (Required)

Email address? (Required)

What is your zip code? (Required)

What’s your organization? (Required)

Would you like to learn more about Gesture's mobile technology services related to fundraising at events? (Required)

*by saying "Yes", you are consenting to be contacted by a Gesture team member.

If so, Phone Number? (If Yes)

Which Features Would you like to Learn more about?

Corporate Donation List Midwest Logo

Corporate Donation List Midwest MapThe Corporate Donation List for the Midwest Region of the United States is a great list to use when looking to bring a local flair to your silent auction. The following corporations only offer donations to organizations that fall into the states listed below.

States Covered: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin

We have also included corporations from our National Corporate Donation List with headquarters in the midwestern states!

Next to each corporation, we have listed which types of nonprofits can request donations to save you time. Jump ahead to auction items/raffle prizesdonations, discounts, grants or sponsorships!

Get access to our national Corporate Donation List now!

Corporate Donation List Midwest Auction/Raffle

Gift Cards

AirFX Trampoline Park – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Hiawatha, IA

Andy’s Frozen Custard – Open to organizations with a focus on children’s education in Illinois and Missouri

Arbor Brewing – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Ann Arbor, MI and Ypsilanti, MI

Augusta WineryCertificates for wine tastings – Open to organizations within a 10 mile radius of Washington, MO

Balducci Vineyards – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Augusta/Washington, MO areas

Belle Tire – Open to all nonprofit organizations in their communities in Michigan, northern Ohio, and Indiana

Bravo Brio Restaurant Group – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin

Chocolates by Grimaldi – Open o all nonprofit organizations

Concept Attraction – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Wisconsin Dells, WI

The Container Store – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin

Cops and Doughnuts – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Clare, MI

Crystal Mountain – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Extreme Grand Prix – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the greater Kansas City, MO community

FireKeepers Casino Hotel – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 150 miles of the casino in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois

First Community – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the St. Louis metro area

Fogo de Chao – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Missouri

Henning’s Wisconsin Cheese – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, Calumet and Sheboygan counties in Wisconsin

Jason’s Deli – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Jet Splash – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Nebraska, with a preference for organizations in Lincoln and the immediate surrounding community

Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill – Open to all nonprofit organizations within a 15 mile radius of a Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill or FireWorks Restaurant location in Nebraska

Lettuce Entertain You – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Lied Lodge & Conference Center – Open to organizations near Nebraska City, NE

Mariano’s – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Chicagoland area (requests submitted to store directors)

Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Mill Race Cyclery – Open to organizations in the Fox Valley, IL area that improve the standard of living in their community

Mustard Seed Market & Cafe – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Nebraska Danger & Bosselman Entertainment LLC – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Grand Island, NE

R.F. Moeller Jeweler – Open to all nonprofits in the Twin City, MN area

Raising Canes – Open to organizations with a focus on education, active lifestyles, feeding the hungry, or pet welfare in Ohio and Missouri

Revolution Brewing – Open to organizations with a focus on arts & culture, civil rights, the environment, and organizations working for positive change in their neighborhoods (located in Logan Square and Avondale in Chicago, IL)

Salt Fork Lodge and Conference Center – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Ohio

Shigs in Pit/Mad Anthon Brewing Company – Open to organizations with a focus on education or community events

Sprouts Farmers Market – Open to organizations that focus on autism awareness, local hunger relief, disease prevention/research programs, nutrition & healthy living education for children & families, and activities supporting local environmental awareness

Stillmank Brewing Company – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Green Bay, WI

Topgolf – Open to organizations with a focus on education, military, golf, health & wellness, animals, and disaster relief within 40 miles of a Topgolf location (located in Illinois, Kansas, and Ohio)

The Townsend Hotel – Majority of consideration is given to a charity or nonprofit that is hosting their event within the hotel in Birmingham, MI

The Upper Crust Pie Bakery – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Overland Park, KS

Voyage Federal Credit Union – Open to all nonprofit organizations in South Dakota

War Eagle Mill – Open to organizations with a focus on food & nutrition and sustainability in Springfield, MO

Waterways Carwash – Open to organizations that make an important and positive impact on the neighborhoods they serve in IL, KS, and OH


Item or In-kind Donations

In-kind gifts are contributions of goods or services, other than cash grants. This list includes corporations that will donate Kindle devices, food, tickets for things like amusement parks and airfare, hotel rooms, clothing, toys, etc.

African Safari Wildlife ParkTwo 8-person VIP passes – Open to all nonprofit organizations

AirFX Trampoline ParkPromotional items – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Hiawatha, IA

Andy’s Frozen CustardSingle serve scoops, free treat cards – Open to organizations with a focus on children’s education in Illinois and Missouri

Arbor BrewingRefreshments, prizes – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Ann Arbor, MI and Ypsilanti, MI

Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa – Open to organizations in the Kansas City, MO metro area that are not focused on youth or schools

BAM!Packages – Open to all nonprofit organizations in and around the Holland, MI area

Bell’s BrewerySwag, gift basket, wearbles, brewery tours – Open to all nonprofit organizations except those involving children, schools, religiously affiliated groups, sports teams/individual athletes, motorized sports, golf outings, or bands in IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, OH, WI

Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar – Items for door prizes, goodie bags, raffles, and silent auctions – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Binny’s Beverage Depot – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Black Hills Community Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Rapid City and Spearfish, SD

Blank Park ZooFamily four-pack – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Borsheims – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Boyd Gaming – Open to organizations with a focus on community, culture, education or health & human services

Boyne – Open to organizations with a focus on healthy lifestyles, conservation, entrepreneurship, enhancing the quality of life in their local communities including Charlevoix, Emmet, Antrim, Cheboygan, and Ostego counties in Michigan

Capital Brewery – Open to all nonprofit organizations except those that benefit youth in Madison and Middleton, WI

Cedar PointTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations (donations processed during the season)

The Center for the Performing ArtsTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 50 miles of Carmel, IN

Chanhassen Dinner TheatresPasses redeemable for two dinner and show tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Chestnut Mountain Resort – Open to organizations with a focus on youth, education, health & wellness and the environment in Jo Daviess, Carroll, Stephenson, Dubuque, Jackson, Clinto, Grant, and Lafayette counties in Illinois

Chicago Bears – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Chicago Blackhawks – Open to organizations with a focus on education, health & wellness, and housing in the Chicagoland area

Chicago Bulls – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 75 miles of Chicago in Illinois or Northwest Indiana (priority given to Chicago-area organizations)

Chicago Children’s MuseumPasses – Open to schools or programs providing educational or enrichment opportunities to children

Chicago CubsTeam merchandise and collectible items – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Chicago FireMemorabilia and merchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Chicagoland area in Illinois

Chicago White SoxAutographed memorabilia, photographs, tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Illinois and northwest Indiana

Chicago Wolves – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Illinois

Chicago Zoological SocietyFamily admission package – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Brookfield, IL

Children’s Museum IndianapolisTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Indiana

Children’s Museum of Illinois  – Four admission passes – Open to organizations with a focus on educational, children-oriented projects in Macon, IL and the surrounding counties

Children’s Theatre CompanyTickets – Priority given to Children’s Theatre Company employees & constituents and local organizations with a focus on arts, education, social services for children, and social services that compliment CTC’s mission of diversity and inclusion

Chocolates by Grimaldi – Open o all nonprofit organizations

Cincinnati Bengals – Open to organizations with a focus on serving economically and socially disadvantaged children in the greater Cincinnati, OH area

Cincinnati Reds – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the tri-state region of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio

City of Spearfish – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Spearfish, SD

Cleveland Browns – Open to all nonprofit organizations with priority given to the greater Cleveland, OH area and northeast Ohio

Cleveland CavaliersMerchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Ohio

Cleveland GladiatorsMerchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Ohio

Cleveland IndiansAutographed memorabilia – Open to organizations with a focus on education, health & fitness, youth baseball & softball programs, and military/police/fire service in the greater Cleveland area

Cleveland Museum of Natural HistoryGeneral admission passes, single one-year family membership – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Columbus Blue JacketsAutographed merchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Columbus Zoo and AquariumTickets – Preference given to organizations within Franklin County, OH who share the common goal of conservation and education

Comedy Sportz Chicago – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Commonwealth Properties – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Minnesota

The Container StoreProduct – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin

Cooking Skills AcademyPromotional class tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Itasca, IL

Cops and DoughnutsProduct donation – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Clare, MI

Country JamTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Culligan of Columbus – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Columbus, Schuyler, David City, Rising City, Albion, Platte Center, and Humphrey, NE

Culligan of Joplin – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Joplin, MO

Culligan of Napolean – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Napoleon, OH

Cycle WorksProducts, services – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Lincoln, NE

Deadwood Mountain Grand – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Black Hill, SD communities

Defy Gravity – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Lincoln, NE

Delta Dental of South DakotaToothbrushes – Open to all nonprofits, government agencies or public schools, and native American tribal organizations in South Dakota

Detroit Lions – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Michigan or areas that support the Detroit Lions

Detroit Pistons – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Michigan

Detroit Red WingsAutographed memorabilia – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Michigan, Windsor, OH and Toledo, OH

Detroit TigersAutographed items, game tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Michigan, part of northern Ohio and parts of southern Ontario, Canada

The Elegant FarmerProducts – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Mukwonago, WI

Elitch Gardens Theme and Water ParkTickets, only accept requests for events taking place between April-October – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Emagine Entertainment – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Entertainment Cruises Chicago – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Fargo ForceTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations within a 45-mile radius of Fargo-Moorhead, ND

Fargo-Moorhead RedhawksTickets, memorabilia – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Red River Valley, with priority given to those in Fargo-Moorhead, ND

French Lick WineryWine – Open to organizations that support the quality of life for our US veterans, animal welfare, and agricultural development and education as it relates to the wine industry in Orange County, IN

The Field Museum – Open to organizations with a scientific, educational or environmental mission, especially those dedicated to strengthening Chicagoland’s cultures and communities

FireKeepers Casino HotelMerchandise/products – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 150 miles of the casino in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois

First Community FCCU merchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the St. Louis metro area

Fun-Plex Waterpark & RidesTwo all day passes, only accept donations in September and January – Open to organizations focused on children in Nebraska or Iowa

Goodman TheatreTickets – Open to Chicago, IL arts organizations

Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Grand Casino HinckleyCasino/resort packages, giveaways – Open to organizations with a focus on education, health & human services, arts & culture and environment in Minnesota

Great Lakes Brewing Co. – Open to all organizations that focus on sustainability, arts & culture, community development, water conservation & preservation, and environmental causes in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Stark, and Summit counties in Ohio

Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natual HistoryTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 150 miles of Sioux Falls, SD

Great River Energy – Open to organizations that focus on community service, education, environmental issues, and youth in Minnesota and Oliver, McLean, Mercer, and Stutsman counties in North Dakota

Greater Cleveland AquariumTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Green Bay Gamblers/PMI Entertainment/Resch CenterTickets – Open to youth hockey programs, churches, and school organizations and fundraisers or health/medical events in northeastern Wisconsin

Green Bay Packers – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin

Green BEAN Delivery – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio

Guthrie TheaterPerformance tickets, backstage tour admission – Open to all nonprofit organizations

The Hangar Restaurant & Cinema – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska

Heinen’sProducts – Open to all nonprofit organizations located in the general Cleveland, OH and Chicago, IL areas

Helium Trampoline & Climbing, Milwaukee’s Indoor Fun Park – Open to all nonprofit organizations that focus on education, children & families, and community-based health & fitness

Henning’s Wisconsin CheeseGift box, cheese sample – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, Calumet and Sheboygan counties in Wisconsin

HersheyProducts – Open to organizations with a focus on providing basic nutrition to children to help them learn and grow within 20 miles of Robinson, IL

Holiday World & Splashin’ SafariTwo one-day tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Hollywood Wax MuseumTwo admission tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 100 miles of Branson, MO

The Honeywell CenterTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in north central Indiana

Husar’s House of Fine DiamondsMerchandise, do not review donation requests in November and December – Open to all nonprofit organizations in West Bend and southeastern Wisconsin

Illinois Shakespeare FestivalTickets, festival-specific merchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Bloomington-Normal, IL

Imagination StationFamily four-pack of admission passes – Open to all nonprofit organizations, with first consideration given to those in Lucas County, OH

Indiana CavernsCave tour tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 50 miles of Corydon, IN

Indiana City Brewing Co. – Open to organizations that better the lives of children or support and promote local artists

Indiana Fever – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Indiana

Indiana Ice – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Indiana

Indiana Pacers – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Indiana

Indianapolis ColtsMerchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Indiana or states without an NFL team

Indy Eleven – Team memorabilia, giveaway items, tickets – Open to organizations that nurture and support Indiana’s children

Iowa Energy – Open to organizations with a focus on youth, families, and education within 100 miles of Des Moines, IA

Iowa WildMemorabilia, tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Iowa with priority given to events and groups in the Des Moines metro area

Iron Horse Golf ClubGolf passes – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Lincoln/Omaha, NE that enhance the quality of life for the immediate area

Jason’s DeliFood – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Jet SplashWashes, in-kind services – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Nebraska, with a preference for organizations in Lincoln and the immediate surrounding community

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions OhioReduced room rate for two, waterpark day passes for a reduced rate – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Sandusky, OH

Kalahari Resorts & Trappers TurnReduced room rate for most popular rooms, purchase rounds of golf at a discount – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Wisconsin Dells, WI

Kansas City Chiefs – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Kansas and Missouri

Kansas City Royals – Open to organizations that positively impact  the community in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska

Kansas City T-Bones – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Kentucky Science CenterTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Indiana

Kohl Children’s MuseumOne-day family pass – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Chicagoland area

Kwik TripProducts – Open to food pantries, organizations that focus on human health issues, police, fire and military protection in their general market area – located in La Crosse, WI

Lagunitas Brewing CompanyBeer, auction items – Open to all nonprofit organizations

LaMar’s DonutsProducts – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska

Lazlo’s Brewery & GrillEmpyrean gift baskets/merchandise, food & beverages (keg of fresh beer or party-size appetizers, desserts, etc.) – Open to all nonprofit organizations within a 15 mile radius of a Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill or FireWorks Restaurant location in Nebraska

Legoland Discovery Center of Kansas CityTickets – Open to organizations whose goal is to academically and creatively enrich the lives of children or organizations whose focus is on conservation, marine life, and environmental protection

Lied Center of KansasTickets – Open to nonprofits and schools in Kansas

Lincoln Children’s Museum – Open to all child-focused nonprofits

Lincoln Children’s ZooFamily Fun four pack – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Lynfred WineryPrivate tour and wine tasting for a group of ten adults – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Roselle, IL

Lyric Opera Kansas CityTicket vouchers – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Lyric Opera of ChicagoTwo tickets – Open to arts organizations and registered charitable organizations in Illinois

The Magic House: St. Louis Children’s Museum – Open to organizations that focus on enhancing the lives of children through health, education, and welfare

Major Brands Premium Beverage DistributorsProducts – Open to all organizations in Missouri with a focus on health & human services, education, cultural enrichment, and veteran’s causes

Mariano’sProducts – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Chicagoland area (requests submitted to store directors)

Metropolis Resort – Open to all nonprofit organizations in and around the Eau Claire, WI area

Michigan Awesome – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Michigan

Michigan International SpeedwayApparel, memorabilia, tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 150 miles of MIS in Brooklyn, MI

Mid ValleeRound of golf for two – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Mill Race Cyclery – Open to organizations in the Fox Valley, IL area that improve the standard of living in their community

Milwaukee Brewers – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Wisconsin

Milwaukee Bucks – Open to organizations with a focus on education, literacy, health & wellness, safety & violence prevention, teamwork, leadership, recreation, and community in Wisconsin

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.Four complimentary weekday admission tickets, donations not processed from May 15-July 31 – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Wisconsin

Minnesota Children’s MuseumFour museum passes – Open to all nonprofits in the greater Twin Cities area with a focus on education, children-oriented projects

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum4 VIP passes – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Minnesota OrchestraTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations that support civic outreach, education, or the arts

Minnesota Renaissance FestivalTwo single-day admission tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Minnesota

Minnesota State Fair – Consideration based on organization’s alignment with the State Fair’s mission of education and involving their guests through entertainment, innovation, and fun in Minnesota

Minnesota Twins – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

Minnesota VikingsMemorabilia – Open to organizations with a focus on youth football, underserved children & their families, medically-related causes or educational initiatives in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

Minnesota WildMemorabilia – Open to organizations with a focus on youth hockey, underserved youth & their families, medically-related causes or educational initiatives for youth in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

Minnesota ZooGeneral admission tickets – Open to organizations in Minnesota that benefit the education of children grades K-12

Missouri Botanical Garden – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Missouri MavericksAutographed items, team merchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Kansas City, MO metro area

Montgomery’sProducts – Open to all nonprofit organizations located in Sious Falls, Madison and Watertown, SD

Moran’s Liquor Works – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Museum of Science and IndustryTickets – Open to organizations in Illinois that offer education programs

Mustard Seed Market & CafeBasket, food – Open to all nonprofit organizations

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Nebraska Danger & Bosselman Entertainment LLCBranded merchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Grand Island, NE

Nebraska Truck Center, Inc.Branded merchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Nestle PurinaProducts – Open to organizations with a focus on pet welfare

Newport AquariumTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the greater Cincinnati, OH area

North Dakota Fighting HawksTwo single-game tickets to any sport except men’s hockey, memorabilia – Open to all nonprofit organizations in North Dakota and those 100 miles out-of-state

North Dakota State University – Open to organizations near Fargo, ND that benefit medical causes or fundraisers to benefit critically ill or injured children and adults

Odawa Casino Resort – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Ordway Center for the Performing ArtsTickets – Open to organizations in Minnesota and western Wisconsin that focus on arts, education, medical & medical research, or sponsors of Ordway raising funds for nonprofits

Organic ValleyFood – Organizations working to create a better food system

Palermo’s PizzaAuction kit (valued at $100), pizza donation – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Milwaukee, WI

Paradise Charter CruisesTickets – Open to organizations with a focus on education, the arts and the community in the Twin Cities area

Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Perfect North SlopesTwo vouchers for eight hours of skiing, snowboarding, and/or snow tubing – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Indiana and Ohio

The Play StationGeneral admission tickets – Open to schools and nonprofits in the midwest

Porter Apple Company: Applebee’s – Open to all nonprofit organizations that focus on youth sports and community fundraisers in South Dakota, Sioux City, IA, and Norfolk, NE

Porter Apple Company: PizzaRev – Open to all nonprofit organizations in South Dakota

Powell GardensAdmission passes – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Prairie Meadows – Open to organizations with a focus on social welfare in Iowa

R.F. Moeller Jeweler – Open to all nonprofits in the Twin City, MN area

Raising CanesGift basket – Open to organizations with a focus on education, active lifestyles, feeding the hungry, or pet welfare in Ohio and Missouri

Regional Health – Open to organizations improving the health of their region with priority given to organizations located near Rapid City, SD

Revolution Brewing – Brewery tours, beer – Open to organizations with a focus on arts & culture, civil rights, the environment, and organizations working for positive change in their neighborhoods (located in Logan Square and Avondale in Chicago, IL)

The Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis – Open to organizations with a focus on hunger & poverty relief, child well-being, and environmental responsibility

Riverside Casino & Golf Resort – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the area surrounding Riverside, IA

The Rose TheaterTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Royal River Casino and Hotel – Native American Functions and Fundraisers for children, elders, family; disease prevention efforts (cancer, diabetes); domestic violence support groups; local arts (Native American arts or emphasis on Children’s art programs); elderly and veterans groups; and local and regional sporting events near Flandreau, SD

Rushmore Plaza Civic CenterTicket donation, suite packages – Open to all nonprofit organizations that focus on youth sports, education, health, and wellness

Schlitterbahn Waterparks & ResortsTickets – Open to organizations that benefit children in the greater Kansas City, KS area

Science Central – Open to schools and nonprofits in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio

Science Museum of MinnesotaTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Scott Enterprises – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Ohio

SEA LIFE Kansas City AquariumTickets – Open to organizations whose goal is to serve seriously ill, disabled, or disadvantaged children ages 2-12 or whose focus is on conservation, marine life, and environmental protection

SEA LIFE Michigan AquariumTickets – Open to organizations whose goal is to serve seriously ill, disabled, or disadvantaged children ages 2-12 or whose focus is on conservation, marine life, and environmental protection

Shedd AquariumTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Shigs in Pit/Mad Anthon Brewing CompanyFood, products – Open to organizations with a focus on education or community events

Sioux Falls StormItems, tickets (if you apply during the regular season from February – June) – Open to all nonprofit organizations in South Dakota and those within 50 miles of the South Dakota state line in Iowa and Minnesota

Six Flags Great AmercaTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Six Flags St. LouisTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations within a 250 mile radius of St. Louis

Soaring Eagle Waterpark and HotelTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 100 miles of Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel in Mt. Pleasant, MI

Southern Illinois Miners – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Spa Serenity – Open to organizations improving and enriching the lives of children and families near Baraboo, WI

Sprouts Farmers MarketFood – Open to organizations that focus on autism awareness, local hunger relief, disease prevention/research programs, nutrition & healthy living education for children & families, and activities supporting local environmental awareness

St. Louis Art MuseumMemberships, exhibition tickets, logo merchandise – Priority given to organizations with a focus on education and arts in the St. Louis, MO area

St. Louis Blues – Open to organizations that provide children in the St. Louis, MO area with cancer care & awareness, health & wellness, education & youth hockey services

St. Louis Cardinals – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Steppenwolf Theatre CompanyTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Stillmank Brewing CompanyBeer for auctions (not consumption), merchandise, glassware – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Green Bay, WI

Sunset ZooOne-day family passes – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Sweet William Blossom BoutiqueFloral or fruit products – Open to all nonprofit organizations based in Chillicothe and Ross counties in Ohio

Swings-N-Things Family Fun ParkTypically free round of miniature golf – Open to all youth-oriented organizations in northeastern OH

Tanners OrchardAdmission passes – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Speer, IL

Target CenterTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Minnesota with a focus on betterment for today’s youth

taj salon & spa – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Minnesota

Theatre in the RoundTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

TopgolfGoodie bags, private parties, golf instruction, VIP priority pass to jump lines – Open to organizations with a focus on education, military, golf, health & wellness, animals, and disaster relief within 40 miles of a Topgolf location (located in Illinois, Kansas, and Ohio)

Tournament Club of Iowa – Open to all organizations with priority given to those in the greater Des Moines, IA area

Treasure Island Resort & Casino – Open to all nonprofits in the Prairie Island Indian community in Welch, MN or events involving Treasure Island Resort & Casino team members and their families except those where minors are present

Trek Bicycle Store Chicago – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Two James SpiritsAlcohol – Open to organizations with a focus on land & farm conservation, health services, community building & economic development, cultural arts organizations and programs that positively affect youth in the metro Detroit area an dsoutheastern Michigan

The Upper Crust Pie BakeryPies and cookies – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Overland Park, KS

US Beef Corp (Arby’s & Taco Bueno)Food, paper products – Open to school and nonprofit organizations in Illinois, Kansas, and Missouri

Vala’s Pumpkin PatchTwo general admission tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

ValleyfairAdmission tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin

Vera BradleyProducts – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Viking Coca-Cola Bottling CompanyProducts – Open to organizations with a focus on education; healthy, active lifestyles; or youth-based programs

Voyage Federal Credit UnionMerchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations in South Dakota

War Eagle MillProducts – Open to organizations with a focus on food & nutrition and sustainability in Springfield, MO

Water Park of AmericaTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

West Acres – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Western Reserve Historical Society – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Ohio with a higher priority given to those located in the greater Cleaveland and Akron area

Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin

Will Fischer CompaniesAlcoholic beverages – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Midwest

Winans Chocolates and CoffeesProducts – Open to all community organizations that help local families in need in Piqua, Troy, Dayton, Beavercreek, Maineville, and Columbus in Ohio and Coralville, IA

Wisconsin Athletic Club – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Brookfield, West Allis, Greenfield, Wauwatosa, downtown Milwaukee, North Shorehand, and Menomonee Falls, WI

Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun – All-day regular admission tickets – Open to organizations that focus on the needs of children (social, educational, medical) in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska

Corporate Donation List Midwest Direct Donations

Academy Sports + Outdoors – Open to organizations with a focus on families, sports or outdoor-related events in Indiana, Kansas, and Missouri

AirFX Trampoline Park – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Hiawatha, IA

Arvest Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Kansas and Missouri

Avera – Open to all nonprofit organizations that promote health & wellness, serve or support unmet community health needs, enhance or encourage active & healthy lifestyles, or provide civic and/or community development in central and eastern South Dakota, western Minnesota, northwestern Iowa, southern North Dakota, and northern Nebraska

BAM! – Open to all nonprofit organizations in and around the Holland, MI area

Bell’s Brewery – Open to all nonprofit organizations except those involving children, schools, religiously affiliated groups, sports teams/individual athletes, motorized sports, golf outings, or bands in IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, OH, WI

Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Black Hills Community Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Rapid City and Spearfish, SD

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota – Open to all nonprofit organizations that help improve the health and wellness of South Dakotans

Borsheims – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Bounce N Around – Open to all nonprofit organizations in northwest Indiana

Boyd Gaming – Open to organizations with a focus on community, culture, education or health & human services

Chocolates by Grimaldi – Open o all nonprofit organizations

City of Spearfish – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Spearfish, SD

Cops and Doughnuts – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Clare, MI

Culver’s – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Deadwood Mountain Grand – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Black Hill, SD communities

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio

Enterprise HoldingsMust contact your Enterprise account representative – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Extreme Grand Prix – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the greater Kansas City, MO community

First Community – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the St. Louis metro area

Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Grand Casino Hinckley – Open to organizations with a focus on education, health & human services, arts & culture and environment in Minnesota

Great River Energy – Open to organizations that focus on community service, education, environmental issues, and youth in Minnesota and Oliver, McLean, Mercer, and Stutsman counties in North Dakota

Heinen’s – Open to all nonprofit organizations located in the general Cleveland, OH and Chicago, IL areas

Hershey – Open to organizations with a focus on providing basic nutrition to children to help them learn and grow within 20 miles of Robinson, IL

Iowa State Bank – Open to organizations that support financial education and work to improve the general quality of life in their community with priority fiven to organizations that benefit low and moderate-income individuals in the greater Des Moines, IA area

Jewel Osco – Open to organizations with a focus on hunger relief, health & nutrition, environmental stewardship

Kansas City Chiefs – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Kansas and Missouri

Mazzios Italian Eatery – Priority is given to youth activities, schools, and nonprofits  in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri

Metropolis Resort – Open to all nonprofit organizations in and around the Eau Claire, WI area

Minnesota Lynx – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

Minnesota National Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Sauk Centre, MN, Long Prairie, MN and Pelican Rapids, MN

Minnesota Timberwolves – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

Mustard Seed Market & Cafe – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Nebraska Truck Center, Inc.Branded merchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Organic Valley – Organizations working to create a better food system

Otter Tail Power Company – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Fergus Falls, MN with a focus on education; health & human services; community enhancement, arts, & culture; and environmental stewardship

Pinnacle Entertainment – Open to organizations that spread love through food, serve those who served (veterans and active military), support efforts in finding a cure for cancer, strengthen our communities and care for senior citizens in Council Bluffs, IA; East Chicago, IN; Kansas City, MO; St. Charles, MO; Florence, IN; Cincinnati, OH; and St. Louis, MO

R.F. Moeller Jeweler – Open to all nonprofits in the Twin City, MN area

Regional Health – Open to organizations improving the health of their region with priority given to organizations located near Rapid City, SD

Riverside Casino & Golf Resort – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the area surrounding Riverside, IA

Royal River Casino and Hotel – Native American Functions and Fundraisers for children, elders, family; disease prevention efforts (cancer, diabetes); domestic violence support groups; local arts (Native American arts or emphasis on Children’s art programs); elderly and veterans groups; and local and regional sporting events near Flandreau, SD

The Townsend Hotel – Majority of consideration is given to a charity or nonprofit that is hosting their event within the hotel in Birmingham, MI

Vera Bradley – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Viking Coca-Cola Bottling Company – Open to organizations with a focus on education; healthy, active lifestyles; or youth-based programs

Voyage Federal Credit Union – Open to all nonprofit organizations in South Dakota

Walgreens – Access, outreach and education geared toward health; national nonprofits focused on research & treatment of a single disease; civic and community outreach

West Acres – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Corporate Donation List Midwest Discounts

Binny’s Beverage Depot – To receive discounts on products for your event, you must visit your local store – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Cleveland Museum of Natural HistoryDiscount on event space – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Henning’s Wisconsin CheeseDiscount on cheese – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, Calumet and Sheboygan counties in Wisconsin

Lynfred Winery30% off Vin de City red and white wines – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Roselle, IL

Ohio MachineDiscounted tickets – Open to organizations promoting activities for the youth of Ohio (youth development, educational, and nonprofit programs)

Tanners Orchard15% of total purchase of pumpkins, Sweetie Pie pumpkins or gourds for your event – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Speer, IL

Trek Bicycle Store Chicago – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Corporate Donation List Midwest Grants

Best Buy – Open to technology organizations, libraries, and schools

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Nebraska

Chicago Blackhawks – Open to organizations with a focus on youth and health in the Chicagoland area

Columbus Blue Jackets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Delta Dental of Wisconsin – Open to organizations that offer access to dental care, screenings, science/research projects, and scholarships in Wisconsin

Detroit Pistons – Open to organizations with a focus on volunteerism, youth leadership in athletics or entertainment and NBA League sponsored programs in Michigan

Enterprise HoldingsMust contact your Enterprise account representative – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Nestle Purina – Open to organizations with a focus on pet welfare

North Dakota Community Foundation – Open to all nonprofit organizations in North Dakota

Payless Shoesource – Open to organizations supporting children & families in need or providing basic human needs, including food, shelter, and clothing to families who are facing financial hardships or have been impacted by crisis situation in Topeka KS, Lawrence KS or the Kansas City KS metropolitan area

Prairie Meadows – Open to organizations with a focus on arts & culture, economic development, education, and health & human services in Iowa

Target – Open to organizations with a focus on eEducation, the arts and public safety

Corporate Donation List Midwest Sponsorships

Academy Sports + Outdoors – Open to organizations with a focus on families, sports or outdoor-related events in Indiana, Kansas, and Missouri

Arvest Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Kansas and Missouri

Avera – Open to all nonprofit organizations that promote health & wellness, serve or support unmet community health needs, enhance or encourage active & healthy lifestyles, or provide civic and/or community development in central and eastern South Dakota, western Minnesota, northwestern Iowa, southern North Dakota, and northern Nebraska

Bell’s Brewery – Open to all nonprofit organizations except those involving children, schools, religiously affiliated groups, sports teams/individual athletes, motorized sports, golf outings, or bands in IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, OH, WI

Best Buy – Open to national organizations that align with the company’s charitable giving priorities in the Twin Cities

Borsheims – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Bounce N Around – Open to all nonprofit organizations in northwest Indiana

Boyd Gaming – Open to organizations with a focus on community, culture, education or health & human services

Capital Brewery – Open to all nonprofit organizations except those that benefit youth in Madison and Middleton, WI

Cleveland Browns – Open to all nonprofit organizations with priority given to the greater Cleveland, OH area and northeast Ohio

Cops and Doughnuts – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Clare, MI

Culver’s – Open to all nonprofit organizations

FireKeepers Casino Hotel – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 150 miles of the casino in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois

First Insurance Group – Open to all nonprofit community organizations

Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Grand Casino Hinckley – Open to organizations with a focus on education, health & human services, arts & culture and environment in Minnesota

Great River Energy – Open to organizations that focus on community service, education, environmental issues, and youth in Minnesota and Oliver, McLean, Mercer, and Stutsman counties in North Dakota

Green BEAN Delivery – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio

Mariano’s – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Chicagoland area (requests submitted to store directors)

Mazzios Italian Eatery – Priority given to youth activities, schools and nonprofits  in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri

Minnesota National Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Sauk Centre, MN, Long Prairie, MN and Pelican Rapids, MN

Nestle Purina – Open to organizations with a focus on pet welfare

Odawa Casino Resort – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Payless Shoesource – Open to organizations supporting children & families in need or providing basic human needs, including food, shelter and clothing to families who are facing financial hardships or have been impacted by crisis situation in Topeka KS, Lawrence KS or the Kansas City KS metropolitan area

Pinnacle Entertainment – Open to organizations that spread love through food, serve those who served (veterans and active military), support efforts in finding a cure for cancer, strengthen our communities and care for senior citizens in Council Bluffs, IA; East Chicago, IN; Kansas City, MO; St. Charles, MO; Florence, IN; Cincinnati, OH; and St. Louis, MO

Porter Apple Company: Applebee’s – Open to all nonprofit organizations that focus on youth sports and community fundraisers in South Dakota, Sioux City, IA, and Norfolk, NE

Porter Apple Company: PizzaRev – Open to all nonprofit organizations in South Dakota

Raising Canes – Open to organizations with a focus on education, active lifestyles, feeding the hungry, or pet welfare in Ohio and Missouri

Shanty Creek Resorts – Open to organizations with a tie to their core businesses of skiing, golf, lodging, tourism, outdoor recreation, etc. in Antrim County, MI

Shigs in Pit/Mad Anthon Brewing Company – Open to organizations with a focus on education or community events

Sprouts Farmers Market – Open to organizations that focus on autism awareness, local hunger relief, disease prevention/research programs, nutrition & healthy living education for children & families, and activities supporting local environmental awareness

Topgolf – Open to organizations with a focus on education, military, golf, health & wellness, animals, and disaster relief within 40 miles of a Topgolf location (located in Illinois, Kansas, and Ohio)

Trek Bicycle Store Chicago – Open to all nonprofit organizations

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Year-End Giving Appeals: What’s at your Table?

Let’s be real – it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a full spread of food and loved ones by your side. You can say the same thing about year-end giving appeals. What are you bringing to the table to make sure you reach your fundraising goals and maximize the support from your donors? 

Nonprofits receive around 30% of their donations during the last month of the year. Prepare for year-end giving by making sure you have all the right ingredients for a successful campaign! Following this recipe and making it your own will start your year-end appeal on the right foot.

Fill out the form below to download our guide.

What's At Your Table? Year-end Giving Appeals

What's At Your Table? Year-end Giving AppealsThank you for downloading our short guide on year-end giving appeals!

You’re in the final sprint – now is the time to get your supporters excited about donating to your organization.

From the Gesture Blog

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Outside the Classroom: How to Incorporate Students In Your Fundraiser

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Outside the Classroom: How to Incorporate Students In Your Fundraiser

Arguably, your best ambassadors are your students. You can tell your donors that your students are the best as often as you want, but they’re not going to believe you unless they can see it for themselves.

Incorporating your students into your fundraising events is a great way to show your donors that their investment is worth it.

Here are some of the best ways we’ve seen schools include students in their events.
  • Musicians: Set the right mood. Have members of your school orchestra play during your dinner or cocktail hour.
  • Speakers: Putting a well-spoken student in front of donors is the best way to show your guests how their donation will make a difference. If proceeds from your event will fund a student scholarship, have a student recipient speak about how it made a difference for them and their family. If it’s for a new school gym, have an athlete share how it will impact them.
  • Technology assistance: Place your students around the venue to help donors who aren’t the most tech-savvy. They can help the Gesture Pros show your guests how to bid on items. Guests will be impressed by their knowledge and love the chance to talk to some of the students.
  • Coat check: Working the coat check station is an easy job for students. It’s also an easy way for your donors and students to interact.
  • Raffle sales: Have your students walk around the event to sell any raffle items (tickets, heads or tails, etc.). This is an easy way to give your donors the chance to ask questions and learn more about the school through the eyes of the students.
  • Auction off student artwork: These items are popular at every level – preschool through college.
  • Utilize your golf team at golf outings: Place members of your golf team on a designated hole, where guests can play against them for a fee for the chance to win a special prize (i.e. free raffle tickets). You can even have them act as a caddy.
  • Don’t forget that you can always flip the script and ask the students to get in on the donating. From pajama days to penny wars to letter writing and so much more, your options abound. There are too many school fundraising ideas to count.

We already hinted at what makes these ideas successful. Getting your students in front of your donors will remind them how their donations are going to help educate bright young men and women!

Add Gesture to your next fundraiser to see how we can help you raise even more!

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Graduation Doesn’t Equal Disengagement

graduation doesn't equal disengagement - school lunch box

Graduation ≠ Disengagement

Are you struggling to keep your alumni engaged?

Imagine for just a second how a student feels when their teacher doesn’t show any interest in them. The teacher doesn’t check on the student to make sure they know what’s going on in the classroom, doesn’t care if they’re succeeding outside of their four walls, doesn’t call on the student when they raise their hand.

In fact, the only time the teacher pays attention to the student is when they fail to hand in their homework.

The teacher might ask, “Why didn’t you hand this in? Why don’t you understand how important this is to your grade? Why don’t you care?”

I think we can all agree that this doesn’t sound like a very good teacher.

Let’s switch it up real quick. Replace “teacher” with your school, and “student” with your alumni, and go back through the example.

Does this sound like you? Do you only pay attention to your alumni when you’re looking for donations (the “homework”)? 

If you answered “no” to the above question, you’re off to a good start! Jump down for creative ideas to keep your alumni engaged.

If you answered “yes,” start below with our top 4 tips on how to re-engage your alumni.

graduation doesn't equal disengagement: tips-to-re-engage-header

Graduation doesn’t equal disengagement! Get your alumni involved with your school by following some of these tips.

1. Keep them in the loop.

One of the easiest ways to re-engage your alumni is to share updates about the school. Social media is the best tool for this. Don’t hold back! Share updates about a variety of topics – your sports teams, your arts programs, cool projects your students are working on, assemblies, etc. Remind your alumni of the time they spent at your school and stir up all of those good feelings. They’ll share your posts, you’ll get more followers, and pretty soon your engaged alumni base will have grown exponentially. Even sharing new courses will show your alumni that you’re continuously looking to improve your school and that you’re worth investing in.

2. Acknowledge their success after graduation.

You want your alumni to continue to care about your school once they graduate, so you should continue to care about them. From sharing articles and congratulating alumni on social media or in your newsletter to mailing personal, handwritten notes from the development office and/or principal/president, there are a ton of ways to acknowledge their accomplishments. Think outside the box! Invite successful alumni back to campus to speak to your students or put an ad in a program book if an alumnus is going to be honored at an event.

3. Actively seek and listen to their ideas and suggestions.

Let your alumni know that you appreciate their opinion, even if you disagree. By responding to comments on social media, asking for feedback after alumni events, replying to emails and asking alumni to participate in surveys on various school topics, they’ll feel like it’s not just their donations that matter to you. You’re not always going to agree with your alumni, but if you keep the line of communication open, they’ll respect you.

We know this can be tricky territory. You’re going to run into some hard-to-handle alumni, and you’re never going to please everyone. Always be kind but make it clear that you are the ultimate decision-maker.

4. Invite them to alumni FUN-raisers.

The internet can only go so far in your plan to re-engage your alumni. Face-to-face interactions are still the best. Bring them back to campus by holding alumni sports nights, career days and reunions, or hold happy hours or networking events at local institutions.

While you can bring a fundraising aspect to some of these events, keep it small. You want them to feel like you’re interested in more than just their money. For example, charge a small fee for a happy hour that covers a couple of drinks and appetizers, but also includes a donation to the school. Give a quick update on the state of the school, and then let your alumni have fun!

graduation doesn't equal disengagement: keep them hooked header

1. Hold alumni shadow days.

Who wouldn’t love to experience a day in the life of a student?! Let alumni come back to campus to experience some of your classes. This event would be especially successful for a high school or college.

Some quick tips on this type of event:

  1. Be selective. Your alumni should shadow students who are a good representation of your school. If you have student ambassadors, that would be a great place to start.
  2. Show off. Pick classes with engaging teachers/professors. If you’ve added new classes to your curriculum, add that to your schedule.
  3. Keep it exciting. The worst thing you could do is bore your alumni. Bring your alumni around to two or three classes during one class period to show them as much as possible and keep them interested.
  4. Keep it short. The “shadowing” part of the event should last no more than two hours. End with either a luncheon or happy hour, depending on your start time.

You can reverse this, too, and have your students shadow your alumni at work.

2. Offer travel abroad trips.

You plan travel abroad opportunities for your students, why not extend that idea to your alumni? There are a lot of travel companies out there that offer pre-planned group trips to Europe or the Caribbean, etc., but wouldn’t you rather go with a group of people who aren’t complete strangers, and have more than just a desire to travel in common? Some companies that work with teachers/professors to plan student experiences would help you plan an alumni trip. Just do a little research to find the right partner company for you!

3. Meet your alumni where they are, geographically and otherwise.

An easy example of this is to hold events in all of the states where your alumni now live. It’s also good to think about who you’re hoping to engage. If you’re targeting younger alumni, odds are that they’d rather go to an event at a local craft brewery than an event at the bar their parents frequent.

4. Stay in touch.

Ask your alumni questions about their time at school. For example, you could ask them to share their favorite cafeteria meal. You might be surprised to see how many people will respond or share.

Another great way to stay in touch is to send a monthly e-newsletter and/or quarterly alumni magazine. Keep alumni up-to-date on school news and events and share important alumni updates. You can use the e-newsletter or magazine to recognize successful alumni, share news on life events (births, weddings, etc.) and so much more.

These ideas will make your alumni feel good about your school, and in turn, want to give back! Learn how you can use Gesture at your next alumni event by contacting us today.

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Corporate Donation List Southwest

At Gesture, we value the work you do, and are ready and excited to work with our charity partners to raise $1 billion dollars in the next five years. In our efforts to help you raise more, we’ve compiled our 2016 Corporate Donation Guide. Get access today!

To further help, we’ve broken out some regional and local chains into regional donation lists. Use the list for your region to bring items with a local flair to your silent auction!

Corporate Donation List - Southwest Logo

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Corporate Donation List - Southwest Logo

Corporate Donation List - Southwest MapThe Corporate Donation List for the Southwest Region of the United States is a great list to use when looking to bring a local flair to your silent auction. The following corporations only offer donations to organizations that fall into the states listed below.

States Covered: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas

We have also included corporations from our National Corporate Donation List with headquarters in the southwestern states!

Next to each corporation, we have listed which types of nonprofits can request donations to save you time. Jump ahead to auction items/raffle prizesdonations, grants or sponsorships!

Get access to our nNational Corporate Donation List now!

Corporate Donation List - Southwest Auction/Raffle

Gift Cards

Andy’s Frozen Custard – Open to organizations with a focus on children’s education in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Texas

The Container Store – Open to all nonprofit organizations near stores in Arizona and Texas

Eden Salon and Spa – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Fogo de Chao – Open to all nonprofit organizations near restaurant locations in Arizona and Texas

Food Conspiracy Co-op – Open to organizations with a focus on education, environment, or nutrition & health

Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas – Priority given to organizations with a focus on cancer research and children’s charities (excluding school fundraisers)

Four Seasons Resort Santa Fe – Priority given to organizations with a focus on cancer research and children’s charities (excluding school fundraisers)

Heritage Hotels and Resorts, Inc. – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Jason’s Deli – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Joe’s Real BBQ – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Phoenix, AZ

Lettuce Entertain You – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Los Alamos Co+op Market – Open to organizations that promote being socially and environmentally responsible near Los Alamos, NM

Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Santa Rita Tex Mex Cantina – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Austin, TX

SanTan Brewing – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Chandler, AZ

Sparrow Bar and Cookshop – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Houston, TX

Sprouts Farmers Market – Open to organizations that focus on autism awareness, local hunger relief, disease prevention/research programs, nutrition & healthy living education for children & families, and activities supporting local environmental awareness

Total Wine & More – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Wildflower Bread Company – Open to organizations with a focus on poverty and hunger relief, children’s wellness, education, women’s empowerment and animal advocacy in Arizona

Item or In-kind Donations

In-kind gifts are contributions of goods or services, other than cash grants. This list includes corporations that will donate Kindle devices, food, tickets for things like amusement parks and airfare, hotel rooms, clothing, toys, etc.

Adventure LandingTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

America’s Incredible Pizza Company – Open to all nonprofit organizations

American Airlines – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Andy Alligator’s Fun Park – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma

Andy’s Frozen CustardSingle serve scoops, free treat cards – Open to organizations with a focus on children’s education in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Texas

Angel Fire Resort – Open to organizations that aid in the growth and development of their immediate community, or national programs that increase participation in outdoor activity in northern New Mexico

Arizona Broadway TheatreGift certificate redeemable for tickets – Open to all nonprofits and schools in Maricopa County in Arizona

Arizona CardinalsMemorabilia, merchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona

Arizona Coyotes – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona

Arizona Diamondbacks – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Arizona Museum of Natural HistoryPasses – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona

Arizona-Sonora Desert MuseumAdmission passes – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Arizona Stronghold VineyardsWine, tasting vouchers – Open to organizations with a focus on children, animals, the environment and the local community near Camp Verde, AZ

Austin OperaTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in central Texas

AZ on the Rocks1 Month Family Membership – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Children’s Museum of HoustonPasses, membership – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Houston, TX

Civic Center Music HallTickets – Open to organizations in support of arts education and/or education programming near Oklahoma City, OK

Cliff’s Amusement ParkAll-day ride passes – Open to organizations that educate youth, strengthen their community and align with their commitments as an organization

The Container StoreProducts – Open to all nonprofit organizations near stores in Arizona and Texas

Cork This Winery – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Montgomery, TX

Dallas Cowboys – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Dallas MavericksAutographed memorabilia – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 75 miles of Dallas, TX

Dallas StarsTickets, merchandise, autographed memorabilia – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Texas

Dallas Wings – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Dallas ZooFamily fun four-pack – Open to all nonprofit organizations in northern Texas

Desert Botanical GardensFamily passes, membership – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona

Diablo Burger – Open to organizations that support the local food movement and/or local environmental conservation work near Flagstaff and Tucson, AZ

Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OK

FC DallasMemorabilia, tickets, photos, merchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Dallas/Fort Worth, TX area

Fiesta BowlTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona

Food Conspiracy Co-opProducts – Open to organizations with a focus on education, environment, or nutrition & health

Frontier City and White Water BayGeneral admission tickets – Open to all nonprofits near Oklahoma City, OK – Will only donate to events that run from April – September

Harkins Theatres – Open to nonprofits focusing on the betterment of the human or animal condition and those which benefit the community at large in Arizona, Oklahoma or Texas

Houston Astros – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Houston Dynamo – Open to organizations with a direct focus on youth, especially underserved and at-risk children within 60 miles of Houston, TX

Houston Rockets – Open to all nonprofits, with priority given to organizations within 75 miles of Houston, TX

Houston TexansTeam memorabilia – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Texas, with priority given to Houston, Central and Southern Texas

Jason’s DeliFood – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline ParkBounce passes, fun passes – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona and Texas

Kimberly-ClarkProducts – Open to organizations with a focus on community events, local and international cause and disaster relief efforts

The Loft Cinema – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Southern Arizona

Los Alamos Co+op MarketMerchandise, memberships – Open to organizations that promote being socially and environmentally responsible near Los Alamos, NM

Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Love’s – Open to organizations with an emphasis on education and youth programs, health-related organizations or organizations that improve the community

Mesilla Valley Maze – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Mother Road Brewing Co.Gifts/merchandise, beer – Open to organizations with a focus on historical organizations (automobiles, roads, Southwest history) and pet rescue near Flagstaff, AZ

National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumFour adult admission passes – Open to organizations compatible with the Museum’s educational and cultural focus in the greater Oklahoma City area and contiguous counties

Nestle Purina – Pet welfare near Flagstaff and Scottsdale, AZ; San Antonio, TX; or Oklahoma City, OK

NRH2OAdmission tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Oklahoma AquariumTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Oklahoma City BalletTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City Museum of ArtGeneral admission tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Oklahoma City PhilharmonicCertificate for tickets – Open to organizations with a focus on arts and education near Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City ThunderTeam merchandise, autographed items, memorabilia – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma

Oklahoma State FairFour gate admission tickets – Open to organizations with a focus on agriculture, education, arts and children’s social services in Oklahoma – Priority given to events held in May thru July 

Oklahoma Zoological SocietyFamily membership – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Opera SouthwestTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in New Mexico

Out of Africa Wildlife ParkGeneral admission tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Phoenix International RacewayTickets to their annual event weekends (more details on page) – Open to organizations in Arizona with a focus on education, children, families or our military and military veterans, and life enrichment programs for children and families

Phoenix Mercury – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 75 miles of Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix Suns – Open to nonprofit organizations that focus on children’s literacy & education, youth & family development and/or health & fitness in Arizona

Phoenix SymphonyTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Phoenix ZooGeneral admission passes – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona

Real Ale Brewing Co.Auction items, beer – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Blanco, TX

Road Dog Tours – Open to all nonprofit organizations

San Antonio SpursTickets – Open to all nonprofits, with priority given to organizations within 75 miles of San Antonio

San Antonio Stars – Group tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 75 miles of San Antonio, TX

San Antonio ZooFamily four-pack – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Santa Rita Tex Mex Cantina – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Austin, TX

SanTan BrewingGear, brewery tours, beer/food – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Chandler, AZ

Satellite Coffee and Flying Star Cafe – Open to nonprofit organizations near a cafe location in New Mexico

Scalo Northern Italian Grill – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Albuquerque, NM

Schlitterbahn Waterparks and ResortsTickets – Open to organizations that benefit children in Texas

SEA LIFE Arizona AquariumAdmission tickets – Open to organizations whose goal is to serve seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged children ages 2-12, or who focus on conservation, marine life, and environmental protection

SeaWorld San AntonioTickets – Open to organizations with a focus on animals, environmental protection & conservation programs, youth & families, and education within a 100-mile radius of the park (San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi and Laredo area in Texas)

Six Flags Fiesta TexasTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations near San Antonio, TX

Six Flags Over TexasTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Arlington, TX

Space Center Houston4 one-day admission tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Sparrow Bar and Cookshop – Three cooking demonstration options with head chef Monica Pope – Please note that these items come with a cost for the organization, but the restaurant states that the items typically go for five times that cost in an auction – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Houston, TX

Sprouts Farmers MarketFood – Open to organizations that focus on autism awareness, local hunger relief, disease prevention/research programs, nutrition & healthy living education for children & families, and activities supporting local environmental awareness

St. Clair WineryWine – Open to all nonprofit organizations in New Mexico

Tempe Airsoft and PaintballVoucher for a group of 10 – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Texas Motor Speedway – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area

Texas RangersTickets, autographed memorabilia – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Texas

Texas StarsItems, tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Texas

TopgolfCoupons, swag, private party for 12 guests, golf instruction, VIP priority pass to jump the line – Open to organizations with a focus on education, military, golf, health & wellness, animals and disaster relief within 40 miles of a Topgolf location (locations in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Texas – for information on exact locations, click here)

Total Wine & More – Open to all nonprofit organizations

US Beef Corp (Arby’s and Taco Bueno)Food, paper products – Open to all nonprofit organizations and schools in Oklahoma

Wildflower Bread CompanyFood – Open to organizations with a focus on poverty and hunger relief, children’s wellness, education, women’s empowerment and animal advocacy in Arizona

Wyland GalleriesArt – Open to all nonprofit organizations – Gallery located in New Mexico

Corporate Donation List - Southwest Direct Donations

Academy Sports + Outdoors – Open to organizations with a focus on families, sports or outdoor-related events in Oklahoma and Texas

American Airlines – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Apple Annie’s Orchard – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Appliance Solutions – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Tulsa, OK

Arvest Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma

Best Western – Open to organizations with a focus on environment or combating poverty

Boathouse District – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Oklahoma City, OK

Century Bank – Open to organizations with a focus on youth, education, arts, and community development

Citizens National Bank of Texas – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Texas

Coufal-Prater Equipment – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the following Texas counties: Austin, Bastrop, Bell, Brazos, Burleson, Burnet, Coryell, Falls, Grimes, Harris, Limestone, Leon, Madison, Milam, Montgomery, Robertson, Travis, Walker, Waller, Washington and Williamson

Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OK

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Texas

The Driskill Hotel – Open to organizations with a focus on community improvement, performing arts, social services for children and youth, and environmental sustainability – Preference given to organizations serving Austin, TX and the surrounding central Texas area

Eden Salon and Spa – Open to all nonprofit organizations

First Financial Credit Union – Priority consideration given to organizations that foster growth and development within the Albuquerque, NM communities

The First State Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Los Alamos Co+op Market – Open to organizations that promote being socially and environmentally responsible near Los Alamos, NM

Love’s – Open to organizations with an emphasis on education and youth programs, health-related organizations or organizations that improve the community

Mazzios Italian Eatery – Priority given to youth activities, schools and nonprofits in Oklahoma and Texas

P&K Equipment – Open to organizations with a focus on agricultural education programs or community development opportunities, or that offer aid to under-privileged youth and/or families in the following Oklahoma counties: Bartlesville, Blackwell, Edmond, Enid, Kingfisher, Norman, Owasso/Tulsa, Pryor, Purcell and Stillwater

Pinnacle Entertainment – Open to organizations that spread love through food, serve those who served (veterans and active military), support efforts for finding a cure for cancer, strengthen communities, or care for senior citizens near Selma, TX

Radioshack – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Road Dog Tours – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Texas Disposal Systems – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Texas Regional Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Texas

Texas State Aquarium – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Waste Management – Open to organizations with a focus on environment, environmental education, and causes important to the areas where they operate

Whataburger – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Whole Foods – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Zia Credit Union – Open to organizations that will benefit a significant segment of the community or communities near Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Taos and Santa Fe, NM

 

Corporate Donation List - Southwest Grants

Arizona Coyotes – Open to nonprofit organizations in Arizona that promote healthcare, education and cultural arts programs for children and service men and women – Grants only accepted June – July every year

Bank of Oklahoma – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Nestle Purina – Open to organizations with a focus on pet welfare

Texas Stars – Open to all nonprofit organizations in central Texas

Walmart – Open to organizations with a focus on opportunity, sustainability, and community

Corporate Donation List - Southwest Sponsorships
Academy Sports + Outdoors – Open to organizations with a focus on families, sports or outdoor-related events in Oklahoma and Texas

Arvest Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma

Best Western – Open to organizations with a focus on environment or combating poverty

Century Bank – Open to organizations with a focus on youth, education, arts, and community development

Fiesta Bowl – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona

First Financial Credit Union – Priority consideration given to organizations that foster growth and development within the Albuquerque, NM communities

The First State Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Mazzios Italian Eatery – Priority given to youth activities, schools and nonprofits in Oklahoma and Texas

Nestle Purina – Open to organizations with a focus on pet welfare

P&K Equipment – Open to organizations with a focus on agricultural education programs or community development opportunities, or that offer aid to under-privileged youth and/or families in the following Oklahoma counties: Bartlesville, Blackwell, Edmond, Enid, Kingfisher, Norman, Owasso/Tulsa, Pryor, Purcell and Stillwater

Pinnacle Entertainment – Open to organizations that spread love through food, serve those who served (veterans and active military), support efforts for finding a cure for cancer, strengthen communities, or care for senior citizens near Selma, TX

Radioshack – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Real Ale Brewing Co. – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Blanco, TX

Sprouts Farmers Market – Open to organizations that focus on autism awareness, local hunger relief, disease prevention/research programs, nutrition & healthy living education for children & families, and activities supporting local environmental awareness

St. Clair Winery – Open to all nonprofit organizations in New Mexico

Texas Disposal Systems – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Topgolf – Open to organizations with a focus on education, military, golf, health & wellness, animals and disaster relief within 40 miles of a Topgolf location (locations in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Texas – for information on exact locations, click here)

Whataburger – Open to organizations with a focus on sports

Zia Credit Union – Open to organizations that will benefit a significant segment of the community or communities near Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Taos and Santa Fe, NM

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Feature: Why Gesture won’t be using QR codes any time soon

Ryan Smolek - Gesture won't be using QR Codes

By: Ryan Smolek, Vice President of Strategy & Product Management

View the original article on LinkedIn

A few of our competitors in the mobile bidding space have recently issued fancy press releases that simultaneously announce the addition of QR codes to their product and the QR codes as the feature that has solved the problem of event registration/check-in by making it ‘light years’ faster. I’m not buying it.

Look, I agree that event check-in at charity events is a problem that remains to be, and should be, solved. Charities want to provide their event guests with a fantastic experience that inspires the guest to open his or her heart and wallet for the charity’s cause. Standing in line so that your name can get crossed off a list certainly does not make for a fantastic experience. Upon the guest’s arrival, the check-in line is the only thing standing between the guest and socializing, cocktail hour, and dinner. Those are 3 things with which I would not want to tease my potential donors.

So while check-in is a problem, QR codes are not the answer.  I see three primary issues, though there are likely others.

gesture won't be using qr codes1.    Now where did I put that email? – For the QR solution to work, the guest needs to produce a QR code. That QR code is likely buried in an email from when the guest signed up for the event, often a month or more before the event. So now you have someone, head buried in phone, looking for the email with their QR code. Many won’t think to do so until they get up to the front of the line. Everyone knows their name, and can produce that for the registrar a lot faster than they can search through their email they received 3 weeks ago.

2.    Why won’t this thing work? – Have you ever been waiting in the security line or boarding a plane when someone is using a mobile boarding pass (read: QR code)? That often doesn’t go so well. Either the screen keeps rotating on them, or the brightness on the phone is not set high enough for the reader to capture it, or their phone dies just as they are placing the thing on the reader. There is a good lesson here not to mimic anything the airline industry does if you care about customer experience. Just imagine what this would be like at a charity event. Your biggest donor can’t get her QR code to work and the rest of your check-in line is now scowling at her. That isn’t what I would call a giving ‘mood’.

3.    Treat your donors the way you’d like to be treated. – I understand why QR codes may work for a rock concert. A bunch of people you don’t know bought tickets and a bunch of people you don’t know were unable to buy tickets. You want to let the former in and keep the latter out. But charity events usually don’t work that way. Invitees are known in advance and most attendees have a prior relationship with the charity. So when your most loyal supporters show up to your event and you treat them like they bought a ticket to a rock concert, you are working against your goal of getting them to donate more to your cause.

So how can we do better? I don’t have a fully formed answer yet, but this is what I do know:

  • Registration goes faster when the attendees are known prior to the event
  • The threat of charity event crashers is lower in reality than in the minds of charity organizers.
  • Many activities performed at check-in, such as capturing personal information of guests or handing out bidder numbers (for live auctions) can be done in advance of the event through a more efficient medium

At Gesture, we build product based on what we know, with the goal of putting the product in our customers’ hands to discover the answers to what we don’t know. Based on the points above, we’ve recently implemented a world class ticketing solution that is primarily focused on getting to 100% confirmed attendees before the day of the event.

If everyone is confirmed in advance, you already have all of your guest names. And their email addresses. And their mailing addresses. And you already know what they want for dinner. And you already know what t-shirt size everyone needs. And that means the line HAS TO move faster because you don’t need to collect any information from your guests. That is why we built our ticketing product with the primary goal of 100% confirmed attendance, because it helps solve the check-in problem.

While this feature doesn’t solve the whole issue of check-in, it is certainly a start. For the remaining issues, I have some ideas about how to solve them, but I need further data from our users before I offer them up as a solution. But we are going to do the work to understand the needs and develop a solution, and not just throw out an imperfect technology like QR codes and act like they are the be-all and end-all solution to the problem of check-in.

If you are interested in learning more about Gesture’s improved ticketing platform, or using Gesture to manage your event, or if you just want to tell me how wrong I am, shoot me a note at ryan@gesture.com.

View the original article on LinkedIn

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Top 5 Fundraisers for Fall School Fundraising

As fall school fundraising season picks up more and more momentum, it’s important that your institution maps out its fundraising plans. From product fundraisers to carnivals, there’s no shortage of options available.

That’s where the infographic below comes into play. To help you narrow down your decision, take a look at these 5 fundraising options that are designed specifically with schools in mind.

Then, once you’ve picked out your fundraising event of choice, make sure you have the technology to support your efforts.

Take a look at the list and share it with your friends and coworkers who are knee-deep in fall fundraising!

fall school fundraising infographic

Thanks to our friends at Booster for this helpful graphic. 

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So Easy it Feels like Cheating: Four Tips for Your Auction & Fund-the-Need

So Easy it Feels like Cheating - Gesture Lunch Box Banner

So Easy it Feels like Cheating: Four Tips for Your Auction & Fund-the-Need

These four tips might feel like cheating, but we can promise that they won’t get you in trouble. Instead, they’ll help ensure your event runs smoothly and that you “pass” with flying colors.

so easy it feels like cheating 1-pledges

Your fund-the-need can be the most profitable part of your event if you set it up properly. It’s ok to approach your biggest donors beforehand to let them know you’re planning a fund-the-need, and see if they would be willing to pledge an amount to donate that night. You’ll have a good idea of which price point would be a good place to start (i.e. if someone pledges $10,000, you know it’s safe to start there). Knowing that you’re going to get that donation will make you feel more confident. Their donation might even inspire others to give at the same level.

so easy it feels like cheating 2. fund the need

 

After running thousands of events, our staff has learned some best practices. We have found that there are two ways to run a successful fund-the-need.

Paddle Raise

Use peer pressure to your advantage. When guests see others at their table raising their paddle it can entice them to do the same. You can even create a competition to see which table has the highest percentage of participation.

Electronic Donation

Gesture can make your life simple by sending out a text message with a link to your donation levels. Have your auctioneer encourage guests to click through the link on their phone and donate.

Don’t worry; we can keep the momentum up in the room by utilizing a display screen to show who is giving. Gesture’s platform allows you to set custom displays where you can choose to hide or show donor names, donation amounts and your running total. Here are a few examples of what this display screen looks like:

so easy it feels like cheating display example 1

This display includes the donor name and a thermometer which shows your goal and how much has been raised so far.

so easy it feels like cheating display example 2

In this example, the donor name and total amount raised is shown. 

so easy it feels like cheating display example 3

The third example shows how you can include the donor name, donation amount, and the total raised so far.

so easy it feels like cheating display example 4

The final display example just shows donation amounts and the total raised, which gives your guests anonymity. 

so easy it feels like cheating 3-duplicate-items

Some items, like dinner with your school’s Principal or President, are easy to duplicate. If there are two individuals willing to pay $2,000 for the chance to dine with the head of your school, why turn one down? Determine these items in advance and play it by ear the night of the event. If there’s enough interest, give the item away twice. Instruct the auctioneer to ask the runner up if they will pay their highest bid amount for the same prize.

so easy it feels like cheating 4. Be creative & specific

Which silent auction item would you be more likely to bid on…

so easy it feels like cheating chicago-package-vertical so easy it feels like cheating explore-chicago-vertical

Probably the “Explore Chicago” one, right? Adding more pictures, details and descriptive language will entice your guests to bid on that item. Spending an extra five minutes of choosing a fun title and writing creative copy could be the difference between making $200 and $700.

Interested in bringing your auction to the next level? Contact Gesture today!

Read More exclusive content in our School Lunch Box!

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