Q: I'm on a board for a nonprofit organization. It is our 20-year anniversary. Do you have ideas for how to market our anniversary using the Benevon Model?
Paula in California
A: An anniversary or other important milestone in the life of an organization can be leveraged in many ways using the Benevon Model, from the basic messaging of the Point of Entry and Ask Event to launching a major gifts campaign around the occasion.
At the Point of Entry and Ask Event, weave your 20th anniversary into the Visionary Leader talk, given by the CEO or executive director. Have them share about your organization today as the culmination of 20 years of working to fulfill your mission in the community. When your Visionary Leader shares their vision for the future, be sure they talk about the next 20 years: what more do you want to be doing in the community and what will it take to get there? Use this anniversary as an opportunity to re-engage with some leaders from the early days—former staff and board members. Ask them to come to Points of Entry and serve as Ambassadors. Ultimately you could ask them to serve as Table Captains at the Ask Event, bringing a great table of new and old friends of your organization who have attended Point of Entry Events over the last year.
There are several ways to leverage this anniversary with one-on-one asking. You could secure your Leadership Gift to be announced at your Ask Event from long-time donors who want to launch you into your next 20 years with a motivating challenge or matching gift opportunity. Use this to match new contributions in your Multiple-Year Giving Society (donors who pledge at least $1,000 for the next five years).
Many organizations who have been using the Benevon Model successfully over time have enough donors in this giving society that they could do more of a major gifts campaign in honor of the 20th anniversary. You can name and theme this campaign around this milestone and the continued impact you want to have on the community (for example, Bridge to the Future or Vince's Vision for the retirement of a longtime CEO or executive director). Ask donors to make an additional one-time gift or to increase their existing pledge in honor of this occasion and to help you fulfill the next dream.