Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer Lee Regan was recently invited to be a panelist for the final presentations at Code Origin Academy.
CCO Lee Regan Judges at Code Origin Academy Demo Day 8.0
On April 7, 2017 • By Georgette Kakridas
Grassroots: How We Raised Funds for a Small Non-Profit
Marketing, Social Media, Strategy • Comments (0)
On November 6, 2014 • By Georgette Kakridas
Grassroots Fundraising Campaigns: How we raised funds to surpass our goal for the Pura Vida Fundraiser 2013
Kaylee Brown, Copywriter – LoudMouth Strategies
The idea to throw a fundraiser stemmed from a casual interaction around corporate responsibility and how important it is to give back to the communities that need it most. I quickly told my team about this exceptional non-profit Abriento Mentes located in Costa Rica that I had volunteered with in the past. We discussed the invaluable impact organizations like Abriendo Mentes have on developing countries by providing opportunities that enhance economic growth through education, social, and technology programs. This casual conversation blossomed into the brilliant idea to host a fundraiser to help raise awareness and funds for the non-profit. And so, the brainstorming began…
Step 1. Finding the Venue
Finding a venue for your fundraising event is critical to hosting a fundraiser and should be your number one step in planning. Our group was able to partner with a local restaurant in San Diego, the Salt & Cleaver, for the space to host the event. The restaurant was eager to get involved and agreed to give their space for an evening to host the fundraiser. In addition to providing the space, the restaurant created a select menu, including a special “Pura Vida” inspired cocktail that would be served to our guests. The Salt & Cleaver also donated a percentage of all food and drink sales for the evening which contributed to hitting our monetary goal for the night.
Step 2. Getting Attendees and Sponsors
We used our individual contacts to create an initial list for potential sponsors and attendees. To draw sponsors and attract attendees, we promoted the event as an opportunity to expand social networks while giving back to a great cause. Establishing a purpose for the event is necessary to attract sponsors; confidently relaying the purpose and having a solid outline of how the fundraiser directly benefits a cause will motivate the potential sponsor to contribute. Our team put together a detailed informational sponsorship package that we were able to send out to potential sponsors to include the non-profits mission, details about the event and the various sponsorship levels and opportunities they could contribute too.
For example, informing our sponsors that their donations would go directly to programming that would help empower small Central American economies through the enhancement of education and social programming was our key messaging. However, it is as equally important to relay to them how their company will benefit from contributing to the event. For instance, some of our sponsorship benefits included free promotion of the sponsor’s company through social media marketing, featured logos on Pura Vida Fundraiser’s imagery/signage, marketing collateral for attendees, email campaigns to invitees, and shout outs at fundraiser.
Step 3. Planning and Marketing the Event
The evening’s total revenue came from multiple sources including; RSVP Ticket Donations through targeted email campaigns, all drink/food sales, raffle ticket sales, out of pocket cash donations, and corporate sponsorships. Through this strategy, we created a solid foundation of key sponsors to donate goods, services, or money. All of our sponsor’s donations allowed us to successfully design a dynamic experience for our supporters and attendees – HAPPY HOUR! FUN PRIZES! GAMES! FREE GIVEAWAYS! LIVE MUSIC! Having a solid marketing strategy in addition to setting/reaching goals were essential components to increasing attendance for the fundraiser:
“It takes a lot of organization and team work to plan a fundraiser. It’s important to have a clear strategy and set objectives going into any event, especially a fundraiser. Understanding how to strategize, plan and market your fundraiser is instrumental in achieving your events target numbers. Setting goals and milestones, understanding your budget and building a solid marketing plan is instrumental in planning a successful fundraising event. Simple marketing activities such as branding your event, setting up social media platforms to organize and promote, and planning out a series of email blasts with designated content to engage your audience in supporting your fundraiser.”
– Georgette Kakridas, Pura Vida Marketing Director – Founder / CEO of LoudMouth Strategies
Creative development is also a key component to planning a successful fundraiser. The theme and image should correspond with the non-profit’s mission in order to preserve the fundraiser’s core function – to expand the positive impact of the non-profit’s cause. For example, Abriendo Mentes is a non-profit based in Costa Rica with a focus on youth education. We used a tropical beach theme as the backlash for all social media outlets, a howler monkey Abriendo Mentes logo for imagery (signs, T-shirts, gift bag prizes, flyers) and we used pictures of local Costa Rican children in Abriendo Mentes’ classrooms for the event’s PowerPoint show, email campaigns and social media updates. The creative development of the event plays an essential role in capturing your supporters’ interest, attention, and hearts in order to reach the goal of funds raised.
Our inspiration to host the event was derived with the goal to expand Abriendo Mentes’ cause, but the benefits of planning, marketing, and hosting the fundraiser far exceeded the monetary donations gained. The fundraiser resulted in an immensely rewarding experience: we surpassed the goal of funds raised, cultivated professional relationships through the event’s social network, exposed/promoted small to medium size San Diego companies, and created a fun way for people to contribute a great cause!
“The single most important thing you can do to prepare for any fundraiser is ask for help. Don’t talk yourself out of reaching out to your contacts because you think they will say no, people will surprise you! While the fundraiser is going on, work the room – thank people for their support and let them know how their contribution will impact the fundraiser’s beneficiaries.”
Follow up when all is said and done. The best way to get support for your next endeavor is to show your supporters they real impact they made. Publish photos, comments from beneficiaries, the organization and supporters on the event’s social media channels. Help people tell the story about their experience and everyone will want to become a part of it!”
– Diana Farias, Pura Vida Event Coordinator & Project Manager for Center for Creative Leadership
For more details on Pura Vida Fundraiser 2013 check out https://www.facebook.com/puravida.fundraiser?ref=hl
Kaylee Brown, Event Coordinator and Copywriter – LoudMouth Strategies
Georgette Kakridas, Marketing Director and CEO – LoudMouth Strategies
Diana Farias, Fundraising Event Coordinator – Volunteer
What Changes Will Millennials Force Brands to Make in 2014?
Marketing, Strategy • Comments (0)
On January 14, 2014 • By Georgette Kakridas
This Generation Has Ideals and Now Children, and Both Factors Will Play in the Marketplace
The coming year holds dramatic changes for some of the world’s most recognized brands, as more millennials, the influential consumers who already value transparency and social consciousness, become parents and expect more from brands as a result.
Start with the National Football League. Reports of damage to players from repeated head injuries are creating a serious brand-reputation problem for the NFL. Millennial parents, whose children are just entering the world of youth sports, are hugely important to the NFL’s long-term success, but they are now thinking twice about sending their sons and daughters onto the football field.
If the league can’t convince these parents that football’s potential rewards outweigh the risks, its long-term brand value will decline. At the start of this season, the league instituted stricter penalties for hits, yet the issue is not going away. The family of former Kansas City Chief Jovan Belcher, who killed his girlfriend and then shot himself in front of Chiefs officials, had his body exhumed just last month to explore the possibility that head trauma played a role in the tragedy. In 2014, look for the NFL to beef up its education efforts and institute more sweeping rule changes to prevent injuries.
The food industry has to deal with the dramatic rise in childhood allergies, which affects a growing number of millennial parents. In October 2013, the Centers for Disease Control announced its first-ever food-allergy guidelines, to be implemented in the coming school year. Even parents whose children do not have allergies will be demanding foods that are manufactured safely — and clearly labeled. Food marketers will be well served to boost their educational marketing efforts and re-work packaging and labels to address this growing consumer need.
Reinvigorated feminism is another issue facing marketers. The Oxford Dictionary chose “selfie” as the 2013 word of the year, but it could have been “feminist.” Pop stars, business leaders and politicians were all proudly calling themselves feminists. Music acts like Beyonce and Lorde are riding a wave of feminist culture, and marketers like GoldieBlox, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, andDisney‘s “Frozen” are focusing on broader choices for women and girls.
Where is this reinvigorated feminism coming from? Millennials, who are more diverse, accepting and inclusive than previous generations. In a recent poll by The Economist, 42% of all millennials said they consider themselves “feminists,” compared to just 32% of Generation X. I suspect this trend is being amplified by a recent and dramatic change in most millennials’ lives — parenthood. Roughly 40% are already there. As more millennials start families, this inclusive generation will increasingly demand that the products with which they raise their children match their ideals.
Renember also that millennials lived their young adulthood facing some of the 20th century’s biggest social and political challenges. After witnessing Congress become ineffective, their faith in government is faltering. Instead, millennials think that the private sector and, increasingly, brands and companies, can help solve the world’s ills. This type of mindset can help us predict where three iconic retailers will end up in 2014.
Target and Wal-Mart offer consumers essentially the same thing, yet their practices stand in stark contrast. Wal-Mart continues to take heat for its employee standards, production practices and price undercutting. As Target continues to grow its footprint, it can capitalize on Wal-Mart’s PR missteps. I suspect that millennials will reward Target handsomely.
And when business and marketing professors study what went wrong with Abercrombie & Fitch, they won’t be pointing to the usual suspects — product issues, scale or a faltering economy. They will say that what A&F failed to stand for led to its undoing. Abercrombie’s success was built by young generations that came before, but millennials — with their consumer idealism and dislike of the company’s elitist attiude — will ultimately dismantle this once-coveted brand.
Marketers make a dangerous mistake when they look at millennials as one cohort. They are a diverse group, falling on a wide spectrum of tastes, behaviors and income levels. Brands ignore these differences at their peril.
Millennials are often incorrectly thought of as being drawn to only prestigious, high-value brands. In reality, many are struggling financially. It’s also important to note that millennials don’t view luxury the way other generations do. They consistently report that all brands, including high-cost brands, still need to be functional and affirm their world-view.
Any brand that looks at technology as a cool, shiny thing isn’t looking through the eyes of a millennial. While technology developments and products are important, millennials think of technology as a background item. It’s not something they plan to wait in line for. That’s for Generation X and Boomers to worry about. Amazon may have won publicity with its idea to deliver packages with drones, but while Charlie Rose was eating it up on “60 Minutes,” millennials likely responded with a resounding “meh.”