Programming Outside the Box
Presented March 17, 2015
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2. National Updates/PX Information
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- National Updates/ PX Information
- Icebreaker: What unique programming does your Chapter have? Or if you don't have one yet, any ideas of what might make a great unique programming?
- Jamie Smith, National: Program Xchanges are one of our unique programs (I feel like this answer is cheating)
- Sorry I am late, but I think one of the most unique programs YNPN Portland has done was our event on managing your personal finances and work-life balance. Not something you think of as “professional development” but so important! http://ynpnportland.org/2013/09/01/the-worklife-balance/
- Catrina Boppart, Signature Event Chair. First time we had an event chair.
- Goals were to do a membership drive and bring in membership for chapter.
- LINK is an acronym for Learn Inspire Network Know. We offer a cash prize to the “winner” of the event.
- LINK is like TED Talks or pitch competitions where people talk about what they’re doing that’s innovative in the nonprofit sector. Six speakers get to give 3 minute speech on what they’re doing to alleviate a social ill in the Phoenix community.
- Board has been working hard to gather sponsorships and their organization gets $500 after the audience members vote. We have sponsors from $100 - $750 and in-kind donations, some of which are worth more than $1,000.
- Chose a very unique venue that can hold 70 people; goal for attendance is 65 people. Venue cost us $750 and we had a donor contribute to cover that cost.
- Also offering a text messaging option for voting. Two of the people on the committee have a Google Voice number that can allow people to vote via text message and then we’ll include that information on the presentation screen.
- We began planning for the event in October; event will be in May.
- Planning team included programming, communications, fundraising, and leadership, including Catrina as Signature Event Chair. We also engaged our previous board members as an advisory board that will help us evaluate the applications.
- Programming put together day-of timeline; communications put together outreach and promotion timeline; we have four different calendars that we’re working off of.
- Began promoting the event since December. We also had an event in December and collected $5 from everyone and the organizations they nominated received the donations.
- We did have some difficulty finding speakers because we are closing the application process on March 20 for an event May 6. Our goal was to have 10 organizations apply and have them present at our April board meeting, and then have the top 6 advance to present at the board meeting.
- Prizes include money as well as non-cash prizes (cupcake party!) so that every presenter’s organization walks away with something.
- They will be charging for ticket sales; $10 for members, $15 for non-members.
- Ahead of budget (woohoo!) because we raised more money and in-kind donations than we thought. Credit this to the board being out in the community and asking.
- Are you still fundraising?
- Have 10 asks out that are still pending; we’re done early because we started early securing community support for the event.
- What’s next between now and May?
- Trying to increase the number of presenters who apply so we have a good pool to select from. We’ll also be having the presenters come and present to the board to determine who will get to present at the live event. Also promoting the event so we can drum up ticket sales. Also starting to order the food and get our payment processing service up and running.
- How have you balanced the workload for this special event with the other events that you have going on?
- The Programs committee is responsible for putting on at least one event a month. Caitlin’s focus as Special Event Chair is solely on the LINK event, so she’s the driver of this event with help and support from the board while other people are keeping the regular programming going.
- It’s really key to get fundraising out of the way early.
- Monica Gutierrez,
- The Do-Gooder Games! Mental and “physical” challenges (hula hooping, for example) that leaves one team standing. WInners get $500 for the nonprofit of their choice.
- Teams are made of up nonprofit employees, members of the community, pretty much anyone. Teams are 3-5 people, pay $60 registration fee.
- We have a range of judges and an MC who are more visible members of the community (local celebrities, nonprofit leaders, etc.)
- It’s their 9th year!
- Event was created to engage membership, create a different kind of networking event, raise awareness of YNPN, and raise money for smaller organizations.
- We often have themes: Had an OScars theme, have been toying around with a circus theme or a fairy tale theme.
- Have some categories before the competition like Best Tweet, or coming to a Happy Hour and bringing the most supporters.
- The theme plays into how we design the challenges and the trivia. Examples: Create a song using your mission statement.
- We often have challenges that allow eliminated teams to get back in the game.
- For the first 8 years, the development team organized this. In 2014, we had a special Do Gooder Games committee that spanned other committees to focus on planning this event, like communications and development.
- We try to spend as little as possible. Our budget was $300 and we raised $1000. We try to get sponsors for the venue, food, and the A/V equipment. We only spent money on tables and decorations last year.
- We had 120 people last year; this year’s goal is 150. We also want to get more guests involved because we don’t have a problem filling all the team slots (in fact, we have to turn teams away). We’re trying to find new ways to get members there to be spectators.
- It’s been hard to find a venue because venues seem to close frequently.
- Development team creates a sponsorship package with lots of different levels.
- What’s been different about having a special committee?
- It’s been a lot easier to get our sponsorships, like food; in the past we’ve had to pay for food, so we’ve been able to focus on engaging people. It’s been helpful to have people able to look at it from the big picture point of view; in the past we’ve just been scrambling to put it on. Now we can look at how it fits into our membership experience as a whole.
- Is your sponsorship and rules packet on the leaders site? We would love to see it.
- Sure! We can share it. The sponsorship info is also listed online.
- How early do you guys start planning?
- We started in November for the event in August. We thought we had a venue but it fell through! Other than our venue struggles, we’ve been planning this event since last year.
- Our chapter sometimes struggles with how event decisions get made; how have you decided what stays the same each year and how do you address the unexpected things (like venues falling through!) and make sure people are on the same page?
- YNPN Austin: Our Do Gooder Games committee has an ExComm liaison that can help us keep communication open. We also create a report for the board before each meeting that outlines what we need. We also consult the ExComm for things like the venue falling through and addressing the implications--do we need to postpone, etc.
- YNPN Phoenix: We do have monthly board meetings and update at every board meeting on progress; we have bi-monthly committee meetings and Catrina sends budget and donor prospect updates. We primarily use email to communicate. Planning committee is all board members and special event committee is a subcommittee of programming.
- Both of your events were meant to engage and drive membership. How is it doing on that front?
- YNPN Austin: We ask registrants how long they’ve been members, how did they hear about us, etc. We also survey those who are just in attendance. We haven’t gotten a lot of data back from it but we’re re-evaluating it for this year and working with our membership committee.
- YNPN Phoenix: We have a new person who’s overseeing our membership directory and membership data, so he’s going to be pulling a report to tell us how membership grows during this time and if there’s a connection between the event and membership. He’s been a real asset in managing membership. We’re also making it mandatory to be a member of YNPN PHoenix to present and we’re applying the cost of admission for the attendees to their membership dues. We’re also going to be promoting membership at the event.
- Special events can be a great way to engage the wider community!