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AFP CA, San Diego Chapter Breakfast & Workshop

June 20, 2014

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June 20, 2014 Chapter Workshop Summary


Workshop:  Integrating special events within your nonprofit’s overall development strategy



Speaker: Rachel Gershwin, Director of Corporate Sponsorships, Make-A-Wish America


Topic: Does your nonprofit invest an enormous amount of time in planning galas? Can’t wait for post-event wrap? Special events serve as a positive point of entry for individuals and companies to become engaged in your nonprofit’s mission, but nonprofits don’t always capitalize on their events to strengthen donor relationships throughout the year. This month’s workshop will cover the basic principles of event planning, PR, and evaluation, as well as the ways events can leverage corporate partnerships and assist with donor stewardship and cultivation. You’ll leave with an appreciation for one big night’s potential to keep fundraising momentum going all year long.  


Learning Objectives

-          Learn strategies for converting event donors into annual donors

-          Create meaningful board engagement in events

-          Use events as a hook for corporate sponsorship and PR


Who Should Attend: Entry-level to seasoned fundraising professionals who have a direct involvement in their nonprofit’s special events efforts and fundraisers who would like to know more the subject.



Workshop Speaker Bio

Rachel Gershwin has 20 years of experience as an event professional, beginning her career at the UCLA Alumni Association planning class reunions. She spent 10 years as a consultant, planning everything from televised awards events to nonprofit fundraisers, and specializing in corporate sponsorships. In 2004, she joined the staff of Make-A-Wish San Diego, where she served as the Vice President of Marketing & Development for several years and oversaw a broad range of fundraising programs, including special events, and was responsible for a $2.5 million annual budget. In December 2012, Gershwin became the Director of Corporate Sponsorships for Make-A-Wish America, responsible for securing new national corporate sponsors that generate significant cash and in-kind resources for the organization and its 61 local chapters. She is also an instructor at SDSU, teaching a course on nonprofit event planning in the College of Extended Studies’ Meeting and Event Planning certificate program. Rachel is a graduate of UCLA, and works remotely from San Diego, where she was born and raised.



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