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AFP eWire November 6, 2012: Print Version

50th International Conference on Fundraising in San Diego: Advance Registration is until January 25th—Register NOW and Save BIG!

Advance registration is on for the 50th AFP Annual International Conference on Fundraising in San Diego, presented by Blackbaud—Register TODAY for BIG savings!

Experience top-quality education, engaging networking and unique lessons to help you develop the right blend of best practices and new ideas for powerful results. Get up-to-the minute information and spread the word about the conference using the conference Twitter channel: @afpihq and the conference hashtag #afpmeet. Also, join in on the discussion related to the conference on our Facebook page:

This year, our goal is to engage and re-energize our profession. Join us and be a part of our efforts to create balance, focus on critical priorities, and simplify complexities—we’ll explore what it means to beDoing The Right Things…Right! 

Go to for more information and register TODAYSee you in San Diego in 2013!

Top Story

Canada First Country to Permanently Recognize November 15th as National Philanthropy Day

New Bill Underscores Canada’s Vibrant Tradition of Giving and Volunteering

(Toronto, Ontario) Parliament has approved a new bill that will make Canada the first country in the world to honour the work of charities, donors, volunteers, corporations and foundations by permanently recognizing November 15th as National Philanthropy Day.

National Philanthropy Day (“NPD”) is celebrated around the world on November 15th as a day to recognize the work of charities and remember the extraordinary achievements that philanthropy—giving, volunteering and social engagement—has made in all aspects of life. Communities across Canada celebrate NPD with events honouring outstanding individuals and organizations that have made an impact in their communities, their country and the world.

Bill S-201, sponsored by Senator Terry Mercer, received its Third Reading in the House of Commons on Monday, November 5th. Royal assent is expected in the coming weeks.

“With the passage of this bill, Canada has taken a leadership role in global philanthropy,” says Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, which is the primary sponsor of NPD. “This recognition of NPD underscores just how important giving, volunteering and engagement are to Canada, and we hope this moment will encourage more Canadians to get involved. We are grateful for the work of Senator Mercer, who has led the charge on NPD recognition for several years—this is only happening because of his dedication and leadership.”

Canada is the first country to permanently recognize National Philanthropy Day since its creation in 1986. In 2009, the Minister of Canadian Heritage declared November 15th as National Philanthropy Day. Bill S-201 makes that proclamation permanent.

“I’m humbled that so many members of Parliament rallied around this bill and the cause of philanthropy and charity,” said Senator Mercer. “I'd like to thank my good colleague, Geoff Regan, for championing the bill on the House side.  His work in pushing the issue was invaluable. I also want to thank members of the Standing Committees on Canadian Heritage and Social Affairs, Science and Technology. I hope this bill will spur more Canadians to see how easy and important it is to give and volunteer, and how fulfilling and inspiring it can be to help our neighbours.”

This year, Canadians can obtain more information about NPD, get wise giving tips, read about outstanding philanthropists from across the country, and learn how to get involved through the official NPD website: On November15th, people can tweet what they’re doing to change the world in an online contest presented by AFP with support from TELUS. The five most inspiring, innovative and creative tweets sent to #npdTELUS will earn the senders a $500 contribution to the charity of their choice. 


Special Announcement

Unique, Award-Winning Event Supports Numerous Charities, Engages Entire Community

A special event that supports more than 100 charities, is open to all organizations, uses a collaborative model and includes sponsorships from across the corporate community? With all the competition for the charitable dollar, there’s no way such an event could work, is there?

But it can, which is precisely why Cincinnati’s Rusty Ball event, and its associated charity The Spirit of Cincinnatus, received AFP’s Award for Excellence in Fundraising.

In 2012, The Rusty Ball is expected to draw approximately 4000 people to the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati for a night of music, food, auctions and raffles—all to support 159 different charities.

The event was the brainchild of a popular local Cincinnati 80s cover band, the Rusty Griswolds, and its leader, Steve Frisch. The band was asked to play at many charitable events, but couldn’t always say yes, which was bothersome to the group’s members. So the band came up with the idea of an event to help raise funds for all sorts of charities.

“We found that each charity was seeking the same resources to hold their individual events,” says Frisch. “The simple idea was to maximize the benefit of the requested resources and sponsorships to as many organizations as possible in a single night.  The concept was simple, set the band up, play music, give money to charity.  We quickly learned it was not that easy.” 

Frisch pitched the idea to band mates and friends in June 2008, and the group quickly put together the first Rusty Ball in November of that year. There were about 40 groups that the band had not been able to play for—Frisch had kept track of all of them over the years—and they were invited to participate.

Ultimately, 52 charities participated in the first Rusty Ball with more than 1000 people attending. The event generated $85,000 in revenue for the charities, including $8,000 in corporate sponsorships.

“It was difficult at first to convey to sponsors and others what the event was all about and what we were trying to accomplish,” says Joseph Jones, co-chair and director of corporate outreach for the Rusty Ball. “There hadn’t been anything at all like this sort of event before, and it wasn’t natural for businesses to support a whole variety of charities as opposed to focusing on one or two main causes.”

But the education efforts have paid, with corporate sponsorships now equaling $150,000, and overall revenue from the 2011 event well over $400,000.

“People now understand what we’re doing with The Rusty Ball and have seen the tremendous impact it can have,” says Jones. “I’m really proud that we have a lot of corporate sponsors from the same industry—for example, a number of different banks are sponsors—supporting the event. That doesn’t happen very often, and it really shows the wide swath of support the ball has in our community.”

How It Works

The Spirit of Cincinnatus, the charity founded by the band to support the Rusty Ball and accept and distribute contributions, does everything to host the event, including putting together marketing materials, hosting the website and working with local vendors.

There isn’t a formal screening process for charities to participate in the ball either, and the event features a very diverse range of charities. About 100 of this year’s 150 charity participants are small, local charities. “Smaller don’t have the staff, infrastructure and revenue to hold an event like ours’,” Frisch said. “The Rusty Ball allows them to get in the room and be seen by many people, including major donors, corporate sponsors and others. Plus, our media sponsor does stories on some of the groups as well.

Charities simply sign up to participate, but it is their responsibility to promote the event to their donors and supporters. Attendees to the event go to the Rusty Ball website to choose from a drop-down menu which charity they want the proceeds from their ticket to support. In addition, for every ten tickets sold by a particular charity, that nonprofit can include one item in the auction during the event. All of the money raised from the auction will go to that charity.

“We really put the onus on the charity to drive their supporters to the event, while we take care of the logistics,” says Frisch. “It’s worked out extremely well, and we have a lot of charities who return to the event every year.”

In addition to the traditional corporate sponsorships, the Rusty Ball also features opportunities for some of the charities involved to win $5,000 through a drawing. “Our sponsors loved supporting the event and the community, but also wanted to look for ways to support one of their key charities that might be participating,” says Jones.

The event came up with the idea to allow businesses to nominate a charity to be in the $5,000 drawing. For every corporate sponsorship received, $500 goes to support the drawing, allowing sponsors to support the entire event while singling out certain charities to receive even more funding.

Community Impact

“The Rusty Ball is one of the biggest charity events in the city, and it was a no-brainer that we nominate them for the Award for Excellence in Fundraising,” says Danielle Gentry-Barth, president of the AFP Greater Cincinnati Chapter. “The model they’ve created is so innovative and inclusive, allowing smaller organizations the chance to be at the table and gain important awareness and recognition. We’re so pleased that the Rusty Ball and the Spirit of Cincinnatus received this honor because the event has such an impact on our community.”

Gentry-Barth notes that the event has many things going for it, including the time of the year (around the beginning of the giving season) and the popularity of the Rusty Griswolds. “But what makes it work is the dedication and generosity of the band and everyone involved,” she says. “There’s nothing else like it, but I think it’s the sort of event that could work anywhere, provided you have some great leaders like the Spirit.”

Jones adds that they’ve talked with the convention center and charity staff and have found very few events that are similar to the Rusty Ball. The band and other organizations were surprised when they first started thinking about the event and learned that there really wasn’t a model to work from. “In the end, it may have helped that we didn’t know what we didn’t know,” he says with a chuckle.

Current plans are to continue the growth of the event, especially as the economy continues to slowly improve. The goal is to reach 6,000 participants in the future, and if necessary, move the event to two nights. “We believe in a model where the philanthropic pie is not fixed,” says Jones. “We’re just going to continue creating more pie.”

Frisch echoes this comment and is excited about the future of the event, as well as the impact it’s already on the Cincinnati area. ”The Spirit of Cincinnatus and our volunteer base are glad that together we are able to do something positive for our community,” he says. “It’s been very exciting to watch this event grow.  We are extremely appreciative of the collaboration among our participating beneficiaries, advisors and corporate partners which have made The Rusty Ball successful.  In every crowd we see a community!”


Fundraising News and Tips

Fundraising PAC Aims to Give Charities a Political Voice 

 Many nonprofit leaders will be watching on Tuesday to see whether members of Congress with influence over nonprofit policy will win their bids for reelection. But one group will be particularly attentive because it has money in the game. (Chronicle of PhilanthropyRead more.

Why White Men Still Dominate Nonprofit Boards

Chicago's nonprofits say they're eager to diversify their boards, but their attempts to add more minority and female members have produced only modest results so far. One common refrain: All of the “good” board members are taken. In nonprofit-speak, these people are “boarded up,” or serving on so many nonprofit boards that they can't make time for another. (Crain’s Chicago Business) Read more.

Members: Discuss this topic with colleagues on AFP2P!

 Fundraising Fundamentals Key in Tough Times

Ongoing economic gloom continues to dampen charitable giving, underscoring the core importance of building and maintaining strong connections with donors. Reinforcing the need for better donor development and retention are new data from Blackbaud. (Philanthropy North Carolina) Read more.

Ten Things You Might Have Missed (and Need to Know)

1. Acquisition: Direct Mail: The Exquisite Corpse  (The Agitator)

2. Major Donors: Philanthropic Sector on the Mend (Barron's)

3. Work/Perspective: Fundraising: The F Word (Failure) (fundraising101) 

 4. Social Media/Marketing: 5 Ways Instagram Can Boost Your Marketing Plan (Entrepreneur)

5. Volunteer Management: VIP Volunteer Opportunities (NPengage)

6. Donor Cultivation/Stewardship: Philanthropic Trends Quarterly—The Donor Issue (KCI)

7. Giving/Fundraising Research: How America Gives—Explore Charitable Giving in Your State, City, and Neighborhood (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

8. Planned Giving: 8 Tips for Responding to the New Planned Giving Research (The Planned Giving Blogger)

9. Year End Fundraising: 8 Things to Do for the Next 8 Weeks (Fundraising Success)

10. Jobs/Hiring: FundraisersAre We Giving Ourselves a Bad Name? (The Fundraising Beat)


AFP Announcements

Help Protect the Charitable Deduction: Attend the Charitable Giving Coalition’s Capitol Hill Event

AFP, as chair of the Charitable Giving Coalition, invites its U.S. members to attend the Charitable Giving Coalition’s inaugural Capitol Hill fly-in event – “Protect Giving – DC Days” on Dec. 4 and 5.

AFP Awards for Philanthropy Nomination Period Open—Deadline Nov. 30

You or your chapter can nominate an outstanding philanthropist, volunteer fundraiser, foundation, corporation, fundraising professional or youth in philanthropy for AFP’s Awards for Philanthropy, which will be presented during the International Conference in San Diego on April 6. Nominations are easy to follow, can be submitted online and are due Nov. 30!

AFP Disaster Relief and Fundraising Efforts Page (Updated for Hurricane Sandy)

AFP’s Disaster Relief and Fundraising Efforts Page provides information not only on how to support relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy, but also how charities can raise funds in the current environment and keep track of ongoing news and events. We know that we have many members who work for organizations involved in the relief efforts. If you don't see a resource or organization listed here and would like it posted, please email the AFP Webmaster ( And please follow the AFP Disaster Relief Blog for all relief efforts and developments worldwide.


AFP Member Exclusives

This Week's Free AFP Information Exchange Paper for Members:  Involving Your Board Members in Fund Development - Simone P. Joyaux, ACFRE

It’s your job to help board members do their job in fund development. But who is “you”? The development officer. The executive director. The board chair. The chair of the board’s fund development committee. No one – including your development officer – does this work alone. This is a team enterprise. Volunteers – especially board members – are particularly important.
• Read the paper! -

Lights...Camera...AFP Action University!A FP Action University Book Review (Video): Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals, by Heidi Grant Halvorson

Social psychologist Halvorson, a blogger for Psychology Today and assistant professor of psychology at Lehigh University, tackles attainment of goals in every area of life from relationships to sports. Halvorson sidesteps conventional notions about achieving success, particularly the idea that one should imagine oneself achieving goals easily. The ideal, Halvorson says, is to think positively about achieving one's goals but to think realistically about the effort that will be required to achieve them.

• Access this week's AFP Action University Book Review development tool (video and materials) -

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