Gesture TV

Find out how our partners make the world a better place.

GestureTV: TOMS Shoes

social good

Featured Charity: TOMS Shoes

Blake Mycoskie is the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS, and the person behind the idea of One for One®, a business model that helps a person in need with every product purchased.

A simple idea has grown into a global movement: TOMS Shoes has provided over 35 million pairs of shoes to children since 2006, TOMS Eyewear has restored sight to over 275,000 since 2011 and TOMS Roasting Company has helped provide over 67,000 weeks of safe water since launching in 2014. In 2015, TOMS Bag Collection was founded with the mission to help provide training for skilled birth attendants and distribute birth kits containing items that help a woman safely deliver her baby.

TOMS humble beginnings happened unintentionally. While traveling in Argentina in 2006, Blake witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. His solution to the problem was simple, yet revolutionary: to create a for-profit business that was sustainable and not reliant on donations. Blake’s vision soon turned into the simple business idea that provided the powerful foundation for TOMS.

Over the course of its first five years, TOMS was successful enough in providing shoes for children in need. But Blake, having recognized other vital needs during his travels around the world, realized that One for One® could be applied to more than shoes. He developed the idea for TOMS Eyewear in which for every pair of eyewear purchased, TOMS would help give sight to a person in need. One for One®. In the fall of 2011, Blake released his first book, Start Something That Matters, offering his own amazing story of inspiration, and the power of incorporating giving in business. He references other companies and individuals who have been motivated and inspired to integrate philanthropy into their profession as well as their personal lives. The book became a New York Times best-seller. More importantly, it is Blake’s hope that Start Something That Matters inspires others to turn their passion and dreams into a reality.

From shoes to eyewear and now a book, Blake’s unique approach to business has awarded him with numerous accolades. In 2009, Blake and TOMS received the Secretary of State’s 2009 Award of Corporate Excellence (ACE). At the Clinton Global Initiative University plenary session, former President Clinton introduced Blake to the audience as “one of the most interesting entrepreneurs (I’ve) ever met.” People Magazine featured Blake in its “Heroes Among Us” section, and TOMS Shoes was featured in the Bill Gates Time Magazine article “How to Fix Capitalism.” In 2011, Blake was named on Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list, recognizing him as one of the top young businessmen in the world.

Before TOMS, Blake, a native of Texas who always had an entrepreneurial spirit, started five businesses. His first was a successful campus laundry service, which he later sold. Between business ventures, Blake competed in the CBS primetime series, The Amazing Race. With his sister, Paige, Blake traveled the world and came within minutes of winning the $1 million dollar grand prize. Blake is an avid reader and traveler. He is passionate about inspiring young people to help make tomorrow better, encouraging them to include giving in everything they do. His hope is to see a future full of social-minded businesses and consumers.

With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One.

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[TastyTrade] Jim Alvarez Tasty Trade Interview

Jim Alvarez of Gesture on Tasty TradeJim Alvarez of Gesture, a mobile based auction application that allows for quick and efficient bidding, joins the show to discuss his work as an entrepreneur. Starting out as a trader, he went on to own and operate some Sprint stores, tanning salons, and a haunted house, before noting an inefficiency in how charity auctions were facilitated. Gesture has achieved proven success in optimizing the bidding process and improving user experience, and is used across the country to help charities build upon their fundraising efforts. Watch The Video on Tasty Trade

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Gesture TV

3 Apps Every Charity Event Should Use #TipTuesday

I’m John Polacek and I’m lead web developer at Gesture. That means I get to use my knowledge of technology to help charities, and so in the spirit of that, I have picked 3 apps can come in handy when you are planning your next charity event.

The first of these is Trello.

Trello is great for when you have a list of stuff that needs to get done.

You can share lists with different groups, adjust priorities of tasks and basically just keep track of everything.

You can use it on your laptop, your tablet or your phone, and everything just syncs up.

And it is free. Go to or search for trello in your app store.

Next up is

A big blocker for getting things done is email. is an app that works with your email to keep your inbox clean. You will easily be able to get rid of all your junk mail, and organize the emails you want to keep. Just go to on your browser and follow the instructions there.

Google Docs

Lots of people already use Google Docs, but what people sometimes miss are the excellent built-in collaboration features. Beyond providing a place to store your document in the cloud, Google makes it super easy to simultaneously edit your docs with other people whether you are huddled in a room together or spread out all over the world. Find out more by searching on Google for google docs tutorials.

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Top 5 Silent Auction Items

Hi, welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tip!

Today I’m going to share five of the best selling silent auction items to help you increase revenue at your next silent auction event.

Number 1 – Autographed memorabilia. We see both sports and music memorabilia getting high bids.

Number 2 – Fine dining restaurant experiences and certificates

Number 3 – Weekend hotel packages. Who doesn’t like a weekend away.

Number 4 – Unique event experiences such as premier sports tickets, once in a lifetime events, or any experience that is out of the ordinary. VIP experiences that can include private tours, concert tickets and backstage passes are popular.

Number 5 – Celebrity experiences. If you have a connection with a TV or movie celebrity, a popular entertainer, local radio personality, a government official or local popular sports figure, see what type of package you can put together with them!

Hopefully these top 5 auction items will help you at your next fundraising event. Check out our Gesture blog for more fundraising event tips.

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Gesture TV: Jim Alvarez featuring Brunies Family at RMHC

mobile bidding
Gesture is excited to announce our Always Be CharitableTV Show! Each week we interview our charity partners, founders and directors who share their best advice on what it takes to run successful nonprofits.

This week we are featuring the Brunies family who are staying at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. In this video you get a chance to learn about a sweet little girl named Danika Marie Brunies who was born July 18th, 2011 at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. She was born with what the doctors said to be a large birthmark on her head. They said it was fine and not to worry. The next morning the pediatrician came in to check her and her “birthmark”. He referred us to the Montreal Children’s and had told us that they would most likely want to remove it as the larger the “birthmark” is the more chance it had to turn into bad cells (cancer). To learn more about Danika’s story watch the video and visit Help Support Danika
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Gesture TV: Ronald McDonald House Charities Family Interview

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Gesture TV

Gesture TV: Ronald McDonald House

mobile bidding

Gesture is excited to announce our new Gesture – the Gesture TV Show! Each week we interview charity founders and directors who share their best advice on what it takes to run successful nonprofits.

This week we are featuring Christina Thomas Director of Annual Campaigns at Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The mission of RMHC of Chicagoland & NW Indiana is to care for families of children with complex medical needs by providing comfort, compassion and a sense of community. RMHC-CNI keeps families of hospitalized children together in a ‘home away from home’.

RMHC-CNI strives to reach out to all families and children in need in a caring, compassionate way, while holding itself strictly accountable for the investments it makes in its mission and programs. For more information on how you can get involved with this great organization, please visit

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Gesture TV: Ronald McDonald House Charities Interview


Monika: Hi everyone welcome to Gesture TV. I’m your host Monika Rydzewski and we have a very special guest today, one of our charity partners Christina Thomas, Senior Director of the Annual Campaign at Ronald McDonald House Charities. Thank you for being here.

Christina:Thanks for having me.

Monika: Tell us about your organization and its mission.

Christina:Ronald McDonald charities is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing care and comfort to the families of hospitalized children. We essentially provide a home away from home for these families while their child is receiving medical treatment.

Monika: So how do you guys raise funds to do all that you guys do because you are a really good organization.

Christina: We have five locations to help create operating funds for so we host a plethora of events from a dinner gala to a golf and basketball tournaments, fashion show, you name it. There are a lot of events that help us to raise critical funds for our organization.

Monika: What are some of the different events you have done?

Christina: Sure, our largest event is a dinner gala. We call it Big Mac Under Glass. We host about 1000 guests. It is an evening of silent auctions, live auctions, dinner, dancing, entertainment, and just a really fun evening.

Monika: So you guys do offer silent auction?

Christina: Correct. We do a silent auction and a live auction including fund to cause which is a live auction incorporating just monetary gifts that we ask from our guests and over the years we’ve seen tremendous growth. A couple of years ago we really needed to spark something new and figure out what else was out there and once we do that was an ease for bidding for our guests.

Monika: How do we get connected with you guys?

Christina: Yes. We found Gesture and we did, I will be honest, try to come up with different companies that really flopped. They did not work. Things were going wrong that once we came across Gesture, we were so pleased with the outcome, the professionalism, and the way that they could logistically help support the charity and our needs. It was very much centric around the guest experience and then the ease on our staff as well was a huge bonus.

Monika: What has been one of your most memorable moments of the charity?

Christina: I think with the charity in general is just meeting some of the families that stayed out our houses. Just a different passion going to work every day and knowing there are 140 families essentially every night that our charity helps to take care of and without our houses they would have nowhere else to go with a family sleeping in cars. Families are sleeping in hospital bedrooms and not eating properly so our houses are there to make sure that the family stays together as one unit and they have a bedroom, get a home cooked meal, take a shower, and just feel rejuvenated to be 100% for their child.

Monika: So how can people help with what you guys are doing?
Christina: We always have volunteer opportunities with our events. We are always looking for people to come and cook meals for our families.

Monika: Did you hear that everyone?

Christina: We have meals from the heart program, so we literally have groups from 10-20 people. Gather your friends. Bring all the food. Cook in the house. The family that is staying with us can come and have a home cooked meal because really they don’t have the time to come back from the hospital, prepare dinner, and probably about 50% of our families are not from Illinois so knowing how to navigate through the city or different areas is a little tricky so people coming in cooking meals for us is tremendous.

Monika: This is really great so where do you go to find more information about your organization?

Christina: Yeah, they can go to and find details on volunteering, cooking, being a part of our events, companies can donate items for auctions you name it. We have a lot of opportunities available.

Monika: Thank you so much for being here again.
Christina: Thanks for having me.

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Gesture TV

AlwaysBeCharitable TV Interview: How to Host a Successful Golf Charity Fundraiser

golf charity

Gesture is excited to announce our new Gesture – the Gesture TV Show! Each week we interview charity founders and directors who share their best advice on what it takes to run successful nonprofits.

Our special guest this week is Eileen Belokin who is the manager at the Marianjoy Foundation.

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Gesture TV:
Find out how a golf charity fundraiser was able
to raise money in a thunderstorm.

Video Interview with Eileen Belokin, Manager at the Marianjoy Foundation.

Monika: Hi everyone welcome to Gesture TV I’m your host Monica Rydzewski and I have with me Eileen Belokin manager of the Marianjoy Foundation. Thank you for being here.

Eileen: Thank you for having me.

Monika: So tell us about the mission of your organization.

Eileen: Our mission we are a physical rehabilitation hospital so we accept patients that have physical disabilities and through therapy and patience we get them back to their lives and their lifestyles and regain their independence.

Monika: How did you get involved with the organization?

Eileen: Well I’ve been with the organization almost 6 years now. The organization has been around since 1972. In the 90s my father had a major stroke and he was a patient there and at the time I was working for another not for profit and when I went there and saw the care that he got and the progress he made it made me want to be there so I decided that if I ever switched jobs that would be a destination for me and I was just fortunate it happened and it came true.

Monika: You have been there how long?

Eileen: Six years.

Monika: Six years. Tell us, what are some of the responsibilities as a manager of the organization. What do you do?

Eileen: Well we are the fundraising arm. I work in the foundation and we do the fundraising. We are a not for profit organization and we run a lot of different programs to raise funds but we have two major fund raisers a year. We have a golf event and we have a gala and those are the major events that bring a lot of resources and a lot of new friends to the organization.

Monika: Tell us about your golfing event.

Eileen: Well our golf event we’ve had this will be our 26th year and we are having it in July and we have it at the same place every year. We have it at Cantigny Golf Course in Wheaton which is a beautiful it is a public course but it is as beautiful and challenging course as any private course in the area and we have a wonderful group of return people that are very loyal to us and they come every year. This year we are hoping to sell it out at 192 golfers and we have an amazing silent auction. Our silent auction is a big part of our event and our guests look forward to it every year.

Monika: Tell us with the golfing event I’m sure the weather doesn’t always permit. How has that always.

Eileen: Fortunately I haven’t been rained out completely but it is Illinois and the weather is always challenging. Sometimes we have rain delays and it is always hot because our event is always in July. We had one year three years ago when we had a big storm come through and completely knock out the electricity to the facility so they had no air conditioning, no refrigeration and even though the weather cleared and we were able to play the course itself was fine but the amenities were difficult. We had to really do makeshift planning in a very quick amount of time. Gesture really helped us because we were able to keep the bidding up and going all through the storm, all through the event, when we had no air conditioning and no refrigeration we still had the auction and it was wonderful because by the time the players came off the course we already had $11,000 in bids where the year before we had not used Gesture we were using hard copy. We would not have had any bids at all so our auction that year would have totally been a disaster had we not gone with Gesture. I figured it was a sign from God we needed to do it.

Monika: Have you noticed some challenges of people being kind of, oh this isn’t for me, this is technology stuff.

Eileen:A little bit, we didn’t get a lot of push back. We had a couple of people and as we move forward this is our third year that we’ve used it we get fewer and fewer and there are staff on hand that help and our golfers are more than willing to have one of the girls that are there to help them register and get ready and it becomes easier and easier every year so we are very, very pleased with it.

Monika: What advice would you give someone who is looking to passively host a golf outing?

Eileen: Boy there are lots of different things you have to think about. Your timing is important. It is always difficult with a weather situation so you are always taking a chance on that. You have to know your population. You have to know who is going to attend and cater to them. Some golfers are not as good at the sport itself so they want to play a different type of game. They want to play a scramble so you really have to know who is going to come to your event to design the contest to suit their levels and their abilities and make it fun so they come back year after year.

Monika: How do you get your auction items?

Eileen: We do a variety of things. We have a really good mailing list we’ve honed over the years that has a lot of different retailers in the area, restaurants, entertainment. What sells really good at our auction we have sporting events that sell, spirits or alcohol seems to sell really good. We have a wine and vodka auction and unique experiences; petting the Beluga whales at the Shedd Aquarium and things like that. Those can be difficult items to get but if you have a board member or committee member that has a connection that’s a lot easier to make. So we send out about 400 ask letters to different retailers and vendors in the area and then we rely on our committee members to make some personal asks and that is really where you get the really nice items.

Monika: Tell us last but not least how do your market an event.

Eileen: Well there’s lots of different ways you can market it and this is evolving because with the evolution of social media it has really, really helped. We used hard copy, we used US mail, snail mail to send out hard copy invitations but we also go on Facebook or on Twitter. We do email blasts to all of our return guests and we really try and communicate that way because it saves money. Postage is so expensive so anything we can do electronically we will because it is just a better medium and it certainly saves us money on printing and postage.

Monika: When is your next event coming up?

Eileen: July 21st at Cantigny in Wheaton. We would love to see anybody who wants to come. They can call us or visit the Marianjoy website at

Monika: Sounds good. Well thank you so much for being here.

Eileen: Thank you.

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Gesture TV Interview: How to Host a Successful School Auction Fundraiser

GestureGesture is excited to announce our new Gesture – the Gesture TV Show! Each week we interview charity founders and directors who share their best advice on what it takes to run successful nonprofits.

Our special guest this week is Kellie Lang who has helped cochair a successful school auction.

Gesture TV:
How did one elementary school raise $30,000 in 20 minutes?

Video Interview with Kellie Lang, cochair of an elementary school auction fundraising event.

Monika: Welcome to Gesture TV. I’m your host, Monika Rydzewski, and today we have with us Kelly Link, who is the cochair of a fundraising event benefiting a local elementary school. Thank you so much for being here.

Kellie: Thank you for having me.

Monika: How did you get involved with school actions?

Kellie: Well I’m a parent of elementary school age children and a volunteer and a PTO. And I was asked to cochair our major fundraising event that we do every other year, so it’s every two years that we do this. And when we do it, it’s a big deal because it’s the major fundraising event that allows us to fund educational enhancements at our school over our children for the following two years. So it’s something that the school community gets very excited about and I thought it would be a great way for me to have an impact, not only on my children, but others as well.

Monika: That’s great. So what are some of the steps of having a successful school charity event?

Kellie: Well I think most importantly, it’s very important to be very organized and if maybe you aren’t personally maybe cochairing with someone who is, there’s a lot of things that go into it and as long as you’re organized, I think it won’t be as overwhelming as it could be. So it’s not very hard to get people excited about it and get volunteers lined up for all the different committees that you might want to have to help you out. So I think it’s easy to get people on board and to get a lot of assistance.

Monika: Okay. So I know at one of your events, you had a theme going on. Tell us a little bit about this theme party that you guys did.

Kellie: Well that is another important factor of hosting a successful fundraising event at a school, is to have a fun theme. I once was a rodeo theme, so people didn’t have to get overly dressed up but it’s fun to go little Western here and there. We had a lot of great entertainment with bull riding and we had dancing and we had great themed food and we had a themed cocktail. So I think that’s important to get the excitement going and to generate a desire for people to come because the only way that the fundraiser is going to be successful is if you have a lot of people attend.

Monika: That’s really great. So I’ve been hearing this term sign-up parties. So can you tell us a little bit about what a sign-up party is and what are some of the benefits or what are some of the things that you’re involved at?

Kellie: Sure. Sign-up parties are a great fit at elementary schools. They can be children-focused, as well as adult-focused. So a sign-up party is when a couple families come together and donate an activity or a party, let’s say. And we find that teachers do this. The first grade teachers might donate a pottery party at one of the local pottery shops here in the area. And they will allow for, let’s say, 15 students to sign up. And they will pay $25, the parents will pay $25 for their student to attend, but the event is actually being donated by the teachers. So the cost of the event will be donated by the teachers.

Monika: How much did you guys raise?

Kellie: Oh. It is so popular. I remember working with our Gesture representative the night of the event and within about 20 minutes, most of our sign-up parties had sold out and we had raised close to $30,000.So it, now we had a lot of people donating a lot of activities. All of our teachers dove in and donated something and all of our families were very generous in hosting. So we had a lot of generosity given to us, in terms of what was available. But then we had a lot of generosity at the event in terms of those events selling out.

Monika: I know the checkout can get very chaotic cause there’s a lot going on with these events, so tell us a little bit about your process with the checkout.

Kellie: Right. In the past, it has always been kind of the most challenging part of hosting an event like this. And at our school, the PTO board was responsible for that closeout process and it was always very manual. You have to remember, when you’re parent volunteers, you know, we’re not professional fundraisers. And we don’t have all of the tools to, you know, within the school to be able to do something like this. And so it’s always been of a very manual process with bid sheets and then collecting those at the end of the night and having to come up and compile a list by person who needed to go home with what items. And we’re talking, you know, several hundred items. You can see how that can be very overwhelming. So when we decided to work with Gesture last year, that was a huge benefit that may be at the beginning in considering to use them, it was more about the user experience and kind of having, you know, a technology savvy bidding process and, you know, doing something different than we’d ever done before. But a huge benefit, an outcome, of utilizing them was the checkout process and once the auction closed, very quickly Gesture started generating receipts by person and it was just coming off the printer in stacks. So we very quickly could, as the person walked up, get their receipt, get them their items, and very efficiently and pleasantly for the guest, get them on their way. And very efficiently and pleasantly for our volunteers as well. And then, the follow-up afterwards was so minimal because of that, because we had the right things going home with the right people. We didn’t have people getting frustrated or irritated that maybe their winnings weren’t available to them or people walking away and us having to then departed the venue with a bunch of extra items that didn’t get picked up. It really just made the whole closeout experience so much more pleasant. And because of that, I would highly, highly recommend using Gesture for any auction. And I think sometimes a school might think that maybe they’re not large enough of an event to utilize an electronic bidding platform, like Gesture offers, but because of maybe the capabilities of the school and the fact that we’re not professional fundraisers, it makes utilizing Gesture make that much more sense. So large or small, it’s really a wonderful organization to partner with.

Monika: Well thank you so much for being here, taking the time to share all of your valuable information.

Kellie: You’re welcome.

Are you hosting a school auction? Gesture would love to help! Please contact us today.

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Gesture TV featuring The Cameron Can Foundation

mobile biddingGesture is excited to announce our new Gesture – the Gesture TV Show! Each week we interview charity founders and directors who share their best advice on what it takes to run successful nonprofits.

This week we are featuring Rory Domenick the founder of The CameronCan Foundation.

The mission of the Cameron Can Foundation is to provide a continuing legacy of care for families of children who need long term medical care. In the interview Rory shares how her local charity raised $125,000+ with simple strategies you can use right away.


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Gesture TV:
How the Cameron Can Foundation Raised $125,000+ In One Night


Monika: Hi everyone Monika rydzewski with Gesture TV, and I have a very special guest today, Rory Dominick with The Cameron Can Foundation.

Rory: Hi Monika.

Monika: Hi, thanks for being here.

Rory: Thanks for having us.

Monika: So tell us about your foundation.

Rory: The Cameron Can Foundation came to be out of a desire to pay it forward. Our 7 year old son was born with a laundry list of medical conditions including hydro syphilis. And a few years ago we had a great group of friends that got together saw a need and answered it and put a benefit on to help our son have a bright future. So after that, it was a really humbling experience as you might imagine and we just knew we had to pay it forward. And I knew there must be other families like us, so that’s what came to be. We created the Cameron can foundation to ensure a lifetime of care for children that have long term medical conditions with no cure.

Monika: What would you say is the biggest challenge of running your organization?

Rory: I would say it’s making sure you’re surrounding yourself with a team of experts from attorneys to accountants. Determining whether you want to go full nonprofit, assembling a team of volunteers that are motivated and passionate about your cause. And just you know, people that share that mission.

Monika: Sometimes it’s really hard to get volunteers. What are some ways that you get volunteers, people to help you guys?

Rory: Often what we do is we reach out to our network and look at our board and ask everybody to pull people in. look at subsets, or I know somebody that used to work in marketing and now they’re staying at home with their kids and they’d love to still use those skills so this is a great opportunity for them to do it and they’re giving back to the community. Really it’s about networking, and finding for the event itself you want young motivated people, so we just kind of work our network and even put a call for volunteers every now and again in social media.

Monika: How do you guys raise money for your organization?

Rory: We have an annual benefit, every year, the Thursday before St. Patrick’s day and we’re coming up on our 4th event, and that’s our sole fundraiser, where we raise, last we raised over 125,000 dollars at one event. It’s largely donations, ticket sales, and then we do a silent auction, a raffle, it’s just a really big event where we ask people to come have a great time and bid on silent auction items and it’s really, I guess the program we put in place over the last 4 years we’ve seen it work. So we follow that model.

Monika: What advice would you give someone who’s looking at this event, what advice would you give them, what are some tips?

Rory: I would definitely say that you want to make sure you have people in place that can run your day of event. Because you know, while I’m one of the founding members of the foundation, I’ve gotta be talking to people and making sure everybody’s happy, so you gotta get a really good team in place to run the day of event, run the silent auction, you know, you gotta have a good committee. An event is a successful as the committee that you have. And the other piece of advice I would say is you know, be able to tell your story well so that people are compelled to get involved. We all know there’s tons of charities out there, and they’re all worthy causes. So have your 30 second elevator pitch that somebody’s gonna say wow, that’s something I want to support, I want to get involved in. and those would be the great ways to really get people going, and the other thing I would say is making sure that you’re not afraid to ask for donations and sponsorships. We’ve created a really strong set of marketing materials that gives us credibility so that when you’re walking into talk to somebody, hey would you like to donate 5000 dollars, you’re professionally presenting yourself with a good presentation, that makes all the difference. and it’s hard to ask for money, but if you have the right support and you sell it, I think we’ve found we’ve been pretty successful with it.

Monika: What are some ways that you guys market your events?

Rory: We use Facebook, social media for sure. Facebook, Twitter, we have an Instagram account, Pinterest account. So we have someone fully running that stream, and we still do old school printed invitations. We have fabulous graphic designers, and people love to get. I know we’re all in the digital age, but sometimes a printed invitation, something you can hold on to, goes a long way. The other thing I’d recommend people do is put together a video like this that summarizes your foundation and what you’re about in 90 seconds or less because everybody is so digitally inclined that if you can send them a link that says this is what we’re about in 90 seconds, that might be far more compelling than a 5 page sponsorship proposal. I’ll be honest with you, that’s on our to do list, is putting that video together. So that’s on our list, but I think it’s an important one.

Monika: You also started using mobile bidding.

Rory: Yeah, and last year was the first year we used Gesture, and it was a huge success. It was a great way to engage people and many people commented, oh this is so cool, you know, we saw our auction did great as a result, and I like the, as I have said to some of the owners, what I liked about it is if somebody can’t attend the event, maybe they’re out of town, they can still get involved and support the event and that’s great, like you just never know where your donations are going to come from. It’s another avenue.

Monika: Tell us more about your event coming up.

Rory: It’s march 13th and its downtown Chicago at the Montgomery club. The theme of it is camp rocks, so it’s got a really great camping theme, we’ll have smores and we have a special drink called the run amok, specialty drinks and it’s really our theme has always been from day 1 four years ago is party, give, love. So we really want people to come and have a good time, we’ll tell you why you’re there, we’ll make you, we want to tell uplifting stories, because what this foundation is all about is letting kids be kids. And allowing us to show the families and these children what they can do. And that’s why we need Cameron Can. The inspiration is my son, but it’s really about all the kids out there, and the kids that we help so that we can say these kids despite the obstacles they have before them, can do other things. And be successful in life. And we want that for them.

Monika: That’s wonderful. So tell us more how we can find you.

Rory: We’d love to have you at the march 13th event downtown, you can go to buy your tickets there, donate there, that would be the best way, and we’re of course ongoing year round, we accept donations, because we do give out grants to families throughout the year. We have 2 grant recipients this year at the event. An 11 year old boy who has spina bifida, and we’re also supporting YMCA’s Camp Independence. We pick primary grant recipients, but we give out rolling grants throughout the year from an adaptive bike, to paying off some therapy bills that sort of thing. So go online, learn more about us, and if you want to get involved in the event, we’re always looking for volunteers. Absolutely.

Monika: Well thank you so much for being here and sharing your story and thanks for watching.

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Gesture TV

3 Tips for Planning a Successful Charity Event

Advice from Renee Jones, Expert Auctioneer and Fundraiser

Video Transcript
Some very important tips to remember to have a successful nonprofit, gala or benefit event is to understand the importance of a timeline and maintaining it. Don’t have it just as a secret between a couple of people on your team. Make sure everyone that’s involved, volunteers and staff alike, meet and actually discuss every element of the event. All vendors should be included in it, especially the hotel and event staff, including your caterer.

It is so important for your experience as a guest, and also as a staff member volunteer at an event, for there to be a good flow, whether that’s from the arrival of guests, to the check in with no waiting, utilizing technology, to the actual program itself.

Maintaining a constant inspirational and motivating environment, including a live auction and “Fund-The-Need” benefit part of the evening is so important but the main thing to remember in fundraising is it’s supposed to be fun.

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