2011 Fundraiser Dinner feedback

Below I am quoting from some feedback that some of Mel's guests had.  I feel it is very valuable.  It will be most valuable in 10 months, so by committing it to institutional memory now we can grab it at the appropriate time.  Feel free to add to or edit this page!  I will probably do the same.  Please don't feel bad about any of this, if anyone is to "blame" for obvious mistakes it is me.

Here are those comments:

After dinner, I asked my guests for feedback. Overall, they enjoyed the experience, but had some constructive feedback that I think worth considering.

Both Gabriel and Suzanne said they would of liked to hear more about the program and why we think taking kids outdoors is important. They left knowing we appreciate our volunteers but did not get a sense for what we actually do and why we do it.

One idea Gabriel had was to line up all the volunteers in order of how long they've been in the organization and then have a few people speak:
a first year to talk about why they joined ICO
a tenth year to say how ICO has touched their lives
a person like Arturo to give his story (but with more coaching about what to say)
a 20th year person to say why they stayed involved.
and to make sure at least one of those people talks about the benefits our participants receive.

Suzanne said she liked the sheet Arturo made, but would of liked it to be on the table at the beginning. She thought it would of been better to break down the costs differently though. She thought the numbers Teresa gave were great. Her suggestion was to break down the cost of a weekend trip:
$30 to send a kid rafting for a day covers food, equipment, permit fees and transportation
$60 to send a kid rafting for a weekend covers food, equipment, permit fees, transportation and camping.
That way she would know that if she donated $120, she could send two kids on a weekend trip. That is more attractive to her than knowing what gear her money will buy. Obviously, she is not a gear head: )

And if she knew what impact a trip had on a kid, she might be inspired to donate even more so more kids could get the experience.

She also recommended not giving the annual budget - especially since the number Teresa gave is so low. As you know, if we raise more than our "budget" we'd find ways to spend it. Heck we'd be able to fully pay for every trip and if we had 25 trips - that's about $25k, another 5k for boats and another X dollars for training, gear and misc - we could easily have a budget closer to $50k.

Other suggestions:
Show the film before asking for money
Make sure there are pens on the tables
Make sure the lights are on when people are writing checks
Give people time to write checks
Designate people to stand at the doors to take donations as people leave.