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Topher Wilkins: The Convening World
There’s a new model for convening your organization at what used to be conferences and Opportunity Collaboration is an example. Topher Wilkins is Opportunity Collaboration‘s CEO.
Bobby D. Ehlert: Auctions and Cash Calls, Part Deux
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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host oh, i’m very glad you’re with me. I’d be with acute gloomy oh ah glow mary alone a fry tous if i had to drink in the idea that you missed today’s, show the convening world there’s a new model for convening your organisation at what used to be conferences and opportunity collaboration is an example, so for wilkins is opportunity collaborations ceo and auctions and cash calls part do auctioneer bobby de l’art continues the conversation from the december twelfth show last year to get you to high performing auctions and cash calls at your events on tony steak, too. Between the guests and the newsletter that may interest you, we’re sponsored by generosity, siri’s hosting multi charity five k runs and walks nufer wilkins he’s been convening and connecting people for social change for over a decade, it started when he co founded the highland city club, a membership community of three hundred change makers in boulder, colorado. Now he leads opportunity collaboration, a global network of twelve hundred non-profit leaders for-profit social entrepreneurs grantmaker cz impact investors, corporate and academics building sustainable solutions to poverty nufer created conveners dot or ge, a group of over one hundred fifty fellow conveners and accelerators in the impact space opportunity. Collaboration is on twitter at opp call o p p c o l l so far, i’m glad you and i are convening in studio. Thanks, tony is a pleasure to be here. Thank you. I’m glad you’re glad you’re with us from california. Yeah, all the way. Good to see you again. Thanks you’ve been you’ve been getting people together for for a long time. What do you think? Non-profits are not really doing so well around what is the typical unconference sure, i mean typical conferences as faras i’ve experienced them tend to be pretty hierarchical, pretty stratified there’s a clear dynamic between the folks who are there to seek re sources and the flukes that air there to potentially offer those resources and it creates it creates division and and there isn’t a lot of opportunity, really, for what i find a lot of conferences advertise as being available, networking time to meet each other. That’s really you’re sitting in a meal that’s the most. Time you get but there’s a speaker so you don’t get much time, speak there’s ten or fifteen minutes in between conference sessions. That’s that real isn’t really lead to a relationship building, correct? Yeah. All right. What? What are what’s going on it? Convenience dot or go where? It’s being done smarter? Yeah. Eso for conveners dahna or you know what? Ah, what i realized in in my four plus years of being the ceo of opportune collaboration, tony, was that there are a lot of other conferences out there espousing this model of bringing people together, bound together by a common passion or purpose, and figured out ways for those folks to coco come outside their silos, potentially connect potentially share ideas, and resource is hopefully elevate their own individual efforts as well as the broader space. And yet in in some very thick, ironic way, we the folks who are hosting those conferences where everyone else weren’t actually coming together ourselves. So we were we were we were not practicing. What we preach on there was we were fairly silent welchlin your own silos, we were fairly competitive. We were redundant. We weren’t sharing ideas and research. Is pretty. Classic, classic walk little and talk metaphor. Okay, so you created conveners now are are non conveners welcome there? I mean, you can they can they learn something? Sure. Yeah. There are some folks in the network that are called advocates of folks who, you know, they attend a lot of conferences. They perhaps sponsor various conferences. They’re interested in the circumventing world that large, but they may not be running conferences themselves. Okay? And then for those who are it’s ah it’s a lot more robust. Give us a sample of what’s what’s their correct yes. So, you know, over the year and a half that we’ve been around, we’ve hosted, i think about a dozen meetings for for these fellow conveners. And the first thing we we decided not to do was host another conference. More hypocrisy. So instead we ah, we saw the the more readily available function of just tacking on meetings, out of respect of events. So, for example, there was a medium computers at opportune collaboration last october. There’s a median commuters just recently at the global innovations summit in silicon valley. And for each of those meetings is a chance for us to come together like i said before share it is and best practices potentially find ways to work together and try and elevate our individual efforts as well as the broader space we’re gonna have plenty time to talk about opportunity collaboration because i was there last year and i gave about it. I block video blogged it and lots of things. Your ah, you’re you and your wife are both in the space together. You are three convening in lots of lots of different levels. Jury in yeah, after and perhaps marriages a deepest form. A collaboration of that could say so myself e i don’t know if its deepest but a pretty damn close. If not, how did you two get into the space this together? Yeah. Eso a man there’s. Ah, i will never forget this, but so my life is incredibly brilliant. She’s, a stanford mba grad, and before that, she was working for being in company large management consulting firm in san francisco. And at the end of her stanford mba program, bane and company approached her and said, hey, joining, you know, if you’d want to come back to bein, we’d give you a promotion? We give you a big fat raise, we pay off your student loans. Oh my and and we both you know, we both consider the offer. And in the end we decided that we were much better suited in terms of a fulfilling life, to offer our expertise, our education are privileged area say, to try and making the world a better place. And it was right then and there that we decided not to go down the corporate route and instead searched your passion and are and hopefully our purpose towards the world of social change on. And it was actually after i finished my my master’s degree, which is an education, not business. From where? See you, boulder, i’m not involved in colorado that we started that we co founded the highland city club together, which in essence, is a for-profit social enterprise with the membership model that was focused on convening, in other words, bringing people together, who otherwise wouldn’t have found a place to connect and figure out ways for them to form these relationships. And today you both work for opportunity collaboration, correct. Yeah, yep. That’s how did that come around on? So actually, my wife and i, after founding the highland city club, we we had a stint where we actually live down in mexico for about six months, right after our first kid was born. It was a chance to just get to know him and who we are, his parents and that way, that’s. Remarkable. Yeah. First six months of your child. Yeah, exactly. I don’t. I don’t. I don’t. I hope i don’t let something meaningful like that. Go go. By the first six months of your first child, you left the us and you moved to mexico. Correct. So we’ve found in the highland city club it was a sustainable social enterprise and, you know, everyone’s telling us as we were as my wife was pregnant, life was going to change, writes the cliche servo you don’t know what’s coming next, and we actually we took that to heart and very proactively made the change ourselves. So we hired replacements to run the city club for us sold everything we we owned and basically drove down to this little beach town on the coast of mexico, found a place to rent and took six months off. Sort of. A professional sabbatical. Just to be with this little guy that we had birth. Yeah, and figure out who we were, his parents. And what sort of valleys wanted put in place of the family? That’s? Incredible. That’s. Really? It was it was amazing. That is unique. Yeah, i’ve ever heard a unique in my life. Congratulations. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Doing it. Thinking of it, dreaming it and activating your will tow to make it happen. It was a big leap, but the sort of soft landing was there for us. And then you came back and life was still the united states was still here. Your lives were still in place and where’d you move. So yeah. So it’s essentially, the bank account ran dry down in mexico and we came back and again through the stanford business school network found ah, job running. A very high end luxury resort outside of telluride, colorado. My wife had an interest in hospitality, and we, you know, we love staying at fancy places. So we figure what the heck, we might as well give this a shot. We did really well, professionally. It was actually ranked in number. On all inclusive luxury resort in north america, while we’re their goodness and we turned a profit for the first time in the resource existence, so clearly we’re doing something right, but lo and behold, the second kid showed up there and had to go to and as happened with the first boat out of this time, is santa cruz, california not nearly as remote? But now i just i love the thread of first of the two of you collaborating professionally, a job after job and and ah, and convening masses of people that sit in each in each instance boulder to telluride and tell you run with opportune glamarys opportunity collaboration back down in mexico, let’s go out a little early for a break, sam, and when we come back, of course tofu and i are going to keep talking about the convening world, and we’ve got lots of live listener love stay with us. You’re tuned to non-profit radio tony martignetti also hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a quick ten minute burst of fund-raising insights published once a month. Tony’s guests are expert in crowdfunding mobile giving event fund-raising direct mail and donor cultivation, really, all the fund-raising issues that make you wonder, am i doing this right? Is there a better way there is? Find the fund-raising fundamentals archive it. Tony martignetti dot com that’s marketmesuite n e t t i remember there’s, a g before the end, thousands of listeners have subscribed on itunes. You can also learn maura, the chronicle website, philanthropy dot com fund-raising fundamentals, the better way. Welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent let’s! Send them live, listener love and let’s let’s start abroad actually, this this week chennai, india gin on china ni hao, india i don’t know how to say hello and welcome, but live listen love to you in india, tokyo, japan, osaka, japan. Konnichi wa, cairo, egypt. I don’t believe we’ve had cairo before. Welcome live listener love to you and seoul, south korea on yo haserot coming, coming ah, local fort lee, new jersey, las vegas, nevada, new bern, north carolina live listener love to each of you give a local america. We see you live tweeting. Thank you very much. And bobby de l’art, we see you in the studio. Okay, jay z, thank you for tweeting that picture and we will you and i’ll be talking very shortly. More live listener love to come in case we didn’t mention you let’s talk about the opportunity collaboration i have a lot to say, but you’re the guest so i’m looking to let you start, try to keep my manners why is this so unusual? Attractive to people coming back year after year? What? What makes this such a special ah unconference gathering, you know, you know, i think it starts with the people, first of all, tony. So in my mind, eddie, any good, convenient conference, etcetera is about eighty percent the quality of the people that are there and twenty percent sort of design in terms of the structure of the event. Eso in terms of the folks that are there, it’s, just a incredibly high caliber, influential, very collaborative group of folks all focus on solving poverty, and they come at it from many different angles, so you’ve got for-profit non-profit funders practitioners like you said earlier corporate academics, media folks. Ah, host of individual actors, consultants, authors, artists, etcetera on dh they’re just they’re amazing folks. They’ve all had their own experience, their own passion, their own purpose for building a better world. A big part of it, i believe, is the is the love of collaboration, correct? They want to meet lots of other people and spend lots of time at the on site doing that, you know, getting to know people, you know? Yeah. So let me, you know, the other twenty percent is probably worth talking about at this. Point so, you know, we call ourselves an unconference first of all, so our founder, jonathan lewis, who i know has been on the show before, you know, his his his the reason why he started it this way was that he actually attended enough traditional conferences out there that he developed, we called a bug list all the things that pissed him off around the way that most conferences in structure, and you talked about it before tony, i mean, it’s the it’s, the fact that a lot of folks come to these events, too, to make these connections with other people and yet it’s so sporadic it’s so random there’s not a lot of attention paid on that piece, and instead you put the sage on the stage, every insistent auditorium, south seating. Most of folks, they’re on their ipads or their laptops, checking up on email anyway, and then they may bump into a few people in the bathroom breaks in between so inopportune collaboration we’ve done away with all that it’s no plan arrays, gnocchi notes, no power point presentations every session is a dialogue in a conversation, literally a circle of chairs in the room. And furthermore, we put a tremendous amount of emphasis. In fact, half the day is on this sort of how consent s’more personal interpersonal work that we all are going through as it relates to arm or external professional work and it’s during that interpersonal leadership exploration that people truly bond in a really authentic way. They set aside their institutional affiliations, you know, their titles and they say, you know, look, this is who i am. This is why i care about this stuff. This is what i’m good at this, but i’m not so good at, you know, this is what i this is this is who i am. This is my story and people people get it’s a really authentic bond with the result of that. And then upon that authentic bond, the more professional partnerships and collaborations either sort, attritional networking that you see most events is cultivated. A lot of what you’re talking about is around the colloquium cz corrected every morning we have a colloquium that lasted izzie in ninety minutes or two hours, two hours, two hours, four days, so eight hours with singing two hours the beginning of each day, like eight to ten before there’s, anything else available is like breakfast and then your colloquium for two hours, same group of people each four days and and you do you build, you build these relationships and oh and it’s a very safe space, too, to share what you’re because we’re all working each of us, a sze yu said in coming out of from different angles and perspectives and nationalities and countries somehow to reduce poverty, eliminate poverty. But it’s, just these colloquium create a really a really safe space sabelo more about yeah, i’m glad i’m glad i’m going to talk about that, tony. I mean, then first of all, it was originally designed by the folks at the ass and institute for anyone is fairly with that work. They do a similar exercise in terms of bringing people together small group conversations that are expertly moderate and curated typically theres a syllabus of sort of a set of readings or videos that people view are read before they shot shoretz sets the tone for that experience i’m and you know, at this point, six years later, after the sort of first set of the cloaking it’s definitely morphed it’s. Definitely sort of evolved andi this point, actually, it’s ah, we’ve got a new partner in the opportunity irish in her name is akai, a windward of the rockwood leadership institute and a kaya and the rockwood leaderships institutes focuses all around this type of exercise bringing leaders together, helping them deal with mohr. That internal personal work as it relates to the external work and with kyle’s leadership what’s happened is that the cloak iam has become almost like a home room environment during the course of the opposition collaboration. So, you know, you mentioned these bonds that it’s a chance to sort of reflect the rest of the experience back with a trusted cohort on, and we’ve even seen at this point over the years that we’ve done this, that these cloaking groups span beyond the onsite experience. So some some groups have taken upon the cells aa schedule monthly videoconference calls this the way to check back in with each other and make sure they’re supporting each other in the way and the way that they did on down in mexico in october, some folks find ways to come together and regional sort of offline space to reconnect either. In south sets, there was a group of large and it’s it’s. Ah it’s, you know, it’s a it’s, a pure group. It’s a chance to really sort of feel like your in community urine family. You’ve got two tribe now? Yeah, well, put another feature of opportunity. Collaboration is the all the time that’s available for four one on one meetings or you know, however, but there’s a lot of unscheduled time, correct and part of that khun b thie effect of that can be overwhelming, which is why they’re having this morning colloquium to check in within this regular group. Each of the four mornings is really so meaningful, but but, you know, so it sort of says we’re ticking off features of opportunity, collaboration and a smarter way of convening people. Let’s say it’s a little more about all the free time. That’s a very great i’m first it’s ah it’s worth clarifying here that we take over the club med for five nights for two glamarys there’s nobody there, there’s nobody there no more than that. And there’s. No storm outside. Guess it’s, everyone who’s there is involved in some way or shape reform. In the opportune collaboration and therefore in poverty alleviation on and throughout the fourth phase, and i bought this place with you and that in itself is just very comforting everybody i see whether they’ve got their name badge on or not i know is part of the reason that i’m there that’s and you can have a conversation with them, no matter what. Yeah. So you know, in in terms of the in terms of the venue, you know, it’s, not attritional conference centre there’s, no satellite hotels, there’s, no outside restaurants, everyone’s i guess incubated there five nights, they don’t have to go anywhere, so we eat together. We sleep, you know, we sleep there, everyone’s in the ocean occasionally, or playing tennis, meeting to a wall, the fun recreational activities that you normally see the club matter at the delegates disposal while they’re there and, you know, as a result of that sort of inclusivity, if you will, that the incubation of the delegate community, the free time is where we see a lot of the most amazing sort of partnerships and collaborations emerged because they’re constantly interacting. People are so well taken care of their relaxed you know, people wear flip flops and bathing suits all over the place there’s no business suits and people just have a chance to let their guard down and really sort of sink into those one on one connections that everyone typically creates, that most conferences that i go to let’s deal with something quickly that i think is kind of is very short sighted, but we’re talking about poverty alleviation, and we’re at a club med in stop of mexico for the people who for the room that’s an obstacle let’s, let’s deal with why’s that not incongruous. Thank you. I appreciate that. It’s it’s definitely it’s. Certainly something would come up against over the six years that we’ve been doing this and for good reason. I mean, that the opulence of a club med it sits in the face of the poverty that we’re trying to solve. However, with our founder jonathan lewis’s vision there’s a couple clear reasons why we’re there first of all, it’s one of actually happens to be one of the rare sort of all inclusive resorts where we could bring this thing together. I don’t cost that was acceptable. More importantly, we hosted in mexico of because not only do we want to actually have a local impact in terms of the poverty that surrounds the club med, and we get delegates out into the community and connect them with local non-profit leaders, etcetera, but mme or perhaps more to the point, we want these leaders to come outside of their comfort zones a little bit, we want them to make an effort to be there, we want them to feel like this is something that they’ve they they can really sort of discard their normal day to day cells and sink into something different on dh finally, you know, with with club med, there’s, there’s initiating relationship? Actually, we’ve worked very closely with them to help them become more sustainable tto help them beam or better stewards of the local economy, and frankly, you know, because we’re there were one of the were one of the rare exceptions there they’re down season and a lot of folks are employed because we’re there, so we’re creating economic development locally, we’re giving delegates a chance to serve retreat from their day to day and in the end, it’s ah it’s, one of the rare venues that we’ve found that it’s actually conducive this type of thing, another important feature of opportunity collaboration is all the support that leads up to the gathering, especially for first time attendees. I know i had three conference calls, one was a one on one and then two were maybe too were one on one. And then one was a larger group. Let’s talk, say something. Explain the why that that support leading up? Sure, yeah. Then this is you know, this is part of our model for every delegate tony. So you know, we call ourselves an unconference and that certainly relates to the fur the on site experience itself, the five days that we’re together and stop. But it also relates to the experience leading up to that on site and the experience afterwards on dso for everyone who in rules and the opportunity collaboration, we take it upon ourselves to reach out and try and have a conversation with them before they show up and it’s along the lines of. Okay, what are you interested in achieving from being there? What do you need to get out of it? To accelerate your mission? What ideas? And resources can you contribute to the delegate community? How do we best plug you into the very souls of services that we offer? How do we connect you with folks even before you show up on dh? So it’s a chance to be in a very high touch, ways to curate the networking that hopefully naturally take place there. And furthermore, as he said for first time delegates, we have a very robust what we call ambassador program, which is probably one of the least one of the conference calls you had where we work with a team of delegates have been there at least once before to help contact and communicate with everyone who’s coming for the first time to make sure that they’re that the new delegates are are assimilated a few hill into this unique collaborative culture that we create. You know we do our part in terms of making sure delegates are taking advantage of the tools and services, the sort of the concrete mechanisms that are available to them. But it’s the ambassadors job to be like a softer cultural guide for the opportune collaboration just for myself, some of the some of the impacts. That there were two outstanding guests that i had ah, nina service dahna and nina channel core, both of whom i had meetings within the ocean because meetings in the ocean and the pool are very common. That’s right? There’s, lots of meetings over meals, too there’s lots of scheduling going on, you know, you have to you have to keep track of your own calendar who you’re meeting for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but, yeah, i met lena and nina, both in the ocean on dave, and they’ve been on the show that’s great. You ah, you just recently compiled some of the some of the impacts. Yeah, the outcome outcomes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, you know, with our founder’s vision tony again, jonathan lewis and his creation of this, the last thing i wanted to do is create another talking has conference where nothing happened, right? So in other words, if we found that we were having some sort of concrete impact e lena, nina being on your show, lots of other examples of that we would stop doing this, it we wouldn’t we don’t exist to serve our own mission. We exist to serve the mission of the delegates there there on and we very therefore closely track outcomes as it results to people’s experience that the opportunity i wish you would do that number of ways first is pretty for most conferences, you’ll see a survey after the event concludes say, you know, how do we do? What happened exeter are survey is very shorts about four questions long one of those is exactly on this outcomes piece, sort of what what has happened for your what do you think will happen for you? And furthermore, as it relates to what i was saying before around sort of the pre event, high touch conversations that we try and have with every delegate, we do that on the back side of the onset experience, too, so that we have a one on one conversations with virtually every who’s there, and we get a very clear granular understanding of, you know, what did they see as a result of this? What connections that they make? What re sources that have they gone or what? What contribution do they make? Toe other delegates organizations in their work on and in that way? We’re very closely tracking those outcomes now. In the end, it typically falls into two buckets there’s the quantitative outcomes that we we pretty much exists for in terms of people getting funding, people getting hired, you know, people joining people’s boards, organizations actually emerging together and partying and very concrete ways, but there’s also the softer side of this, which relates back to the cloaking experience on dh it’s, the qualitative outcomes you know, i hear time and time again that people have current, quote, transformative experiences because of their time at the opportune clolery ation, and that means potentially reconfigure leadership style, potentially falling in love again with this work, a lot of us khun suffer from burnout every once in a while, it means lifelong friendships. We’ve conceded couple weddings as a result of being people bigger, the offgrid ditigal aberration. But it’s the softer side of this of this of this work and our outcomes that i love you. I’m an anthropology, guys, so any time i can see, i can see those sort of the shift, if you will, in peoples in our lives as it relates to the artwork. That’s amazing for me. I know that for myself, as i said. The remarkable outcomes just just for me. Part of what you ah, what you say is that you warn, you, warn people, new to opportunity, collaboration, that they’ll be ruined for other conferences, right? Yes, i’m afraid so. Look, it’s just it’s a very different type of event, let’s xero that i loved, and i’m looking forward to going back. We can’t wait to have you there, tony, just about thirty seconds left. Tell me what you love and maybe even bring your wife and i don’t know, but about this convening work that you do yeah, you know. So during the second opportunity climb oration, my wife and i’ve been working closely with jonathan’s, the foundry of the co ceos. At that point, our third son was born about two weeks before that second event, which meant i was going down by myself. My wife was staying at home with a two week old, a two year old in a four year old andi i was running around like a chicken with my head cut off that first that first time because it was really the first time i had stepped into my own sort of power, if you will is a professional on dh yet if i took a deep breath about halfway through step in the ocean and it hit me, tony, this work is my life’s calling on, and in fact i got my dad, on the phone a few minutes later, i think i said, hey, dad, i think this is why you among got together thirty five years ago, like this is it, you know, this is really it, yeah, so for wilkins, thank you so, so much my pleasure to see you again. I know we’ll be in touch, there’s, lots of information, all the information you need about opportunity. Collaboration is that opportunity. Collaboration, dot net, and on twitter, it is at o p p c o l l told her thank you again. My pleasure, thank you time. Tony take two and auctions and cash calls part do are both coming up first generosity. Siri’s you know them. They host multi charity five k runs and walks multi charity means that for small and midsize organisations, you can host an event with a bunch of other charities coming together, convening, collaborating because none of you could host an event on your own because you can’t have something with twenty five or thirty or even fifty you know it’s it’s, not it’s. Not enough to sustain an event, but you come together small a midsize shops collaborate that way and that’s what generosity siri’s does. They have a charity support team that you actually talked to and that will help you with your fund-raising pick up the phone. That’s. How i like to do business. Talk to dave lynn he’s the ceo. Tell him you’re from non-profit radio, please. Seven one eight five o six. Nine, triple seven of course, there are also on the web generosity siri’s dot com non-profit alumnus jonathan lewis, who tofu and i were just talking about he hosts an e newsletter on social change leadership he’s a very smart guy and it’s his thoughts about the sector? Some of the recent headlines were our social entrepreneurs people are you dancing in a social change silo just talked about that, and my secret is out. You can sign up for jonathan lewis is e newsletter which i get at cafe impact dot com and that is tony’s take two for friday twenty seventh of january eighth show of the year twenty seventh of january. Notes twenty seventh of february made the exact same mistake last week. It’s the twenty seventh of february and i am still in desperate need of an intern. But i can blame these mistakes on so i i need that in turn could somebody please get me someone so i can blame somebody? Bobby de l’art he’s with us he’s bobby de l’art b a s he’s, the lead auctioneer and ceo of called toe auction. They help plan optimizing conduct fund-raising auctions he’s also a contract auctioneer in phoenix, arizona, conducting over one hundred sixty five auctions a year from automobiles to collectibles which i don’t think it’s a very big deal. A to see ordeals to collectibles i would like to see, like automobiles to ah zebras or your macca’s or xylophones or whiskey bottles or something like victrola. But right now, he’s only working automobiles to collectibles. He’s, the reigning twenty fourteen us bid calling champion that’s that’s quite significant and a past arizona state auctioneer champion and a world automobile auctioneer championship finalist didn’t quite win that one, but two out of three is very, very good he’s, a second generation auctioneer, it’s in his blood it’s in his family. You’ll find him at call to auction dot com and bobby de l’art is with us from the studios of cage z and cabe coup in phoenix, arizona. Welcome, bobby d hey, tony. Thanks for having me. It’s. A pleasure, what’s the, uh, what’s this b s after your name b a s. Well, b a s is it’s a designation by the national auctioneers association and say what it means is that i’m a benefit auctioneer specialist, that i’ve been susan special training spent a lot of time in the classroom and have learned from the leaders in the industry to apply the latest techniques and services. Teo, raise more money for our clients. Okay, so even though you have lots of automobiles and collectibles in your background, you you do an enormous amount of work with non-profits yeah, that is my specialty and that’s and that’s my focus that’s also my passion, just like tofu had said just before the saying, you know, he’s figured out why he’s on this planet this is why i’m on this planet. I love this i love helping groups raise more money and changing lives has your has your voice feeling today? My voice is good today. I’ve had a long week of auctions sold over a thousand cars this week. I had a big fund-raising weekend last weekend, i have another big fund-raising weekend coming up this weekend and in another one next weekend. So i’m i’m gargling my throat coat, tea with lemon and honey in it, you know, constantly staying hydrated, okay, i used co two sometimes if i’m my structural store before show, i used to have a coat because i’m going to ask you to give us a sample. There you are. You up for that? I am i always that is okay, you know, why don’t you? Why don’t you go go on for, like, ten seconds or so? And because i love this stuff is like you. Why don’t you just go on? Dh, you know, but in case you can’t hear me while you’re going, you know, stop after ten or twelve seconds or so, please, i can do that, bobby d all right, so this is just an example. Ladies and gentlemen were at a fundraising event and we have a beautiful trip to new york city. Are at ladies and gentlemen, what a bit of it on this one and give it a twenty five hundred dollars it twenty, five hundred. Three thousand now thirty five. Thirty five hundred dollars that’s going for a good cause. And thirty five four thousand forty five. Five thousand. Thank you. Fifty five, six thousand and five hundred seventy five, eighty, eighty five, ninety five taels ten thousand dollars. Sold it right there. Ladies and gentlemen, ten thousand dollars give the man a big round of applause. He just made a lot of change in the room tonight. Thank you so much, bobby. D i love that. Thank you very much. Although, i think ten thousands of cheap for a trip to new york. But that was that. Well, it was late. With a private dinner with tony martignetti oh, it’s. Definitely cheap. Done are you? Can you just risked. You just made it even more valuable. Is you’re still telling me it’s only ten thousand dollars. All right. No, i love that. You know, there’s a lot of ability and that to me. I don’t know now, but there’s a lot of hair, but a habit. I mean, there’s a lot of sort of syllables in there that aren’t words, right? No, there are words, it’s. What? We are working freezes does robert head. But i had what you saying there had been a habit? What? What i’m saying i’m saying, can you bid or would you bid? How about to bid, you know, twenty five, get a bit one get it, teo, get about three. Three now. Four okay? And and those words build the melody and the melody kind of turns into a we’re trying teo put the bitters into a trance were trying to hypnotize them with that melody and and and and people get drawn into that just like you got drawn in in the last ten seconds. That is why we chant that’s, why we put those words in there and create that melody in that rhythm and that flow the people they become drawn into this and they want a bid. I guess i could almost feel your hands going in the air when i was when i was calling it is it’s melodic, as i think i said was he’s thinking if i didn’t say it sounds, it sounds musical to me is definitely melodic, all right? Well, yeah, i love it and you’re a championship and everything a champion snusz there now. We’re following up on the december twelfth twenty fourteen show when i had neil bogan, yolanda johnson and tracy dreyer on, and they were talking about auctions and raffles and cash calls and and you, you are so passionate about this, you did a video to follow-up too just give additional advice and your perspective on on all three of those areas. But today you and i just can’t talk about the auctions in the cash calls you have. You have some advice around mobile bidding for auctions? You talk about that? Yeah, mobile bidding is the new technology that’s really emerged in the past few years that’s come out toward you when you’re at a fundraising gala or a fundraising event on and everyone has the silent auction, will the mobile bidding what this is is that you’re gonna be ableto bid right on your cell phone? You know everyone has a smartphone now these days and iphone, android and there’s these new technologies that will allow the silent auction to run on your on your smartphone, whether it’s an apparatus it’s on a web browser, but what this does is it allows if using attendee to bid on multiple items without having to go from item two item two item and having to write on the old fashioned bid sheet. This allows everyone in the room to bid kind of from where they’re standing. If they’re in a conversation, you can bid on more than one item within just a few seconds, and the most important part of this is when you get those last few minutes until the silent auction closes everyone’s able to bid on all that multitude to items where is the old fashioned way with the bid sheet, you would only be able to bid on one item because, you know, although everyone has these. Sharp elbows and nobody’s going to come and bid on this item. But then you miss the other ten items that you wanted to bid on because somebody else bit above you. By using these mobile bidding to technologies, you’re able to bid on a multitude of items, and we’re finding that groups that are utilizing this, they’re raising another twenty to thirty percent within their silent auction, and sometimes more because they’re able tio have morbid on their items and that’s what you want? Morbid, more money, more change. I see. And that’s for the that’s on the silent auction side the’s the those applications okay? Yep. Let’s move to the er to the stage on the big setting. The big room where you’re on stage there’s. A lot of lot of theater involved in this. If it’s done right that’s absolutely right. And in a great fund-raising auction event, it is like a theatre it’s the production and we want to create that that that great donor experience once they once they walk into the room, you know we want that big aha moment. But then everything that’s said on stage we want to use that to build into what we, you know, the cash call or the fund a need. So the the live auction is going to build into that, you know, any videos or in person speakers that are doing the appeal they’re gonna build into that now included in this theater is people who are no you you and the organization know in advance are going to bid ah lot of times we do know, you know, that there’s prepared bidders that are ready to bid, but then a lot of times it was just this past weekend, we had a gentleman in the back he was, you know, he nobody knew who he was, but he ended up buying one of the trips for ten thousand dollars, and all of a sudden this gentleman steps out of nowhere, and he he invests in this organization and purchases ah, fabulous trip, and we didn’t know he was there because he had bought into the auction theater that was going on what’s great about the auction is it becomes an interactive theater that everyone in the room is a part of. You may have bidders that are bidding, and they’re directly involved in the auction. But then you have the rest of the audience. They’re clapping along there, encouraging there, there, there, there, helping that energy build and build well, yeah, i mean, the whole purpose of the theater is to get more people bidding, right? I mean, you don’t you don’t know all the bidders in advance. Well, yeah, you want you want you’re going to find within the live auction you’re going to see about five or ten percent of the actual audience be participants within that. But then that auction theater engages and it excites the entire room and brings everyone together, you know, that’s, that’s keys that engagement to allow everyone to feel a part of the event now on the other side of prepared bitters, there’s something called shill bidders, which are evil people talking, talking about people, people? Yeah, kind of that kind of a naughty word in auction shell bit, eh? Yeah. With in the last episode that you had talked about this, you know, that was brought up. And it was it was, you know, they were talking about having bidders that we’re going to bid the items up and the events that i like to work. With and then the clients that i work with is unnecessary. We wanna have his pure of an auction as possible. We want teo provide a how you say it transparent as auction is possible well, too, because sometimes if someone finds out that they were in that room and they were bidding somebody up, then that looks bad on the organization. I would rather have a pure auction and let everyone in that room participate. And if you do prior proper planning and marketing of these items, as well as your development with your donors that air in the room, your items, they’re going to reach the level that they need to do, but they probably will go above that is well, because once you ties the item like in exciting experience, the new york city and you’re having dinner with tony martignetti uh, and then tie that to the mission and the cause, you know that then that’s when you know that’s when the big dollars come out, it’s, not what they’re e-giving were not what they’re getting, but how much they’re giving to make this change happened with the organization of their choice. So those shill bidders are not real. They’re not really going to buy it. They’re just they’re toe inflate the price. So that’s, why that’s? Yeah, they’re donordigital yeah, they’re they’re the artificially inflate the price. A lot of groups think they need that. You don’t need that if you’re working with a professional benefit auction here now i watched some of your videos. You have a little talk technique may be this is standard this’s why we’re here. We’re all here to learn where you’ll give you’ll getyour award the prize to to the two donors to bitters sorry, i should say two bidders, but you do this. It’ll use something where you you have the person who donated the auction item there at the foot of the stage and you like you pull them over and say, listen, could we give these to two people going? Can we give this to both of these people? And now eyes that that’s arranged? I assume sometimes it is. But then sometimes it’s not what you wait. Just, you know, two weeks ago we had a lady that was donating her house in a rocky point. It was a big condominium and she got caught. Up in the spirit is well too. She was like, wow, we’re selling this for two thousand five hundred dollars. You know what? I have access to this whenever i want. If we can, you know, double the money we’re raising right now. Let’s, do it again. We actually ended up selling it three times. So that’s a great tip for organizations if they can prepare that, you know that your donor that’s donating an experience or a house or something like that toe, ask them, you know, are we going to be able to sell this again if we reach a certain level more times than not, the donors say yes, we want to raise as much money as we can. But then sometimes if the donors in the room, they do get caught up in the auction and and they’re like, yeah, let’s, sell it again. Let’s, raise some more money in the crowd loved that would be a part of that thie excitement when you talk to the person right at the foot of the stage and you say yes, she’ll do it. And that way, on a winner here we got a winner over there seventy. Five hundred dollars each. We just treyz fifteen thousand dollars. Hey, better get anna kat again. You’re getting. But hey, would you bid? Could you? But its xero it’s just love. I love it, don’t you sounding great, buddy? I well, now that you could be an auctioneer, now that i know what the heck you guys air saying, i thought it was all i just thought it was all nonsense syllables in between real words, i hey, would you be good? You be today, would you? Okay, it makes a lot more sense now, sort of workable, love, love, good love this. Okay, let’s, go out a little early for a break and bobby de l’art. Now you’re going to keep keep talking about auctions in cash calls part do, including, why is he, bobby d? Why is that so important? Stay with us. Like what you’re hearing a non-profit radio tony’s got more on youtube, you’ll find clips from stand up comedy tv spots and exclusive interviews catch guests like seth gordon, craig newmark, the founder of craigslist marquis of eco enterprises, charles best from donors choose dot org’s aria finger do something that worked and they only levine from new york universities heimans center on philantech tony tweets to he finds the best content from the most knowledgeable, interesting people in and around non-profits to share on his stream. If you have valuable info, he wants to re tweet you during the show. You can join the conversation on twitter using hashtag non-profit radio twitter is an easy way to reach tony he’s at tony martignetti narasimhan t i g e n e t t i remember there’s a g before the end he hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a short monthly show devoted to getting over your fund-raising hartals just like non-profit radio, toni talks to leading thinkers, experts and cool people with great ideas. As one fan said, tony picks their brains and i don’t have to leave my office fund-raising fundamentals was recently dubbed the most helpful non-profit podcast you have ever heard, you can also join the conversation on facebook, where you can ask questions before or after the show. The guests were there, too. Get insider show alerts by email, tony tells you who’s on each week and always includes link so that you can contact guest directly. To sign up, visit the facebook page for tony martignetti dot com. I’m peter shankman, author of zombie loyalists, and you’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. More live listener love detroit, michigan are veda california, san francisco, california sun, west sun city, west arizona and there there’s multiple masked us we don’t know where you are, but if i didn’t shut you out specifically live listeners love to you also, but we just can’t see your city and state let’s go abroad. First time from the united arab emirates someone’s listening in abu dhabi welcome live listener loved to you and give local america thank you very much for tweeting so actively using the hashtag non-profit radio. Love it. Thank you. Okay, bobby d why is what? Why i come? I can’t just call you bhabhi. What? Right after you want to have to be bobby d well, bobby d there’s so many famous bobby d’s that are out there, you know? And i’m proud to be a part of him. You know, you got robert duvall, robert de niro, robert downey jr. So i get to ah bee of that high echelon of other bobby d’s. Alright, but they don’t go by bobby d though they at least while i call i call bob de niro. Bobby. But, you know, very few people do well. There is only one there’s, only one bobby d auctioneers. So it’s kind of a branding thing. And in all my clients and my friends, they’re all us. Give me. Okay, bobby d, what is this d stand for and i always go d’s for dollars. I’m gonna help you raise more dollars. Oh, my goodness. All right, all right. I mean, i could be tony am. I could go around tony, amaar or tony. My middle name is joseph. I could be toni jo, toni jo jail toni jo it’s. Uh, it’s, uh, starting to sound like a porn star, so i don’t don’t forget to scrub the tony. Joe, i don’t want to be toni jo after all. Um, let’s move on, tio cash calls now, because the auction is supposed to set us up for the cash call, right? We’re building enthusiasm for the in this event. Yeah. That’s absolutely right. The live auction builds into that cash called builds into that fund to knead. It stirs the room up into a frenzy and it and it really relieves a lot of tension. Most donors know why they’re there. They’re there to give money. And whether they give it in the silent auction in a raffle and the live auction, but we want to utilize all those tools of fund-raising to build into this cash call that’s really key? Okay, and explained what the what the cash call is so everybody’s common ground here. All right, so the cash call or we call ah, the call to action or the funda need is an opportunity for everyone in the room to give at a level that’s meaningful for them, whether it’s a million dollars or a dollar we’re going, we’re going toe open the giving up to everyone and usually, well, well, most groups will have a specific need, like i’ll be working with a group this weekend and they’re going to purchase furnishings and appliances for their emergency family shelters for homeless families, and we’re going to try to furnish all sixteen of these units that night. It’s, about seventy five thousand dollars is what we’re going to try to raise, and we’re going to start our giving at ten thousand dollars, and then we’re gonna go to five thousand and then twenty, five hundred and then a thousand five hundred to fifteen and one hundred. And we’re gonna ask for just open donations from the floor and that’s that opportunity for those that have, you know, that wouldn’t make a larger investment, they can give it that level, are they could give it a smaller level, but everyone together collectively as a family is going to come together to help us purchase these items toe fully furnished. Thie needed shelter apartments. So how does this work then you’re you’re shouting out different numbers, different, different giving levels. Hey, but attend everything’s already able to give them out, and then and then people are committing to that level, and then you moved down to the next level. Is that how it works? Well, it’s a little different than that? Usually we’d move them will move from the live auction, which is what we call competitive bidding, and then we’ll have some transition, whether it’s an in person speaker or a video or a combination, but within the production in the theater of the event, we’re going to transition from that competitive bidding where it’s exciting it’s, energetic, it’s fun, so we’re going to move in a little bit more somber, more serious note toe where, lady you know where your speakers that they’re going to talk about the impact that the organization and the particularly the donor’s dollars has had on their lives, and they’re going to ask those in the room donors like them to give the family, you know, two more families, you know, like, like those on stage and then that’s where i change and and benefit auction your specialists can change that, that kind of that tone that we have instead of, you know, being fun and flashy, we move in a little bit more, more inspiring and more serious mode right now, ladies, and heard the change that your dollars can make would you be able to give a donation and make a contribution tonight to change lives just like this at ten thousand dollars level. So that’s that’s kind of how kind of transition i say. All right, so it becomes a lot more more, more sedate, but still enormously, enormously valuable. Yeah, enormously valuable and then also enormously effective, because when you you start with that and you make that transition, we call that first gift. We call that the spark that’s going to start our bonfire of giving. And then what happens is you move through the levels everyone in the room becomes a part of this collective e-giving and everyone in the room gets to be a part of the change that’s being made in that room at that moment and it’s very inspiring. So you’re moving from competitive bidding to collective e-giving that’s absolutely that’s the transition from auction to cash call okay, is the the first bitter at that highest level? Is that usually someone who’s prepared? I prefer that and a lot of times what, that that lead gift, you know, they’re the icebreaker that i what i call the spark they do. Ah, i need to get to leverage their donations. So a lot of times you’ll have these donors that have been with an organization for many years. They want to make a big difference, and they want to make it a big impact with that. That donation and what happens is we can leverage that donation. So let’s say, ah, family is willing to give ten thousand dollars if they’re willing to be our lead gift. Usually what will happen is we’ll we build this big emotion, we build this big balloon we fill it with all this air, and when we asked for ten thousand dollars and then there’s a bid card that goes up in the air at that time, everyone in the room is like, wow, okay, we are doing this. We’re here to raise money, and then that momenta metoo continues to build and build and build. So there is theater involved in the cash call portion too, but we’re just we’re in a different emotional level. Yes, that’s absolutely right. Okay. Okay, now we just have about two minutes left. Bobby d you, like tio recommend pre swiping for for payment. Explain that. Okay, so priest wiping is, uh, uh can go along with the technology bidding platforms, there’s a lot of different companies out there that provide that. What that’s going to do is that’s going to create a ease of donation retention after the event? So where if you just do paper, you know, and people you hope people would check out? Ah, they’re going to be able to pre swipe their credit card beforehand, and then they’ll be emailed an invoice after the fact so they don’t have to wait, especially if they’d just given the cash call, they don’t have toe wait to check out. They could just enjoy their evening and then leave. But then if they don’t do, if the organization doesn’t do a priest’s wife, then they’re going to be chasing money. They’re going to be wasting a lot of time, you know, going after these donors that forgot to check out and then a lot of times it goes the other way instead of inspiring donorsearch of the donor’s become embarrassed that they that they forgot to check out and sometimes they’re like, well, i was in the heat of the moment and i gave and maybe that’s not as much as i wanted to give, and then it actually turns on the other way. You did. You’re not bringing donors in your turning them away, so i highly recommend a priest white but all the events, that idea just about a minute or so left. What is it that you love about this work, bobby? I i love using my talent and my passion to inspire more donors to give more than they ever thought was possible. I see myself as a cog in this wheel of fund-raising i mean, and in the congo, the wheel of changing the world and and if i can inspire a donor and excited a donor and in kate, engage an entire room to give mohr those dollars do equal change in people’s lives because the more money we can raise, the more lives we can change. So buy me applying the skill and the talent that i’ve been blessed with, i am able to directly affect so many in this world. Bobby de l’art, benefit auctioneer specialist, you’ll find him at call toe auction dot com thank you very much, bobby d, thank you so much, tony, for having me on my pleasure next week. Eight areas of non-profit excellence from the non-profit coordinating committee here in new york city. I was moved by an event i went to last year where they they rate charities based on eight very detailed and specific criteria, and we’re going to talk with thea, executive director of non-profit coordinating committee, and the and the woman who organizes this entire competition about what those eight areas of non-profit excellence are. If you missed any part of today’s show, find it on tony martignetti dot. Com. Our creative producer is claire meyerhoff and sam lever, which is our line producer, shows social media is by susan chavez, susan chavez. Dot com and our music is by scott stein. You with me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. What’s not to love about non-profit radio tony gets the best guests check this out from seth godin this’s the first revolution since tv nineteen fifty and henry ford nineteen twenty it’s the revolution of our lifetime here’s a smart, simple idea from craigslist founder craig newmark yeah insights, orn presentation or anything? People don’t really need the fancy stuff they need something which is simple and fast. When’s the best time to post on facebook facebook’s andrew noise nose at traffic is at an all time hyre on nine a, m or p m so that’s when you should be posting your most meaningful post here’s aria finger ceo of do something dot or ge young people are not going to be involved in social change if it’s boring and they don’t see the impact of what they’re doing so you got to make it fun and applicable to these young people look so otherwise a fifteen and sixteen year old they have better things to dio they have xbox, they have tv, they have their cell phones. Me dar is the founder of idealist. I took two or three years for foundation staff, sort of dane toe add an email address card, it was like it was phone. This email thing is right and that’s why should i give it away? Charles best founded donors choose dot or ge somehow they’ve gotten in touch kind of off line as it were on dno, two exchanges of brownies and visits and physical gifts. Mark echo is the founder and ceo of eco enterprises. You may be wearing his hoodies and shirts. Tony talked to him. Yeah, you know, i just i’m a big believer that’s not what you make in life. It sze, you know, tell you make people feel this is public radio host majora carter. Innovation is in the power of understanding that you don’t just do it. You put money on a situation expected to hell. You put money in a situation and invested and expect it to grow and savvy advice for success from eric sacristan. What separates those who achieve from those who do not is in direct proportion to one’s ability to ask others for help. The smartest experts and leading thinkers air on tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent.