How is Philly Give & Get different from your regular fundraiser?
Most “regular” fundraisers are not as overt about the transactional nature of philanthropy. In other words, what is the donor getting for their donation? Our event benefits everyone – the winning bidders get to learn a new skill, the Experts expand the community’s knowledge of their work, and all the proceeds go to charity. It’s a win, win, win situation.
How did you select PCAT as your charity recipient?
We selected PCAT because it is an amazing program! There isn’t enough space on this blog to talk about how impressed I am with the work that the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Technology is doing. It’s a very effective program, and because it’s located way up in Northeast Philadelphia, I don’t think it gets as much love as some of its Center City peers. We hope that this event is a platform for more arts and technology entrepreneurs to find out about PCAT, and donate their time, talent, and treasure to them.
Fun events are a great way to get new people involved in charitable causes that they might not normally find out about. I’m passionate about events because I’m passionate about philanthropy. I want to make sure that my generation of Philadelphians become enamoured with our nonprofit community. I want them to fall head over heels, bonkers, IN LOVE with donating time and money to organizations that are working everyday to make this city the amazing place that it is. Unless our generation finds a way to make philanthropy fun, people aren’t going to give back as much as they could. It’s that simple.
Do you have any horror stories from events that didn’t go so well?
Absolutely. When I was working at an arts organization that hosted a large annual festival, our closing night party was almost a disaster. On the night of the event, Philadelphia has a freak snow storm…tons of rain and sleet and nasty winds and ice. Attendees were encouraged to wear costumes but when they showed up, they were drenched and cold and Not Happy. However, we had a great DJ and an amazing photographer in attendance, and the staff banded together and just made the decision to have a good time. The party ended up being fun and boisterous and memorable, and we got tons of great photos. The next year, the closing night party was a hot ticket!
Main lesson: go with the flow! Once the event is in motion, there are several things that are completely out of your control…and the weather is certainly one of them! If the event organizers stress out, the volunteers stress out, and that stress infects the attendees. However, if the event organizers are having a great time, the volunteers will be excited, and the attendees will have fun. So let go, and enjoy the party!
What’s your dream “Give & Get Date?”
Hands down, I would want to meet with Dan Pallotta to learn about nonprofit event marketing. Because Give & Get is “Philly born and raised,” Dan and I would spend the afternoon in Philadelphia learning how to make fried chicken at Federal Donuts, then go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and finish with the iced granita coffee drinks at La Colombe near Rittenhouse Square. Either that, or we’d go and pet a tiger at the Philadelphia Zoo. Give me coffee, or tigers, and I’m happy.