Planning Events with Value

Featuring Brooke Battle, creator of Swell Fundraising

About This Episode

Ask not what kind of event you want to throw but why you’re doing it in the first place, advises Brooke. Then, measure success not just by topline revenue, but how many donors you bring in and other vital goals. Be strategic about what kind of event you’re hosting (thank you event, donor retention event, donor acquisition event) and you’ll create a strong culture of giving and more easily measure success!


About Brooke

Brooke Battle is the Founder/CEO of Swell Fundraising, a technology solution that enables fundraising events to increase revenue through the power of peer-to-peer fundraising and gamification. Launched in 2012, the company won Alabama’s statewide startup competition in 2014 and today licenses the platform to nonprofits across the country. Last year, the company generated an additional $2 million for their nonprofit clients.  

Brooke has served the nonprofit community for 20 years with board leadership for the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Oasis Counseling Center, Girls Spring, Birmingham-Southern College and the Railroad Park initiative (launched an award-winning downtown park). This work with nonprofits led her to start Swell.     

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Key questions answered in this episode:

00:48 – How do you see events fitting into our bigger category of individual donor fundraising?
2:06 – Can you tell us more about the event you worked on that got 1,000 new donors in the door?
4:04 – Can you tell us more about the three categories you’ve outlined, and why it’s important to be clear about what type of event you’re throwing?
5:12 – I’m somebody who has thrown a lot of events and still sometimes talk other people out of doing them! Why do you love events, and why do you believe they’re so powerful?
7:21 – Let’s say I was starting a new event for my organization, how could you help me think about what type of event I want to start?
12:10 – What are some of the hurdles you might encounter as you start a new fundraiser for your organization?
16:18 -- What are some of the bigger mistakes made, and how can they be avoided?
20:55—Party vs. fundraiser can be a difficult differentiation. Isn’t it easy to slip into the expectation that if you throw a good party, attendees will give?
22:22—I think if someone has left their house and shown up at your event, they are ready to be asked for a gift. Do you agree?
23:45 – What current trends are you seeing in event fundraising?
26:30 – How can you replace the full-length gown gala with the upscale casual event?
30:14—Can you tell us more about the work your company, Swell, is doing with nonprofits?
33:25—How can people connect with you?
34:55—Any last words of wisdom for listeners?

You can view a full list of the previously released episodes here