Luxury Coach & Transportation

April 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 13 of 51

CLIENT MARKETS Cash-In On High-Profile Black Tie Affairs Formal fundraisers are a way to earn money today while developing new business for tomorrow. By Jim A. Luff, LCT contributing editor PHOTO: GETTYIMAGES.COM/TERRYJ C harities raised $410 billion in 2017, according to Giving USA Foundation. at was up $20 billion from 2016. e 2018 numbers are likely to be even higher. Most of these dollars are gath- ered through fundraising events that see money flow out from local charities to local businesses to produce and host charity events. is includes staging, lighting, sound, talent, food, venue rentals, and most importantly, ground transportation. Are you cashing in on your piece of the pie? Getting In The Door is is perhaps the most difficult task in partnering with charity events. If you can open that door, it will likely re- lease a stream of money gushing at you forever. I hope to point you in the right direction, although you can pursue so many avenues in this market. e key is knowing who to contact, who might use your services, and what your over- all role might be for the event and the future. Finding who to talk to is 80% of the challenge. Who Should I Call? Charity events are put together in many different ways by many people. Anyone could be the right contact for you. Large events require supervisors of food, decorations, entertainment, and publicity who work together to make it all mesh. Any of these people could be a starting point. To find them, you need to know which non-profit charity is organizing an event. All charity events fall under the umbrella of the parent non-profit or- ganization and their board of trustees or directors. e best place to start is with the president of the non-profit. Many boards are volunteer-based, and those serving as officers also have full-time jobs. If you can't get in touch with the president, try the vice-president, sec- retary, and treasurer. ese people are considered the executive board. You should be able to get their names and contact information from the organiza- tion's website. Look for a tab that says board members or about us. Most boards create a sub-board or event planning committee to manage a specific event. If this is the case, ask for the committee chair and contact that person. Many non-profit volunteer boards hire a marketing company, an event company, or a promoter to manage the entire event. is becomes more complicated, because the third- party company will have to relay your offers to the board. e silver lining to this inconvenience is the valuable contact you develop with a third-party event company. at person and/or company can get you in the doors of other events in the future. It's About Relationships It isn't realistic to think you can make a few calls and partner up with a char- ity group or third-party management company and land an agreement. Because charity groups want every- thing donated, you must convince them of your value. You will need to invest in a few lunches or cocktails to share in detail what you can offer and how it benefits the charity. Never lose that focus. "How it benefits the charity" is your closing tool. If you really want to be no- ticed and are willing to put in the time, volunteer for the planning committee. Offering to roll up your sleeves and help a charity speaks volumes and will get you in front of the decision mak- ers. First impressions last. Send your best chauffeur in your best vehicle to pick up your potential new partner for your lunch or cocktail appointment. Make sure you and your chauffeur are 1 2 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION APRIL 2019 n On

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