Events with Benefits - Top 3 Most Popular Episodes of 2017

What a whirlwind 2017 has been so far! We’re just one quarter in, and already we have developed groundbreaking resources in the world of event fundraising.

In a recent Winspire News survey, the majority of readers (52 percent) noted a desire for more visual content, like webinars and infographics. We’ve since added 3 new webinars to the Webinar Library all about best practices to maximize revenue from live auctions and fund-a-needs.

Another 33 percent of readers indicated an interest in audio content – namely podcasts – so you can continue fundraising education on your own time. As a result, we launched a brand-new podcast in January called Events with Benefits.

In the largest fundraising podcast venture to date, Events with Benefits has given listeners unprecedented FREE access to a wide variety of experts in all areas of fundraising and development!

To celebrate reaching our tenth episode this week, we wanted to share the top 3 most-listened-to podcasts of 2017 and important lessons from each (like how to avoid a lawsuit at your fundraiser!). Then head to to give any of the episodes a listen.

We hope you’ll gain new ideas to surprise, inspire and engage donors this spring!

#3. Legal Considerations with Mary Tovella Dowling

Mary Tovella Dowling - Events with Benefits

When it comes to fundraising events, there’s a lot of uncertainty. Will this item garner a high bid? Will the auctioneer entertain the crowd? Will enough guests attend?

Fact is, even low bids and an unenthusiastic audience are not the worst case scenario for a nonprofit.

Running into legal trouble at an event can bring any nonprofit into financial jeopardy.

Ever considered the fines of an unauthorized raffle; illegal or irresponsible sale of alcohol; or an injured donor on the dance floor?

We don’t like to think about these “what if’s”, but a little preparation now can spare you major headache down the road. That’s why we encourage you to listen to this unique podcast with special guest Mary Tovella-Dowling, attorney at For Purpose Law Group in San Diego, Calif.

In a litigious world, Tovella-Dowling offers invaluable, money-saving insight on potential legal pitfalls. She offers preventive measures to take before getting into hot water, including…

  • Why seek legal advice
  • How to be compliant with local, state and federal laws
  • The importance of being well insured – and having a policy that covers volunteers
  • The ramifications of running an unregistered raffle
  • Tips to serve alcohol responsibly at an event
  • Contracts you need to protect yourself (with sponsors, the venue, etc)

…and more! Take steps now to protect your nonprofit’s sustainability for years to come. You can also contact Tovella-Dowling for a free 20-minute consultation via the link in the podcast show notes here.


#2. Partnerships with Parker Pike

Parker Pike - Events with Benefits

For many charitable organizations, sponsorship is a notoriously tough nut to crack.

Your development strategy may rely on soliciting sponsorships from local businesses and individuals – but year after year you’re stuck competing against hundreds of other organizations making the same requests.

No wonder the vast majority of solicitations go rejected or, more commonly, ignored.

How can you make sure your proposal makes it to the top of the heap?

To find out, we sat down with Parker Pike, nonprofit board member and business owner with experience on both sides of the table. His 3-step process to amplify your cause with local businesses:

  1. Decide if your organization should seek long-term partners and/or short-term sponsors.
  2. Know what businesses are looking for (hint: ROI).
  3. Valuate (or put a dollar figure behind) what you have to offer.

Pike also shares real-life examples of both success and missed opportunities. Finally, we’ve included a free worksheet to help you share exactly how much a sponsorship at your event is worth.


#1. Thinking BIG with Noah McMahon

Noah McMahon - Events with Benefits

Building relationships is the foundation upon which nonprofits exist. It’s key to donor development and hosting successful fundraising events.

Investing more time in developing relationships now lightens the burden next year, asserts Noah McMahon, philanthropist, founder and CEO of a company that specializes in throwing multi-million dollar events as well as philanthropic consulting.

In our top podcast,, McMahon shares his 3 building blocks to lasting relationships with donors, event sponsors and more to multiply the impact of every dollar raised. He also draws decades of event production experience to share these 5 concrete event planning tips:

  1. Surprise the audience.
  2. Focus on face-to-face invitations.
  3. Combat the “table sale” bystander effect by setting expectations in advance.
  4. Set (and write down) BIG goals.
  5. Commit to measuring impact.

“Relationships are like a web,” McMahon says. “If you treat everybody with respect and don’t expect anything in return, you end up getting so much in return.”

Click below to learn how fundraisers big and small can foster deeper relationships on every level and set BIG goals for greater impact than you thought possible. (Note: This is a great episode for vision casting with the entire fundraising team!)


This is just the start of our podcasting journey.

We have ten brand new episodes on deck covering every area of the event fundraising space, which will be released every Monday. Search “Events with Benefits” wherever you listen to podcasts (like Spotify or iTunes) – then subscribe to never miss an episode!