Phoenix Youth at Risk

Phoenix Youth at Risk

Tell us about your cause.

Phoenix Youth at Risk makes new futures possible for at-risk teens and homeless children through mentoring and goal-driven programs. We primarily serve the metro-Phoenix area with our community and school based teen mentoring programs. We also have a program that provides mentors to children living in transitional homeless shelters.

What kind of special event fundraising do you do to support your mission?

Our largest special event is our Annual Breakfast. It is a fundraising event where we ask for mentors, not donors. Mentors are truly what make our programs work. The Annual Breakfast leads into our Annual Campaign: a fundraising activity spearheaded by our Board of Directors. We also have our annual golf tournament as well as several other third-party fundraisers to benefit our mission.

This year we held our 5th annul golf tournament and decided to manage the registration online with DoJiggy.

Walk us through the planning process.

The planning process began with a committee. They decided the event venue, and the objectives for each particular event. Once those initial decisions were made, the committee and staff members were given specific responsibilities. It is essential that each member came through on their responsibilities in order to make the event successful. The committee created an events timeline so that all objectives were outlined with specific due dates and goals.

In the case of our golf tournament, emails were sent to past participants, keeping them abreast of the planning as well as highlighting sponsors as they committed to the event.

A big part of the process occurs after the event is complete. The committee/staff immediately participate in a debriefing meeting. This allows everyone to discuss what worked, what didn’t, and what to change for the next year. These notes definitely come in handy when planning for the next event begins.

Did you reach out to local sponsors?

Yes, we reached out to not only those that sponsored the event in the past, but to sponsors that participate with our organization in another way that had not previously been introduced to sponsoring an event.

Did you do any advertising to get participants?

Yes, we sent bi-weekly marketing emails to past participants as well as those that had not participated before. We also advertised on our website and other social media outlets.

How did DoJiggy help with the planning and success of your event?

DoJiggy made our planning simple. It allowed us to manage all of the administrative aspects in one convenient administrative area. These tasks are difficult to manage without the online capability. The reports also helped us to reconcile with our organization’s accounting.

Tell us about your success…How many participants? how much did you raise? Did you accomplish your goals?

The golf tournament was very successful! Despite the economic troubles so many nonprofits are experiencing with their fundraising events, we were able to surpass the amount raised last year. As a matter of fact, we went from $14,000 in 2009 to over $20,000 in 2010! We had full participation to fill the course. Most importantly, we had some of our youth and mentors from the organization at the event. They spoke with the golfers to serve as a reminder of where their contributions truly matter. It was a great day all around.

Do you have any advice for other organizations?

I think the best advice is to always remember why you are doing what you are doing. Our golf chair this year made it a point to keep a notecard on his event binder with a big heart surrounding the word “kids”. It was his way to remember when he got frustrated, excited, or tired, that the effort was worth it for the kids, or the cause. We try to keep this in mind through all of our activities, not just the events.

Katia Howard, Director of Fund Development


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