For You, the Quiet Philanthropists Who Never Pressed Pause

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I have attempted to write this message on several occasions and each time I felt overwhelmed by the devastating impact of Covid-19 and didn’t quite know what to say.  For what feels like an eternity, we have been navigating what has quickly become our new normal. On Monday, June 8th, New York City’s economy will reopen and we will begin the enormous task of assessing the emotional and financial toll and creating new systems in order to survive.
As a member of the nonprofit community, I have seen first-hand the heroic support, provided by women and men like you – the quiet philanthropists – who showed up day after day to ensure the needs of your constituents and beneficiaries were met. From reaching out to your formal (and informal) networks, to providing food, shelter, clothing, money, housing and transportation, to enlisting vital support from everyone who would listen, you (we) stayed the course; sometimes at the expense of your own organization.
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the sacrifices made by our small/independent business owners. You have generously supported our essential workers and your colleagues in the non-profit community in numerous ways. From making cash contributions to donating goods and services freely and without being asked.  Regardless of your affiliation, you are the leaders and voices for this moment in history.
Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.  You are truly a life-force for our local communities, nationally and globally. Please remember, no one is equipped to do this work alone. Continue to enlist the support that you need as you show up for others.
We appreciate you!
Monique Brizz-Walker

Positioning Your Organization to Host 7-Figure Events || Setting the Stage for Success

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to the Positioning Your Organization to Host 7-Figure Events™ series I created to serve as a resource for non-profit leaders who are interested in hosting their first special event fundraiser, or reinvigorating a dormant event, but may feel overwhelmed by the process.

One of the first things you must do is obtain buy-in from members of your leadership team, the board of directors and a small circle of influential donors – who will each play an important role in the fundraising campaign.  However, without a blueprint to follow, where will you begin?

Today I will share 5 essential questions to help inform your discussions with these key stakeholders.

1.  Why are you hosting this event?

There are many reasons why you have decided to host your signature event, chief among them is to generate income from table and ticket sales. That said, you should be able to clearly articulate how you will use the proceeds.  Will you add new programs and services, or enhance ones that already exist?  Will you participate in executive level training to further develop your leadership skills?  How will you invest in your team?

2.  Can you afford to do this?

Planning and executing large events can be expensive, and many unexpected costs will come up along the way.   You must honestly assess how much you can invest, set a budget and determine the impact of these expenses on your day-to-day operations.  Equally important, you must decide if you have enough cash on-hand to sustain the organization until the fundraising campaign generates income.

3.  Do you have sufficient resources?

Please keep in mind, this event will unfold as you continue to manage your daily responsibilities. You must continue to serve your beneficiaries, collaborate with stakeholders and manage your team. Therefore, you should carefully determine how you will manage the interruptions that generally accompany events of this magnitude.  Do you expect staff to shoulder the additional responsibilities or will you hire a professional team to provide assistance?

4.  How will you engage your supporters?

Some organizations are challenged around ways to keep donors informed and engaged after the event.  As you work to build your financial future, the quality of your interactions will be key.  Among the high-level touches sophisticated donors will expect are invitations to curated cultivation and scholarly events, in-person updates on your beneficiaries progress and where you see them in your organization’s future.

5.  How will you tell your hero stories?

If you showcase your beneficiaries during the event, you must do this in a way that honors them and presents their accomplishments in the best light.  Remember everyone will watch how you treat those you have pledged to serve.

Hosting your first signature fundraiser is not easy. However, once your event is fine-tuned, and enjoys a loyal base of committed supporters, it will prove to be profitable for your bottom line.  With proper planning and patience, you will be positioned to achieve six-or-seven figure event success.

If I can support your efforts, please contact me at

With kind regards,