Studio Brunstrum

Raising Funds Without Raising A Sweat: LakeCountyCares Streamlines and Wins Big

February 18, 2014

LakeCountyCares may be starting a trend that could go viral in the philanthropic world – fund raising without all the hoopla.

LakeCountyCares may be starting a trend that could go viral in the philanthropic world – fund raising without all the hoopla. Instead of an elaborate gala with entertainment, dozens of silent auction items, videos and speeches about the organization, Director of Development Molly King simplified the process and eliminated overhead costs with an intimate event earlier in the month called “Cabin Fever.” As a board member and donor, I wholeheartedly support it!

The event was hosted by Molly’s friends, John and Lexie Knox of Lake Forest, who graciously opened their home to more than 100 people – most of whom knew people there - and provided a buffet supper while another donor provided beverages.

The “silent auction” consisted of raising our paddles in support of a donation level ranging from $1,000 to $100. The auctioneer, Molly’s husband, Charlie King simply described what each level of donation could provide for agency programs, and within 10 minutes we raised roughly $19,000 above the $8,500 gathered in ticket sales. That’s a big chunk of the agency’s roughly $100,000 annual budget, and the event was short, sweet and left lots of time for socializing.

Here are some examples of what each level could buy: At $1,000 LCC can fund five children for a six-week kindergarten readiness program.  For $500 the agency can provide more than 40 gifts for children, families or adults during the holidays or 100 care packages for the homeless or victims of domestic violence. The money donated wasn’t earmarked, but knowing the kind of programs and people we would be helping made the process more real.

“A silent auction is a labor-intensive job,” said Nini Lustig, LCC’s executive director, “and we recognize that the people who attend don’t need the silent auction stuff. They just want to donate and then socialize with good friends.”

LCC engages about 20,000 volunteers a year serving about 140 social service agencies in the county, which help an exponential number of people.

Congratulations to everyone for a successful and enjoyable evening.

Raising our paddles for a newfangled kind of "silent auction".

John and Lexie Knox graciously hosted the event at their Lake Forest home.

LCC Development Director Molly King organized the event and coaxed husband Charlie to be "auctioneer".  Photos Courtesy of Lake County Cares.



Susan Brunstrum
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