Frequently Asked Questions

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Workshops & Curriculum for Sustainable Funding
Tell me a little more about Benevon. What is your track record with nonprofits?
What sizes and types of nonprofit organizations has Benevon worked with?
Will this model work for us if our organization does not have cute kids or programs we can show people first hand—for example, if our group has confidentiality issues, or is a policy, advocacy, international relief, or research group?
How can I hear from people who have implemented the Benevon Model?
What percentage of groups successfully meet Benevon’s formulas?
What are the reasons for failure?
Which of Benevon’s programs is right for us?
What is the single greatest benefit your Sustainable Funding Program groups report?
How have other organizations found the funds to pay the tuition?
What are the costs associated with implementing the Benevon Model?
Do we need to hire more staff to implement the model?
How do I educate my staff, board, and volunteers about Benevon?
How do I get my board on board?
Who should be included in our Benevon team?
What will each team member be responsible for?
How much time does it take to implement the Benevon Model?
What more should we consider before attending Benevon 101?
How will I know if we have the right team or if our group is ready for Benevon 101?
Do you have special private programs for funders or national organizations wanting to implement the Benevon Model?
How do I find out more?

Tell me a little more about Benevon. What is your track record with nonprofits?

We are in our nineteenth year of offering our training and coaching programs. We have trained over 4,000 nonprofit teams in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and several countries in Europe.

More than half of our groups join our Sustainable Funding Program after attending Benevon 101.

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What sizes and types of nonprofit organizations has Benevon worked with?

Budget Size of Groups in the Benevon Sustainable Funding ProgramOur groups span the entire gamut of the nonprofit world—health and human services, advocacy, research, environmental, arts, faith, international relief, etc.

We have alumni in all fifty United States, nearly every province in Canada, in the United Kingdom, as well as several countries in Europe.

Here is a chart showing budget sizes of the groups currently registered in our Sustainable Funding Program.

Read and view testimonials from Benevon alumni nonprofit organizations of all types.

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Will this model work for us if our organization does not have cute kids or programs we can show people first hand—for example, if our group has confidentiality issues, or is a policy, advocacy, international relief, or research group?

The Benevon Model works for every imaginable type of nonprofit, so long as you have a passionate team of six to eight people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and do the work it takes to implement this successfully, according to your coaches' recommendations. Read and view testimonials from Benevon alumni nonprofit organizations of all types.

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How can I hear from people who have implemented the Benevon Model?

For immediate examples of nonprofit organizations that have successfully implemented the Benevon Model, please visit our Testimonials page.

Our live, in-person Introduction seminars are another great way for you to meet our alumni and learn about their experiences. Check our Free Seminars & Calls page for upcoming sessions.

If, after reviewing our Testimonials page, your organization feels strongly about speaking with an organization that has implemented the Benevon Model, please review our Benevon Workshop Reference Policy and contact your regional representative.

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What percentage of groups successfully meet Benevon’s formulas?
  • Over 90% meet or come within 10% of meeting our first-year formula if they have followed all of the steps in the process according to the coaching.
  • Formula: take the number of people who attend your first Ask Event and divide by two, then multiply by $1,000.
  • For example, a 200-person Ask Event would yield $100,000 in cash and pledges the first year.
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What are the reasons for failure?

We take each group's results very seriously. We debrief and critique the reasons for each of those groups that does not meet our formula. We have found that groups do not succeed for one or more of the following three reasons:

  1. Team composition does not meet our requirements. Team requirements: seven-person team of two to three staff including Executive Director/CEO; two to three board members; and two to three volunteers.
  2. The team does not use the telephone coaching hours that come with the workshop package.
  3. The team does not follow the recommendations of the coach—they "get creative"!

Having said that, for a group to come to our workshop, follow the model and raise, for example, $100,000 from a 250-person Ask Event, is still a major success for most groups! Above and beyond the money raised, every group reports great pride in having the story of their real work known in the community.

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Which of Benevon’s programs is right for us?

Which of Benevon’s programs is right for us?

We offer two non profit fundraising programs for groups new to our model.

  1. Benevon 101—Building Sustainable Funding for Your Mission: our signature one-year non profit training and coaching program. Starts with a two-day training for your team of six to seven people, followed by four private one-hour coaching conference calls. Designed to deliver one year of predictable success.
    Results: Average group raises $200,000 in the first year in cash and pledges.
    2015 Tuition: $17,000 per team. Please note that tuition does not include travel and lodging costs.
     
  2. Benevon Sustainable Funding Program: five years of successive, annual two-day workshop trainings and coaching to achieve quantifiable long-term sustainable funding. Package includes annual trainings for teams of eight people, training for fifteen additional new team members from the same local chapter or organization, additional coaching hours, and group conference calls.
    Results: First-year groups raise an average of $200,000 (includes cash and pledges). Groups raise an average of $1.5 million cumulatively by the third year and $3.5 million cumulatively by the fifth year.
    2015 Tuition: $120,000 per team (paid in annual increments of $24,000). Please note that tuition does not include travel and lodging costs.

Each program has specific readiness criteria to ensure that you will be successful in achieving the results of that program. We will work with you to determine the right level for you to enter our curriculum. Please read more to determine which program would be the best fit for your organization.

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What is the single greatest benefit your Sustainable Funding Program groups report?

Beyond the money raised, groups in the Benevon Sustainable Funding Program report that the single greatest benefit is that the story of their real work is finally known in their community.

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How have other organizations found the funds to pay the tuition?

We recommend, rather than focusing on where to find the tuition funds, that you focus first on having other volunteers, board members, and staff from your organization attend an in-person Introductory Seminar or watch our fifty-five-minute video of an introductory seminar to learn more about the Benevon Model. We have found that after enough people from your team understand how the model works and are motivated to participate in the program, they will work together to secure the funding.

In many cases, a single donor or board member pays all or part of the team's tuition, and even frequently chooses to join the team.

Many foundations and individuals fund "capacity building" and "technical assistance" programs that can provide support for teams to attend the workshop. They understand the leveraging value of paying for a team of people to be trained and coached over time to implement a system for building non profit financial sustainability.

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What are the costs associated with implementing the Benevon Model?

Here is a PDF delineating the "hidden costs" associated with implementing each step of the Benevon Model. (Requires Adobe Reader.)

You may also want to listen to a podcast from Terry Axelrod talking about the "hidden costs" in the first year.

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Do we need to hire more staff to implement the model?

Eventually, but not right away. For the first year of implementation you will need the equivalent of a half-time person (staff or volunteer) to manage the process. This can be a composite of several team members contributing the time to equal twenty to thirty hours per week.

Most people are concerned with all the work this seems like it will take, yet once they get into it, they realize they can start by re-characterizing what they're already doing.

They are already talking to a lot of the very same people that the Benevon Model will focus on, but not with an eye to cultivating relationships.

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How do I educate my staff, board, and volunteers about Benevon?

Getting everyone on board with the basics of the model is critical to success. Invite them to do any or all of the following to learn more about Benevon:

If your organization is seriously considering participating in one of our programs, here is a valuable tool, a PDF with useful tips on How to Talk to People About Benevon (before coming to Benevon 101). (Requires Adobe Reader.)

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How do I get my board on board?
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Who should be included in our Benevon team?
Who should be included in our Benevon team?

Here are our team requirements for the Benevon 101 workshop:

  • The Benevon 101 workshop is for teams of six to seven people from the board, staff, and volunteers from a single organization.
  • Your team should consist of two to three staff members, two to three board members, and two to three additional volunteers.
  • One staff member must be your CEO, Executive Director, or equivalent position.
  • One development staff or development volunteer should also be on the team.
  • One team member must be identified as the team leader.
  • Each team member must be willing to devote one to five hours per week for one year to the team's implementation of the Benevon Model..

Also, here is a useful document that spells out the Benevon 101 Workshop Team Make-Up, including roles and responsibilities for your Team Leader, Team Members, and board members. (Requires Adobe Reader.)

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What will each team member be responsible for?

The Benevon 101 Workshop Team Make-Up document includes basic roles for Team Members, Team Leader, and board members. (Requires Adobe Reader.)

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How much time does it take to implement the Benevon Model?

We say it takes a total of twenty to thirty hours per week collectively, from all seven or eight team members—board, staff, and volunteers (i.e., an average of two to three hours per week per person).

By the second year, most of our groups add or reallocate staff so that they can have one full-time person dedicated to implementation, and by then they see the value of the cultivation process and are able to justify paying for that person.

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What more should we consider before attending Benevon 101?

If you are seriously considering participating in our programs, we recommend you first read the Eight Guiding Principles of Benevon.

Here is a valuable tool, a PDF with useful tips on How to Talk to People About Benevon (before coming to Benevon 101) . (Requires Adobe Reader.)

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How will I know if we have the right team or if our group is ready for Benevon 101?

Contact us to let us assess your team’s readiness. Our skilled regional representatives will take their time to guide you through the process to determine whether or not your organization is ready and, if not, what more you will need to do to get ready.

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Do you have special private programs for funders or national organizations wanting to implement the Benevon Model?

Yes, we offer a variety of customized private programs. Please contact us for more information.

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How do I find out more?

Call our regional representative for your area at 206-709-9400 or have a Benevon representative call you by filling out our Contact Us form.

We look forward to guiding you through the process!

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