Frequently Asked Questions

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 work is highly confidential, or if we do policy, advocacy, international relief, or research work?
How will I know if we have the right team or if our group is ready for Benevon 101?
Who should be included in our Benevon team?
What is expected of each team member we bring to the two-day Benevon 101 Workshop?
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?
What about the board members who will not be participating on our Benevon Team and will not be coming with us to the two-day Benevon 101 Workshop? What will be expected of them as we go through this process the first year?
How much time does it take to implement the Benevon Model?
How have other organizations found the funds to pay the tuition?
What are the hidden costs associated with implementing the Benevon Model?
How can I hear from people who have implemented the Benevon Model?
What more should we consider before attending Benevon 101?
What percentage of groups successfully meet Benevon’s formulas?
What are the reasons for 10% of groups not meeting your formulas?
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?

Since 1996, we have trained over 5,000 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.

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.

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 work is highly confidential, or if we do policy, advocacy, international relief, or research work?

The Benevon Model works for every imaginable type of nonprofit, so long as you have a passionate team of seven 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.

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 experienced relationship managers 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.

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 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.
  • You may bring up to ten total team members. Workshop tuition includes seven team members. Tuition for up to three additional team members is $250 per person.
  • Each team member must be willing to devote one to three hours per week for one year to the team's implementation of the Benevon Model.
What is expected of each team member we bring to the two-day Benevon 101 Workshop?

Team members agree to serve on the Benevon team for one year and fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Attend the entire two-day Benevon 101 Workshop with your organization’s team
  2. Serve as an Ambassador: host and fill one Point of Entry Event with ten guests or more within three months of attending the workshop
  3. Attend monthly team meetings in your organization’s office
  4. Participate in all coaching calls with your Benevon coach—one call approximately every eight to ten weeks
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 one half-time staff person to manage the process.

If you continue to implement the model, in the second year you will need one full-time development staff person dedicated solely to this process.

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).

How do I get my board on board?
What about the board members who will not be participating on our Benevon Team and will not be coming with us to the two-day Benevon 101 Workshop? What will be expected of them as we go through this process the first year?

We require nothing of the board members who choose not to be on your Benevon team.

Having said that, many of your board members may genuinely want to participate in some way, especially after they attend your sizzling Point of Entry Event after your team comes back from the workshop.

Here are the optional responsibilities that all board members may choose to take on to support the efforts of your Benevon team:

  1. Learn about the Benevon Model: Attend a Benevon in-person introductory session, conference call, or webinar or watch the online video
  2. Attend a Point of Entry Event and bring guests to the organization’s public Point of Entry Events all year
  3. Serve as an Ambassador: host and fill one private Point of Entry Event with ten guests or more
  4. Recruit others to be Ambassadors
  5. Make thank-you phone calls and invitation calls as requested
  6. Give money: make a personal financial contribution (of an amount that is meaningful to them) to the organization
  7. Attend cultivation events and bring others
How much time does it take to implement the Benevon Model?

Successful first-year implementation requires a minimum half-time, dedicated development staff member, who serves as the Team Leader. In addition, we recommend that each team member be prepared to dedicate one to three hours per week for one year.

If you continue in our Sustainable Funding Program, by the second year of your implementation, you will need one full-time development staff member dedicated to this process. Many groups find they do not need to hire an additional person to fill this role. Rather, they are able to reallocate staff by eliminating other more labor intensive and less productive activities. They see the value of the cultivation process and are able to justify having full-time dedicated staff.

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 webinar  or watch our Creating Sustainable Funding for Your Nonprofit 55-Minute Recorded 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 and community engagement.

What are the hidden costs associated with implementing the Benevon Model?

Here is a PDF delineating the "hidden costs" associated with implementing each step of the Benevon Model.

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

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.

 

 

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).

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.
What are the reasons for 10% of groups not meeting your formulas?

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. Must have more non-staff than staff on the team.
  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.

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 for a minimum of ten nonprofit teams. Please contact us for more information.

How do I find out more?

Call 206-709-9400 and talk to one of our helpful relationship managers or fill out our Contact Us form.

We look forward to guiding you through the process!