Presented by Laura Mellinger, Benevon Instructor and Coach. Recorded May 8, 2018.
Good afternoon to everyone. Thank you so much for joining this webinar today. My name is Laura Mellinger. I'm a Benevon coach and instructor. I'm joining you from our Seattle office. I am the person who wrote, and developed, and recorded the Benevon video tutorial series. I'm really excited on this webinar today to be sharing with all of you what's included in the video tutorial, how it would be useful to your organization, and how it would really set you up to get started with the Benevon model. If you're not already familiar with the Benevon model, we do encourage you to watch our 55-minute video on our website or join one of our other upcoming free webinars, where we go into more depth about what the model actually looks like and how it would be implemented by your organization.
To give you just a little bit of background about Benevon, since 1996 we've been working with non-profits to build long-term financial sustainability from individual donors who are passionate about the mission of your organization. We have coached, in that time, more than 5,000 non-profit teams from organizations across the country with all different types of missions, everything from arts to policy to education to health and human services. We've really developed a pipeline filling system for major gifts that can be used by non-profit organizations who want to engage the community further in work of their organization. Along the way, the Benevon model also helps your organization to truly shift the culture to one of a culture of philanthropy, where everyone inside of your organization is engaged in sharing your story and truly engaging the broader community and the amazing work of your organization. Again, for more on the basics of the Benevon model, we encourage you to watch our 55-minute video which, I believe, will be included in the follow-up email you'll receive after this webinar. It's available right on our home page on the Benevon website.
Let me go into a little bit about why we developed this product. I've actually been talking to a lot of people about the video tutorial since we launched it just a couple of weeks ago. For years, we've been asked for something that is more than the book, more than our library set, but not quite as expensive as one of our workshops. The video tutorial series is designed for smaller organizations. We find it's a good fit for groups that have budgets of $500,000 or less annually. The video tutorial series will focus on what we know are the most important parts of the model, The Point of Entry event and the whole process of truly filling the pipeline with people coming through those Points of Entry. We developed this to help your organization get started with setting long-term goals for financial sustainability and building your core team that will help you implement the process that you'll design along the way. To help you craft a sizzling Point of Entry, one that truly inspires people and shows them the amazing impact of the work that you're doing at your organization. To help you launch a successful ambassador program with people who host and fill Points of Entry with ten or more guests. How to really win at the follow-up process and the whole engagement and cultivation of people that have been through your Points of Entry. And finally, how to missionize your current fund-raising and other types of special events and bring all of it into a process that's really centered around your mission.
I want to go through these key parts of the model today and give you a sense of how the video tutorial will support your organization in getting started with these steps of the model. If you have questions during the webinar, please use the Q&A box to submit those. We'll take time at the end of the session to answer those questions. The last thing that I want to say before we get started walking through each of the five videos in the video tutorial is that I want to point out right from the start that the video tutorial does not include information on how to put on an Ask Event. We have found that if an organization can get really strong in these key steps of the process, they can either use the book or possibly attend one of our workshops where we teach you the whole process, including putting on an Ask Event.
Let's go ahead and get started with the first of the five videos in the video tutorial, which is about creating a lasting legacy for your organization. In this first video and through the assignments that we give you at the end of the video, you will quantify your organization's goals for sustainable funding. As you get started with the Benevon model, your organization will need to look and have a vision for what you will want to accomplish, not just in this first year but long-term. What will the engagement and cultivation of individual donors who are really with you for a lifetime make possible for your organization, and exactly how would you quantify long-term sustainable funding? Perhaps it would be more individual donors or individual giving representing a larger percentage of your annual budget. Perhaps it's building up a cash reserve or even doing an endowment. In this video, you will hear an inspirational vision from other organizations of what they were out to accomplish with the model and how they actually achieved that along the way. You'll get to hear specific examples from organizations that have used the model and really fulfilled those long-term goals for sustainability, and you'll get to hear it right from those organizations. You'll also learn how to engage your team's passion for your mission. In addition to learning what your core team needs to look like to get started with the video tutorial, we'll give you a specific exercise that you can do with your board, your staff, and all of your volunteers to tap into their passion that each member has for your organization. This passion will be critical to your success with the process. That's the first of our five videos in the video tutorial series.
The second video is about designing your sizzling Point of Entry event. The Point of Entry is only one of the four steps of the Benevon model, but it truly is the driver of the whole thing. We like to say that the Point of Entry is really the heartbeat of the Benevon model, because without it you would never be able to be successful with the process in the long run. Being able to convey all that your organization does with just the right mix of facts and emotions in under one hour it is truly an art form. In this video, your team will learn exactly how to put this event together. We will customize and design each element of your Point of Entry, including designing your bucket and your mission message, which is like an impact statement or an elevator speech for everything that you do at your organization and who you really are.
This is one of the samples of the nine worksheets that you'll receive included in your tuition for the video tutorial series. You can see that this one is really focused on designing and crafting your mission message. We'll also work with your Visionary Leader—that's your executive director or CEO—to design their Visionary Leader talk, which is a five-minute speech that they give at the beginning of the Point of Entry that really moves and inspires people and shows them your long-term vision for the organization. This is another one of those worksheets that you'll receive included in the tuition for the video tutorial series. You'll learn what it takes to design great [inaudible 00:08:53] that include myths, facts, and needs for the future of your organization. Finally, you'll learn how to write great stories that truly convey the impact of your work on the people that you ultimately serve. That's video two of the video tutorial series, which is all about designing your sizzling Point of Entry.
The third video in the video tutorial series is about engaging your community as ambassadors. Having a great Point of Entry program is one thing, but holding Point of Entry events two times a month with each event being hosted and filled as a private, invitation only Point of Entry that is being hosted by them as an ambassador is something else entirely. Ambassadors, which is what we call people who fill that role of hosting and filling a private, invitation only Point of Entry, are truly what will sustain the model in your organization long-term. In the Benevon model, again, an ambassador is someone who is passionate about your work and agrees to host a Point of Entry. We assume that most ambassadors will serve in this role once, maybe twice. In addition to helping you identify your first 20 to 30 ambassadors, we will also show you how to sustain the ambassador process long-term so that you are always recruiting and working with new ambassadors who are hosting and filling Points of Entry that lead you to finding new ambassadors down the road.
Part of this video tutorial will be completing a Treasure Map, where you identify all of the groups of people that your organization already comes into contact with. These will likely be some of your very first ambassadors and guests at your Points of Entry. We'll also do an exercise with you called Know Thy Donor, where we will look at all of your current donors and even some of your volunteers or members, if you're a membership organization, to see how you could more successfully engage them in your organization's mission, and ultimately get them through Points of Entry, and have them become ambassadors. Finally, in this video, we will look at the Cultivation Superhighway. If you think of the Point of Entry event like a first date that someone has with your organization, think of the Cultivation Superhighway like the second or third date—essentially, what you will do to keep that person engaged, and thinking about your mission, and further developing a relationship with them leading up to when you ultimately would ask them for money. That's our third video, which is about engaging your community as ambassadors.
The fourth video in the series is Keys to Successful Follow-Up Calls. One of the key metrics that we focus on in this fourth video in the series is that you must be able to routinely generate at least one new ambassador from each Point of Entry event that's hosted by an ambassador. In other words, the goal is that if you have ten people at a Point of Entry, and it has been hosted by an ambassador, that a minimum of one of those ten guests when they receive a follow-up call will say, "Well, I could certainly do what my friend did and host a Point of Entry. I can see that that would really make a difference for your organization." As I mentioned earlier, we assume that most people will successfully serve as an ambassador once, maybe twice. This is critical to sustaining the model long-term in your organization. In this video, you will learn how to set your follow-up calls up for success. You'll learn what to do before, during, and after the Point of Entry to really increase the odds of you recruiting new ambassadors through the follow-up process. In this video, you even get to see a video clip of an actual follow-up call, where you get to hear what a great follow-up call would sound like and how you would successfully be able to lead to a new ambassador with your follow-up. I'm actually going to give you a sense of that by showing you a quick video clip of the fourth video in the series.
Speaker 1: Hello?
Speaker 2: Hi. Is this Marcy?
Speaker 1: Yes, it is.
Speaker 2: Hi, Marcy. This is Laura calling with Learning Partners. How are you?
Speaker 1: Oh, I'm wonderful, Laura. How are you today?
Speaker 2: I'm doing really well. Did I catch you at an okay time to chat?
Speaker 1: You did. I have about ten minutes. Then I need to run out for an appointment. I've got a few minutes.
Speaker 2: Okay. Well, I promise I will not keep you for long. As promised, I'm calling to follow-up with you after the story time that you attended earlier this week. I just really want to thank you for your attendance and just tell you how much we appreciate that you came.
Speaker 1: Oh, of course. It was really great. I'm so glad that Jane invited me. I thought it was a great session. I learned quite a bit about you all that I hadn't know before.
Speaker 2: Well, I am also so grateful that Jane invited you. I'm sure she shared with you that beyond being a board member for us that she was really taking this on as a volunteer ambassador, which is a pretty big deal for us. I know how excited she was about everybody who was there. It was terrific. Tell me, what did you think? I know you knew a little bit about us before you came to the story time, but I'd love to know what did you learn, what did you take away, and certainly what questions do you have.
Laura: I hope that that gave you a taste of what the video tutorial series is like. That's a direct clip out of the fourth of the five videos so you can get a sense of how you'll be able to see and experience things. That's just one of, obviously, much more content that's included throughout the series.
Let's move on, then, to the fifth video in the series, which is Customizing Your System of Events. In this final video, we will look at how the Points of Entry and the whole Benevon model will fit into what your organization is already doing in your fund-raising. We'll evaluate your annual calendar of events and show you how to further missionize or eventually phase out existing fund-raising events. This worksheet that you see up on the screen is another of the nine worksheets. This one is about evaluating the annual calendar of events to see where they would fit within the Benevon model. In addition to the five videos, as you can see here, included in the tuition are nine detailed handouts which will guide you through the assignments for each of the videos. I've showed you a few of those throughout the webinar today, but know that there are nine worksheets in total.
I want to move now into talking a little bit about how to use the video tutorial series. Your purchase of the video tutorial includes unlimited access to all five videos for six months from the date of purchase. On our website you'll see a sample timeline for how you would implement everything that you will learn in the series, but you can really go at your own pace as long as you plan to complete all of the learning and assignments within six months of the date of purchase. Purchase of the video tutorial does not include the Benevon library. If you do not have the Benevon library set, you will want to purchase it to get the most value out of the video tutorial series, as it really is meant to be a companion guide to our complete starter set which you'll see here up on the screen. Again, if you don't already own the books, you will want to purchase a set, since we refer to specific sections of the book throughout the video tutorial.
We recommend that you complete the video tutorial series with at least three people from your organization, but certainly, more would be better. The ideal team makeup would be your executive director or CEO. If you have development staff, for sure you'd want them to be a part of the team, and then a minimum of at least one board member or volunteer who can be with you throughout the whole process. You're welcome to have additional board members and volunteers join you. The videos are purchased through and hosted on Vimeo. It will require an Internet connection to view the videos throughout the entire six-month period. You'll never actually download the files. They will always be available on Vimeo. You'll have a password to watch them as many times as you want to during that six-month timeframe, but you will need an Internet connection to do that.
The tuition for the video tutorial is going to be $1,095. That includes access to all five videos, as I said, for six months from the date of purchase and that packet of nine detailed worksheets that you'll be using throughout your watching and completing the assignments throughout the series. When you're ready to purchase the video tutorial series, it is located on the Benevon website at the web address that you'll see up here on your screen. You can also easily navigate there from our home page. For those of you on the webinar today, this link will be included in the follow-up email that we will send to you after the webinar.
All right. I think we are ready to go ahead and take some questions. I'm not sure, Melissa, if we have received any. I'll go ahead and turn to you to let us know what people are asking about.
Melissa: We have one question. What size organization is this created for?
Laura: Great question. As we said, the range that we anticipate this being a good fit for are groups with budgets of $500,000 or less. Typically, we find that if your budget is half a million dollars or more, you probably are a good fit for our Benevon 101 workshop. If you're on the fence or you've got specific reasons why you know that coming to a workshop isn't going to work for you right now, and you're comfortable with just getting started with the Points of Entry, follow-up, ambassador, and the whole pipeline process, we'd be happy to talk with you about using the video tutorial. In terms of organizations being too small, we really don't think that there is a minimum budget. As long as you can field a team of three people who are willing to dedicate the time to watch the entire video tutorial series and complete the assignments as a team, even if all of those people are volunteers, I think that you would be in great shape. It's really just a matter of having people that are committed and willing to participate. Thank you for that question, whoever asked it. Anything else to come through, Melissa?
Melissa: We have another question which is: what if it's just me, and I don't have any additional team members at this time?
Laura: You'd probably want to hold off on buying the video tutorial until you have identified other people to do it with you. The first video does include information on building the team and really identifying the people who are passionate about the organization to the point where they would probably be willing to help with this. I think if you're one person and cannot think of two other volunteers, or board members, or staff, if appropriate, to help with this, you'd want to have that figured out before you purchase the series so that you can go ahead and get started as soon as you buy it. I think if there aren't staff, assuming if you're a staff of one or maybe an all-volunteer organization, I'd say look to the people who are already wanting to help with fund-raising, maybe people who have said, "There's got to be a better way for us to be engaging the community and getting our story out there than what we're doing now." If you have a development committee or even just a really committed board member that you think would like to take this on with you, that would probably be a great place to look, or certainly, a very passionate volunteer. Anything else that we've gotten, Melissa?
Melissa: Paula asks: in your experience, what success have organizations of this size had with the Benevon approach?
Laura: We have had smaller organizations over the years that have fielded a team for our workshops. Again, we really have found that $500,000 cut-off in terms of our workshops and fielding a team to come to the two-day workshop, that has been a big learning for us. In terms of doing the Points of Entry, and the follow-up, and the ambassador approach, when we talk to groups who say, "We just don't have the capacity right now to fully implement the model," often they do have the capacity to get started with the Points of Entry. For example, you might say, "Having one Point of Entry event per month for us would really be a huge step in the right direction. We'd like to get to doing two per month, but for the initial timeframe, one per month is where we can really see ourselves being able to take this on." I think the video tutorial gives you all of the information, as long as you feel prepared to actually do Points of Entry, and do follow-up calls, and invest yourselves in the process. I think that if you have to modify, just know that you're going to end up having to modify all along the way. If you wanted to ultimately do an Ask Event using the books, it's probably going to take you longer than it would if you were doing two Points of Entry per month. This is really the part of the model that if any organization were wanting to get started with engaging the community, shifting their culture, building towards long-term sustainability, this is what we would be telling them to focus on at first. It's really why we selected these particular topics for this series. Melissa, do we have anything else that's come through? I know we're just getting close to the end of our time.
Melissa: Can you just repeat how it is that people access the worksheets when they purchase the series?
Laura: Yes. You'll actually purchase the series through Vimeo. You'll go to that Benevon website. Again, that link will be included in the follow-up email. That'll take you to Vimeo where you purchase. I believe that we will email you the handout packet of the worksheets after you've purchased it through Vimeo. It will come from us here at Benevon after you have made the purchase on Vimeo. Again, if you choose to buy the books, you'll just go ahead and do that right through the Benevon store on our website. You'll want to make sure, obviously, that you're set up to have those as you get started.
Melissa: Laura, we have one last question. Can organizations successfully launch the Benevon model with just the two books and DVD package?
Laura: That's, for a long time, what we've had to offer for groups that have not been able to come to a workshop. Again, this series is designed to be a companion guide to the books. What you'll get in the video tutorial that you wouldn't just get in the books are real-life examples. I, basically, lead the entire thing. The videos range in length from about 15 to just over about 35 minutes. You're getting coaching throughout the video series on how to implement the different pieces of the model that really just elaborates on and adds a lot of depth to what's included in the books. Yes, I think an organization could, absolutely, use the books alone. We're finding that the video tutorial is really an amazing complement to what you get out of the books. It gives you something that you can use as a group vs. everybody reading the book. Everybody can sit down, watch the videos together, and then discuss and complete the assignments. It gives you a little more structure to your implementation.
Well, I know we are just shy of our half hour here. In terms of the recap, you will be getting an email in the next 24 hours with all of the resources I've mentioned today—the 55-minute video, the link to where to purchase the video tutorial. If you have any questions, you'll have contact information in there where you can respond if you have further questions. Thanks so much for joining us. 'Bye, 'bye, everybody.
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