Author(s): Susan Cole Urano
In resource-challenged Athens County, Ohio, staff and volunteers at the nonprofit Athens County Foundation came up with a daring idea: to host a locally sourced, gourmet dinner for four hundred people. The meal would be held on the brick-paved main street of the city of Athens, to raise funds for the food bank, and increase awareness of the persistent local struggle with food insecurity, as well as raise the visibility of the foundation. The logistical challenges were daunting, but the plan would unite the community around the common theme of providing for its own.
Since then, Bounty on the Bricks has become a touchstone event that raises close to one hundred thousand dollars for the food bank. In The Community Table, Athens County Foundation executive director Susan Urano translates her years of nonprofit experience with large-scale annual fundraisers into a step-by-step guide for development professionals, community leaders, and volunteers.
Urano guides readers to consider when to mount a fundraiser, who the stakeholders are, what social and financial value the event will bring to the community, and how partnerships might augment the payoff. Using real-life examples, she explains how organizers can learn from mistakes and illustrates methods of team building, conflict resolution, and problem solving. Sample ideas, timelines, budgets, publicity plans, and committee structures round out The Community Table.
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