Planning a benefit gala could take up to a year (or more) to get all the elements just right to motivate generosity. At the core of your special event is the mission moment, the pulse for giving. With tremendous effort behind the stage presentation, when is the right time to market your appeal? Dean Crownover, Benefit Auction Specialist & Profit Consultant, and Author of Paddles Up, explores how marketing should kickoff long before you step on stage.


February 16, 2023 – Episode # 75

Promoting Your Event’s Appeal Long Before the Stage Presentation

The planning list is endless. Committees, tasks, and giving opportunities are carefully planned to optimize a 4-hour window of generosity.

You’re feeling the weight of the mission moment and all the details of your stage presentation. It goes by many names – paddle raise, mission moment, special appeal, direct ask, and fund-a-need. But no mater what you call it, nonprofit experts claim that the special appeal raises the most at your event in the shortest amount of time. According to Swaim Strategies, it’s the ‘single biggest fundraising opportunity at your event.’

Google it. You’ll find tons of articles on how to make the special moment perfect to inspire giving.

So it starts with with storytelling at your event….STRIKE THAT! Your mission moment begins long before you step on stage!

Dean Crownover, Benefit Auction Specialist & Profit Consultant, My Benefit Auctioneer, and Author of Paddle Up has more than 25 years experience in professional entertainment, comedy, and fundraising. Based in Atlanta, GA, Dean takes the importance of his role as a benefit auctioneer to heart. But he also brings a very unique perspective to marketing ‘The Ask.’

Dean discusses how guests plan giving budgets before they step into the ballroom. It’s critical to connect with donors early, engage them emotionally, and demonstrate the impact of your mission. You’ll want to market the appeal just like you promote your event.

In this episode, Dean shares his expertise and the marketing strategy behind the special appeal.

Highlights include:

  1. Methods to promote your fund-a-need and identify what works best for your nonprofit.
  2. Best practices for marketing before, during, and after your event.
  3. Strategy to market your mission, engage audiences, and drive giving.
  4. Perspective on when and how to bring your message to life.

To connect with Dean, reach out to him on Linked In: Dean Crownover or visit his website: My Benefit Auctioneer

Special Offer for Raise Nation Radio listeners: Download a FREE copy of Dean’s Book: Paddles Up (also available on Amazon

(If you are a nonprofit and would like to be a guest on Raise Nation Radio to feature your mission and impact, contact Dawn Lego.)