Events with Benefits®
Events with benefits cover art v4.1

A podcast designed to help nonprofit organizations raise more money and achieve greater success at their fundraising events with less effort.

Guests from all different sectors of the nonprofit industry--including charity auctioneers, attorneys, development directors, marketers, and many more--share their unique perspectives and biggest lessons learned.

Events With Benefits® is hosted by three longtime event fundraising professionals and friends: Danny Hooper, benefit auctioneer at Danny Hooper Productions; Ian Lauth, VP of Marketing at Winspire; and Renee Zau, Co-founder & CEO of

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    Ep 62: Ben Farrell - Making the Most of the Live Auction & Fund-A-Need

    Today's special guest is Ben Farrell, Founder of Custom Benefit Auctions based in North Carolina. In this session, Farrell draws upon decades of experience in the auction industry to share tips to create a fun, exciting, and dynamic auction experience.

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    Ep 60: Bradley Martin - Optimizing Your Donor Lifecycle

    Today's special guest is Bradley Martin, Senior Director of Customer Acquisition at donor management software provider Kindful. Bradley shares practical tips and best practices for nurturing donor relationships in an effective and sustainable manner.

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    Ep 59: Kurt Wilson - Asking for Feedback

    Today's special guest is Kurt Wilson, President at Effect X. Effect X helps nonprofits move from concept to implementation with facilitation, planning, and grant writing. In this session, learn how nonprofits can create or strengthen feedback systems to improve fundraising and staff retention.

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    Ep 58: Lynn Page - National Director of Signature Events for JDRF

    Today's special guest is Lynn Page, National Director of Signature Events at JDRF. In this special session, Page draws upon expertise in fundraising events, board development, volunteer recruitment and management, strategic planning, and metrics and training to share proven fundraising gala best practices.

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    Ep 56: Guy Mersereau - A Corporate and Personal Philanthropist

    Today's special guest is Guy Mersereau, Senior Vice President at Vallen Canada and Vallen Distribution Inc. (US). In this session, Mersereau shares how he runs a one million dollar golf tournament annually, engages his staff with philanthropy, and how nonprofits can access money raised through corporate golf tournaments.

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    Ep 55: Dean Crownover - The Art & Skill of a High Dollar Direct Appeal

    Today's special guest is Dean Crownover, a Benefit Auctioneer Specialist based in Atlanta. In this episode, Dean draws from more than 20 years of experience to share practical tips for more lucrative fundraising events, particularly in the direct appeal, a.k.a. Fund-a-Need.

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    Ep 53: Nick Arquette - Building a 1,300 Person Event From Scratch

    Today's special guest is Nick Arquette, Founder & CEO of Walk With Sally, a nonprofit supporting children experiencing trauma through a family member's cancer journey. Learn their time-tested fundraising techniques that power this critical mission year round.

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    Ep 52: Laurene Mitchell - 53 Years of Fundraising

    Today's special guest is Laurene Mitchell, a veteran fund developer for Heritage Park in Calgary, Alberta. In this episode she shares diverse fundraising tips to generate more money by producing unique, fresh events.

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    Ep 51: Stephen Kilbreath - Fundraising Auction Timelines

    Today's special guest is Stephen Kilbreath, professional Benefit Auctioneer Specialist based in Seattle, Washington. Kilbreath draws on 25 years' experience in charity fundraising to share practical tips and cutting-edge ideas to get the most out of your event.

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    Ep 50: Brad Mastaler - 25-Year Legacy Events

    Today's special guest is Brad Mastaler, Past President and active member of the Spruce Grove Rotary Club in Alberta, Canada. Mastaler shares insights from 25 years of involvement with the Rotary Club's Annual Lobster Fest.

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    Ep 49: Dianne Young - Nonprofit Strategy

    Today's special guest is Dianne Young, Founder of YoungTeamLtd and a strategist and visionary in the nonprofit space. In this session, Young shares tips and personal stories from decades of fundraising experience.

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    Ep 48: Leena Patidar - CoinUp Donates Your Spare Change

    Today's special guest is Leena Patidar, Co-Founder and CEO of CoinUp. This app is designed to capture the "spare change" from users' credit card purchases and automatically donate it to select causes.

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    Ep 47: Kathy Kingston - Fundraising Auction Strategist & Author

    Today's special guest is Kathy Kingston, fundraising auction strategist, professional benefit auctioneer, and author. Kingston draws on 3 decades' auctioneering experience to share practical tips for raising more money in charity auctions.

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    Ep 46: Renee Jones - 30 Years of Benefit Auctions

    Today's special guest is Renee Jones, benefit auctioneer of National Fundraising Solutions. In a standout session, Jones draws on nearly 3 decades' experience to share tips and best practices for charity auctions.

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    Ep 44: Connor Sweeney - How to Offer a $1 Million Hole In One

    Today's special guest is Connor Sweeney, President and CEO at Great Shot Golf. Working with 1,700 golf events a year, Sweeney shares tangible tips for nonprofits to get the most out of golf tournament events (like offering a $1 Million hole-in-one prize).

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    Ep 43: Bobby D and Erin Ward - Are Auctions Becoming Extinct?

    Today's special guests are Bobbi D and Erin Ward, benefit auctioneers based in the New York tri-state area. In this episode, they share the inside scoop on the evolution of fundraising auctions, concrete examples of unique events, plus practical tips to improve your special appeal.

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    Ep 42: Jack Landers - Is Your A$$ Covered (With Proper Insurance)?

    Today's special guest is Jack Landers, Insurance and Risk Management Broker at Teague Insurance, a provider of nonprofit risk management and coverage. Landers draws on his 20 years of experience in the industry to share tips to keep your charity out of hot water.

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    Ep 41: Kathleen Janus - Social Startup Success

    Today's special guest is Kathleen Kelly Janus, an award-winning social entrepreneur, author, and lecturer at Stanford University, and an expert on philanthropy, Millennial engagement, and scaling early stage organizations.

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    Ep 40: Keith Fox - The Importance of Sound

    Today's special guest is Keith Fox, professional benefit auctioneer & DJ at Fox Fundraising & Auctions. In today's episode, Fox shares best practices for improving the sound quality at a benefit auction.

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    Ep 39: Tom Summa - Consignment Travel Packages

    Today's special guest is Tom Summa, Fundraising Specialist at no-risk travel provider Winspire. In today's episode, Summa shares a behind-the-scenes look at consignment travel and best practices to leverage this unique fundraising strategy.

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    Ep 38: Jill Boyer - Mobile Bidding with Greater Giving

    New fundraising ideas emerge every day. Today's special guest is Jill Boyer, Director of Marketing at fundraising technology provider GreaterGiving. Boyer shares unique revenue enhancer ideas that fill out a fundraising auction agenda and raise thousands of additional dollars (like a "Graffiti Wall"!).

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    Ep 37: Kristi Saucerman - AuctionFrogs

    Kristi Saucerman, Founder and CEO of AuctionFrogs, shares her data-driven best practices to raise more at charity galas and fundraising auctions and how to sell more event tickets.

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    Ep 36: Jerry Potter - Facebook Event Marketing

    This week we welcome Jerry Potter, CMO at Mastodon Media and Host of Five Minute Social Media on YouTube. He will share tips and tricks for marketing your events to increase attendance and sponsor attention on social media.

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    Ep 33: Steve Patzkowski - Co-Founder of Brighter Tomorrow

    Today's special guest is Steve Patzkowski, Co-Founder and Director of Business Development at charity race management company Brighter Tomorrow. In this session, Patzkowski shares practical tips for nonprofits considering or planning a benefit race.

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    Ep 32: Stephen Garten - Founder and CEO of Charity Charge

    Today's special guest is Stephen Garten, Founder and CEO of Charity Charge. Created in collaboration with MasterCard and GuideStar, this credit card automatically sends 1 percent of all purchases cardholders make to the nonprofit of their choice.

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    Ep 31: Tom Huston - Founder & CEO at EveryWon

    Today's special guest is Tom Huston, Founder and CEO of EveryWon. This fundraising platform creates community races for nonprofits to join and raise money for their cause.

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    Ep 30: Teresa Stivers - The CEO Perspective on Fundraising Events

    Today's special guest is Teresa Stivers, CEO at foster care, adoption, and youth services agency Walden Family Services. Stivers shares details on their annual gala, how she measures impact and effectiveness, and hard-earned lessons learned.

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    Ep 29: Dana Levin - Hosting a 4-Star Charity Event

    Today's special guest is Dana Levin, Director of Signature Advancement Events at Jewish Family Service in San Diego, a 4-star charity (highest ranking) on Charity Navigator. Levin draws on decades of experience to share her strategies for better fundraising events.

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    Ep 28: Justin Dennis - Success With Consignment Memorabilia

    Today's special guest is Justin Dennis, Owner and President of DSC Consulting, a company that provides no-risk sports memorabilia to about 600 nonprofit events each year. In today's session, Dennis shares best practices for using sports memorabilia in charity auctions.

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    Ep 27: Claire Kerr - Promoting Events with Social Media

    Today's special guest is Claire Kerr, Director of Digital Philanthropy at FrontStream, an online fundraising platform. In this session Kerr shares tips for nonprofits of all experience levels to use social media, apps and more to promote fundraising events for greater results.

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    Ep 26: Michael Bleau - Managing Event Sponsorships & Vendors

    Today's special guest is Michael Bleau, Co-founder and CEO of EventsLocker, an event space and sponsorship booking site. He shares different opportunities for raising money at larger-scale neighborhood events (like a fun run fundraiser) with event sponsorships.

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    Ep 25: Cameron Ripley - Google Grants for Nonprofits

    Today's special guest is Cameron Ripley, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Community Boost Consulting, a Google Grant management agency that exists to empower and accelerate social ventures.

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    Ep 24: AJ Steinberg - Event Fundraising Like a Queen Bee

    Today's special guest is A.J. Steinberg, founder of Queen Bee Fundraising and principal of Masquerade Events. With nearly 20 years' experience in fundraising event planning, Steinberg shares tangible, practical tips for coaching and managing a team of volunteers (without pulling your hair out!)

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    Ep 23: Ken Davenport - Nonprofit Strategy and Fiscal Sponsorship

    Today's special guest is Ken Davenport, CEO of Mission Edge, a social enterprise dedicated to helping nonprofits with operational support services. Davenport combines entrepreneurial experience with years of observing and assisting smaller charities with growth and strategy to share fiscal insights for nonprofits in 2017.

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    Ep 22: Brian Grady - A Donor Company Perspective from Picaboo

    Today's special guest is Brian Grady from online photo publishing service Picaboo, a for-profit company that sifts through countless donation requests each year. In this episode, Grady shares tips to make your request stand out from the pack and form mutually beneficial partnerships with corporate donors.

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    Ep 21: Gretchen Kelly - Your Organization's Online Presence

    Today's guest is Gretchen Kelly, Founder of VLink. Kelly discusses how PTA's, PTO's, and parent organizations can improve website creation and communications, plus easily-corrected mistakes nonprofits make when managing their online presence.

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    Ep 20: Michelle Boyer - Charity Compliance

    Today's special guest is Michelle Boyer, President at Charity Compliance Solutions. In this episode, learn how your nonprofit can avoid legal troubles by getting registered as a charitable organization in every state in which you solicit donations.

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    Ep 19: Jeff Dowler - Optimizing Donation Processing

    Today's special guest is Jeff Dowler, President at Optimal Giving. In this episode, learn how your nonprofit can put even more of your supporters' donations toward your cause by trimming credit card processing fees.

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    Ep 18: Janeal Ford, Fordable Freelance - Grants

    Today's special guest is Janeal Ford, President at Fordable Freelance and professional fundraising consultant. In this episode, learn how better grant writing and fundraising education can help you improve fundraising results.

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    Ep 17: Melissa Merriam - BidPal Mobile Bidding

    Today's special guest is Melissa Merriam, Area Director at fundraising technology provider BidPal. Melissa covers how fundraising and technology work together to raise more money at charity auctions.

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    Ep 16: Dan Dowling - Capital Campaigns

    Today's special guest is Dan Dowling, Campaign Director with Willette-Dowling and Associates, draws from his 32 years of nonprofit experience to help others with fundraising growth and capital campaigns.

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    Ep 15: Jeff Chang - Cause4Auction

    Jeff Chang, Co-founder and CEO of Cause4Auction, talks with us about why Cause4Auction was built, how it is different from other auction software, and his advice for event organizers collected from his mobile bidding clients' successes.

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    Ep 14: Heath Hale - Wrangle More Bids For Live Auction Items

    Today's guest is Heath Hale, one of the best Benefit Auctioneer Specialists in the country. Together with his team of Cowboys, Hale raised over $9.3 Million and exceeded 100% of his clients' goals in 2016. Today he shares his proven strategies and best practices for success.

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    Ep 13: Laurie Hochman - Auctria

    Today's special guest is Laurie Hochman, Marketing Coordinator at fundraising auction software provider Auctria. As a former PTA President and Executive Board Member, Hochman shares multi-dimensional tips to boost auction revenue.

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    Ep 12: Heather Dean-Presnall - Raising $1 Million Per Year With Events

    Heather Dean-Presnall, Senior Manager of Multi Market Leadership Events at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Pacific region, tells how she manages the largest auction in San Diego with 600 packages and attended by 650 guests, as well as creative ways she raises more at her events.

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    Ep 11: Cheryl Parker - Benefit Auctioneer

    Today's special guest is Cheryl Parker, certified benefit auctioneer specialist based in San Diego, Calif. Parker shares her unique tips and tricks for generating extra revenue at your event, plus an offer for her free event planning resource.

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    Ep 10: Nelson Jay - Are Charity Auctions Dying?

    Are charity auctions dying? Today's special guest is Nelson Jay, benefit auctioneer from Seattle, Wash. Nelson shares potential pitfalls, tips and techniques to employ in your next fundraising live and silent auction.

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    Ep 9: Carlos Leija - Donor Development

    Today's special guest is Carlos Leija, Chief Development Officer at Orangewood Children's Foundation in Santa Ana, Calif. He shares tips and first-hand experience using fundraising events to build relationships with donors, recruit volunteers, secure sponsorships and more.

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    Ep 8: Debby Roth-Bush - Mobile Bidding

    Today's special guest is Debby Roth-Bush, Relationship Manager at auction software provider Greater Giving. Roth-Bush is a certified benefit auctioneer and expert on mobile bidding technology.

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    Ep 7: Scott Robertson - Auction Timeline Tips

    Today's special guest is Scott Robertson, professional fundraising auctioneer. With over 20 years of experience, Scott offers proven techniques and invaluable insight on how to reach and exceed your Fundraising Goals by streamlining your auction timeline.

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    Ep 6: Noah McMahon - Thinking BIG

    Today's special guest is Noah McMahon, philanthropist, founder and CEO of Anonymous LLC in Laguna Hills, Calif. Noah offers invaluable tips to set ambitious goals, establish the right mindset and build relationships with donors.

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    Ep 5: Lynda M. West - Perseverance

    Today's special guest is Lynda West, a coach and mentor to nonprofits based in San Diego, Calif. She leads a mastermind program to help nonprofits brainstorm together and gain confidence to ask for what they need to achieve their goals.

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    Ep 4: Parker Pike - Partnerships

    Today's special guest is Parker Pike, former bakery owner and today full time member of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Nonprofit Association. Learn the ins and outs of securing corporate partnerships for your cause.

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    Ep 3: Mary Tovella Dowling - Legal Considerations

    Today's special guest is Mary Tovella Dowling, attorney at For Purpose Law Group in San Diego, Calif. In a litigious world, Mary offers invaluable, money-saving insight on the potential legal pitfalls that can affect your fundraising event.

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    Ep 2: Holly Kennedy - Golf Tournaments

    Today's special guest is Holly Kennedy, CEO and founder of Kennedy Golf Tournament and Event Planning in San Diego, Calif. As charity golf tournaments continue trending upward, learn groundbreaking ideas, details and tips for anyone considering running a golf event.

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    Ep 1: Jim Nye - The Auction Guy

    Professional fundraising auctioneer Jim Nye works with 50+ events each year. Today he shares expert recommendations for auction timelines, selling consignment packages, the top 10 critical items he brings to events and more.

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