Questions Updates Ideas Info

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Kate Cloonan, 6/18/2009:
During today's Gala Committee Meeting, a member of the Committee, (Gayle Bailey—of Bailey Real Estate ( was kind enough to offer his Beach House in North Carolina to the Auction. He also committed to help seek auction items from the Ritz Golf Club in NoVA, as well as pursuing donations/sponsorships from folks associated with the Kincora Baseball Investment Group which is currently working to bring Minor League Baseball Team to Loudoun County.

6/18/09 Elizabeth:
Regarding the charities that we would have as suggestions for people to donate their auction items to, what if we used the charities that the award winners are affiliated with? So that way we could always just say that we were choosing to honor their charities of choice (as opposed to having to defend LFI's decision to choose one charity over another).

6/25/09 Kate Cloonan:
Great idea Elizabeth. Thanks. I will contact LIZ NOHRA and see if we can get a list of the charities that each Awardee is affiliated with. We can discuss this at our next meeting on 6/30.09.

7/8/09 Kate Cloonan:
HERE'S A NEW IDEA TO CONSIDER: I know we do not yet have the full list of ELI/LFI committee chairs to solicit for auction items, but in the meantime, we can do our own targeted approach. Like me, I am sure you all have friends and co-workers who did ELI and LFI. I plan to email a copy of the great gift basket list that Christy R. prepared (available on this Wiki site) and ask my friends and colleagues if they would consider donating one to the Auction/Gala. It's an easy way to solicit items right from your desk! Feel free to do the same! HAPPY HUNTING!!

7/8/09 Christie
I have pulled a list of all national chain restaurants from google. I plan to go through and see if they have corporate addresses to which we should submit requests. Obviously it's much nicer to have gift certs from fancier places - but if we can dash off a request letter and end up with something from Applebees or others - why not :)

7/16/09 - Update from Kate Cloonan:
1. 2009 LFI Auction Letter - The 2009 LFI Auction Solicitation letter will be mailed out this week to all prior donors (thanks to the Reston Association). The list of prior donors is posted on the Wiki page and when looking for auction items, all committee members should feel free to personally follow up with prior donors in your assigned area (Reston, Fairfax, Springfield, McLean etc…). As you know, phone calls and emails are great, but is possible, in-person requests work best. The 2009 Auction letter is also posted on the Wiki Home page. Simply scroll down and click on FILES and it will appear.

2. Choose Your Charity - At today's LFI Gala Committee meeting, we decided on the logistics for the "Choose Your Charity" idea for the auction. Please review the following approach and let me know if you have any thoughts/feedback.
• All auction items (gift baskets, toys, sports event tickets, etc…) will be available for bidders to bid on and take home, OR they can choose to donate any item to one of 5 selected charities designated by LFI (see below for which charities we will include this year).
• LFI's Award Committee Chair will ask each of the four Gala awardees to select a children-related charity that could receive auction items. In addition, since LFI is leading the charge with the Fairfax Cares initiative, (which reaches out across a variety of non-profits and charities), we will offer bidders the option of donating to Fairfax Cares, which can then decide how best to use the donated item(s). In total, we will have 5 designated charities.
• LFI will contact each of the 5 charities, to let them know that they are selected as possible donation recipients this year, and then each organization will need to work with LFI to coordinate receipt of any/all donated items.
• Again, all winning bidders will have the chance to keep OR donate any auction item. While we do not need to have every auction item focused on children, certain auction items will be more appropriate to donate to these children's charities. Please consider that as you go forward and seek auction items. Toys, sporting goods, child-friendly gift certificates and event tickets are always a great idea. Some businesses may even be more willing to donate items if they know about LFI's "choose your charity" approach, and that LFI is working to donate items back to Fairfax county children's organizations.

3. The Art of the "Ask" - We all know how challenging it can be ask people to give anything to a non-profit, especially during these tough economic times. Gayle Bailey and Brian Willey (LFI Gala Sponsorship Committee) have generously offered to run a brief tutorial for all Sponsorship Committee members, and invited our Auction Committee members too. This would be a great way for folks to meet other LFI volunteers, and get some very useful information on successful strategies for "asking" for donations. I plan to attend, and encourage any of you to participate as well. Given that the Gala is soon approaching, Brian and Gayle would like to host this brief training session at a location in RESTON on THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2009, from 8:00-9:30 am. Please R.S.V.P. to me and Liz Nohra (gro.xafriafpihsredael|zil#gro.xafriafpihsredael|zil) and let us know if you can attend, or if another time/date is better. We would like to get as many participants as possible, and we may be able to adjust the date/time/location if folks cannot make it next Thursday.

4. Next Auction Committee Teleconference - Many folks were unable to make this week's Auction Committee conference call. Please note that our next call will be on July 28 at 9:30am. As always, the dial-in information is provided on the Wiki page main menu.

7/28/09 - Update from Kate Cloonan:
The following individuals participated in today's Auction Committee conference call:
Suzanne Keating
Joel Friedman
Lynn Downer
Kate Cloonan
Tania Hossain
Elizabeth Vitale

1. 11 WEEKS LEFT!!!!! - K. Cloonan kicked off the meeting reminding the team that there are approximately 11 weeks before all auction items must be received at LFI, so they can be entered into the program. Kate asked all Committee Members to make every effort to secure items in these summer months before everyone's busy fall schedules begin.

2. Follow-up With Prior Donors - Liz N. announced that she posted a list of all prior year donors on the WIKI site. Each committee member assigned to a region should review this list and follow up with as many donors in their region as possible and prepare to report back their progress at the next meeting. Liz Nohra will be responsible for handling all out of state donors. Liz reminded the team to please ensure that you report all donated items to her so she can put them into auctionpay. She also asked the team to review the list to see if a donor has already agreed to donate an item, and then do not ask again.

3. Committee Contact with LFI/ELI Committees - During initial Committee meetings, we had planned to have commitee members reach out to other committee chairs. After further discussion, L. Nohra suggested that the Auction Committee Chairs send a formal letter to these individuals on behalf of the committee. Committee members can then follow up as needed.

4. Getting Auction Items from LFI/ELI Colleagues- Kate Cloonan suggested that one option for securing donated items by reaching out to friends and colleagues in the program. INdividuals may make a personal (tax deductible) donation, or may be willing to offer a sponsorship or an item to the Gala. Please maximize your contacts and see what items you can secure via friends/colleagues.

5. Local Sporting Event Tickets - Liz N. asked the team to reach out to any colleagues whose companies might have sports tickets to any team events. Please contact Liz before reaching out to these firms as we do not want any Auction item requests to conflict with ongoing LFI Sponsorship Committee requests.

6. Possible Teaming with Local Sports Memorabilia Store - Kate Cloonan presented an alternative for the silent auction whereby a local sports memorabilia store brings a number of auction items and offers them for use at our auction. The items would be priced at cost. LFI would receive any monies collected OVER the vendors cost. Following discussion among the committee members, it was agreed not to proceed (at this time) with this auction approach.

7. Live Auction Items - Liz Nohra stated that the Gala committee is considering including a Live Puppy as part of the Live Auction. Various committee members voiced their opinions on this approach and Liz Nohra agreed to circulate to the team a list of pros and cons for final consideration.

8. "Art of the Ask" Training - Kate Cloonan explained that Brian Willey and Gayle Bailey made a very useful presentation to assist in asking donors to support LFI. Kate explained that this presentation was helpful for LFI, but was also a great personal/professional development tool. She announced that there may be another presentation scheduled for Auction Members and encouraged all to consider participating.

9. Next Committee Telecon - The next Committee Conference call with be on August 11, 2009 at 9:30am. All are encouraged to attend and bring news of any new auction items and/or leads.

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