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Ep 6 - Nonprofit Fundraising: Events

“I've spent over 20 years studying nonprofit fundraising and engagement. I've read every book on engagement strategies and put these to use, and I understand now that it's not just a gala that happens in one moment. It's a stewardship opportunity. ” - A.J. Steinberg

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May is excited to welcome A.J. Steinberg, an expert in nonprofit event coordination and engagement strategies, to discuss the intricate details of orchestrating an event for your nonprofit entity. A.J. shares her wisdom about the three tiers of donors and the importance of cherishing them. She will dissect the factors leading to event failures and the ingredients contributing to their triumphs. A.J.'s dedication to her craft shines through as she deliberately redirected her lucrative expertise to empower nonprofits in attaining their fundraising aspirations. Brace yourself for a standout episode that you'll find yourself revisiting often.


[01:08] A.J explains how she began specializing in nonprofit fundraising in 1999 and the differences between then and now
[05:36] A.J. discusses the three levels of fundraisers and how language makes a difference
[10:10] A.J. provides an example of how not to start fundraising and describes how complex event planning can be
[18:12] What is A.J.’s strategy to engage board members to meet her expectations, and what is the intention of your event?
[29:17] An example of a gala that went from unsuccessful to very successful and should you hire a professional fundraiser or get training
[35:49] Some tips about getting volunteers and A.J.’s final recommendations for engaging community


  • ​Those who criticize the compensation of a nonprofit should recognize the importance of adequately paying nonprofit leaders, just as you would a manager in a for-profit business.
  • ​Nonprofits should promote the impact their programs have. That would be more effective than talking about how the donations are spent.
  • ​Individuals who are problem solvers and can mediate between groups and boards would enjoy and do well working at a nonprofit.