“Sean Spence did a terrific job planning and implementing the Armchair Telethon for our COVID-19 Relief Fund this past April.
And he did so in a very short period of time. The telethon went off without a hitch, raised over $33,000 with just a few days of publicity,
and the community was very happy with the telethon and donation total!“
– John Baker, Executive Director, Community Foundation of Central Missouri
Armchair Telethons will soon be an important fundraising tool. You should have one.
Our belief is that the Armchair Telethon is a wave of the future and will soon be an important tool in the nonprofit fundraiser’s kit. Picture a telethon like any other you may have seen on TV over the years, but 100% online – with musicians, other entertainers, and speakers, all joining the event from their homes or wherever they happen to be. The goal is to entertain, inform, and raise money. We recommend 4-8 weeks planning time; we are booking up to 12 months into the future.
We will give you a successful Armchair Fundraising Telethon.
We will plan and produce an 8-hour Armchair Telethon from beginning to end – creating a local advisory committee to help with planning and execution; finding and booking local talent; promoting the event; stage-managing; and following up, as appropriate. Donations will primarily be accepted online, with donors directed to your donation page; those who want to mail a check will be directed to your address.
Our Armchair Telethon Fees are Clear and Straightforward
An Armchair Fundraising Telethon offers many Benefits:
Organization leadership can be involved as much as they want to be, or as little
No overhead cost beyond our fee (any incidentals will come out of our fee)
Networking with community leaders (powerful, even though it is all virtual)
New potential donors
Exposure to the community
Few or no meetings necessary; communications can be online, with maybe a few phone calls
Massive social media potential
Decent traditional media potential
Since we do not personally ask people for money, there is dramatically less potential conflict with other fundraising efforts
The bottom line is that we take care of pretty much everything, allowing you as much or as little involvement as you want. We will build every aspect of the telethon from scratch and then stage-manage the event. We will keep you apprised as everything develops, answer any questions as they arise, and make sure we have approval to the extent you want it for any big decisions (ex. telethon name, if we choose to have a logo, if we want to give someone a special title, who will MC, etc.).
We need relatively little from the benefitting organization to create a successful armchair telethon. As we often say in e-mail communications to advisory committee prospects, “Your responsibility would be to pay attention to e-mail, to help when/if you can, and to not worry about it when you can’t.”
We would appreciate your sending one e-mail, at the beginning, to board members to offer them the opportunity to be on the advisory committee. This is not required but will make a big difference in the success of the event (and those who choose to be involved will enjoy it!).
We cannot really know how much will be raised for any particular organization at any particular time because there are so many variables. That said, we are limiting this opportunity to organizations we expect to have significant success. Without guaranteeing, we expect smaller local events to raise $1000 to $3000 or more per hour, so $8000 to $24,000 or more; we expect larger local events and statewide events to raise at least 2-3 times that amount; and we expect national events to raise at least 4-8 times the amount smaller local events do. These estimates come from our experience with this event and over 25 years of fundraising experience.
Here is a sample timeline.
This basic, six-week timeline can be compacted to four weeks or expanded to eight weeks.