5 Key Business Lessons from a Non-Profit Event


This past Sunday a young non-profit, Hear 2 help held its biggest event to date. Hear 2 help is a non-profit established in 2017 to help fund the expense of hearing aids and other amplification equipment for kids who may otherwise go without. 

The fundraising event was the culmination of over 9 months of planning.  And though this opinion may be a little biased because of the personal connection, it really did go off without a hitch.   With picture perfect fall weather at Topgolf, in Kansas City and the KC Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes show playing as a backdrop you could not have scripted a better day.

It’s always interesting to dissect the business lessons that can be pulled from places most business leaders overlook in their quest to move forward.  Although a non-for-profit is certainly a business, I think a young non-profit fundraising event could easily get overlooked as a place to pick up some ideas to strengthen your for-profit business.


With that in mind, here are 5 business lessons from H2h’s recent fundraiser that are ready for plug ‘n play into most businesses, including yours! ….

1) Share your mission and tell your story.   Most 501(c)3’s have a mission, the reason they exist.  H2h was inspired by my daughter and brought to life by my wife.  At the event there was a video telling the story on loop and it was captioned.   There was no one there who didn’t see the story at least once.   Your business has a story too.  Make sure you share that with your customers so they know why you do what you do!   For most successful businesses it usually is more than about the money.  If that is your only answer, challenge yourself and dig a little deeper.  That’s where you’ll find your story. 


2) You can’t do it all.  You may be the best leader in world, but you can only do so much in 24 hrs.  H2h has an outstanding group of passionate volunteers.  Many of them have different strengths that complement one another.  You have to be able to delegate and surround yourself with talent, as Jim Collins said in Good to Great “The right people in the right seats”.  It’s no accident the following quote is on the H2h website.

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”    

                     –   Helen Keller


3) The power of regular meetings. Over the course of the last 9 months the committee of volunteers met regularly to update the group on the various tasks they had taken ownership to lead.  It kept the channels of communication open and kept surprises to a minimum.  If you’re not having weekly meetings in your business the only question we have for you is Why?   You would be hard pressed to find an Aspire client who adopted the habit of regular team meetings and didn’t find that it increased their overall productivity, profitability, customer satisfaction scores, and employee morale.


4) Offer a variety of ways for engagement.   There were several ways to participate in the event, even for those who couldn’t make it.   There were flexible levels of registration, a variety of sponsors for a silent auction, a good variety of price points on the auction, t-shirts, and more.  It created opportunities not only for the guests to participate at different levels but sponsors too.  If you’re ever planning an Open House type event at your business, don’t hesitate to pull in your vendors, suppliers, or businesses that complement yours.  Many companies will jump at the chance to partner with your business at an Open House event where they can share their knowledge, increase their exposure, and many may contribute some nice door prizes or even more!     


5) Team building events can be unconventional.  A few of the bays for the event were purchased by companies.  The companies were able to contribute to a worthy cause and assemble a group of their key managers together at the same time outside of their normal work environment.   The next time you think about team building look for an option that allows you to contribute to a worthy cause at the same time.  There are a number of charities that love to have groups sign up to help them.   It is really is a great way to strengthen your team and help others in the process.


As referenced earlier there may be a little bias in these observations, but I am awful proud of the work all the volunteers.   They really did an awesome job with the event and their efforts in #HelpingKidsHear. And, I’m most proud of the person who had the desire and vision to start it last year. Way to go Terri! 

As always we value your comments in the space below.

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach