ICF Update: FEST

Fundraising Support Through Collaboration

Submitted by Peter Mason, Executive Director, Edge of Seven


Ok, so we’re doing a pretty cool thing. It started with a bunch of folks inside the Posner Center doing the exact same work, getting ready for a bunch of different events. “You’re doing that? We’re doing that. You’re doing that too?” The idea took hold that cooperating might get them more than all being on their own.

So the cool thing grew into the idea that all these groups putting on fundraisers could support each other by collaborating through interns. The Posner Center supported them with an International Collaboration Fund Grant: The “Fundraising Event Support Test,” or FEST.


Essentially the nine Posner tenants who are all putting on events are sharing two interns over a 6-month period to do two simple things. One, solicit sponsors and two, to solicit in-kind gifts to auction off at their events.

Aside from the over $24,000 worth of in-kind gifts collected so far (as of the end of August), the effort has also yielded a unique and interesting sponsor. The key sponsor is Conscious Real Estate and OTUBNS who are dedicated to utilizing their business for the benefit of nonprofits at the Posner Center.


The partners will donate 10% of the commission plus $500 for each sale coming from the events’ attendees back to the customers’ NGO’s of choice. The FEST group gets a sponsor, plus additional donations, CRE gets to attend events and win new customers and collectively we’re practicing collaboration with the corporate world. That kind of win-win-win is an important part of our test.

In the international development space a hot topic is collective impact, or how we can move from isolated interventions to greater cross-sector coalitions and efforts (Read SSIR’s take on the topic). The idea of utilizing a realty company and a mortgage broker in this way inside a coalition of nonprofits is a micro-example of embracing collective impact and creating an environment where impact emerges from within a simple system.

Check out the Posner Center’s calendar of events to see all of the fundraisers happening this fall, and support the organizations involved in FEST.