Amy Milne CEO & Chief Creative Officer from Beyond, a full service fundraising and event production firm specializing in the non-profit sector, on her Berkeley Church events and the future of fundraising.
My name is Amy Milne. I am CEO and chief creative officer of Beyond. We are an agency that works primarily with non-profit organizations with their events – strategy through execution so we’ll do everything from create brand new events for an organization where we will help them where they are at to help make their events better.
I think it’s really important when we work with our clients to understand who they really are and through that build an actual program for them. So while you can’t be everything to everyone with one event I think how you work with what your theme is, what your brand is, what your message is, I think you can take all those pieces and turn it into a social program. So in the case of POGO, they are an organization that supports kids cancer yet they only had a gala black tie event that only adults could come to so while we worked with them and got to know who they were and we landed on the pajama theme, we were able to create an amazing new party that people wanted to go to and actually got excited about. And then we’re also able to create another event called pajamas and pancakes which is an online event that friends and families and kids in schools and all incorporates can all get involved in but they don’t have to get dressed up and go to an event. So we were able to create other opportunities for different people to engage with an organization.
The other thing that sometimes happens is that the success of a non-profit organization’s party first and foremost is always to make money, did we make the money, did we make the money? Where I think people step back and look at, well, that is important because you spend money to make money but did you achieve other goals? And some of those can be did you engage a whole new demographic of people you didn’t know you had or could have before? So it’s really important to go into your event with a clear objective as to why you’re hosting an event and not just throw a party because someone else did or someone on your board said you should throw a party. You really have to step back and ask why are you throwing this party, why are you throwing this event, this gathering and then work from there and then figure out first and foremost what your benchmarks are going to be and then also be open to the fact that you might learn something in the end and maybe I didn’t have it all figured out.
I got into event planning originally because I wanted to plan – I originally was a child and youth worker, I wanted to help people find a voice and then I ended up in event planning. I literally ended up in event planning and fell in love with the logistics. I planned massive events. My very first event job was with the weekend and breast cancer which was a 60 kilometer walk through the streets of Toronto. As we planned that event I watched regular everyday people collectively raise over 12.1 million dollars. I was in love with the human spirit and what people could do and through that the fundraising and watching other people help other people selflessly became vitally important to me.
Amy Milne Beyond
Venue for event 1871 Berkeley Church