Monday, July 16, 2012

Eurozone turns to Metro fundraiser to raise $200 billion

Naming Opportunity

The European Union has hired local hospital fundraiser Dennis Snidely to raise the billions of dollars needed to keep its banking system afloat and to bail-out the economies of Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland.

Snidely, who headed up the $10 million Metro Hospital capital campaign last year, will be in charge of raising $200 billion dollars over the next two years. Snidely will lead a team of three people – an assistant, someone to work the database and a part-time proposal writer. They have set up their new office in a rundown strip mall on Rideau Street.

“I’m really very honoured that all of Europe has asked me to raise what amounts to be $270 million a day for the next two years,” said Snidely. “I’m really up for this challenge. I’ve got a wicked giving pyramid going already.”

The new campaign, to be called “Save Europe, Please”, will focus on asking people across Metro to give their entire life savings and the future incomes of their children to help Europe’s banks from collapsing and its governments from running out of money. The fundraising plan was announced in Brussels last week after several Eurozone countries refused to introduce austerity measures aimed at bringing their finances into line. The European leaders instead opted to go with a massive American-style fundraising campaign.

“We did a Google search on US hospital fundraising campaigns and found out how easy it was for Metro’s hospitals to raise $10 million,” said European Commission spokesperson Francois Tetedulard. “We read all about Dennis and how he had single-handedly raised all this money. So, we hired him. Now, all our financial troubles are over.”

The European Commission said they were most impressed that Snidely had a CFRE designation and that he had introduced many new fundraising techniques such as a woman’s giving circle, a group of young community leaders and made “not bad” planned giving video.

The campaign will rely on a combination of major gifts from individuals, annual direct mail appeals to donors across Metro and a planned giving initiative that will ask people to leave their entire estate to the campaign after they pass on.

“We’re looking for ten signature gifts of $10 billion to start the quiet phase. For that, the donors will get a special plaque at the Eurozone headquarters in Brussels, a luncheon with the head of state of a leading European country and a tour of the European Central Bank,” said Snidely.

Snidely: Asking for Europe
The campaign is also planning a number of high profile naming opportunities. For $12 billion, a donor may be able to place their name on several European countries that are financial basket cases, such as Greece. For those who want something more subtle, the campaign is offering to put the donor’s picture on the Euro currency for only $1 billion.

A number of events are also planned. A gala dinner is being planned for next month, featuring European cuisine and a silent auction. A golf tournament is planned for the later summer.

Snidely is already on the street making appointments with local high-profile donors in Metro.

“This will all boil down to relationships. You just can’t walk in and ask someone for $10 billion to help Europe. You’ve got to engage them first and get them interested. Then, when they’re ready, that’s when you ask them for the equivalent of the GDP of a small country. It’s a process.”

The campaign already has a Facebook page with 14 “likes” and plans to make really lousy YouTube videos that no one will watch.

The campaign has already raised $4,000 in its first week, mostly from the internal campaign aimed at campaign staff. Snidely admits that is a lot lower than he hoped but he’s optimistic that soon they’ll be able to raise much, much more.