For many years Community Action has held an acquisition breakfast event. With those acquired donors in their cultivation stream, they started to look to shift their event to more deeply engage and educate people in their work. To help them become more invested in Community Action.
So they broke away from their traditional breakfast and moved to educational format and put together the Empowerment Summit: From Poverty to Opportunity. It was a 90-minute program with multiple speakers all addressing the issue of poverty and Community Action’s cutting-edge approach to addressing it. The interesting part, was that the speakers were from other organizations.
The program and speaker selection became an opportunity to look at the issue through multiple lenses of peer organizations working in the same arena. Voices outside of Community Action able to speak to their work. They utilized a TED Talk-style format and were engaged to address very specific topics that were their expertise.
This then positioned new Community Action Executive Director Renée Bruce to take the stage and briefly speak about Community Action’s work. Briefly only because the case had already been made by the other speakers, so this allowed Renée to use her time on stage to make a strong call to action for the audience, acquired donors looking to deepen their investment in the organization. She was set up to be the peak of the event arc.
Renée gave them four avenues to engage: educate, advocate, participate and give. There was a pledge form at every seat for attendees to decide how they wanted to engage. It was a great moment for people to act on the great information they’d been given, and become more involved beyond just a donation, furthering the message THAT poverty is something we have to work ON together to HAVE impact.
Photos by Andie Petkus