Better Events, Bigger Returns: Seattle Fundraising Duo Brings Workshop to Tacoma

Rebecca Dietz and Carol Dole knew right away that they wanted to go into business together.

It was 2008 and Barack Obama had just been elected president.

“We were very excited about Obama winning the presidency and we were not going to fly to Washington D.C., so we said, ‘let’s have our own ball,’” remembered Dietz. “We planned a phenomenal inaugural ball. We had people dressed up in costumes, we had entertainment, it was amazing.”

“People loved it. We realized we worked really well together,” she said. “We looked at each other and said, ‘let’s start this business.’”

Since then, Dietz, a former designer and project manager, and Dole, who previously worked as a producer in Hollywood, have been joined at the hip as the “duo of inspired professionals” behind Well Done Events, LLC. Managing events ranging from small gatherings to large productions with thousands in attendance, the two combine their skills effectively to pull off events for clients. They typically work in the nonprofit space with organizations with small staffs and development operations.

This spring, they will be leading a workshop designed to help nonprofit organizations navigate the complex world of fundraising events, with a focus on planning, purpose and strategy. Titled “Better Events, Bigger Returns: Fundraising Events Management,” the workshop will meet the evenings of June 18 and 20 at UW Tacoma.

Registration for the workshop is open to the public through the UW Tacoma Professional Development Center, who also offers certificates and short courses in Nonprofit and Fundraising Management. Unlike the certificate programs, which offer more comprehensive curriculums, this workshop offers attendees six hours focused exclusively on the topic of event management.

Events shouldn’t be isolated incidents, cutoff from the rest of an organization’s operations, Dietz and Dole are quick to point out. Events are most effective when they are integrated with a nonprofit’s development strategy.

“You don’t just have a party because it feels good or because the neighbor is having one,” said Dietz. “To do it effectively, you need to think about what your strategy is for the next few years.”

Over the course of two evenings, the workshop will go beyond what it takes to run an event successfully to exploring questions like, “Why are we having an event in the first place?” to “What is your ‘ask’ going to be at this event?”

Unpacked, the “better” in the workshop’s title goes beyond making an event flashy and fun. To Dietz and Dole, a “better event” is one whose design incorporates strategy, public relations and branding with intention.

“The misunderstanding we run into all the time is ‘we’re having an auction because everyone else is having an auction; we’re going to make $200,000 at the auction because this organization made that much at an auction,’” said Dietz.

Here, Dole said, is where they often see organizations making mistakes.

“They haven’t really thought about first of all, how are we making $200,000 at this auction, whose coming? It gets into a cycle that is not good business planning and not maximizing what events should be,” she said.

That’s not to say that Dietz and Dole are down on nonprofits; they are very excited about working in the sector.

“They’re doing great work and that’s why we love to work with them,” said Dole.

The mission of Well Done Events, and the UW Tacoma workshop, is to enhance local nonprofits’ use of events as a strategic tool.

“It’s really about getting out in the community, finding the people who believe in the work, moving the mission along and that takes time,” said Dietz.

“At events you’re thanking people, you’re acknowledging people, you’re bringing your community together, but as we often say: Bill Gates is not going to come to your auction and raise his paddle for $10 million,” said Dietz.

“That’s not how you’re going to get money from Bill and his friends,” she said. “He might come to your auction, but if you don’t have a strategy as to how you’re going to follow up with Bill for one, two, five, ten years, to get that kind of money, why are you having that event?”

“We come in and say, ‘Why are you doing this?’” said Dole. “The more savvy people going into the industry are about the role events should be playing, the better for everybody.”

To learn more from Dietz and Dole, you will have to join them in person this June at “Better Events, Bigger Returns: Fundraising Events Management.” You can learn more about the duo on their website, Well Done Events. For more information on our Fundraising and Nonprofit programs, visit our website.

Meet the Instructors: Wendy Fraser, Lean Six Sigma and CPM®

[Meet the Instructors is a series intended to introduce you to one of the greatest resources the University of Washington Tacoma Professional Development Center has to offer: its diverse team of veteran, industry-tested professionals. The Center’s professional development programs are designed to be rewarding, challenging and cutting-edge. Our instructors play no small part in that, ensuring students are exposed to the most current industry trends while remaining well-versed in the tried-and-true best practices of their professions. We’re excited to share our instructors with you, and their stories are a great place to start.]

Dr. Wendy Fraser is no stranger to the UW Tacoma Professional Development Center. We know her type well.

Fraser is what you call a lifelong learner. Like many PDC students, she has a passion for learning and sees the value of pursuing new educational experiences. Graduating from Saint Martin’s University with a Bachelor’s in Management and Finance, Fraser was only getting started on her journey through higher education. Since 1991, she has gone on to earn Master’s degrees in human resources, organizational leadership and human and organizational systems. She completed her Doctorate in Human and Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University in 2010. Continue reading Meet the Instructors: Wendy Fraser, Lean Six Sigma and CPM®

Meet the Instructors: Dean Priebe, Mastering Beer Styles

[Meet the Instructors is a series intended to introduce you to one of the greatest resources the University of Washington Tacoma Professional Development Center has to offer: its diverse team of veteran, industry-tested professionals. The Center’s professional development programs are designed to be rewarding, challenging and cutting-edge. Our instructors play no small part in that, ensuring students are exposed to the most current industry trends while remaining well-versed in the tried-and-true best practices of their professions. We’re excited to share our instructors with you, and their stories are a great place to start.]

In this installation of Meet the Instructors, we’re pleased to introduce Dean Priebe. Dean is Brewmaster at Icicle Brewing Company in Leavenworth, Wash., and the instructor for our newest Mastering Beer Styles in Bothell, Wash. Read on to learn more about Dean and sign up to attend class at Beardslee Public House!

Continue reading Meet the Instructors: Dean Priebe, Mastering Beer Styles

REACH Director Nick Bayard to Lead Race and Equity Workshop at UW Tacoma

The UW Tacoma Professional Development Center is offering a new workshop geared toward the development of local nonprofits this winter. The workshop, titled Race, Power, and Social Impact within Nonprofit Organizations, will be held Jan. 28 on the UW Tacoma campus from 9:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Students, some from local nonprofits and others from the Center’s Nonprofit Management program, will spend a day exploring the drivers of institutional racism in the nonprofit space, as well as learning tools to advance equity and enact positive societal change through their organizations’ work.

Leading the workshop is Nick Bayard, Director of Tacoma nonprofit The REACH Center. For Bayard, this is deeply personal work. Not only is he deeply active in the local nonprofit community, but as a member of a bi-racial family, Bayard remembers a watershed moment in uncovering some of his own blind spots regarding race and equity in our society. Continue reading REACH Director Nick Bayard to Lead Race and Equity Workshop at UW Tacoma

Meet the Instructors: Heather McClung, Business of Craft Beer

[Meet the Instructors is a series intended to introduce you to one of the greatest resources the University of Washington Tacoma Professional Development Center has to offer: its diverse team of veteran, industry-tested professionals. The Center’s professional development programs are designed to be rewarding, challenging and cutting-edge. Our instructors play no small part in that, ensuring students are exposed to the most current industry trends while remaining well-versed in the tried-and-true best practices of their professions. We’re excited to share our instructors with you, and their stories are a great place to start.]

For this installment of Meet the Instructors, we sat down with beer industry veteran Heather McClung. She has a wealth of knowledge, and a passion for teaching, that she’ll bring to Business of Craft Beer on Jan. 28. Read more about her here! Continue reading Meet the Instructors: Heather McClung, Business of Craft Beer

Meet the Instructors: Christopher Smith, Fundamentals of Commercial Brewing

[Meet the Instructors is a series intended to introduce you to one of the greatest resources the University of Washington Tacoma Professional Development Center has to offer: its diverse team of veteran, industry-tested professionals. The Center’s professional development programs are designed to be rewarding, challenging and cutting-edge. Our instructors play no small part in that, ensuring students are exposed to the most current industry trends while remaining well-versed in the tried-and-true best practices of their professions. We’re excited to share our instructors with you, and their stories are a great place to start.]

This January, a group of students will attend the Professional Development Center’s newest craft beer industry course: Fundamentals of Commercial Brewing. Building off the success of Mastering Beer Styles and Business of Craft Beer, this course will introduce students to the technical, operational world of commercial brewing. Like the craft beer courses before it, this course will be taught by industry experts with real-world lessons informing the curriculum. Leading the helm is Lowercase Brewing’s owner and managing member, Christopher Smith. Continue reading Meet the Instructors: Christopher Smith, Fundamentals of Commercial Brewing

Hayden Milligan: PDC Graduate Named to South Sound Business “40 Under 40” List

For 19 years, South Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Awards contest has presented 40 local professionals under age 40 “who are dynamic leaders in the business community.” Writes the journal, “You dine in their restaurants. You conduct business with them. Sit on philanthropic boards with them. Run industry organizations with them. They have an innovative, entrepreneurial spirit that propels the economy today and will for years to come.” This year, one such person is Hayden Milligan, 31, a Professional Development Center graduate and a director of human resources in Olympia, Wash.

“No, I didn’t win $40,” said Milligan. Continue reading Hayden Milligan: PDC Graduate Named to South Sound Business “40 Under 40” List

Meet the Instructors: John Marti, Mastering Beer Styles

[Meet the Instructors is a series intended to introduce you to one of the greatest resources the University of Washington Tacoma Professional Development Center has to offer: its diverse team of veteran, industry-tested professionals. The Center’s professional development programs are designed to be rewarding, challenging and cutting-edge. Our instructors play no small part in that, ensuring students are exposed to the most current industry trends while remaining well-versed in the tried-and-true best practices of their professions. We’re excited to share our instructors with you, and their stories are a great place to start.]

Mastering Beer Styles is a practical and hands-on approach of the key concepts, tools and techniques required to excel in the craft brewing industry. Delivering an intensive overview of the history, terminology and style characteristics of beer, this program is suitable for craft beer aficionados and professionals alike. Oct. 8, this program will hold its first class in Seattle, taught by Lowercase Brewing Head Brewer John Marti. Read John’s story and register for class today!

Continue reading Meet the Instructors: John Marti, Mastering Beer Styles

Meet the Instructors: Dariush “DK” Khaleghi, Human Resources

[Meet the Instructors is a series intended to introduce you to one of the greatest resources the University of Washington Tacoma Professional Development Center has to offer: its diverse team of veteran, industry-tested professionals. The Center’s professional development programs are designed to be rewarding, challenging and cutting-edge. Our instructors play no small part in that, ensuring students are exposed to the most current industry trends while remaining well-versed in the tried-and-true best practices of their professions. We’re excited to share our instructors with you, and their stories are a great place to start.]

Instructors at the UW Tacoma Professional Development Center come from different backgrounds, professions and industries – and in the case of Dariush Khaleghi, from across the world. DK, who teaches in the PDC’s Leadership Essentials, Human Resources Management and Certified Public Manager® programs, came to the U.S. as a religious refugee from Iran in 1985. His journey since then has profoundly influenced the teacher he is today.

Continue reading Meet the Instructors: Dariush “DK” Khaleghi, Human Resources

Meet the Instructors: Angel Latterell, Project Management

[Meet the Instructors is a series intended to introduce you to one of the greatest resources the University of Washington Tacoma Professional Development Center has to offer: its diverse team of veteran, industry-tested professionals. The Center’s professional development programs are designed to be rewarding, challenging and cutting-edge. Our instructors play no small part in that, ensuring students are exposed to the most current industry trends while remaining well-versed in the tried-and-true best practices of their professions. We’re excited to share our instructors with you, and their stories are a great place to start.]

It comes as no surprise that Project Management has long been one of our most popular courses at the Professional Development Center. Across industries, project management continues to be a skill in-demand and invaluable. This summer, the PDC is expanding Project Management to Tukwila. This course gives us a chance not only to bring an exciting opportunity to lifelong learners in King County, but also additionally to introduce students to a new instructor, Angel Latterell. Currently working as a Senior Project Manager for Seattle Children’s, Latterell is a practitioner with what seems like more than one career’s worth of lessons to share. We talked with her recently to see what students can expect from her and the program.

Continue reading Meet the Instructors: Angel Latterell, Project Management