De-stressing an Event By Bruce Ross, Executive Director, Wis. Waterfowl Assn. June Newsletter

De-stressing an Event

By Bruce Ross, Executive Director

This article originally appeared in Wisconsin Waterfowl Association’s June Volunteer Newsletter edition.

With the help of a crack team of WWA staff and volunteers, I hosted my first WWA fundraising event – the SE WI Golf Outing Scramble – last month. The burden for making it a success fell squarely on my shoulders, in a way that my previous experience as an event volunteer with other organizations did not.

It was important to me to fully understand how the details of this event came together, what specific expenses were not yet covered by pre-event sales, and what per capita sales were going to be needed to hit our financial goal.  I had to regulate the remaining controllable expenses to make sure we hit our target.

For those of you who run events, you already know what I mean…  but, for those who are support volunteers (like I was), this was a new level of responsibility.  I had to “know my numbers” going into the event: what expenses were sunk and how many were still controllable, and how many attendees could I reasonably expect to spend how much?  Did these numbers mean I would hit our event goal or not?

Well, we did hit our goal, but with only a $100 to spare!  It was tight, and if we had not adjusted event expenses to fit the likely spending of the attendees…  well, we would not have been successful.  This was a good lesson for me – by knowing my specific numbers going into the event, I had confidence in the end-of-night results—which made the event less stressful and, frankly, enjoyable.

Putting on an event can be stressful, so one of the immediate agenda items for the new Development Committee is to determine how they can best help with chapter fundraising efforts – we believe there are opportunities.  Do you have a sense of what help your chapter could use?  Let us know.

As President Bruce Urben points out in his article, the new Board organization presents new opportunities to be a difference-maker with WWA.  Indeed, there are already new volunteers working at the state-level in Education, Habitat and with Policy – there’s room for more!!

Speaking of the new Board Organization, it’s likely there will be a slight change to this newsletter in future issues to give the committees a voice in this regular publication.  Expect to hear more about Education, Policy, Habitat and Development (fundraising) as the committees get up on their feet and begin to impact WWA.

What do you want from your WWA?  What do you want from your volunteer newsletter?  Let me know at and as always, thanks for what you do for our WWA.