Host a Fun, Fancy, and (Ph)ilanthropic Event Your Database Will Love!

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Here at Pivot: Shift Ahead, we’re big fans of giving back to our communities. Not only is it important to help others, but it’s also a great way to engage with our databases. And when we combine giving back with fun events – it’s a win-win all-around!
That’s why we had to explore Jill McNamee’s Baubles & Bubbles event. Located in Hudson, Wisconsin but dual licensed between Wisconsin and Minnesota for the past 16 years, Jill McNamee currently holds two roles as both an Operating Principal at her Market Center and running a small family team. You can say she’s a networker and connector. And in her tenth-year hosting Baubles & Bubbles in her area, she’s found a way to engage her community in an event that both gives back and gets people excited to participate.
Baubles & Bubbles: Charity event, Girls’ Night Out, and Jewelry Swap
When Jill first began hosting Baubles & Bubbles, she initially envisioned a high-class party to show appreciation for her past clients. Over time, it’s evolved into a charity event made up of about 50% of her past clients and 50% other women business owners in the community.
Baubles & Bubbles is a jewelry swap event where attendees get to bring up to five pieces of jewelry to exchange for other pieces that are at the event. They receive a ticket or token for each piece of jewelry they bring to the event and can use them to “shop” for other jewelry.
While they’re at the event, attendees get to wine and dine, enjoy music and mingling, receive sponsor-filled swag bags, and contribute to the charity component of the evening. Each event Jill hosts has a charity component, and Baubles & Bubbles is no different. For this event, people can purchase branded t-shirts where the proceeds are donated to charity as well as bring their own donations. For example, Jill spotlights Dress for Success, so she asks that attendees bring clothing donations that would be suitable for the charity.
While tickets to the event were once free, Jill has found that people are more likely to commit and follow-through with attending when they have purchased a ticket. The cost of the ticket is then donated fully to the charity as well.

Hosting this time of event takes time, organization, and a budget. While the event runs as a well-oiled machine these days, Jill recommends that people begin planning this type of party a year ahead of time. After all, you’ll want to use that time to find a venue, determine the charity you want to highlight, and attract sponsors. Jill estimates that Baubles & Bubbles costs about $5,000 to put on, including reserving the space, providing the food and a drink ticket, and the costs for the branded items such as the wine glasses and canvas bags she provides. After raising $3,600 in sponsorship costs, the final cost to Jill for this event is around $1,400.

The Many Lead Generation Opportunities
One of Jill’s favorite things about hosting a Baubles & Bubbles event is the numerous lead generation opportunities it provides. Prior to the event, she’s able to use it and its charity component as a reason to reach out to her database. She’s also able to use the event as a reason to talk to local businesses about sponsorship opportunities. Jill also leans heavily on the local women’s business networking group she created 16 years ago for sponsorships and swag donations. And because she’s consistently hosted this event for years, individuals and businesses alike want to participate in it.
After the event, Jill uses the videos and photos taken at the event on social media to share details about the event. She thanks the attendees for coming via email and tells the no-shows that they were missed. She also sends handwritten and branded thank you cards to all attendees and sponsors.
While the work and effort that goes into hosting a successful Baubles & Bubbles event is clear, the opportunities to serve the community and her database at a high level are apparent. Consider hosting a charity-focused jewelry swap for your database and the community in your area!
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