Denver Style Magazine Featured Contributor

We are honored to be included in this month's issue of Denver Style Magazine talking about wearing a tie/bowtie to a wedding! Heather and Kelsey do an amazing job of putting together this unique (and informative!) magazine and we read every issue :)

Check us out on page 31 in the digital version below or visit their website to find a location to pick up a physical copy before they run out!

Denver Style Magazine
Denver Style Magazine

@denverstylemagazine // #issueno13

Photographed by: Jackie Cooper, @jackiecooperphoto

Styled by:

Victoria Cardenas, @vcardd // Vanessa Samuels, @voyavanessa // Bri Maxwell @_bristylesdenver

Hair and Makeup by: Coco Marie Salon @cocomariesalon

Courtney Peters, @CourtneyMariePeters, Vale Gutierrez, @alexandrialoveshair, Danielle Moya, @danidaze,

Event Space Styled by: Amanda Grosgebauer Bernardi, Hunt and Gather Events, @huntandgather_rentals

Photographed at The St. Vrain, @thestvrain

Modeled by: 

Germany Tryels, @germanygabrielle, Delayna Denayè, @delaynadenaye

Meg Delagrange, @meg.delagrange, Joel Hansen, @jothha, Trayvon Wright, @kingtray7

Spotlight: Dolls for Daughters

Welcome to the fourth and final installment of our Spotlight series, where we feature Colorado non-profit organizations and their fundraising strategies. To gain a board member’s perspective, we spoke with Alex Benko from Dolls for Daughters. For 10 years, Dolls for Daughters has been collecting toys to give to underprivileged kids in Colorado.

While Dolls for Daughters puts on multiple events throughout the year (a Bowl-a-thon, dinner auctions, a beneficiary event, a golf tournament), their most popular event is their Toy Shop. Every year, on the first Saturday in December, the Toy Shop opens to everyone who wants to get toys for their children for the holidays. Though the Toy Shop opens at 8 am, the line typically starts to form on the Thursday before, as toys are on a first-come first-serve basis. Still, it follows a very civil process: adults need to bring birth certificates of the children they’re shopping for, and identification to demonstrate that they are responsible for those children. On either side of the line, there are tables from other organizations such as Clothes for Kids, McDonalds, or Walgreens, offering free flu shots and help for underprivileged families. Not only does the event allow families to pick up gifts, but it is also a way for them to connect with resources. The Toy Shop is non-denominational, which means it is accessible to everyone. Their focus is not just the holidays, but the spirit of giving.

                  To increase involvement at these events, Dolls for Daughters works with a huge advisory board made up of kids who voice their opinions and help contribute to the events. Additionally, they use Facebook to market their events. Alex himself makes a point to attend community events, often times finding new companies that could benefit from pairing with Dolls for Daughters. In terms of getting the entire board engaged, board members sit on a committee before they move into their role. Moreover, the board members each have their own sphere of influence, which allows Dolls for Daughters to utilize everyone’s strengths, and board members to be involved in those things that matter most to them.

                  Although under-staffing is a problem for many non-profit organizations, Dolls for Daughters usually has between 300 and 350 volunteers helping them run events. In October, they hold a Volunteer Appreciation Lunch, where older volunteers give testimonies about their experience at the Toy Shop. Because of the nature of the event, and the age minimum of 5-years-and-up, Dolls for Daughters rarely has trouble staffing the event. Volunteer spaces fill up quickly, which helps the organization to run the Toy Shop smoothly and effectively every year. Most of the toys they give at the Toy Shop they buy on Black Friday, but they also bring in a lot of toy donations at their Bowl-a-Thon which typically takes place in the spring.

                  Alex, who has been a board member for four years, offered some advice to other board members when it comes to putting together a successful fundraising event. “Listen. Go out, observe, and listen. That’s how you find ideas and inspiration.” When the board finds something that works better for them, they implement it. Still, Alex suggests, “You don’t have to rush into an idea… we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If something works, then stick with it.”

                  The Dolls for Daughters Volunteer Luncheon will take place on October 5th at 11:30 am at the Wellshire Event Center. Lunch is provided, so click here to fill out an RSVP form!

Spotlight: Illuminate Colorado

Welcome to the third installment of our Spotlight series! This week we talked with Ginger Harris, the Communications and Development Coordinator at Illuminate Colorado to gain some insight as to how new non-profit organizations plan successful fundraising events.

            Though Illuminate Colorado has only been around since January 1st, its collaborative partners are well-established in communities around Colorado. This year, the Colorado Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, Prevent Child Abuse Colorado, the Colorado Chapter of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and Sexual Abuse Forever Ending merged to form Illuminate Colorado. Through education, advocacy, and family support, Illuminate Colorado strives to prevent the maltreatment of children.

            Currently, Illuminate Colorado is working on developing a set of annual events with their first annual gala taking place in late September, 2017. Playing off of their name (“Illuminate” Colorado), the “Light the Way” gala is a chance for the nonprofit organization to form a stronger connection with the community. Moreover, “Light the Way” reinforces their mission to brighten childhoods and help Colorado kids. Ginger and her team recently began marketing for the event, using social media, and emailing out a newsletter to those involved with the nonprofit, alongside putting together a committee of volunteers to spread the word.

            Although their board members are not on the planning committee, they have been involved in the decision-making process for the gala from the beginning. To keep the board engaged throughout the planning process, Illuminate Colorado works with the fundraising subdivision of the board. The goal of these events is to raise money for the organization, so frequently checking in with the board’s fundraising committee is one way to utilize the strengths of the board members. Because the board members are not directly involved in the event, managing the team will be a challenge. However, Illuminate Colorado says that volunteers are a huge asset to executing a great event. It also is beneficial for understaffed nonprofits to keep the event small, and to scale. Making team decisions early on allows tasks to be carried out at the event more efficiently.

            Ginger’s advice for other Communications and Development Coordinators? “Leverage your resources. Often times reaching out to people, who have been planning events longer than you have, are the best people to get advice from.”

            Illuminate Colorado’s “Light the Way” Gala will take place on September 30th from 7 - 10 pm at the Richards-Hart Estate in Wheat Ridge.


Spotlight: Community Resource Center

Welcome back to our Spotlight series on fundraising for non-profit organizations! Our next featured organization is Community Resource Center (CRC): a nonprofit organization based in the Denver Metro area that helps nonprofits, both in Denver and rural areas, to develop successful strategies.

For 36 years, Community Resource Center has provided Colorado nonprofits with leadership development, education training, and resources. Every year, CRC puts on over 100 events, with the goal of helping both well-established and new nonprofit organizations with their business models. Three of the major events they host are a state-wide training program, a 9-month leadership program, and Rural Philanthropy Days.

The state-wide training program is education focused, where nonprofits can learn about board governance and strategic planning. At Rural Philanthropy Days, CRC pulls together local community members to design a professional three-day conference. This year, Rural Philanthropy Days took place in Montrose (San Juan Region) in June, and the second event is scheduled to take place in September in Craig, CO. On the last day of Rural Philanthropy Days, CRC brings out Front Range foundation staff, giving nonprofits the opportunity to meet with them, and make a pitch for funding. Meanwhile, the 9-month leadership development program is cohort based, and targets emerging leadership directors.

Similar to most nonprofits, CRC utilizes social media to build attendance at these events, alongside sending out monthly newsletters to those in the network. In rural areas, however, they try to tap into different types of media such as local newspapers, and partners in the area to market events. Another tool CRC uses is “Flow”, a calendar sharing platform through which they can create and share events with other organizations and individuals. To get board members engaged and excited about the events, they hold monthly and bimonthly meetings that include both staff and board members to discuss what the events do for the organization as a whole. Furthermore, the board has different subcommittees that create targeted tasks for efficient use of time.

While CRC helps other nonprofits, they are still a nonprofit themselves, and thus face some of the same challenges when putting on large events. At Rural Philanthropy Days, they usually have local groups helping, in which case the CRC team is more of a guiding hand. Meanwhile, at the C3 Forum, they find the best way to accomplish everything is to divvy up roles. Emily, the Development Program Coordinator at CRC, said, “we always have someone who has ownership of the event, but really it’s all-hands-on-deck”. For CRC, they love that their board members are often ready and willing to support and attend events, even in rural areas.

When putting on a fundraising event, some advice for other Development Program Coordinators is to realistically think about a budget. While it seems simple, it is important for nonprofits to make sure that they are not spending more money than they are bringing in at a fundraising event. Emily suggests thinking about how much money the event is likely to raise, and then working backwards from there on the details and extras that make an event special!


Community Resource Center will be bringing together the Colorado Nonprofit Association and the Colorado Association of Funders at their upcoming C3 Forum: a collaborative, one-day conference for nonprofits and funders. This year’s event will focus on “equity”, and what that means in the realm of nonprofits. The C3 Forum will take place on August 22nd at the University of Denver from 8:30am - 5:30pm.


Spotlight: Museo de las Americas

Adrienne & Co. is starting a series featuring some of our favorite non-profits! We will be conducting interviews with a few  organizations to gain some insight into the world of fundraising. Make sure to check back in as we feature non-profits and the events they host to spread awareness and raise money for their causes!

Last week, we sat down with Museo de las Americas’ PR and Marketing Coordinator, Victoria, to discuss the organization’s exhibit “Penitents: World End Rituals of Faith”.

Museo de las Americas is a museum that focuses on ancient and contemporary Latin American art. This nonprofit has been around for 25 years, and strives to educate the community about Latin culture through workshops, exhibitions, and tours. Each year, they host three event exhibitions: one featuring ancient art, another with photography, and one with fine art.

In June, the exhibition, “Penitents: World End Rituals of Faith” presenting the photography of Guy Veloso, opened to the public. Guy Veloso has been documenting those peoples who practice penance as part of their faith, for almost ten years now. These different spiritual groups are starting to disappear, and Veloso has been able to record their historical moments, preserving cultures that could otherwise be lost, through the power of photos.

At these exhibitions, Museo de las Americas really targets those who are interested in learning more about Latin culture, but this event appeals to people of all ages, regardless of their previous artistic knowledge. To build attendance, the organization used some traditional methods of marketing – social media, publications – and some guerilla marketing. For this particular event, they collected rosaries made from bread and jewels, and distributed them to visitors at the museum. Moreover, to get the board engaged in the marketing and planning of events, Museo de las Americas uses Save the Date cards, and encourages board members to invite their friends to the event as well. Another way they keep board members engaged, is by giving one of them the honor of introducing the event.

As a nonprofit, sometimes a major challenge at these large events is being understaffed or underfunded, making it difficult to manage a team. Museo de las Americas holds weekly meetings for their team to make sure everyone has a clear understanding of why the event is important for both the community and for themselves. One major thing they tell their team members, is that to promote the event to the community, they need to be involved in the community.

Finally, Victoria gave some advice to other PR and Marketing Coordinators seeking to put together a successful fundraising event: “Do your research; I went to the library and checked out a lot of books… the more you know, the more engaged you can be in the details of an event”.

Join Museo de las Americas at their upcoming event Friday, July 21st, ConnectArte: Lucha Libre from 5pm - 8pm at the museum!

Visit their website here, learn more about the current exhibit, or join in the upcoming event. Did you know you can also host an event at the Museum?


Throw a Glamorous Oscar Party to Remember

You know you need to send invitations, create décor, prepare delicious food, and plan fun games for a fabulous Oscar Party, but how do you make your party stand out from the rest? By adding a bit of luxury! With the Oscar’s happening on a Sunday and everyone going to work Monday morning, there are 5 simple ways to take your party to the next level and leave your guests feeling glamorous.

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