Be a Breakfast Champion
Bring your friends, family, and colleagues together at the Foundations of Science Breakfast
Each year, Pacific Science Center hosts a springtime Breakfast to hear from our community leaders, program participants, and insightful speakers. Tables fill the room and we bring favorite Pacific Science Center hands on activities to you. Where else can you inflate a pig’s lung, put on VR goggles, and learn about the solar system before breakfast?! As our primary fundraiser for the Science Center, Breakfast is an opportunity for community members to be part of inspiring the next generation of innovators in Seattle.
By becoming a Breakfast Champion for the Science Center, you can bring your friends, family, and colleagues together to support the Science Center in a very fun and specific way!
The primary responsibility of Breakfast Champions are to invite guests to the Foundations of Science Breakfast — and many have a great time hosting the table and thanking their guests. You can also share the table with a friend or colleague. Either way, there is no cost for the event to you or to your guests, but there is the expectation that guests will give a minimum donation of $300 to support Pacific Science Center.
Breakfast Champion Commitment
What does it mean to be a Breakfast Champion?
- Breakfast Champions commit to filling a table of 10 (nine guests and yourself).
- Alternatively, Breakfast Champions can commit to filling half a table (four guests and yourself). The Science Center can match you with another Champion, or you may recruit one yourself. The result is a table of eight guests and two Champions.
- Invite your friends and family to be part of inspiring the next generation of innovator at a wonderful breakfast and encourage them to plan to make a gift of $300 or more to PSC at the event.
How to sign up as a Breakfast Champion
- Secure your table or half table by emailing Sarah Szabo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now that I am registered as a Breakfast Champion, what do I do next?
- Once you are registered as a Breakfast Champion, you’ll receive a confirmation email.
- Starting in January 2018 we will send regular Breakfast Champion updates with all the materials you need to invite your guests, remind, and thank them. You may tailor and use these materials, or you may create your own.
To help you get started, you will find the online Breakfast Champion Toolkit below, with all the information, tools, and templates you need to be successful in your role as a Breakfast Champion.
Who to invite?
Put together a list of people, you’d like to invite and think about their giving capacity since the Foundations of Science Breakfast is ultimately a fundraising event.
Think of all your circles — your friends who have enjoyed Pacific Science Center over the years, just like you; your family; your neighbors; your co-workers; your clients; members of your professional association; your dentist, doctor, your children’s dentist and doctor, current/past members of your neighborhood parenting group or pre-school co-op/ daycare.
Click here to download a helpful Guest Brainstorming Tool.
When and How to invite?
NOW is the time to send out Save The Dates emails/cards/evites. For a Save The Date Email template, click here.
It is best to start sending out invitations and getting firm commitments in February 2018, as your guest list is due on April 3.
Feel free to use any media you feel comfortable with to invite your table guests. Some Breakfast Champions send out emails, do phone calls, or even create an event in and use Facebook. Obviously a combination of these would work great. Some Breakfast Champions send out an Evite – super easy, saves time and can be pretty cute; and it takes just minutes to create your own invitation. Or how about the good old handwritten ‘Holiday or New Year Card’? Most people need more than one reminder to get them to commit to something.
What to say in the invitation?
Whether you’re recruiting 5 guests or 10, Pacific Science Center wants the process to be as easy as possible for you. That’s why we have put together some sample texts that you can copy, paste and tailor as you see fit. Please click here to get to the Templates for Breakfast Champions page where you can find some invitation text samples.
How many people will fit at my table?
Each table can be set for a total of ten people. But even once you have reached your guest goal, don’t stop inviting and recruiting more guests. There always will be last minute changes and one or more of your guests have sick children or other things come up. And if your guests should be a reliable bunch, we always can upgrade your table to a full, one and a half or even two tables. So never stop spreading the word about the Foundations of Science Breakfast.
What if I have more than ten guests?
Thank you – that’s fantastic! We will work to seat your additional guests at a nearby table.
How much does it cost?
There is no admission charge to attend the Foundations of Science Breakfast. Guests are asked to make a minimum contribution of $300 at the event. Breakfast Champions are encouraged to pledge their support in advance of the event through the Challenge Pool. The combined support of Breakfast Champions, the Event Committee, and Pacific Science Center’s Board of Directors will be leveraged to encourage full participation from all guests in attendance.
Am I responsible for raising a specific amount of money?
No. Each guest will be asked to make a meaningful gift to Pacific Science Center at a minimum of $300. Every dollar makes an impact and is essential to furthering our mission. We recommend that Breakfast Champions let their guests know ahead of time about the ask and suggested minimum donation of $300. To help your guests decide the level of their contribution, you may choose to share the level of your personal commitment or create a personal table goal.
Set a table goal and make it public
You know how important goal setting is in life. Goals make things happen. Without a goal it’s hard to get to where you want to be. We invite you to set a goal for your Breakfast Table. Think about what you would like to raise and then invite your friends to help you reach that goal.
To give you some perspective: Last year’s table average was $3,619 and our goal this year is to raise $615,000 on April 24 during the Breakfast. Here are some numbers that might be helpful when considering setting your goal:
$5,000 (avg per guest: $500) – Inspire a teen to pursue a career in the STEM field: Funds the cost of one Discovery Corps member for an entire year.
$3,200 (avg per guest: $320) – Provide a hands-on science experience: Funds the cost of a full day of interactive Science On Wheels programming to an underserved school.
$1,500 (avg per guest: $150) – Enable Access: Provides 15 Family Access Membership to local families on public assistance.
Persistence vs. Pestering
Asking someone else to do something for you can be uncomfortable. You are essentially making yourself vulnerable, admitting ‘I can’t do this alone,’ and potentially risking receiving a ‘no’. At the Science Center, we know the Foundations of Science Breakfast cannot happen without the amazing support of our community members. We asked you to help us. And you said ‘yes’ – which is something not everyone does. We are so grateful that you agreed to champion a table, but we know that puts you in a vulnerable position. Asking your friends to help you in supporting Pacific Science Center.
While asking your friends to help you in supporting the Science Center, you risk receiving a ‘no-not this time’ or ‘I’d love to, but…’ or maybe no response at all. And we know that this is not an easy spot to be in. You might even be worried that you will be pestering your friends.
But here’s the thing. You are NOT pestering your friends, you are giving them an opportunity to give back to an organization that is meaningful to you and your family. We’d like to encourage you to be persistent (that is not pestering).
Persistence means: sending one invitation, following up with an email, and following up with a phone call (or voice message). Yes, that’s three steps, not just one. Why?
- The Foundations of Science Breakfast is not front of mind for your prospective guests.
- Your prospective guests are busy people and it is probably not their priority to respond to your email right away.
- One email gets very quickly buried by zillions of other emails your guest receives and then forgotten.
- Not responding to one email does not mean your prospective guest does not want to join you.
- You deserve a response.
That’s not pestering – that’s persistence. Think about it: if this was your birthday party – wouldn’t you expect your guests to let you know if they can come and join you so that you can plan?
So here’s the take-away:
- Yes – you deserve an answer from your guests.
- No – following up on an invitation with another email and phone call is not pestering – we call it persistence.
- Persistence pays off. You might not get the answer you were hoping for, but at least you get an answer helping you (and Pacific Science Center) to move forward and plan.
Gifts in Lieu of Attendance: What to say when your guests say 'thanks, but no thanks'?
Just because your guests can’t join you at the Foundations of Science Breakfast, doesn’t mean that they can’t or don’t want to support Pacific Science Center or you in reaching your table goal. But people need to be reminded. All gifts, small or large, make a big impact for Pacific Science Center.
On our Templates for Breakfast Champions page you will find a template text that you can tailor and use to invite gifts in lieu of attendance.
Breakfast Challenge Pool
The combined support of Breakfast Champions, the Event Committee, and Pacific Science Center’s Board of Directors will be leveraged to encourage our guests to stretch their giving and think BIG.
Please note and communicate to your guests that gifts made at the Breakfast can be paid in monthly, quarterly, and semi-annually installments.
You might consider some of the following ideas to encourage your guests to give generously:
- Set a fundraising goal for your table and inform your guests of your goal (as a reminder: our overall goal is to raise $615,000 at the Foundations of Science Breakfast for the Science Center’s critical programs);
- Remind your guests of the value that the Science Center has brought to their lives (how about a donation of $5 for every time they brought their family to the Science Center over the years);
- If you are up for the Breakfast Challenge, tell your guests that if they give at that level, you will too OR that you will match their Challenge contribution (a double match!).
- Remind your guests that a pledge of $300 can be made in monthly payments of $25/month; and/or
- Remind your guests that some of the companies that they work for – Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks and many others – may also match their donations.
- Explain to your guests how their generous gift will help the Science Center: providing Family Access and Youth Access Memberships to families on public assistance or youth experiencing homelessness; bringing Science On Wheels to schools throughout Washington; fighting summer learning loss through hundreds of summer camps; and preparing high school students for college and STEM related careers through our Discovery Corps program.
Let’s be honest- we’ve all blown it once or twice and pulled a no-show for something. To keep the Foundations of Science Breakfast front of mind for guests, the Science Center will send all registered attendees frequent e-reminders including directions and parking information.
But it is always helpful to be reminded from various places – and you do have the relationship. Some Breakfast Champions use email reminders to virtually “introduce” their guests to each other so that everybody knows who to expect and to look forward to. Click here for Sample Guest Reminders. In addition, we encourage you to call your guests one or two days before the Foundations of Science Breakfast.