A savvy solution

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Holly Alexander is at home in the world of nonprofits.

That is quite clear on a recent morning as she checks in with her longtime client Adopt-A-Dog at its Armonk sanctuary.

Alexander has been working with the rescue agency for years through TopSpin Communications, her social-media marketing company.

On this day, she is juggling not only an adorable puppy but an update from the organization’s director, Allyson Halm.

Its mega fundraiser, “Puttin’ on the Dog” was at this time just weeks away. Though it is already a well-established event nearing its 30th anniversary, its importance cannot be taken for granted.

And that’s why Halm was happy to hear about SavAdate, Alexander’s newly launched Westchester-based venture.

SavAdate is an online event-planning hub designed to help nonprofits select optimum dates for their events and also access high-end service providers.

Halm says there was definitely a need and so was more than interested when Alexander explained SavAdate to her.

“We were very excited because the competition for the right date is just that – a competition,” Halm says.

The venture, Halm adds, is simply another way Alexander is drawing on her natural talents.

“She’s a computer, this woman,” Halm says. “The brain is like a computer.”

Indeed, Alexander saw a problem and came up with a solution.

“The goal of SavAdate is to draw attention to the nonprofits,” Alexander says. “It’s such amazing work.”

And, she notes, “They’re all competing for everything, the same day, the same dollar.”

Events, from Friday night, black-tie galas to Saturday morning walk-a-thons to weekday golf tournaments, need to be carefully planned.

“One of the biggest problems has always been event conflicts, two or three events happening on the same day,” Alexander says. “When you’re planning an event, you need to know – and the picture was never clear.”

By starting this informational hub, Alexander says the “hope is that people will put their event in” as soon as they decide on a date. From there, others can use the information to plan their own events accordingly and increase both exposure and, ideally, attendance.

“It’s free to search and it’s free to list an event,” Alexander says, adding that vendors pay to advertise their services.

As founder of SavAdate, Alexander sees unlimited potential. While the initial rollout is in this area, SavAdate is a “national platform,” already gaining traction.

Alexander has some 50 charities signed up, from local organizations to those based in California and Florida.

“They’ve jumped on, regardless,” she says, of where they are based.

When organizations hear of the concept, Alexander says the reaction has been universal: “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

For Alexander, it’s simply the latest step in a career based on maximizing potential.

Alexander, who grew up in Greenwich and now lives in Goldens Bridge, graduated with a degree in psychology from Tufts University. She went on to spend some dozen years in the luxury retail industry, working at Mary Jane Denzer, her mother’s eponymous – and legendary – business in White Plains.

Alexander was involved in “every end” of the designer fashion boutique, “which was great training for any business,” she says.

She would then go on to start her own company, TopSpin Communications. Helping small businesses, nonprofits and individuals maximize their social-media presence has what Alexander calls “a good synergy” with SavAdate.

“My goal is to really help promote the organization,” Alexander says.

And, she adds, the audience here is prime.

“We’re living in a very philanthropic community.”

Nonprofits, she adds, not only benefit from such generosity but also rely on it, with special events often counted on for major support.

“In a lot of cases it could be upward of 50 percent of their operating budget that they’re hoping to achieve,” Alexander says.

Alexander has also built an element of giving back into SavAdate with its Dividend Fund, where she will allocate 10 percent of the company’s annual profits. Organizations registered with SavAdate will be eligible to apply for a grant from the fund each year.

After all, SavAdate is designed to help make fundraising rewarding on many levels.

As Alexander says, “It shouldn’t be a heavy lift.”

For more, visit SavAdate.com.

 

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