Barbara Davis Reveals Plans for a Childhood Diabetes Telethon
The grand dame of philanthropy, who's raised more than $100 million to fight childhood diabetes, shares her 10 tips for success ("Buy a studio!" "Give people a gift bag") in winning friends -- and raising money.
This story first appeared in the Aug. 2 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Barbara Davis has raised more than $100 million to fight childhood diabetes with her Carousel Ball. Now she tells THR she's planning the first America Fights Diabetes telethon for 2014 with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the American Diabetes Association and her own Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes. She talks about fundraising's pains, joys and tricks:
1. I make calls until someone says no or they're rude to me. The guy who owned The Gap was once terrible to me. I'm raising money for kids with diabetes! Thank goodness he died.
2. If you're having a bad day making calls, stop and go shopping on Rodeo. Believe me, you'll feel much better.
3. Buy a studio. After my late husband, Marvin, bought Fox, I got more stars to come to Denver for the Carousel Ball than you could imagine.
4. People give to people, not causes. At least, the people I know do.
5. Give people a gift bag. Who doesn't like a gift bag? And two is even better.
6. If you ask for donations, you have to give donations.
7. Do everything you can to make the food at the hotel dinner better. It's impossible, but try.
8. Two keys are the honoree and the talent. If I go somewhere and there's talent, I ask them to help.
9. If you're at a party and you see talent running away from you, you've asked too many times.
10. If you care, your donors will care. I have a child with diabetes. One in three babies born today will have diabetes. I would kill to cure this disease.