Take a look at the sign in the photo accompanying this post. Take a good, long look. Aside from giving you a taste for a hot dog, what you probably notice is that this fast-food establishment sells only one food, hot dogs, which you can get either as a single or a double dog.
Gene and Jude’s is a true Chicago institution. It’s been cranking out its specialty, delicious hot dogs since the 1950s. With the exception of tamales and fries (which come piled on top of all hot dogs), that’s it. No burgers, no chili dogs, or dogs with tomatoes, lettuce, papaya, pineapples, kale, or you name it.
When you get a dog from this place it comes with mustard, raw onions, green relish and sports peppers. Period.
No beef sandwiches, sausage, Philly steak, onion rings, or anything else.
A visit there the other day got me to thinking about how Rescigno’s has made its name synonymous with the annual fund by adopting the same philosophy as Gene and Jude’s.
That is, we’ve been doing one thing and doing it well since 1992—the annual fund. Now, there are, of course, several aspects to the annual fund, like data, the story, donor retention, donor communication plans, etc., but those things are like the simple condiments on a hot dog.
As consultants to the annual fund we don’t try to be all things to all non-profits so we don’t help with executive searches, capital campaigns, or grant writing.
As the saying goes, we learned long ago to stay in our lane. So, if you’re looking for a company that knows annual fund inside and out, we can help. In fact, we’re eager to do so.
Now take another look at the photo. It might just be the only time you’ll ever see a menu board with more beverage choices than food on it.
If you live in the Chicagoland area, I don’t have to convince you because you already know how good these dogs are. If you’re from out-of-town, maybe you’ll be visiting for a conference and just have to try one of the best hot dogs you’ll ever taste. Give me a call or send me a message and I’ll meet you at Gene and Jude’s. There are no tables in this joint (and I use that term very affectionately), so we’ll have to eat on an inside ledge or outside standing up.
The experience will be worth it. I promise. Maybe we can even talk a little annual fund while we’re at it.
Just do me one favor. Under no circumstances should you ask for ketchup unless you want to be the reason the whole place goes silent. If you want ketchup, bring some packets from somewhere else. (Think soup Nazi!)