Top 10 Fundraising Gala Tips For Successful Events Year after Year

Top 10 Fundraising Gala Tips For Successful Events Year after Year

Fundraising really can be FUN. Ron and I have been in the fundraising business for 15 years and enjoy passing on the strategies and ideas that work for the NonProfit organization’s that have a fundraising event or gala. Here are a few tips to consider when starting to organize your next Charity Event.

1.  Form a Committee
Forming a committee is one of the most crucial things you will do in having a successful fundraiser. We all think at first, we can do it all. Wrong. Find friends, family members, or colleagues that have the heart to be dedicated to the mission. Once you have formed your initial committee, each person will have a task to carry out for the event and delegate. Some tasks are ideal for volunteers, such as stuffing envelopes, checking arriving guests into an event, selling raffle tickets, and preparing gift bags.

Committee areas to form:

Corporate Sponsorships
Live Auction Items/ Hire Fundraising Auctioneer
Silent Auction Items
Selling Raffles
Ticket Sales
Marketing/Social Media
Gift Bags
Guest Registration
Mobile Bidding

2.  Choose an event theme
Using your committee members to bounce ideas around, choose your event theme. Your theme should match your mission with your donors, guests, and volunteers interest. For example, if you have many donors that own horses, a Kentucky Derby Gala could be extremely exciting. If many of your mission followers are into Fashion, have a Fashion show that will entertain and delight your guests.

3. Budget 
Fundraising events can be costly. Budget costs carefully from the beginning stages. Hidden costs can occur if you do not know what is expected in all areas. Think about these items when budgeting.
Printing Costs
Auctioneer Team
Invitations/Thank You
Sound system

4. Venue
Next, reserve a location well in advance of the event. Space should be booked six months to a year in advance, preferably as soon as the organization is certain that the event is going to happen. Take into consideration and try to match the mission of your NonProfit with the Venue. Things to take into consideration:
Your budget
The size of banquet hall for the number of guests

5. Sponsorships
Corporate sponsorships can help defray the cost of the event and is essential to have in forming partnerships. Not only will you have them annually to depend on, but selling corporate tables also leads to guests that support your mission from their company.

6. Advertise

Charities often get free publicity: local newspapers, charity’s websites, and social media. (Facebook, Twitter, Website, Pinterest)  Use everything free.  Your local news stations may want to interview you for a short spot on the morning show.  It never hurts to ask for TV Coverage.

7. Expect Greatness  

Even after all the planning is done, don’t get complacent on the day of the event. Have volunteers available to handle last-minute changes and be really thorough in planning a timeline. Be flexible and expect some glitches.  The first time you do something, there are going to be things unknown to you.  You’re going to have to experience the first time to understand.

8. Mission

After the live auction, this is a good time for the  vision filled video to enhance the mission.  If you are having a Fund Appeal, the auctioneer will help bring the mission home when asking for different levels of money.   This is the moment in the event where everyone in the room will be connected to the mission.  Savor this moment.

9. Be Thankful and Celebrate
The follow-up party after the event is one of the most important parts of the months and months of planning.  It’s the most fertile period for thanking the people who helped put the event on.

10.  Evaluate

When the event is over it is time to evaluate your successes.    Without an evaluation, you will not know the things to celebrate and what can be done better for next year’s event.

All of these steps are crucial parts to building a successful fundraiser.  If it’s your first year, or it’s your tenth year, these strategies will help build success.  Good luck.

IMG_6798About the author:  Impact Auctions, Debbie Hitzel, Event Coordinator, and Ron Hitzel,  Licensed Charity Auctioneer is a husband and wife team that enjoys helping thousands of organization’s set record breaking profits in one night with less work for the volunteers and committee members.



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