Hosting a gala is an excellent way for nonprofit organizations to raise money for a cause, as well as boost awareness. It’s a great way to share a message about your organization’s goals with potential donors, past beneficiaries, and community members.
Since galas are typically formal affairs, they can require a lot of time spent planning to pull off. Hosting a fundraising gala, especially if it’s your first time, can be stressful. You might be worried about being able to make the event enjoyable for guests, or fundraising enough money for your nonprofit. However, with this list of tips, you’ll be able to make your gala a blast for all who attend, as well as meet your fundraising objectives. We’ll go over 5 nonprofit fundraising tips to assist you while planning your gala.
Select a fully equipped venue
When you’re looking for a venue for your event, make sure it comes fully equipped to handle your gala. Venues that have everything you need make your job easier, and as a result, your event will go more smoothly.
First of all, the event space you choose should be large enough for the number of people who might attend. The venue should also offer tables, chairs, and other furniture pieces so you can customize your event. Ask the venue if they have a stage and equipment like a microphone and speakers for entertainment. Some venues also offer customizable lighting for events. Last but not least, ask if the venue has an in-house caterer. In-house catering can be extremely beneficial and simplify your planning process. Selecting a fully equipped venue can save you time and peace of mind when planning a gala.
Choose an extraordinary theme
The key to creating a fun and unique gala is to pick an unforgettable theme. Don’t be afraid to get creative—think about themes like Casino Royale or The Oscars. A properly chosen theme can set the mood for the entire night and leave a lasting impression on guests.
Once you’ve decided on a theme, you can choose decorations that complement the theme. Use colored table cloths and coordinating centerpieces to decorate tables. Build a balloon archway to accentuate the theme and the front entrance of your gala. You could also create a themed backdrop for guests to take photos in front of. Selecting an extraordinary theme and using decorations to emphasize it will make your event captivating and compelling.
Set a fundraising goal
Before the start of your event, set a fundraising goal. Without a set goal, it’s hard to know if you are accomplishing anything. Make sure your goal follows the SMART test (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound). It’s important to set a specific fundraising objective so that you can plan to accomplish it at your gala.
After you set a goal, you can display it throughout the event on a wall or TV screen. When people donate, you can update the visual to show the total number of donations. You’ll be able to encourage people to donate by displaying your goal on a visual throughout your event.
Give information about the cause
In order to encourage people to donate, you’ll want to share a little bit about your organization. Sharing information with guests can help the audience understand why your organization is hosting a gala. The information that guests learn can inspire them to donate and spark passion in them for the cause.
There are a few ways that you can share information with guests during your gala. If you’d like to take a more traditional approach, then ask an important member of your organization to present the information. This presentation can be supplemented with a slideshow presentation. You could also show a video to share information about your organization. Videos can portray people who have been positively impacted by your organization. Both ways help the audience understand your organization better, leading more people to donate to your cause.
Decide how to ask for donations
Implementing fundraising gala activities can help your event be a success. Popular options for fundraising gala activities include serving a dinner, hosting an auction, or presenting a raffle. Instead of asking directly for donations, these activities provide ways for guests to contribute money and receive something in return.
Sometimes, nonprofits sell tickets or have table sponsors that pay for meals. Fundraiser dinners usually include multiple courses and beverages. If you choose to host an auction at your event, guests can have fun bidding on various items like gift cards or sporting event tickets. Raffles also give guests an exciting activity to participate in during a gala; guests will wait in anticipation to see if they’ve won a prize. Any of these fundraising gala activities will add to your event by providing guests with entertainment and an easy way to donate.
Hitting your goals
Planning a gala is a lot of hard work, but it pays off immensely if you raise enough money to hit your donation goals. These tips can help skyrocket your event into an extraordinary fundraiser—one with a fully equipped venue and entertaining theme. The goals you set before your gala can help you achieve your fundraising objectives. Use your gala as a platform to share information about your nonprofit’s cause. And choose fundraising gala activities that both entertain and encourage guests to donate. Follow these 5 tips to host a profitable and successful gala fundraiser.
Ready to book your next event? Contact Viper Alley on our website or by phone at 847.499.5000.