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"Beyond the Committee: How to Plan a Gala with Your Donors in Mind"

Who is this gala for, anyway?

Yes, we know it's benefitting the organization that is putting on the gala, but who will be in attendance? THAT is the big question. We need to plan this event for the folks who are coming to share their hard earned money, not for the committee or the clients served.

I recently heard a client mention that they saw a fabulous pajama party event and that looked like fun. Oh yeah! Who doesn’t love a pajama party? In the next breath they said, “most of our attendees are retired.” Do retired folks like to hang out in their pajamas? I don’t know. Maybe? But perhaps it would be best to ask them about that idea. Time for a little donor demographic detective work.

If we have no idea what kind of fundraiser our guests will participate in, it may be time to survey them and find out what they want. Once we dig into our demographics of our audience, we can start getting strategic on the specifics.

  • Is this event for morning, noon or night?

  • How long will our attendees have to participate?

  • What is our timeline leading up to the fundraiser?

  • Can we identify a date that will work for our guests?

  • What activities do they want to see?

  • Will they attend in-person or virtually?

Now that we have answers, we can start to develop a gala that our guests will rave about. I often hear organizations voice their desire to host an event that “stands out” from others in their community. Well I’ll tell ya, there is no better way to make that happen than to quite literally build the event that your donors tell you they want. If they say they want an Elvis Themed Gala - let’s give them just that. If that is the theme that will make them spend money, let’s get planning, right? Yes.

Ultimately, every event should be custom crafted to your donors. Different people support different organizations, so we need to be sure we are creating an event that caters to your attendees who will be present on event night. After all, this isn’t an event for us, it’s for our guests.

If you are struggling to determine what event you should be hosting, give us a call and let’s schedule some consultation. We would love to help.

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