Spring is in the air: Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and gala invitations are dropping into our mailboxes at a frantic pace. Like many of you, we’ve spent quite a few evenings these past several months sitting at table rounds set for ten, and we wanted to send over some observations, thoughts, and advice for those of you still planning your big spring soirée.
First off, let us offer a guiding principle: Your gala doesn’t have to suck. And the process of putting it together doesn’t have to be agonizing, either.
But whenever we talk about peer-to-peer fundraising strategy, which is quite often, an overworked staff member invariably brings up the forced march that is planning, holding, and following up on their annual gala. There’s probably no one fundraising activity that causes more stress, annoyance, frustration, and résumé creation than the annual gala.
And often, this stress and frustration is for good reason. Galas can be expensive to produce, onerous to implement, and lackluster to attend. And there’s certainly nothing more painful than the post-event debrief meeting for a gala that doesn’t hit its goals. The hotel blames the weather. The director of development blames the auctioneer. The auctioneer blames the attendees in the room. The committee chair blames the staff for not selling enough tickets. The executive director blames herself.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some quick tips to help you turn that forced march into a merry parade.
We hope these tips help you transform your event, save you a bit of stress, and most importantly, allow you to create more impact in the world. There’s something magical about getting people together to celebrate and share in community. That’s what your gala is: A celebration of hope and life and potential. Focus less on the stuff and more on the story and people, and you could find yourself actually looking forward to it next year.
And if you need some help, contact us about how we can use our proven Seven Success Factors model to audit, overhaul, and radically improve your program's results. We’ve helped organizations just like yours realize massive increases in revenue, alignment, and satisfaction in one year. Let’s talk.