Chapin’s Tips on Fundraising Events & Galas Part 2
Once you have those elements in place: focus on the guest experience.
- Have great customer service. No matter what is happening behind the scenes, everyone interfacing with attendees should have a smile and an attitude of gratitude.
- Start and end on time. If you’re having a cocktail hour, be transparent with your guests about the fact that there is an hour of networking before the program begins. Whatever schedule you sent out, stick to it, even if it means shortening some speeches. No one wants to feel as though their time isn’t valued.
- Keep an eye on quality – to an extent. There’s a delicate balance of investing money in a quality experience but also not going overboard. Make sure that you show that you are using donor dollars in a responsible way.
So all of these event elements are great: but how do you do all of this and stay sane at the same time?? Here are some tips to help keep the burnout at bay.
- Put together a project management spreadsheet and timeline. Build out a timeline as early as possible, and build in plenty of buffer time. Include all deadlines and who is responsible. Once it’s built out, share it with everyone involved.
- Engage a committee. If there is a board committee working on the event with you, establish a consistent meeting schedule and goals for meetings at the beginning. Make sure there is a job description for committee members, and that there are clear expectations of everyone.
- Engage the full board. They are key in getting attendees in the room and sponsors for the event.
Again, remember that the event you are pouring your heart and soul into is just one evening for your guests. So don’t forget to use it as an opportunity to build relationships with the people in the room that will last much longer than a few hours.
And (try) to have fun!
Nathan & Chapin