Evaluating a Gala or Fundraising Event

Each week, we write articles on topics that we think would interest the readers of this blog. This week, I would like to highlight someone else’s article. Someone I have never met. However, when I read the article dated July 16, 2016 in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, it was obvious that the writer … [Read more...]

MJA Challenge: Judging Your Nonprofit

Last week I posted 3 articles (see the links below) that questioned whether your nonprofit was being perceived in a planned way, or evolved in a haphazard and counterproductive fashion.  The articles, focused on judging your nonprofit, were brief in both their problems and solutions (trying to keep … [Read more...]

Judging a Nonprofit by its Gala

This is Part 2 in a mini-series that asks – how do people determine which organizations deserve their donations? While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (or as a sign in my local library reminded me – you shouldn’t judge a book by its movie), should you judge a nonprofit by its direct mail?  … [Read more...]

Engaging Prospects At A Nonprofit Event

Week 6 of 100 Donors in 90 Days focuses on events as new donor cultivation opportunities. Events bring out polar responses from fundraisers. Some love them, some hate them but almost all agree that events can be a major “time-suck.” This week’s conversation with Shanon Doolittle explained how to … [Read more...]

15 Questions You Should Ask About Your Gala

The most recent MJA challenge was encouraging you to examine your gala/benefit results. Now it is time to get you to drill down a bit deeper to answer questions that will help you discover whether the event is creating the intended outcomes. As a reminder, we asked: What are three results you … [Read more...]

The Downside of Your Benefit or Gala

Usually, we feature upbeat articles about how you can improve your nonprofit.   But, when it comes to benefits and galas it seems that the organizers often focus on the twinkly lights and forget about the substance.  While the inner circle of party-planners are busy congratulating themselves, they … [Read more...]

MJA Challenge: Fundraisers – Is Your Event Worth The Time And Energy?

Tis the season for galas and benefits. The question is, after years of doing your annual event, are you still getting the results you desire? Do you know what you want to achieve? This month's Challenge: What are three results you achieved by hosting your big event this past year? Are they … [Read more...]

Q. Our nonprofit holds an annual fundraising gala that raises about $10,000 gross, $8,000 net, towards a $350,000 annual budget. The executive director and some board members feel that this fundraiser is ‘too small’ and ‘not worth our while’; how do we decide whether it is or not, and what then?

A. We are often asked versions of this question. Galas and other similar benefits are wonderful friend-raisers and community builders, but rarely do they find balance on the financial scales when you consider the time and energy that could be spent on other methods of fundraising instead of the … [Read more...]