An easy way of raising funds for a nonprofit or charity is to host a gala fundraiser. A gala is a dinner that raises funds through sponsorships, table purchases, and individual ticket sales. A gala sometimes is referred to as an annual fundraising gala benefit dinner, the organization dinner or gala, or a black-tie gala.
It’s a simple way for charities and non-profit organizations to generate some funds for future or upcoming projects. It might seem like a challenge at first but once you have the right tools in hand, it’s really easy to host a gala fundraiser.
In this article, we’ll show you how you can host a gala fundraiser event for your business or organization in five simple steps.
Step #1: Decide on a budget
One of the first things you need to decide on is the budget. In other words, the cost of hosting the gala. This is important because it gives your project budget a starting point.
It can help you evaluate how ‘big’ the gala should be. This means that it will provide a clearer image of the revenue target of the fundraiser gala and how much profit you should be expecting. Ideally, you want to achieve a 60% profit margin for your gala fundraiser event.
When deciding on a budget, you need to consider costs such as decoration, food, and event setup. This typically includes location rent costs, labor costs to set up decor, and electricity costs to run the event.
Step #2: Choose your venue
Choosing the right venue for your business is crucial for hosting a successful gala fundraiser event.
For starters, you might want to choose a venue based on the number of expected attendees. This way, you don’t overbook the venue space or make seating arrangements for more than the expected number of attendees. As a result, you ensure that you don’t waste resources and that you’re making the most of the available space.
The type of venue you want to choose will also depend on the type of audience you expect. Here are some questions to ask yourself: Is the majority of your attendee’s audience professional? Casual? Or are you looking for a more minimalistic-themed venue for your audience?
You want to make sure that your audience doesn’t feel ‘out of place’ when they attend your gala fundraiser. After all, the audience is the fuel of the gala and is the main support of the event’s cause.
Step #3: Set up ticket sales on your event website
You need to offer a simple, easy way for people to buy tickets to your gala fundraiser. This encourages more people to attend your gala fundraiser and makes it easier for you to gather funds for your organization.
One way of doing this is by setting up ticket sales on your event website using the Event Espresso plugin for WordPress. Event Espresso is an intuitive event registration and ticketing plugin that lets event managers control and manage every part of their event using a single plugin.
In addition to this, it also lets you use event registration forms on your event website that help efficiently collect information from attendees. You can also register multiple attendees by using the group registrations feature and collect the data you need from each attendee.
Another great thing about Event Espresso is that it lets you set up event ticket sales for your fundraiser on your WordPress site. You can take a look at this video for step-by-step instructions on how to do this:
Step #4: Promote your gala fundraiser
Once you’re done with all the arrangements, the next step for running a successful gala fundraiser is promoting it. You want to promote your event in order to maximize ticket sales and revenue from the event.
A great way to do this is by using your event website to attract new attendees and get your word out there. Since there are already people visiting your website to learn more about upcoming events, let them know by posting banners and pop-ups on your homepage about the upcoming gala fundraiser event.
You can also leverage your social media following to further promote your gala fundraiser event to an even wider audience. You can use social media marketing channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
Another great way of promoting your gala fundraiser event is to invite special guests and celebrities to the main event. This helps tap into their audience which can help boost attendance at your event.
In addition to this, you can also send an invitation to your email list. This way, you attract the attention of past attendees who are already familiar with your events. If they’ve attended one of your events before, they’re more likely to attend another one.
Step #5: Check-in with attendees after the event
After the fundraiser gala event ends, you need to ask event attendees for feedback.
This can help boost attendee engagement and give attendees a sense of exclusivity. One way to do this is by sending them an email asking about their experience. You can also set up a survey on your event website or set up a poll on social media to collect feedback from attendees.
This way, you can learn more about how attendees feel about the event and what you can do to host better gala fundraisers in the future.
Hosting a gala fundraiser can be challenging at first. But, with the right directions, the right tools, and the right idea, you can plan a gala fundraiser for your organization and gather funds easily.
You need to decide on a budget first before you start making any arrangements for the event. Then it’s easier for you to choose a venue according to your budget, the number of people you’re expecting, and the type of audience that will be attending your event.
You also want to offer an easy way of purchasing event tickets from your event website. A great way to do this is by using the Event Espresso plugin for your WordPress site. It’s always a smart idea to promote your gala fundraiser event on your event website and your social media channels as well.
You can also invite VIP guests to attend your event and send invites to every member of your email list. This ensures you get the word out about your upcoming fundraiser gala event to everyone in your circle.
Ready to start hosting your gala fundraiser event? Try the Event Espresso demo today!