I recently had the great honor of chairing the Telfair Ball, the largest annual fundraiser of Savannah’s beloved Telfair Museums. Because the gala is a 34-year-old tradition, it has an established plan that works. Still, each year there is that push to make it better and, of course, to raise more money for the museum.
Whether your charitable event is new or old, I hope that the following ideas will help you be successful.
1. Seek a worthy cause
This is certainly the most important part. It must be a great cause, and one about which you are passionate. An enthusiastic leader will easily enlist support from others.
2. Compile the best committee
Work with great people. While you can always ask your friends (and I do), it is best to gather a committee of people who share your interest in the organization. Do not take it personally if someone turns you down: You want volunteers that are committed to the cause.
Create a timeline. Create a budget. Delegate goals and tasks to your committee.
4. Keep detailed notes
Keep a notebook with everything that you do and every person that you contact. Not only will this help you plan the event, it will also provide your predecessor with much-needed information of what worked and what did not work.
5. Find a hook
Add an interesting element to entice your audience. Because our museum was in the middle of a Spanish exhibit during the time of the gala, I went with a Spanish-themed party. I invited His Excellency Ramón Gil-Casares, the Spanish Ambassador to the United States, to serve as the honorary chair. He accepted, and then the planning took on a whole new level of excitement.
6. Make your event appealing
You want it to be as beautiful and fun as possible. Therefore, create a great atmosphere and do everything that you can to make it visually appealing. Delicious food and interesting people are a must!
7. Plan for unexpected occurrences
Yikes!! Unfortunately, things happen that create “interesting situations.” Have a rain or snow plan. Anticipate last-minute cancellations. Roll with it!
8. Share your financial goal
Make sure that your audience knows how the organization will use the funds it raises. During the Telfair Ball, we gave everyone the opportunity to donate either through auction items, a raffle or through a pledge to our education program.
Throwing large-scale events requires planning, people and a great cause. Build upon the foundation of your organization to bring in more people and more funds. A successful event is one that is a financial success, but also one that is fun for your committee and your supporters.
As always, thanks for reading.
Photography courtesy of Randy Thompson.
i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above?
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am
Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am
I WISH I COULD COOK.
COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER?
I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE.
YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE.
19 SPENCER WAY
KINGS PARK, NY 11754
HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am
You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm
Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition.
Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm