To Theme or Not to Theme while Fundraising?
We fundraising specialists are consistently asked if themed events help or hinder fundraising for nonprofit organizations. The answer is: it depends on how well said theme is executed and how well it relates to your mission! Read on for tips on how to marry mission and fundraising at your event so it’s just right.
Here’s a photo story detailing how one organization, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, nailed it with the help of smart planning and utilizing a professional Benefit Auctioneer. RACC’s sole mission is to enrich communities through arts and culture. They threw a successful midsummer fundraiser titled Garden of Artistic Delights with event concept and planning aid from Cindy Thompson Event Production – here are five strategies that led to triumph!
1. Off-season event dates can work for some organizations. Hosting a July benefit auction is unusual – but works well for this organization’s demographic and ensures little to no competition from competing organizations on their event date. More of the right buns in seats = more money made for your organization. Plus, you can often score off-season discounts from vendors. Win, win!
2. Non-traditional venues keep things interesting. The event was held outside on gorgeous private acreage boasting a series of amazing gardens to wander through. The fact that the benefit auction was not held in a typical hotel ballroom, helped transport attendees directly into the Garden of Artistic Delights, which they will remember for its uniqueness. The entire event was both beautiful AND creative – emphasizing the value of art and artists to its guests, and inspiring them to support and give big.
3. Let the theme be your guide. As attendees moved from registration to the heart of the garden, they were welcomed by artists dressed as flowers and garden nymphs, musicians, photographers, orators and circus acrobats – seamlessly marrying mission and theme for RACC. Guests were not only visually stimulated, they were literally immersed in art. Brilliant!
4. Use music to draw people where you need them to be. Later, the sweet sounds of the Chris Brown Quartet drew guests to the beautiful dining area, where they enjoyed a scrumptious theme-specific meal. Kudos to RACC for utilizing this effective method of enticing folks to move where we need them to be – as close as possible to the fundraising action!
5. Craft the content of the program to educate, motivate and move donors to action. RACC won the night by crafting mission-specific, succinct yet lively programming which engaged its donor base in support of its arts community.
We’re thrilled with the fantastic outcome and the fact that the organization exceeded its goals for the event through detailed execution of best practices and creativity! You, too, can raise more money with less effort and better results. Contact us today!