Development departments and Boards across the country are wrestling with the thought of having a gala his spring. The decision usually revolves around the question: Is it worth it? To answer it, we must understand the gala’s range of possibilities and specific limitations.

What it can do:

The strength of the gala model is that it can achieve multiple objectives simultaneously. It is an easy point of entry for new prospects and it is an ideal way to publicly acknowledge donors and key stakeholders for their contributions. Galas build brand awareness and highlight organizational achievements, such as mile stones or important partnerships. It builds mission awareness and can strengthen relationships with your local community. Through group dynamics, it also serves to reenergize your Board, volunteers and donors around your cause. And, of course, galas have an important fundraising role. A well-crafted event can touch upon each of these goals to realize one beautiful occasion that unites, inspires, and moves people to action while raising funds.

What it takes:

To achieve the results you expect from your event requires a number of critical pieces to come together. Firstly, from the executive office down, the various departments and teams need to collaborate on a multi-pronged outreach strategy that combines fundraising, PR, marketing, branding, and community outreach. Secondly, events of this nature require Board leadership and commitment to actively fundraise. Thirdly, a strategic follow-up plan for sponsors and attendees must be designed and executed. Finally, managing the cost side as carefully as the revenue side is essential.

What are your expectations:

Unless you are getting both direct and indirect benefits from your event, you are at risk of under-utilizing the gala event model and expending time and resources that could be more efficiently applied to other development and marketing strategies. Before you launch into your event season this year, take time to take stock.  This 2013 season, resolve not to be disappointed and stressed, call us and together let’s find the event model for your organization and achieve your 2013 goals.

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