It is officially gala season and I imagine – you, like me – are out on what I fondly refer to as the “charity circuit”.
Special events are a key part of a fundraising program – however, I will almost always recommend that nonprofits DO NOT start a new gala as a mechanism for fundraising because there are already so many galas being hosted EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKEND.
However – if you absolutely must throw a gala – here are some helpful hints on how to create a successful gala invitation.
Use a “live” stamp on the envelope so it has a personal feel and will encourage the recipient to open the invitation. Points for hand-written name and address – especially of your top attendees from last year.
Include a personal note on the invitation so the recipient knows this invite was personalized to them – and that the organizations wants them to attend the event!
Honor an important community member who has made a difference in your organization – AND who will attract other attendees (like the honoree’s friends and admirers).
Offer special discounted pricing for individuals who are “under 40” to increase your organization’s next generation of donors – AND offer special pricing for first time guests in order to increase new attendees to get to know your organization better through the gala.
Include a full listing or just “highlights” of your auction to wet the appetite of your attendees or offer options for those who can not attend but can still contribute by bidding on auction items.