Hosting a Fundraising Gala


READ TIME: 2 minutes

There are many different formats to choose from when planning fundraising events. One particular favorite, though, is fundraising galas. Galas create a valuable opportunity to bring together all different types of people from various industries to support an important cause.

If you’re responsible for planning fundraising events, this Smarticle will introduce you to the benefits of galas, provide you expert advice for planning a successful gala event, and list tips for ensuring your programming leaves guests walking away passionate about your cause and willing to donate again.

Benefits of Hosting a Fundraising Gala

Building community

  • Connect with your local community
  • Create emotional connections

Recognizing key individuals and programs

  • Highlight who or what programs are making an impact
  • Create a sense of achievement both internally (within your organization) and externally

Establishing and strengthening your internal core

  • Provide a positive impact for all those involved in the event planning process
  • Strengthen team morale behind the cause

Increasing awareness

  • Showcase the purpose and results of your organization’s ongoing efforts
  • Bolster volunteer engagement to encourage long-term commitment

Raising money to continue your programs

  • Generate income to support your cause

Expert Advice for Planning Fundraising Galas

1. Don’t rush it! If it’s your first year planning a fundraising gala, you don’t have to go all out right away. Focus on making several elements of your event unforgettable instead of trying to do everything and spreading yourself too thin.
2. Get the support you need. Only plan an event that is realistic within the resources you have available to you. Make sure to consider your number of staff, volunteers and consultants and their abilities.
3. Remember your brand. Be mindful of who you associate with your event and that it complements your ongoing efforts, mission, and programs.

Quick Tips for Developing an Unforgettable Program

  • Strategically choose a master of ceremonies who will strengthen and reinforce your brand. Local news personalities make fantastic, engaging MCs
  • Consider hiring local performing arts groups for your event
  • Invite local politicians
  • Keep acceptance and introduction speeches short and under two minutes
  • If the event is approaching and you still haven’t sold all your tickets, offer to comp tickets in order to fill the room
  • Remember to build educating your guests about your organization’s story and purpose into your gala’s programming