Philosophy on fundraisers..

The VNSF 6th Annual Benefit Event was last friday and it was awesome! In planning the event, it suddently occurred to me that I’ve been organizing this even for 4 years now!  Crazy how time flies.  I hope we’ve finally found our home because every year has been at a different venue.  =)
From the very first year I was involved, my goals for the fundraiser were simple:
  1. Revenue – that’s kind of the whole point of the event. =)
  2. Message – have people walk away with an understanding of what VNSF does and feel a connection to our kids
  3. Fun & memorable – make it an evening people look forward to going to because it’s different, fun and exciting every year. 

Here’s my self-assessed report card from the last 4 years:

2007 – 3rd Annual Benefit Event at Tamarind Tree

  • Revenue – B
  • Message – A
    small, intimate setting made it easy to capture the audience’s attention and we gave a good update on what we do and shared stories about our interview trip
  • Fun & memorable – B-
    The Wii Tennis competition between the top 2 live auction bidders for the Nintendo Wii game system was a hit and still talked about today.

2008 – 4th Annual Benefit Event at Burke Museum

  • Revenue – B+
  • Message – C
    We couldn’t get a captive audience and failed to really convey any meaningful information.
  • Fun & memorable – C
    No games.  But being at museum was memorable.  We also learned people like the opportunity to mingle, network, etc.

2009 – 5th Annual Benefit Event at ACRS

  • Revenue – A
  • Message – B+
    We were able to get a captive audience, but we didn’t really put together good content. =(
  • Fun & memorable – B
    The trivia game was kind of fun and a little engaging, but not very memorable.

2010 – 6th Annual Benefit Event at New Holly

  • Revenue – A-
  • Message – A
    We gave people time to network & mingle uninterrupted and then called for their attention in one solid block of time. The content was great – a good update on our programs as well as a slideshow w/ photos & quotes from our kids.  Great balance.
  • Fun & memorable – A+
    Minute-to-Win-it games to earn dessert for your table were not just fun to play but fun to watch!  They had a wondeful amount of controversy, which will sure t make the event memorable.

I’m not sure what I’ll do next year, but it’s sure to involve games. =)

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