by A.J. Steinberg, CFRE of Queen Bee Fundraising
What if you got on a commercial flight and the captain came on the loudspeaker announcing “Ladies and gentleman, this is my first solo flight!”?
You probably wouldn’t feel all that confident about his ability to get you safely to your destination. Likely you’d be feeling stressed. Definitely you’d wonder why this newbie was at the controls when so much was at stake.
Now, let’s look at your next fundraising gala from that same perspective.
Are you handing over the controls of your biggest and most valuable stewardship piece to a staff member who has no event training?
I don’t make the comparison lightly between an inexperienced pilot and a staff person untrained at events. There is a lot at stake with your fundraising galas. You need to:
- raise money
- keep costs in check
- be on top of the planning checklist
- juggle sponsor tables and ticket sales
- manage the auction, volunteers, and run the day of the event efficiently
And, did I mention you need to craft a stage program that turns guests into donors?
It always surprises me how many organizations assign the complicated job of planning a gala to a staff member with little or no experience planning and running this type of event.
A charity gala is one of the most complex types of events in the event planning world, and it isn’t fair to your staff to assume they will just “figure it out” as they move through the planning and execution of the event.
I want you to think about who is in charge of your gala’s event planning?
- What kind of past experience do they have with this type of event?
- Have you given them training in event management to help them succeed?
- What written protocols have you provided them?
- How have you guided them to create an event that will be engaging and profitable?
Organizations spend boatloads of money on sophisticated technologies created to help streamline event auctions, registration, and cashiering. These platforms are incredibly helpful for those specific tasks. However, none of this will matter if an event is badly conceived and is poorly executed.
It is time for organizations to invest in their staff and their events.
Now is time to give your event team the training they need to build better events and run the events with efficiency and grace.
It is time for your organization to consider an Event Coach to work with your team to give them all the strategies and resources they need to succeed.
I am telling you this because every organization deserves to have great events. It won’t cost more money in the budget and won’t take extra staff time. The secret to creating these engaging and profitable events is just knowing the steps to take to lead your event team and organization to success.