Fundraising is one of the most significant parts of running a successful non-profit organization. There are numerous ways to fundraise that can help raise a significant amount of money. As the Patrick Reed Enterprises discussed, one way to fundraise is hosting a golf tournament. For organizations that want a fundraiser that is both formal and appealing will often host a gala. What exactly is a gala, and why is it recommended as a fundraising effort?

What is a Gala?
A gala is a festive celebration that oftentimes takes place in the form of an elegant dinner. Putting on a gala has become a popular form of fundraising for countless organizations because it can not only provide accommodations for a large crowd, but there are many opportunities for the organization to raise money throughout the gala.

Fundraising Opportunities
For many non-profit organizations, the annual gala is their largest fundraising event every year, so it is important to create several opportunities to fundraise. Before the gala, organizations can create different sponsorship levels that they pitch to different companies in their community. In exchange for paying for a sponsorship, organizations oftentimes provide marketing opportunities for the companies, like featuring their logos in any print collateral for the gala. Sponsorships are an important part of fundraising because they will help cover some of the largest expenses for the gala. Organizations will create sponsorships to cover expenses like food, alcohol, and entertainment.

Many organizations will feature a silent and live auction and will reach out to companies and donors to get items donated. The items that they secure as a donation may be used during the silent or live auction for attendees to bid on it. In a silent auction, the items are placed throughout the gala, and attendees can write down a bid if they want the item. The silent auction is typically completed in the first part of the gala. The live auction will likely take place during dinner, and the largest items are auctioned off. Live auction items can include all-inclusive trips, opportunities to meet a celebrity, and even cars. The silent and live auctions together can be a significant fundraiser for many organizations that host galas.

A strategy that many organizations will employ is the call to action that typically takes place in the late evening, following dinner and the live auction. A call to action invites guests to quickly make smaller donations. When this happens, someone from the organization may ask for a $200 donation, before slowly decreasing the amount. In doing this, guests who did not want to spend a lot of money during the silent and live auctions can still make a small contribution. This is a strong strategy to employ because a large number of people will feel comfortable with the smaller donation.

While galas may not have all of these different fundraising strategies, they are some of the most popular ones when hosting a gala. Hosting an elegant gala that features dinner and drinks, music, dancing, and entertainment can help organizations meet their fundraising goals.