The Best, Worst Fundraiser Ever


A couple weeks ago I was listening to a podcast and the whole time they listed reasons not to have a fundraising event. I’m sure you can imagine that as an event planner that was nails on a chalkboard to my ears. They didn’t understand the value fundraising events had to offer. Their main reason being, “What if you don’t raise enough money? Then none of it was worth it.” FALSE! I’m here to tell you the exact opposite and will give you an example of an article a coworker of mine shared that was not only a “feel-good” read for me, but a reminder that outside of the box thinking never goes unnoticed.

For the last two years 500 guests have gathered around Raleigh, North Carolina to attend a very special fundraising event, the Give Gala. This gala was put to life by two entrepreneurs of Headbands of Hope and Monday Life, both nonprofits helping with the treatment of sick children. Looking at pictures it seems like just another ordinary gala event filled with booze, floating appetizers, and too many mustache photo booth props. There is one thing however, that allows this gala to stand out. They would not except any money that evening.

To attend, they asked guests to provide a different kind of gift. One that they possessed or a talent or service they could provide. If you’re like me your next thought might be, you always wanted to be in the talent show but are realistic you don’t have a viable talent; so, what can you offer? They anticipated this and asked the families in need for ideas. It’s hard to imagine the pain these families go through. They’ve spent most, if not all their time and money in a hospital and just want an experience. A break if you will. Whether it be tickets to their kid’s favorite sports team, a trip to Harry Potter World, or just a couple days’ worth of meals to take away the stress from mom and dad. Either way, it meant more to the families than you could imagine.

To me, they completely knocked it out of the park and I would be lying to you all if I don’t get a little teary-eyed every time I talk about this Gala. I think what they did was truly incredible. It was different, unique and special. Proving that it’s not all about the money. Sure, you should have enough sponsors to cover the cost (and they did just that), but I will never believe it’s the only thing of value a nonprofit event has to offer. I will never forget what this nonprofit did for their families through this “fundraising” event.

Although I like to think of myself as an optimist, this world can get a little rough at times. It is the nonprofit world that continues to remind me that there are people doing good out there. Although they’ve titled The Give Gala, “The Worst Fundraiser Ever,” it might make you think twice on what is or isn’t successful.

To making an impact,





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