August 21, 2008
Special event fundraisers are an opportunity to raise money, of course, but can also increase the visibility of an organization. Because they can be such a great marketing device, there are many details to consider, from the invitations and decorations to food and music. This one event could be the image of your organization in the community. So whether they’re held at a private club, feature a live band, dancing, dinner, awards, or a raffle, they’re about having fun.
Special Event Fundraising Resource List
Kelly Quirke, Executive Director, Friends of the Urban Forest (San Francisco, CA)
Arcadia is an invitational biennial event, conceived by artists in 2002 as a way to make a significant contribution to San Francisco’s urban ecosystem. The Bay Area art community has welcomed the opportunity to transform their art into trees and enhance our city one artwork and one tree at a time. Although the event is for one night, the website remains available indefinitely so that the public can explore the art and the artists that interest them. Most of the participating artists have websites where one can view more of their work and find out about upcoming shows and events. The event engages participating artists, sponsors, volunteers, and more than 500 attendees who bid in the art auction. In 2007, through the generosity of Bay Area artists, more than $185,000 was raised for Friends of the Urban Forest.
Kelley Skumautz, Annual Fund Director, TreePeople (Beverly Hills, CA)
Harvest Moon is TreePeople’s annual gala fundraiser and awards benefit dinner at Warner Bros. Studio. MCs and special guests include Hollywood’s eco-supporters, actors, comedians, and more. The evening includes music, special guests, a silent auction featuring various artists’ work, and a live auction, which in 2007 featured a Toyota Hybrid, weekend getaway in Manhattan, a gourmet dinner at the WIRED LivingHome, a tour of the mighty L.A. River with Andy Lipkis, and use of TreePeople’s Center for Community Forestry. In 2007, Harvest Moon raised $550,000 for forestry, environmental education, and sustainability programs. Invitations to Harvest Moon are, in themselves, a category of fundraising. Invitations are issued only to Grove Members (annual contribution of $1,000 or more). In addition to invitations to all Grove events, Grove Members also receive complimentary consultation at their home with a certified arborist, and an opportunity to dedicate a grove of five trees to honor or remember a family member or friend.
Brown Bag attendees will learn:
* How to position your event for success.
* Event logistics (including invitations, decorations, and catering).
* Soliciting community support, in-kind contributions, and underwriters.
* Budget overview and financial sustainability.
* Establishing donor levels.
About the Brown Bag Lunch Series
The Brown Bag Lunch Series is the Alliance for Community Trees’ monthly webcast series held at the lunch hour and made possible through support from The Home Depot Foundation and USDA Forest Service. The goal is to create informal training opportunities for local urban and community forestry organizations. The content is geared to mainly serve the needs of volunteer organizations and community groups, although webcasts are open to all.
The trainings leverage local successes by amplifying to a larger audience the model organizations’ methods, materials, and approaches. Sessions are planned to last no more than one hour, with two presenters speaking on the same topic from slightly different perspectives, each for 10-15 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes of questions and answers.
CEU Approved: 1 Hour
CFE Category 2 Approved: 1 Hour