What’s the last charity event you attended? Black tie galas, golf outings, and beer tastings are just some of the charity events that occur in here in Bucks County and around the country. As you know, can run the gamut in terms of size and complexity but one thing they all have in common is a need for great food.
No matter your mission, nonprofits offer the opportunity to wow your guests and for most it’s an opportunity to raise funds. You want your guests to feel well-cared for and enjoy themselves. Charity events are about more than a great party, they’re about raising funds for important causes. When you work with an experienced caterer you’ll appreciate the insight we bring to your event.
For example, recently we worked with a local nature center. We helped them plan and execute their inaugural fundraising event and it occurred to us that there are a number of questions that we ask of every client in order to help frame the event.
First, we start with the “Who” – Who will attend this event. Now you may think it makes sense to start with the type of event you want to have. A cocktail party, a sit-down dinner, etc. yet, as you’ll see in a moment, there are many factors to consider including logistics and budget that will determine the direction of the event.
We guide you through this decision process. As an example, we met with the Board of Directors and discussed the type of event they were considering.
Who will attend this fundraising event?
Who will the constituents be? Are they sophisticated? Wealthy? Of modest means? Will there be children? Will there be alcohol? What type event will they embrace? What are the core principles of the group?
As you can see, these are important questions and the answers will help you create an event that matches your mission and donor base. Next, you’ll consider the day and time of the event. Will you choose a Saturday night? Friday after work? Afternoon? Weeknight? Breakfast?
A weekday breakfast has very different implications than a Saturday night and therefore different expectations.
Once you’ve decided the timing and what your guests will enjoy, you can consider the venue itself. Will the event be held onsite at the non-profit? Off-site? How will the venue effect costs? How will the venue affect attendance? Will it be too far away? Will it be one that the guests feel comfortable about?
Then you can determine the short and long-term goals for the fundraiser.
Do you want to make a killing first time out? Or set the stage for next year and the year after by keeping the event accessible financially to the supporters and having a high-quality event that they want to share with their friends and neighbors.
How should we frame the event to guests? Is it a celebration? Is the ticket price too steep for what you are offering in terms of value perception?
What Do You Want the “Feel” of the Event to Be?
Formal Saturday night event? Formal dinner dance? Casual cocktail party? Assigned seating? China and linens ($$$) or disposables ($)? Maybe you’d like to have a poker party or bingo. Will it be a raffle or auction?
Through ticket sales? Or will ticket sales support all the expenses of the event and sponsorships become your profit? Or vice versa? Or through a raffle at the event? Or all of the above. Do we need sponsorships?
These are all questions to consider when you’re planning a nonprofit fundraiser. As the in-house caterer at Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle, we have decades of experience planning charity events.
In 2016, three of the nonprofit events we catered included:
When hosting a charity event, you have the chance to impress your guests from the invitations to the venue to the food and service. Every detail counts. You want your guests to feel warm and friendly toward your organization so they continue to donate their time and dollars and recommend your organization to their friends.
If you’re in the Bucks County, Pa. area, we’d love to help you plan your next fundraiser. Memorable Affairs Catering is the in-house caterer for Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle. We specialize in handling all the details so that nothing is overlooked.
You can reach us at 215-674-1047 ext. 1 of via email here.