Working with non-profits on a fundraising event can be at first intimidating, but if you have a good committee, your budget in place and an inspiration to help you get started, then your first steps are already done and everything else will easily start to fall in to place. We get asked a lot for donations and sometimes it does not always fit in our budget, but we can always help you get very creative with your set up and help you stay within your budget to WOW your guests.
Here are a few ideas to help you plan your event and keep cost down and your budget on track.
For instance, if you want to layer your tables but don’t have a large linen budget, use a basic poly linen and add chair tie sashes as runners.
You can do multi colors to match your theme and it really brightens up your guest tables or use a colored or patterned napkin in the center of the table and place centerpiece on top of that.
If your budget does not allow for upscale chairs you can also decorate standard garden chairs to give them a pop. Just add a chair tie to every other one or do each one with a different style tie.
You can also get creative on the Auction tables by using leg extension as this will raise your tables just enough so your clients are not bending down to write and your auction items are in better view when walking around auction area bidding.
Depending on the venue and the nature of the fundraiser itself, check with your planner at the venue and see if they have any kind of centerpiece you can use at a small cost or no additional cost that they might have in storage at the event’s locations. If they have their logo on décor or other items, it helps with the event’s branding and it’s a win-win situation for everyone to promote the event.
Picture below: This is a national baseball team logo at a fundraiser.
Often we are asked a lot to help our clients plan their events from the ground up, and we have to come up with some pretty innovative ideas for each and every event we’re asked to do this for. Also, they have to be different as each client is unique and their particular event must stand out from year to year and apart from the other local fundraisers that are happened around a community.
Once we meet with our clients and get a general idea of the goals they have set for the event, then our wheels start working. Lots of ideas come from everyday experiences, it might be something we saw on the way to work, an article we read or just by looking out the window and seeing a color or plant really helps us initiate our ideas. And once we have that idea in our minds, we can express it to the client via linens, centerpiece ideas and even tent looks.
Picture below: cherries were an inspiration and look at the end results at this beach affair – WOW!
We also like to pull in the catering company who is creating all the food and beverage service from the very start as they will want to pair their food and signature drinks to go along with the fundraising theme. We are always amazed at how they can get so very creative with the menu based on the linen and centerpiece colors.
Picture below: New England Clam Bake was an inspiration for this fundraiser and look at the end results with the caterer’s food and linen décor – AMAZING!
You don’t always need a full sit down dinner anymore as you do want your guests up and moving around looking at silent auction items and networking, so we sometimes say: stations all the way! It fills in the venue space with lots of tables and your chef can get as creative as you want them to be. Your guests will have a lot of fun walking around trying all the different foods. They can also use mini size plates in assorted colors and shapes or recyclable cartons. There’s no such thing as every plate has to be the same anymore.
Signature drinks are always a hit at a fundraising event. You can even have them in a branded glass that can also be the gift for attending and thanking everyone for their donations. We find that this is something your guests will be talking about for months or years after the special occasion.
And what better way to end your nonprofit fundraising event than having a coffee bar available after the auction? Your catering company can put one together for you, or you can hire an outside company that will have a large selection of flavored coffee, espresso and teas.
Have fun with your committee while planning your fundraiser and get inspired!