I have worked with many charities in my career and many special events teams. Lots of these charities generate good income from Gala Dinners, Christmas Concerts, Auctions and the like. But many do not. The struggle to sell tables at a Gala Dinner which has been organised by the same committee for a decade or more, the struggle to secure ever more original auction prizes, the struggle to raise a decent net profit with the expense of a glitzy dinner at a posh hotel. And it is, quite rightly, leading Fundraising Directors and Heads of team to ask: “Are the days of Special Events numbered?”
Or, as I happen to think, do we just need to redefine what a fit for purpose special events programme looks like as we enter the 2020’s? Because little has changed since I entered fundraising 20 years ago. And it will require change, and an appetite for risk, but I personally think events have never been more important to unlocking fundraising potential in the charity sector. So this post goes out to those teams currently putting together 2020 events plans and budgets. If some of what I'm saying resonates with you and you want some guidance or input on the potential of your special events programme (NEWSFLASH: there is VAST potential) drop me a line! I can help.