Gala and Fundraiser Events

From Boring to Enchanting

Happy women at event

Photo: Jack Parada

Gala and Fundraiser Events – from Boring to Enchanting

Gala and fundraiser events can go from boring to enchanting with a little help. The first thing you have to do is is make it Fun. Even if you do nothing else.

How do you take dreary, time-worn rites of passage like Fundraisers, Galas, Parties, Extravaganzas, and Auctions and make them Fun?

Shake it up

Shake it up, fiercely! I’ll bet that your organization pays attention to cutting costs, increasing return on investment, and creating beloved rituals.

Don’t do it. A savvy marketer does not reuse the same elements year after year just because that’s what’s always been done. No.

Why would most people, even for a cause they adore, rather just pledge than attend the event?

It is so simple:


The details: On average, Americans support at least half a dozen organizations with which they feel vaguely connected by a shared identity or commitment. Of these, one or two could directly benefit attendees and donors directly. An example is for instance, schools that use the money raised to increase staffing, for facility improvements, or extra-curricular activities.

Cost – Benefit for Guests

The cost-benefit questions people ask themselves: How much time do I have to invest, and what other costs are involved in terms of wardrobe, transportation, and other lost opportunities? What about the ever-present ‘been there, done that’ factor—boredom?

Generate funds

You want to generate funds for the organization. In addition to generating money, your event should build engagement, foster community, create connections, and celebrate milestones with like-minded people. 

How did we ever manage to descend to the level of the ubiquitous, no-name wine bottle, a basket of board games and popcorn?

Let us save our sponsors and donors from yet another predictable, pointless event.

Let there be FUN!

Fun isn’t based on cost. Define your priorities. What do you want your guests to take away? How do you make your event memorable? Those memories should be about the organization and the feelings it evokes.

To create feelings, emotions, and memories, have guests build something together.

Some Ideas:

Create a wall of sight and sound with roaming Paparazzi “interviewers”–post the short videos to a large, wall-mounted flat screen, or a wall of screens, each transmitting a different story.

  • Create a large canvas for the school auditorium with graffiti.
  • Have your food reflect the known and honored leaders of your organization; for example, Archbishop Leander’s New England Pot Roast
  • Food stations representing your leaders’ vision or great love: Vice-Chancellor Petersen’s Peanut Brittle.
  • Use your next event to launch your organization’s growth initiative.
  • Strategically create elements for your event to create a sum that is larger than its components. Turn it into a FunRaiser! How?

Book some wicked-fun entertainment with Handy Entertainment and make your next Gala Fundraiser your most successful ever!