Givers Gain. This is a phrase I have come to love and believe wholeheartedly. At NSE, giving drives everything that we do. In fact, we consider giving to be one of our core values. We give in so many ways….we give our time, our talents, our support, our materials, our love. We give with a smile on our face and a positive attitude, and we always gain.
Several years ago, we started a program to help Non-Profit organizations produce memorable, professional, well attended, and most importantly PROFITABLE fundraising events. We call this program “Inspire by NSE,” because through our event expertise, these events inspire donors to give and the events themselves inspire us to keep giving. It sounds like a win-win situation, and I can tell you, it is exactly that.
What makes a non-profit event successfully inspire guests to give generously (ideally year after year)? Two key elements drive our work with these events:
As with any event, the overall atmosphere indicates how an event plays out. By nature, people gather to have fun, laugh, experience emotion, and make memories. Creating the appropriate atmosphere that leaves guests feeling satisfied and wanting more is essential in a fundraising scenario. The guests give their time and their resources to attend the event, but what does the event give to them? We recommend that organizations give sufficient time and resources to this element, but we know that atmosphere doesn’t have to cost a fortune. It truly is a feeling that can be achieved in a variety of ways. Our guidance helps the organization find that perfect combination of investment and return. Most importantly, we ensure the organization doesn’t leave out a major component of atmosphere that might have negative repercussions. For example, the event setting might be simply stunning with linens and flowers and all the trimmings, but if there is no music, no sound system and a lot of dead air….the donations will reflect just that.
One of our premiere Non-Profit fundraising events is The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Northand's Annual Gala. You can see the atmosphere for yourself in this photo, and to top that visual off - the soundtrack was killer!
This event exceeded an ambitious fundraising goal and set the bar high for next year’s much anticipated Gala. NSE will be by the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland's side every step of the way.
CALL TO ACTION
An organization representing a cause decides to hold a fundraising event, but fails to adequately educate the guests about the cause and the reason behind the need for donations… unfortunately this is an all too frequent scenario. A fear of exploiting the cause or calling to light a depressing or difficult topic usually influences this retraction. We get it… but we can help. The guests need to know why they are at this event and what their donation will accomplish. They need to be confronted with the realities of the organization they are there to help, and they need to have their emotions played like a tiny violin. This doesn’t mean they need to be horrified, depressed or feel a sense of negativity around the event. Their presence there is the POSITIVE! This group has gathered to enact good; to fund a need; to answer a call to action. With the appropriate positive spin on the topic, the group will be motivated to give and will take the message of the organization far beyond the event. We have seen many groups do this well and benefit from the careful application of this principal to their event. We love working with organizations to find ways to deliver the appropriate messaging, ask for the right things, and share the fruits of the organization with their supportive audience. When combined with atmosphere, this mix of emotion is like rocket fuel.
Check out the amazing cut-outs conceptualized by NSE and created by Steward Taylor Printing for The Boys & Girls Club Of The Northland Gala. These custom props embodied the “Dream Up” theme and encouraged guests to think about how their contributions help youth realize their dreams. Boys & Girls Club kids enjoyed participating in a photo shoot to capture these images and the finished product really brought the kids and their cause to the Gala.
At NSE, we work with organizations to create atmosphere and call to action at fundraising events. We evaluate past successes and failures and we recommend simple, affordable ideas to improve the event. In addition to offering our expertise, we also match, dollar-for-dollar, any cash contribution that the organization can put towards our services. In the past 4 years, NSE donated over $40,000 in event services for non-profit organizations in the Northland. We look forward to continuing to give and hopefully inspire others to give more.
For more information about the Northland Special Events “Inspire” program, please contact the NSE Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.