The Board Executive Committee of a young nonprofit clinic took on the project of an annual dinner/dance fundraiser. The meetings were held in the lobby bar of the hotel venue at 11.00 am. As the committee decided on a Spanish/Latin theme, tequila was ordered to help ‘get into the spirit of it all’
Yes, the meetings were a hoot, and since this committee had spending authority, some of their decisions were as hilarious, for instance the stuffed $12 llamas as favors…..
The evening wasn’t quite a disaster, the abundant tequila helped keep people’s spirits up, but nobody really got a good idea of what the clinic had managed to achieve that year. As a result funds raised were well down on the previous year while budget spent on the event was over 50% up!
The lasting impression of the event was a drunken party, rather than the impact of the important work that the clinic was delivering to the community, and as for those llamas…
A ‘free’ drink may not end up being free at all – while a fundraiser may look like a party, dance and gala, it IS business and must be taken seriously. Resist the temptation to concentrate on the fun and not the funds
Be sure that spending limits are predetermined as part of the budget – and have to be approved with sobriety.
Got a war story of your own? Leave it in the comments below.
If you’d like some help with a fundraising event you’re planning, get in touch.
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This is part 3 of an 8 part series in “What not to do when planning your Fundraising event“.