Every nonprofit organization needs to fundraise. There are many avenues to raise much-needed funds. Grants, fee for service and fundraising events, just to name a few. Many opt the events route and that means putting on a large gala.
Having a gala event with supporters sounds great. It can be at a lavash hotel, or a supporter’s home. It can have a dozen people or hundreds. But before you go booking the Four Seasons Hotel, give it some thought.
The upside of a gala, of course, is to raise money. Also, it is an opportunity to bring more supporters into you tent and PR opportunities. But there are also downsides. First, the time, effort and energy it takes to put on a large-scale event can be daunting. Depending on the details, it often takes upfront cash before one dollar has been raised. And finally, there never is a guarantee that a fundraising event will be successful.
One aspect many nonprofits struggle with is should the work be done in-house or hire consultants. If the organization doesn’t have the capacity, there really isn’t much choice. You can’t commit your entire staff to one thing when you have an organization to run. So if you work with consultants, what kind do you need?
There are companies that will do the entire program for you, the marketing and PR, graphic design, printing, catering and on and on. If you get the right consultants who charge reasonable prices, you usually will come out ahead.