KnowledgeMaximizing Impact and Raising More Funds: Tips for Gala Planning

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Gala fundraisers and other ticketed events are a great fundraising option around the holiday season, as supporters and community members are often in a festive and generous mood. These types of events represent an opportunity to connect with and get to know your donors, as well as an opportunity for supporters to meet your team and learn more intimately about the work you've been doing. 

If you're planning a ticketed event this holiday season, check out our best practices to make use of all the tools available in the Ticketing module for a successful event: 

Tips for planning Gala Event
Create a compelling event website 

First impressions, as they say, are lasting impressions! Your gala’s online presence is the first experience many will have with the event, and should reflect the spirit of the event. Even before your attendees have purchased a ticket, you can set the visual mood of the event. Decisions around banners, style, colour palette and font collectively inform visitors expectations, and can be used to give visitors a taste of what they can expect at the event, build excitement for the coming affair, and of course, entice them to purchase tickets. 

Your website should also include key details about the event. At minimum, consider including these content elements on your event site: 

  • Videos and pictures from previous events to let visitors know what to expect
  • A page dedicated to your speakers or performers 
  • A page describing event logistics, such as the event schedule, directions and parking, seating charts, and any other information that will help attendees on event day 
  • Recognize sponsors and event partners with a dedicated page or area in the footer of your site 
Tips for planning your Gala Event

Give ticket purchasers options 

In addition to celebrating your organization, galas are an opportunity for your attendees socialize and network with others. Giving ticket purchasers options, such as group or table packages tickets, that are priced strategically provide different ways for attendees to sign up that meet their or their group’s needs. Ticket options are especially relevant in galas, in which corporate participation skews higher and attendees may be looking for a more personal or VIP touch.  

Depending on your gala, you might even consider making some items exclusive by setting a limited inventory of available tickets to generate demand; or other the hand, offer discount codes for time-based promotions to help spur participation among broader audiences. 

Another great option for folks who can't make the event, but would still like to support the organization is to allow them to purchase tickets that will be donated to deserving community members. If your event will present a good professional networking opportunity, tickets could be donated to students. Event tickets may also be a nice way to give back to your volunteers or other supporters. This can also be a great option for purchasers requesting refunds on tickets they can't use after all. 

Use the store to sell non-ticket items 

Galas aren’t just about a sit-down, they’re also about all of the accoutrements that accompany it. In advance of the event, set up a store to sell complementary items, such as after-party tickets, valet parking, meet-and-greet opportunities, event bypasses, books, branded merchandise, or items created by your community members. 

Not only do these items help enhance the event experience, they help boost your revenue and give attendees an additional way to support the event. 

Use the volunteer form for so much more 

Volunteers can be a big help leading up to the event for planning and set up, as well as on event day for check-in and attendee relations. Indeed, without volunteers, many events simply would not be possible!  

raisin's Ticketing module includes tools to recruit volunteers through an application form. The volunteer form can also be used to recruit help for other areas, such as to ask for in-kind support from vendors and local businesses who can provide food, drink, décor, gift bag items, etc. You can also use the form to recruit sponsors, silent auction donors, or event ambassadors. 

Use the event reports to help manage your event 

Tracking and reporting on the progress of ticket sales and attendance are critical, so that you can optimize your event’s success. Ensure you have accurate, real-time reports are available for ticket sales, attendee information, and volunteers. Use the reports to track ticket sales and see which items are selling the most, who is attending, and how much money has been raised so far. The reports can also help you see which volunteers have signed up and what tasks they are assigned to. 

Don't forget to follow up with attendees after the event 

After the event, be sure to follow up with attendees to thank them for their support and to let them know the impact of their contributions. This can be done through email, social media, or other means. You can also use the Ticketing module's reports to track who attended the event and reach out to them directly. 

By following these best practices, you can to plan, promote, and manage a successful gala fundraiser or other ticketed event this holiday season, and beyond. The raisin platform's Ticketing module has all the tools you need to promote, sell tickets for, and manage a successful gala event. The module lets you create an event site, connect with your supporters and attendees, create and sell tickets, and pull reports to track the event. Contact us to learn more about how the Ticketing module can help make your next gala a memorable one!
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