Fundraising Gala Event Ideas

Fundraising Gala Event Ideas

If your organization is planning to host a charity gala, you may be looking for creative fundraising gala event ideas. A gala fundraising event can be an excellent way for your group to raise money while bringing community members together for a worthy cause. But does a charity gala sound boring and stuffy? A fundraising gala event can be whatever you want it to be. Think of a creative theme, and plan an event that will create a fun and exciting environment for your guests in addition to accomplishing your financial goals. Don’t forget to keep your mission in mind, as mission driven fundraising efforts are important to the credibility of your organization.

The following fundraising gala event ideas were created to help your nonprofit, school or community organization brainstorm the best way to raise funds for your cause through hosting a fundraising gala event.

Fundraising Gala Event Ideas

There are many different opportunities for creating unique gala fundraising events. Think about who your audience is, and what would be appealing to them. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when determining your event theme. The more creative you are in your planning efforts, the more appealing your event becomes. We’ve listed a few ideas below, but have plenty of additional fundraising event ideas for you to read about.

Fundraising Gala Costume Balls

Add a twist to your fundraising gala event and invite guests to come in costume. Whether the costume has a theme, such as Hollywood Stars where guests come as their favorite classic actor/actress, or a Rock Star Ball where people dress as their favorite singer or band. Include entertainment to support your theme – showcase old movie clips or invite local bands to perform. Tie in decorations and food and beverage offerings to support your theme. Perhaps this event calls for a five-course fine dining experience presented by a reputable chef and paired with fine wines. (After all, you are catering to stars.) Create fun activities that make people feel famous such as a red carpet upon arrival, hired impersonators, and paparazzi mingling throughout the event snapping photos of guests. Some fun charity gala themes include:

  • Hollywood Stars
  • 60s Hippie Ball
  • 70s Disco Ball
  • 80s Big Hair Ball
  • Vegas Night with Charity Poker and games
  • A Medieval themed gala

Fundraising Gala Reality-Show Themes

Take a look at what is currently popular with your target audience and plan a themed gala event. For example, a school may consider hosting a fundraising gala event modeled after one of the more popular reality shows today. Perhaps an “American Idol” or “Dancing with the Stars” Themed Event? Change the title of your event to reflect your mission. Example: If your organization is raising money to Save the Whales, perhaps you want to title your event “Dancing with the Whales”? Structure your event similar to the show where you pair influential community members (i.e. City Mayor) or local celebrities (i.e. Pro-football team hero) with professional dance instructors. Serve dinner and drinks while dancers perform. If it’s a school event, perhaps a local pizza parlor would be willing to donate pizzas for the event. 

Additional Revenue Boosters for a Charity Gala

You’ve already sold the tickets, but what are some ways to boost your revenue at the event? This is an important part of making the fundraising gala fun, and can be a significant source of funds. Auctions, raffles and contests are the way to go here.

Include a silent auction where guests can bid on art, autographed CD’s, movies, and posters from celebrities. Check out our one of a kind vacation packages for a big ticket item. DoJiggy’s provides a charity auction checklist and timeline to get you started.

Similarly, volunteers can each out to local businesses to donate prizes for a fundraising raffle.Sell tickets at the door and announce winners between each set of performers to keep attendees engaged throughout the duration of the event. Guests will enjoy watching the dance contest, indulging on food and drinks, while mingling with others in the community… all in support of a worthy cause.

Now for the contests! Make sure to advertise contest prizes in your invitations and on your fundraising website to motivate people to participate. Ask businesses to donate prizes and host a contest to award prizes to attendees with the best costumes. 

Managing Your Fundraising Gala

Be sure to get a strong team in place and allow plenty of time for planning the gala. One of the most important considerations when planning a fundraising gala event is how to successfully manage and track the money raised for your cause. DoJiggy Events is an event management software system for nonprofit fundraising events, such as fundraising galas. With DoJiggy Events, you can easily manage the entire life cycle of your charity gala including:

  • online event registration
  • event promotion and marketing
  • sponsor registration and sponsorship management
  • online donations and product sales
  • detailed financial reporting
  • and day-of-event operations, such as registration.

Create a fundraising event website where you can share information about your organization’s mission and all the details of the gala event including: event theme, date, location, directions, entertainment, prizes, and more. Allow people to register online or make online donations directly if they are unable to attend the event. Promote your event throughout the community. Send press releases, create event flyers and start conversation online throughout your social networking channels. Start to create a “buzz” for the upcoming event.