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My Tips on Fundraising Events & Galas: Part 2

This post is a complement to a podcast episode of Social Entrepreneur with Nathan A. Webster, of which I am a monthly contributor. To listen to the episode related to this topic, click here.

We have a doozy of a topic this month, friends. We love ‘em, we hate ‘em, we love to hate them: it’s fundraising events and galas.

But they don’t have to make us tear our hair out! There are a few things to do to help us maintain sanity and make sure our event is a success.

Click here to check out the post & podcast from part 1. Read below about part 2!

So all of these event elements are great: but how do you do all of this and stay sane at the same time?? Here are some tips to help keep the burnout at bay.

  • Put together a project management spreadsheet and timeline. Build out a timeline as early as possible, and build in plenty of buffer time. Include all deadlines and who is responsible. Once it’s built out, share it with everyone involved.
  • Engage a committee. If there is a board committee working on the event with you, establish a consistent meeting schedule and goals for meetings at the beginning. Make sure there is a job description for committee members, and that there are clear expectations of everyone.
  • Engage the full board. They are key in getting attendees in the room and sponsors for the event.

Again, remember that the event you are pouring your heart and soul into is just one evening for your guests. So don’t forget to use it as an opportunity to build relationships with the people in the room that will last much longer than a few hours.

And (try) to have fun!

-N.C.

My Biggest Weakness

I had my annual review on Thursday, and while it’s not exactly conventional to announce your biggest area of improvement to the whole world, I want to be held accountable to improving on this and I’m hoping that posting about it will do that! Basically, what my biggest area of improvement comes down to is this:

I need to talk more.

I need to share my opinions more in groups of colleagues – especially at the management level, so that they can see that I aspire to become a leader and have the insight and drive to go there. I have this mentality that since I’m not the expert in the room, I should listen and learn from those who are. What I need to realize and embrace is that even though I don’t have the same number of years as others, I still have valid opinions that could help in some way. Even if they don’t help in any way, at least they will demonstrate to others part of my potential. Because not sharing anything means not sharing any of my potential. And that doesn’t do anyone any good!

It’s funny, because I have no problem injecting my thoughts and opinions into one-on-one conversations with managers… but when it comes to a group, like at a committee meeting, I have no drive to speak. And I don’t know that it’s any sort of complex about talking in front of groups… because I do that all the time… it’s more that I want to learn as much as I can before I go being presumptuous and speaking when I shouldn’t. I need to get over this and start sharing my thoughts on a consistent basis. This blog helps because it helps me shape my opinions about things without having to come up with things on the fly, which will make me more confident to share. I sincerely hope that with my move to another city and nonprofit I can truly spread my wings and talk more in groups!!

I’d appreciate ideas any of you have to help me work on this issue!

-N.C.