Fundraisers are the lifeblood of any non-profit. Fundraising events and galas raise money through ticket sales and silent auctions, raffles, and live auction sales. The social scene draws in donors, socialites, and supporters, but in order to attract the givers, they have to get something in return. That's where our special events industry vendors come in.
Event vendors, including linen, furniture rental, backdrop artists, décor rental, and floral providers, play a crucial role in fundraising events. As owners, event vendors assist in developing and producing the elaborate fundraising events and galas splashed across the magazines and screens of trend-watchers. They provide the backdrop for memorable events that serve as a beacon of invitation for the following year.
New charities or first-time fundraisers have an unknown when it comes to how much they will raise. Chairs and planning committees have no idea what kind of budget they have to work with and often look strictly for donations. Vendors are reluctant to make a full donation but may support the charity in the beginning by providing their goods and services at-cost if they know they will be rewarded as the event gains traction.
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Vendors can create ways to ensure they will reap the benefits of building up an annual event. Find out how many events, large or small, that the charity has each year. Be sure to include a member of the charity's business office, not just the single event committee. Create an agreement that benefits both parties. An example would have the vendor provide for all events for an agreed-upon period with the gala at cost and full price for the remainder or a sliding scale contract based on proceeds from the event that will give the vendor security in return for their assistance.
Gala chairs will tell you that every year needs to be new, fresh and, distinctive. Every event needs to be just a bit more over-the-top than the year before. The only way to make that happen is to get the support of the events community and their ideas, in-kind donations, and décor assistance to make these fundraisers a success.
Event vendors can provide upgrades that give a gala just the lift it needs within a limited budget and provide seasoned staff that can complete tasks in less time. Vendors can add in the little touches that create the richness and fullness we see in pictures. In the age of social media, a picture is worth a thousand words or, in this case, and more appropriately, a thousand dollars. But what makes it worthwhile for these vendors?
Vendors compete to get the contracts for these large fundraisers. These are the events that can make or break a company. The name recognition of a company among the social set, charitable givers, and party throwers can rise along with the money raised. Galas and fundraisers give vendors visibility and recognition, deservedly increasing their visibility in the community and bringing in more business.
In many ways, vendors have more control over what they deliver for these events because they are usually underwriters. The client controls most events and, even though you can make suggestions, they have the final say. Galas can become a way for vendors to showcase their best work. Social media makes it possible for these fantastic showcasing events to be shared.
Combining the followers of both the charity and the vendors involved in the fundraising event creates a far wider reach than either would be able to garner on their own and in turn, each becomes key to the other's success. Vendors may also increase ticket sales and contributions through awareness and additions to possible attendees' lists, with email lists from past events.
The right vendor is worth more than what they physically provide to events, and partnerships with these vendors play a vital role in the success of fundraising events.