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The Ultimate Fundraising Gala Checklist

Before you take another step in planning your nonprofit fundraising gala, read this. With decades of experience curating brilliant charity events and stunning New York galas, EMRG Media knows more than a thing or two about creating memorable experiences that inspire charitable contributions. We’ve put together an ultimate checklist to help you account for every detail in your fundraising event planning efforts. 

Internal Organization Must-Haves

Be sure you take the necessary steps to get organized internally before planning any fundraising events. This includes outlining event goals, guest lists, and delegation of responsibilities. Here’s your shortlist of determin-ables before you begin planning the event itself.

  • Planning Committee Formation
  • Host Committee Formation
  • Event Day Committee Formation
  • Subcommittees
  • Event and Fundraising Goals
  • Budget Allocation and ROI
  • Available Event Dates
  • Event Timeline, Details, and Tasks
  • Event Brand and Image

Selecting the New York City Venue

There’s not a bad New York City venue. But when you look to choose the right venue for your fundraising gala, you’ll want to be mindful of unique amenities and features that elevate your event. Don’t book any venue until you have a chance to take a tour and see the space in person. Here are some venue considerations. Ideally, you’ll want to select a NYC venue that aligns with your gala layout and goals, with the capability of creating a transformative space.

  • Location and Parking
  • Patron Capacity
  • Entrance Aesthetics
  • Lighting Options
  • Stage Availability
  • Audiovisual Capabilities
  • Bar Service Options
  • Meal Service Layout
  • Restrooms
  • Networking Lounges

Identifying Event Sponsors

The next step in your fundraising gala planning process should be to develop a plan and strategy for securing sponsors. Identify potential sponsors and create a series of packages to offer. Tier your offerings with varied benefits and price points. And be sure to include VIP experiences for high-ticket supporters. With your sponsorship objectives laid out and your prospect targets identified, you can move forward with contacting efforts to promote, market, and sell those sponsorship packages. 

Booking Fundraising Gala Event Vendors

Next up on your fundraising gala and planning to-do list involves coordinating the various event vendors needed to pull off a successful event. Depending on the theme, venue, goal, and layout of your event, your vendor roster may vary. However, you can start by reaching out to these event service providers, most often booked for NYC galas.

  • Catering Partners
  • Event Design & Decor Partners
  • Bar Service
  • Coffee Service
  • Florists
  • Photographers & Videographers
  • AV Services
  • Rental Companies (if needed)

Guest Speakers and Entertainment

Another key element of your NYC fundraising gala that can make or break your event’s overall success is the entertainment. Whether you’re staging presentations with a need for dynamic keynote speakers or plan to hire a live band for dance floor fun, entertainment decisions are essential. Don’t overlook entertainment beyond the main stage, either. In addition to those speakers or music performers, you should consider introducing other interactive or entertaining elements, including:

  • Espresso Bar Artists
  • Temporary Tattoo Artists
  • Magicians
  • Mentalists
  • Comedians
  • Chamber Music
  • Pianists
  • Photo Booth
  • AR/VR Activities
  • Caricaturists

Booking more entertainment beyond the headlining entertainer will ensure your gala guests remain engaged and have fun throughout the duration of the event.

Ticket Sales and Fundraising Gala Marketing

Most fundraising events rely on ticket sales and marketing efforts to generate awareness. You’ll want to delegate teams dedicated to managing ticket sales, advertising, and marketing for your gala. They’ll also need to develop a strategy relating to content and messaging that supports an overarching goal. Here are the various marketing channels you’ll need content and strategy for to promote your event and inspire ticket sales and donations. Remember, with all messaging, you should be leading with your organization’s cause and goals. From there, content should be inspirational and engaging in a way that drives engagement.

  • Press Releases
  • Website
  • Landing Pages
  • Email Marketing Campaigns
  • Event Apps
  • Digital Ads
  • Traditional Ads
  • Social Media

Work with a Fundraising Gala Event Planner

If you really want to take the hassle out of all the to-do lists and event planning tasks, you should work with a professional event planner with experience in curating brilliant fundraising galas – like EMRG Media. Every step of the planning process is managed by a team of pros who understand all the dynamics required for a successful event. From the initial meetings and invitations to the final contribution count and post-event thank yous, EMRG Media will handle it all. Set your fundraising event goals, and then let our team step in to take care of everything else. 

If your organization is discussing plans for an upcoming fundraising gala or charity event, keep this ultimate gala planning guide handy. And instead of trying to take on all the responsibilities of curating a successful fundraising event, contact EMRG Media to be your dedicated event planner! We are passionate about creating lasting event experiences for a host of New York City organizations like yours. And no one throws a bigger or better gala than our team of pros and collaborative vendor partners.