Looking for creative ways to bring your service organization’s fundraising event to life? Recently, our team designed and planned an annual fundraising event for the Friends of Hudson River Park. The Hudson River Park Spring Gala raised $2.2 million for the 5-mile long park in Manhattan. Today, I’d like to share the thought process that went into creating the event’s unique look and feel. My hope? By following this formula, you’ll be able to make your next fundraiser your most memorable event ever!

Stay True to Your Core Mission

The first step is to ask yourself some very important questions. What are you goals? What is your mission? What (maybe most importantly) is your organization’s personality? The key is to stay focused; it’s actually surprisingly easy to be led astray. Wanting to add fun elements, many organizations lose their way trying to be something they’re not.

But don’t worry; it’s completely possible to give your event a bit of an edge while sticking to your core mission. For example, with the Hudson River Park Gala, I knew attendees would expect a fairly traditional event. So I tried to make it more fun by adding casual elements. After all, this was about a park. The client wanted the party to be elegant AND fun! By highlighting the cool activities people enjoy in the park, from playing basketball to walking their pets, I was able to make it fun and fresh, while still staying focused.

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