Giving your top tier prospects a night to remember is part of what donor stewardship is all about when you work in the not-for-profit sector. Whether you’re hosting an annual spring gala to thank your supporters for contributing to your charity, or planning something smaller, more intimate, and exclusive, patrons need to be recognized – that’s how they’ll keep coming back.
You can throw a fun cocktail party for example to cultivate and revive your donor list while endearing new prospects to your mission. It isn’t an explicit ask, however it fosters your relationship, connecting potential sponsors, or returning sponsors to the cause you’re raising money for. It is one of the most powerful marketing tools in the not-for-profit world.
When your work is philanthropic, your donors are the life-blood of your organization especially since government funding only covers project-to-project costs, and cannot possibly begin to fund the operating fees associated with running a charitable initiative. Research shows however that among donors who were satisfied after attending an event, 33 percent made an unsolicited gift, and 35 percent of solicited donors who made a gift credited the event with why they made the gift. Fundraising events however do take a great amount of time, energy, and effort on the part of company staff, and can be challenging when event planning is not a development department’s forte.
Three things to keep in mind when throwing a cultivation event are the venue, the atmosphere and of course, the food. Why not hire a caterer that has the ability to gently guide you through all of these aspects? The Food Dudes for example are one company based out of the GTA who’ve exploded onto the scene in the last ten years, and have been recognized for their natural ability to impress through innovation. Their inventive cocktail menu — which you can check out at Thefooddudes.com — can be customized to suit virtually any diet, and includes the city’s most interesting options from truffle beef sliders to liquid nitrogen popcorn.
Their event staff possess expert knowledge of their products and protocol, are familiar and enthusiastic about food, and are uniquely qualified to work the events they cater. Furthermore, they always bring a passionate and professional attitude to the work.
If you’re looking to throw your cocktail event at a private residence, the company can bring tailor-made equipment to perfectly compliment any evening such as regal wood platters for passed apps, burner covers, butcher’s blocks and more. For larger events with extensive guest counts, they partner with renowned rental groups that allow them to accommodate those numbers. Finally, they also have a relationship with many event venues around the city that they work from regularly, from small coffeehouses like Balzac’s Roasters, to bigger halls like those found in Wychwood Barns.
For not-for-profits to be sustainable, they need to keep donors engaged, interested and invested (both financially and emotionally) in the work. By hiring a caterer for your event that will put your guests’ satisfaction at the forefront, you can feel confident in knowing the people who keep your doors open will feel cared for by you and continue to give.