7 Tips to Raise More Money at Your Next Nonprofit Gala

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We are in the midst of gala season and donors are already beginning to feel fatigued from attending the same events every night! Make your nonprofit's gala stand out among the rest with creative and innovative fundraising strategies. Here are 7 tips to increase your fundraising intake at your nonprofit's next gala:

1. Have a clear fundraising goal 

Having an ambitious, yet attainable, fundraising goal will motivate donors to continue giving throughout the night! Clearly display the goal and make it easy for donors to track the fundraising progress throughout the event. Use a donation collection method that is easily quantifiable such as text to give, an auction or DipJar. 


2. You won't get if you don't ask 

Some nonprofits are nervous about asking for donations after guests already paid for a ticket to attend the event. The fact of the matter is attendees are there because they support your cause and want the opportunity to contribute further. Event producer Julie Freed told the DipJar team, "You won't get if you don't ask!"  Freed describes two types of asks: 

  • Soft Ask: Donation opportunities at the event, with signage describing how to give 
  • Hard Ask: A charismatic staff member on the microphone asking for donations with a clear call to action

Julie Freed, and the DipJar team, are a fan of the hard ask! Check out more great gala tips from Julie Freed here

3. Make Your Event Different 

It's generally a similar group of people attending every charity gala in your city; make your event stand out! There's been talk that the traditional black-tie dinner party is going out of style, making way for more casual events. Consider toning down the dress code, moving away from a seated dinner or re-vamping the event schedule. These small changes will break up the monotony for seasoned gala-goers, and make them more excited to give to your organization. 

4. Think Outside the Box in terms Donation Collection 

Donation collection doesn't have to be boring! Gamify your fundraising to make donation collection a part of the event entertainment. If the game is fun enough, people will want to give just so they don't miss out! Check out some examples here and here

5. Give Donors Recognition 

People want to be recognized for supporting the causes they care about, especially at an in-person event! Have different donation levels at the event that will give donors perks onsite; shorter lines, free drinks, etc. Or, have a leader board displayed at the event to recognize the top fundraisers. 

6. Offer Prizes Donors Actually Want! 

A raffle or silent auction are fun ways to collect donations at an event. Make sure you are offering prizes that actually incentivize your guests to participate. Think about your audience and what prizes fit the specific demographic. Even if you have to put in a little more money to get the right prize, you will definitely see a return on investment once the donations start rolling in!

7. Make your event Shareable

Don't confine the fundraising to the gala itself! Create fun opportunities at the event that lend themselves to social sharing. Have an event specific hashtag that attendees can use when they upload posts. Also, encourage guests who weren't able to make it to follow along on social media and contribute online.


If you have more questions about nonprofit strategy you can always reach out to the DipJar fundraising experts for help. It's what we love to do!