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Local fundraising example:
Gala dinner and auction

Main characteristics

Fundraising method
Art sale/auction, exhition or competition, Charity tea, lunch or dinner, Major donor fundraising

Rural/urban
Urban

Net fin result (€)
8,979

ROI
8.9

Time investment
Two months

Artwork by eminent women artists on display during the event
Some of the guests enjoying the art on offer
Auction items and brands
OrganisationSmile Foundation India
Websitehttp://www.smilefoundationindia.org/
TypeNGO
SuitabilityMore experienced
CountryIndia
Funding needed forProgramme for girl children
Period of actionApril 2014
In-kind donations raisedYes
Types of donationsProceeds of auction, sponsorships
Types of donorsHNI´s from Chennai

Summary

On this occasion Smile co-operated with the Park Hyatt Hotel in Chennai. Together they organised a charity gala dinner, to which they invited the city´s HNI´s (High Net Individuals) for an evening of entertainment and fun to enable fundraising for Smile´s programme for girl children. The funds were raised by means of an auction. The auction catalogue mentioned a series of ´unique products and experiences´, donated by different luxury brands. For instance: Audi India donated a customized experience in their sports car.


Tips and lessons learned

1. Try to keep to the planned schedule. In this case the construction of an art installation delayed proceedings by almost an hour, after which the pianist took until 9.45 PM to finish his performance. Then everybody left for dinner. Fortunately those really interested in the auction came back after dinner.
2. It is best to limit games and entertainment to 30 minutes. In that way you can finish the auction before going off to dinner.
3. Everyone is looking for a bargain. So don´t go for too expensive products and items.
4. Couture is mostly not a good idea as it is very personal and usually expensive.
5. Post media coverage could have been better and should have been more focussed.

Review by Wilde Ganzen Foundation

This is a very good example of event fundraising, that did not only bring in money. The event also created a lot of visibility and led to opportunities for long-term associations with various of the participating brands, and also to new ideas for fundraising events with their co-operation.
Another strong point was that Smile sent thank-you cards to all the buyers and added them to their regional donor database.

Details

Objectives
1. As this was a pilot, a modest goal of INR 500.000 was set.
2. Visibility for brand partners and Smile.

Targeted donors
Local HNI´s in Chennai.

Results

Cost/benefitNational currency (INR)Euro
Total amount raised839,0009,984
(-) Total amount invested84,4201,005
Net amount raised754,5808,979

Accounting details
Income from:
sponsorship      Rs 400.000
art                      Rs   20.000
auction              Rs 209.000

Description of preparatory work
1. Sourcing sponsors. Smile did a small survey of brands which were currently spending in the market through advertising in local events the last 6 months. Realtors emerged as the primary spenders/sponsors. So much of the efforts were directed at them.
2. Sourcing hospitality partner.
3. Sourcing collectibles for the auction.
4. Creatives for the evening.
5. Curating art for the event (minimal).
6. Planning the event flow.
7. Sourcing the right entertainment for the evening.
8. Research and collecting data for the right Master of Ceremonies/Auctioneer. It was important to get someone charming and fun to engage the audience.
9. Working on the guest list. Smile partnered with a brand called Arts Illustrated - a luxury arts magazine. Part of their deliverables for the evening was to ensure attendance of their clients/customers.
10. Networking at the right venues to form collaborations.
11. Collating information on all the auction items.
12. Collating audio visuals on all the auction items.

Description of implementation
1. Understanding motivations of each partner and aligning interests.
2. Lots of negotiations and dealings.
3. Implementing all the points mentioned in the ´preparation´ column.

Follow up: Donor appreciation and acknowledgement
Smile sent thank-you cards to all the buyers and added them to their regional donor database.

Plans to repeat the action
An event like this cannot easily be repeated, but could lead to new ideas for fundraising with the co-operation of the participating companies.

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