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English author Virginia Woolf once wrote, "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." We believe the same is true for giving well. Many fundraising events revolve around food - think evening galas with multi-course meals; golf tournaments with buffet lunches; rotary auctions with brunch and more. Why? For one thing, donors need nourishment to make it through a 4 hour event. What's more, meals also provide the chance to sit down and socialize, celebrate your cause in community and provide an all-inclusive "fun night out" for couples and friends. A meal's execution can heavily impact donors' experience and overall success of the event, for better or worse. Check out practical tips for seamless food service in any event, including: Gala with Three Course Meal Buffet Small Bites & Sips "Dry" Lunchtime Auction You'll also learn a neat way to generate more income for your cause from serving dinner. If you plan to feed guests, you'll want to read and bookmark today's post! Scenario 1: Gala with Three Course Meal It's finally time for the annual charity ball or gala. Your guests have arrived dressed to the nines, eager for a fun evening. The energy is palpable. The more you can cater to guests' finer tastes, the more your auction event will come across as a luxury shopping spree - and the higher bids will go! Here are a few easy ways to help make your gala dinner a success. Consider conducting the live auction during dinner. Where you schedule the live auction can depend on your audience and other elements in the program, but let's first look at when not to have your live auction: late in the evening. Suppose you’ve opened the doors to your event at 5:30 for cocktails. An hour goes by. Now people are sitting for dinner at 7. There’s wine on the table, they’re having more drinks, then enjoying a big meal and decadent dessert. All the while, folks are looking at the silent auction tables and refreshing their drinks. Suddenly it's 9:30pm and time to start the live auction. How will you go about getting everyone seated and focused? There's a better way.
Selecting the perfect menu for your charity event is more than just about food. Whether it's street-style food trucks or an elegant buffet, the food you serve can leave a lasting impression - whether it's good or bad - and have a powerful effect on the success of your next fundraiser. Especially in today's "foodie culture", what you serve and how you serve it sends a message to your guests and potential donors. Hyping it ahead of time, including it in your pre-event promotional material and generally building excitement for the event is what sets the stage for a successful fundraiser. Your menu also tells people what to expect from the event. Is it formal or casual? Festive or serious? Is it unique and exciting and something attendees can look forward to? Or is it just... blah. Rubber chicken, for example, doesn't do it for most people. Give them something out of the ordinary! Here are some useful tips for planning a menu that will delight guests and leave donors salivating for more fundraising events from your organization for years to come.