Most successful fundraising events have serveral elements that remain the constant. The main thing to remember about a fundraising event is that it better be fun. If an event is not fun, it's almost impossible to have people return not only the next time, but time after time. The Soroptomist Golf Tournament has been consistantly fun since I began playing in the event ten or twelve years ago. This year I didn't have time to put a foursome together or even join someone elses team.
Peg and I merely signed up for dinner. We knew we would have good time with friendly people.
It helps to know some of the people involved. Our good friend, Jan Runbeck has pulled us into countless fundraising events for over twenty years. She does the same with her other friends as well. She should feel ashamed, except most of her friends rope her into helping them countless times as well. That's why we're all friends.
We enjoy volunteering, relaxing, making money for deserving community programs and having fun.
In short, we all enjoy each other's company. Friendship is the second aspect of successfull fundraising.
The third element of successful fundraising is to have objects that are worth bidding on and buying. I was slightly miffed that I was not asked for an item donation, but I got over it.
The silent auction at the golf tournament dinner featured wines, pieces of art, cultural events, and sporting events. While I just glanced at some of the items, Peg seriously looked them all over and bid on quite a few. At some auctions you end up paying more for a prize than you would pay for it if you went out on you own and bought it. Not so at the the Soroptomist auctions. You can get some great items for excellent prices.
The last element is food. You never want people to feel like they got cheated on food. Quality and quantity have got to be there. The worst fundraising dinner/auction I went to provided picnic fare. It seemed chintzy. People complained. The meal doesn't have to contain lobster and foir gras, but it needs to be really good and worth the price and the effort. It can be either be a formal dinner or a buffet.
For a golf tournament, a buffet is perfect and steak is a great attraction especially if the event is being held at a country club.
The Oakbrook Country Club is a great place to host an event. The management is anxious to please.
This year we had the basics: grilled steaks, baked potatoes with all the trimmings, corn on the cob (even with our bad growing season) and melted butter, salad, and desserts.
The apple pies were absolutely wonderful. The cheese cake was served with fresh strawberries. I had some of both. I passed on the sheet cake. It looked good, but there was no need to eat everything.
Peg was successful on her auction bids. She won a nice watercolor from a Soroptomist artist, a cute miniature matel clock for her studio, and crystal earrings designed by friend Connie Abernathy from the Tacoma Exchange Club.
Peg also won a soft-side carrying case a laptop/netbook computer or iPad . . . or anything else she wants to cram into it. I think she may have won a few more items. I helped her stuff a bunch into the case. I'm not sure and she's probably not sure if she is going to keep the items or donate them to future auctions or? They might even become birthday presents for granddaughters.
The event wound down with the awarding of prizes from the golf tournament as well as raffle prizes. There are always quite a few prizes in the raffle, so the Soroptomists have learned to make a list on a white board so attendees can check their stubs with the winning numbers to see if they are the lucky winners.
Actually, at events like this we are all lucky winners. They are fun and they do good in the community. This event grossed over fourteen thousand dollars and so probably provided about half of that for projects to help people in Tacoma and Pierce County.
We'll come back next year eith to play or just eat and have fun . . . and spend money.