Positioning Your Organization to Host 7-Figure Events || Collaborating with Corporate Honorees


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to the Positioning Your Organization to Host 7-Figure Events™ series created to serve as a resource for non-profit leaders looking to host their first special event fundraiser, or reinvigorate a dormant event, but are overwhelmed by the steps involved.  In my previous article, I discussed Ways to Involve Donors When Making the Case For Support, which can be accessed by following this link.  As you and your team work to ensure dinner leadership and strategies are in place to strengthen your fundraising efforts, one of the most exciting moments occurs when a corporate chairman or CEO accepts your invitation to be honored.  

Collaborating with an industry leader, who understands the importance of positioning your organization in the philanthropic marketplace, can have a tremendous impact on fundraising efforts.  Your team is excited and ready to spring into action.  Before you leap, corporate honorees will need to balance your organization’s needs with the corporation’s social responsibility agenda.

Today, I am pleased to share some insights to consider when Collaborating with Honorees on your signature fundraising event. 

1. Corporate honorees have influence but do not have an open checkbook.  The good news is you are working with proven leaders.  Once they have a clear understanding of your needs and commit to the fundraising campaign, you will receive great support.

2. Corporate support may take many forms.  Do you make it easy for others to support your work?  Here are some options you can consider when seeking corporate support: (a) a one-time lead gift to fund a program area (b) a multi-year commitment to launch a new initiative, (c) a one-time lead gift to support the event coupled with a pledge to secure additional funding from their network.

3. Corporate honorees are careful with their investments.  CEOs take pride in knowing their resources (time, money, key personnel) add value to your organization’s bottom line.  At the same time, they take comfort in knowing your team will take an active role in fundraising efforts. 

4. Corporate communication generally takes place via a member of their executive team. Traditionally, this person will be a senior-level manager designated to assist you and update the honoree.  Please honor and work within this structure.

5. Business etiquette goes a long way.  Your organization liaison should have great interpersonal skills and be able to communicate with business leaders with professionalism and tact.  This will help build a lasting relationship long after the event is over.

In addition to raising funds for your organization, high-level events are a great way to solidify relationships for the future.  While there are many steps involved, with the right strategies in place, you will be able to plan with precision and execute with excellence.

If I can support your efforts please contact me at Monique@Eventstrategies4success.com.

Here’s to your success!




#philanthropy #nonprofitleaders #specialevents #specialeventfundraiser #nonprofitevents #galas #fundraisers

A New Year’s Toast

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

As you know, my recent posts have focused on tips for seasoned planners and novices.  However, as we prepare to welcome 2015, I would like to offer a toast to you, for a fabulous (and prosperous) New Year.

While making plans to receive family and friends tonight’s New Year’s Eve gathering, I found myself referring to this visual “storyboard” for elegant, yet simple, entertaining ideas.  Today, I would like to share my ideas with you, in the same spirit of generosity that you have extended to me.  So here’s a toast to you my friends.

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship,
but never in want.

Traditional Irish Toast

Happy New Year!

The Table Is Set

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

The holiday season is my favorite time of the year.  Most people are in good spirits, invitations to holiday events arrive at a steady pace and, most important of all, I can plan special holiday dinners for my family and friends.

I have spent the past few days looking at my favorite design magazines, and on-line resources as well, for elegant ways to dress up my holiday table.  As my dinner parties are intimate, I will use the rules for setting an informal dinner table as my guide.  However, there are some really spectacular formal table settings that I would love to try in the future.

For today’s post, I have decided to share some of the ideas I am considering.  As always, I would love to hear from you.  When you have a moment, I encourage you to share your holiday table ideas.  If you enjoy well-planned events as much as I do, I know the possibilities are endless.

Happy Planning!


3 Important Questions To Ask When Planning An Event


Dear Friends and Colleagues:

When speaking with my fellow special event planners, we frequently comment on how this profession has grown.

One decade ago, events were fairly predictable.  At certain points during the calendar year, plans for an organization’s traditional event season would begin. Conversations would focus on upcoming board meetings, annual convention(s) or trade show(s), employee appreciation events and business meetings.  In-house event planning teams, and the consultants engaged to provide assistance, would move at a fast pace to keep up with the various projects.

Today the landscape has expanded to include events that are more complex and require greater planning, such as: corporate galas and non-profit fundraising dinners, naming opportunities, client and donor cultivation events, product launches and travel incentive programs.  For some professionals, the additional activity can be most exciting.  However, for professionals who do not have the resources to lighten the workload, the additional tasks can be most stressful.

Yet, in the midst of this excitement, every event planner must obtain the answers to 3 very important questions.  

1. What are your organization’s event objectives?

  • In other words, why are you hosting this event?
  • Are you looking to raise awareness for your organization and brand?
  • Are you looking to raise much-needed funds for your organization’s mission and programs?
  • Are you looking to engage new donors and reconnect with former donors?
  • Are you comfortable with your immediate and short-term goals?
  • Are you clear on what success and failure looks like for your organization at this point in our history?

2. Can your organization afford to host this event?

  • Do you have the money required to achieve the results that you want?
  • Will your budget allow you to reflect the image you are trying to project?
  • Would you consider enlisting sponsors for your event?
  • If so, have you formed any strategic alliances that we can approach?

3. What is your vision for this event?

  • Have you given thought to the different elements of the event?
  • What items are on your “must-have” list?
  • Do you have a specific location in mind?
  • What mood are you trying to create?
  • What feelings are you trying to capture?

We will explore these questions more fully in future posts.  As you begin to contemplate your next event, I wanted to start the discussion with these 3 key questions.  If taken seriously, the answers will inform your business discussions for weeks to come.

Sending you good wishes.



Event Planning: The Ultimate Guide to Successful Meetings, Corporate Events, Fundraising Galas, Conferences and Conventions, Incentives and Other Special Events by Judy Allen.



Why This Topic?

Red Maple Leaf Design, ©Stephanie Badini
Red Maple Leaf Design, ©Stephanie Badini

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I invite you to join me on a journey into the world of special events.  When I am not planning events, I am writing — or contemplating what to write — so I thought why not create a vehicle that anyone can have access to?

I am so excited to share my experiences with you in this medium.  If you have ever been curious to learn what special events planners really do for a living, you have come to the right place.  I often hear “oh, you plan parties?”  “That’s not a real job”.

If your background happens to be in the event planning world, I know that you will agree that what our guests see is one important part of a very big picture.  Planning events, particularly fundraising events, is extremely demanding and quite painstaking.

As with every profession there are days when I feel as if I am sitting on top of the world. However, that feeling comes at the end of the process, not during the planning and execution stages.  Throughout my 20+ years in this business, I have come to regard my profession as one of the most comprehensive executive training programs I have ever participated in.  

Interesting in learning more about the event strategies required for success?  If the answer is yes, I invite you to join me for an overview of what to expect.  I will also share candid anecdotes so that novices and seasoned professionals can take comfort in knowing that someone out there really does get it, knows what really goes on behind the scenes and appreciates the sacrifices that are made.  It is not all glitz and glam.  But, as we all know, a true investment cannot be measured with a paycheck.  However once the feeling of exhaustion has waned — and if everything went as planned — the memories you are left with are priceless.

I look forward to sharing my updates with you.

With kind regards,