Does your community have a great sense of humor? If so, swapping out a formal gala for a roast‐style event can help you raise awareness for your nonprofit's efforts in a playful way that's appealing to both new audiences and longtime supporters.The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of the Carolinas (Greenville, SC) have punched up fundraising efforts by throwing local celebrities “to the wolves” at the Greenville Roast, an event inspired by the Dean Martin roast model.“Our roasts are popular because we select a corporate or community leader and showcase their life in a lighthearted way, through humorous stories told by friends and colleagues,” says CEO and Executive Director Marti Spencer. “No one can resist the opportunity to poke fun at some of Greenville's biggest names, especially when it's for a good cause!”The fourth annual Greenville Roast took place in March 2017 and attracted more than 200 guests to the Poinsett Club, an upscale, downtown venue. The event raised more than $10,000, with proceeds going to benefit families in need at the RMHC, as well as the Greenville Tech Foundation, a charity for which last year's roastee, Bob Howard, formerly served as president.Spencer offers tips for pulling off a successful roast:Select a strong roastee. “Our roasts are incredibly well‐received, but we'll skip a year if we can't find the right candidate,” Spencer says. “Roastees should be committed to selecting an entertaining panel of roasters, creating fun presentations, soliciting their own followers and offering insight to the overall design of the event.”Partner with a second charity. “We ask the roastee to select a charity of choice with whom we share 25 percent of proceeds,” Spencer says. “We partner two nonprofits together to showcase collaboration and demonstrate our impact on the community. This is a great awareness piece that exposes us to new supporters every year.”Plan a full evening. The Greenville Roast kicks off at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour before guests sit down for the 90‐minute dinner program. The ongoing open bar ensures a lively and relaxed atmosphere for the duration of the event.Keep it affordable. In addition to offering high‐level sponsorships ranging from $500 to $5,000, individuals can also purchase tickets that include dinner and open bar for $100, or $60 for young professionals.Focus on the roastee. “When we roasted a real estate developer, we placed hard hats and mini shovels throughout the venue to help our guests understand their role in Greenville,” Spencer says. “Each table features a nostalgic framed picture of the roastee so everyone recognizes our guest of honor.”Source: Marti Spencer, CEO and Executive Director, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas, Greenville, SC. Phone (864) 235‐1622. E‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: https://rmhc‐carolinas.org/
Special Events Galore – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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