This week our Chapter Spotlight is on Eta Sigma (Lafayette). As the 2014-2015 Most Improved Fundraiser of the Eastern quadrant, they share how switching from a Red Dress Brunch to a Gala brought their fundraising to the next level.
2013-14 Giving: $909.40
2014-15 Giving: $4,486.42
Percentage Increase: 80%
Why did you decide to switch from a Red Dress Brunch to a Gala? How do you think this affected your fundraising?
We decided to switch to a Gala because we wanted to continue making our event bigger and more successful. As our first ever Red Dress event, the Brunch was where we figured out our greatest obstacles. Transitioning from the Brunch to the Gala made the event more exciting and added a level of formality. Additionally, since this was our second Red Dress event, it was easier to bring in more guests and donations than the first year. For next year, we hope to make the event more inclusive for our Lafayette community and increase attendance among faculty and staff, alumnae and other students.
What Foundation materials did you find useful?
The sample donation letter was especially helpful because it helped us form a professional letter, while also addressing all of the correct information. The raffle sheets were also useful because it was one less logistical aspect we had to plan. The Foundation staff was very helpful and prompt whenever we had questions along the way.
How did you involve the entire chapter?
We set up committees before the event to get all of the sisters involved. We also had each of our Big/Little families either make their own basket or combine with other families for larger ticket items. Committees also played an active role during the event by manning raffle stations and working registration. By doing this we had almost all of our sisters personally help run the event.
What advice would you give another chapter that was hosting their first Red Dress Gala?
One of our biggest tips is to start planning as soon as possible! We had to do a significant amount of planning during the summer, while school was not in session. If a lot of the logistics are already planned out before everyone leaves for the summer, it makes the process much simpler. Also, creating committees and having the entire sorority involved really helps make it easier for those planning and gets the sisters excited about the event!