How to put the “VIP” into your next Fundraiser


Your fundraiser is almost here…you’ve spent months planning what you expect to be your most fun and successful event to date!

You’ve got a great theme, a crackerjack committee, a stunning venue, THE BEST AUCTIONEER COMPANY, GRANGER, THAGARD & ASSOCIATES AND killer live auction items. You’re hoping to raise a lot of money for your cause. And you are hoping, hoping, that your major prospects will say “yes” to the invitation and will come.

How do you get the “right people” to walk in the door? You really want them to come for many reasons:

  • You want to cultivate their interest, lasting affiliation and participation with your cause.
  • You want to build closer relationships with them.
  • You want them to see your organization at its best.

Roll out the Red Carpet!  

VIP Red Carpet

Here are 5 strategies you can use to be sure your VIPs actually walk in the door.

  1. Put some of your VIPs on the committee. If they are on the committee, then they will already be invested in the party and its success. Even better, they’ll bring their friends.
  2. Honor one of the VIPs at the event.They will certainly come then and they’ll bring their friends and family.
  3. Put your VIPs names on the invitation as “honorary hosts.”They will feel a stronger tie to the event and will have a vested interest in its success.  If your VIPs are major donors, ask them if you can list their names as major donors in a special spot on the invitation.

I did this many times during my tenure as a director for a nonprofit.  It worked.  I called all our donors at the $2,000 and up level and asked them if I could list their names on the invitation as part of the “Host Committee”. They were flattered to be recognized and it gave the nonprofit a wonderful cultivation and retention opportunity.

  1. Hold a private reception for your VIPs before the main event begins. This will really get them there.

Here’s my favorite strategy of all:

  1. CALL THEM, GO PICK THEM UP and bring them to the party!Some of your VIPs may not want to go out alone at night. They may not have an escort and not want to go alone. They may be socially shy and unsure of who they will talk to or sit with. So, here’s what you do:

Call them ahead of time and tell them you have a special table for them. Tell them you want to introduce them to some influential, interesting, nice people.

And then go pick them up in a party van or limo. It really, really works! And it’s an excellent cultivation and retention opportunity. You can show them extra attention and let them know they are important.

Granger, Thagard & Associates puts the FUN IN FUNDRAISING!

2019 is booking fast – give me a call today!

Yvonne Pope, Director of Nonprofit Events

Visit our Website for more info: Granger Thagard Benefit Auctions

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