As you begin to plan your 2019 fundraising events, we’ve got just the thing to get your creative juices flowing! We took a look back at last year to uncover top 2018 fundraising trends that will help you enhance attendees’ experiences and raise more money in the new year and beyond.   

1. Offer Unique and Compelling Auction Items 

It’s important that your auction items include things and experiences that guests can’t easily obtain themselves. When you reach out to local business owners, ask what they’ve done in the past and what sort of experiences they can curate. Instead of adding restaurant gift cards to a raffle, see if the head chef would be willing to cook a private, in-home dinner, or offer one-on-one cooking lessons. When a sports team is willing to give tickets to the big game, ask if you can add a stadium tour or coach or player meet-and-greet. These one-of-a-kind experiences will, no doubt, increase bids.  

2. Run an “Un-Gala” Event 

Are you hosting the same gala year after year? This year, you might consider switching it up and making it more casual. The “un-gala” type of event, as deemed by Chicago’s Innovation Awards, is popular with Millennials who typically find a more laid-back event to be fun and engaging. Some examples are things like fight nights, farm to table dinners, and strolling cocktail hours in art galleries.   

3. Find a Unique Use for Your Venue 

Finding a unique venue in your area that can accommodate your event is a great alternative to ballrooms, conference centers, hotels, and restaurants. Spaces such as museums, aquariums, libraries, yoga studios, distilleries, and wineries often open their doors for special events. It’s worth inquiring about availability and price, because, even if the venue does charge a fee, you’ll be supporting another organization that provides a local service.   

4. Add Games!  

If you’re looking for an easy way to entertain and bring in some extra cash, adding games is a great way to do so. There’s a variety of games you can weave into your event, in addition to raffles. Some games may be games of chance, others pay-to-play. Wine toss, mystery box and balloon pop are just a few.   

Want to take a deeper dive into top 2018 trends in fundraising and learn more about boosting your event attendee engagement and revenue? Register for our upcoming webinar, “Trends to Differentiate Your Next Big Event,” set for Tuesday, January 29, at 11 a.m. ET.