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The air is getting a little less thick and did I notice a leaf that has turned a different shade? This means fall is coming, and with it these fall events to benefit nonprofits:
• September 9th, Beer and Wine Classic Wine to benefit the Maymont Foundation
• September 10th, Taste of Italy to benefit Greater Richmond SCAN
• September 24th, Journey 4A Cure, to benefit Pediatric Cancer Foundation
• September 30th, It Comes in Pink to benefit Niemann-Pick Type C
• October 1st, Touch a Truck to benefit the community programs of the Junior League of Richmond
And that is just three weekends in the Richmond area. The list includes such a variety of events, costs and nonprofits. What could they possibly have in common? What does every successful event need? Two things: sponsors and volunteers!
Sponsors and sponsorships come in all shapes and sizes. Greater Richmond SCAN has partnered with SunTrust, Compass Group, Richmond Capital Management, Rutherfoord Insurance, Heartbeat of Hope Inc, Dominion, Apartment trust of America, Inc and Virginia Living Magazine to bring the 1st annual Taste of Italy to Richmond. The Junior League of Richmond has partnered with TFC Recycling, Liesfeld Contractor Inc., UPS Freight and Wells Fargo to make the 6th Annual Touch a Truck a reality.
Step one when planning a new event should be to brainstorm possible sponsors. How are sponsors secured? Start with similar missions: Woodlake Village Pediatrics is a sponsor for the race that benefits Pediatric Cancer research. Touch a Truck is an event where families can get up close and personal with trucks, and TFC Recycling, Liesfeld Contractor Inc. and UPS Freight all have big trucks that can be showcased.
Other times employee passion dictates when a company gets involved with certain events. Richmond Capital Management, Dominion and Apartment Trust of America, Inc have employees or employee family members who serve on Greater Richmond’s SCAN’s Board of Directors. Whatever the connection know that sponsors are the backbone of every successful event and I know I speak for all development and event directors everywhere when I say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
Step two when planning a new event should be to brainstorm who can be the event chair, who can serve on the committee and who can help on the day of the event. When I was a Director of Special Events for a nonprofit I was one person with an area that ranged from Fredericksburg to Tidewater with 6-10 events and a budget goal of over $750,000. Volunteers are the only way I was able to be successful. I have found that volunteers are motivated by different factors; passion for a cause, fellowship, sense of duty and the opportunity to gain experience. I have volunteered for all of these reasons and find that I gained so much more than I gave.
Takeaways from this week’s blog: Get ready for a fun filled Fall of Events. Take the plunge, volunteer or sponsor an event whatever your motivation! To learn about other events in your area consult Virginia Living.com's events calendar and other online listings.