Budget and More, Part I: Successful Fundraising Events 101

“Why doesn’t RVE handle more non-profit events?”


It’s a question we get asked a lot. And we would love to work with more nonprofits. But the truth is that it takes $1.25 expenses to raise $1 for a non-profit. That means a 20% profit loss. Because of this loss, there has to be a third party involved with the process when we do work with a nonprofit. That way, we can pay our bills as well as the bills of the party/gala/fundraiser.

However, we love the non-profit community – especially in Austin, where so many groups are going above and beyond to make our city a happier, healthier and safer place. That’s why we want to share some of our tips for making sure that your fundraiser is as successful as it can be.

Ticket Sales – and Beyond.

You cannot just rely on ticket sales to raise the amount of money you want to raise. Those of us at Red Velvet Events have never seen a successful fundraiser that relied only on ticket sales.

Where to Find More Funds.

While you shouldn’t rely entirely on ticket sales to reach your fundraising goals, you can add them to other sources to reach your desired amounts. A good rule of thumb is use ticket sales to help pay for the cost of the event, then use the cash sponsors and funds raised from a live auction to actually reach your fundraising goals.

More Cooks Means Higher Kitchen Fees.

We completely understand that a lot of nonprofits want to manage their event or gala by committee. However, working with a committee can be more challenging than working with just a co-chair, because there are more moving parts to keep track of. Many event companies – including Red Velvet Events – bill by the hour for event consultation, and the costs can quickly add up, which we know is challenging for an organization trying to raise funds. If you are set on hiring an event coordinator, consider streamlining your committee into just one or two people.

Be Realistic.

Whether you work with an event professional or do things on your own, being honest and setting realistic standards can make the difference between a successful event and a flop – or, worse, a situation where you come out in debt. One of the things that makes Red Velvet Events different and a reliable, respected company is that we are realists. We will always share with you the pros and cons of your budget when you make a change. We also don’t want our events to appear boring, so we’ll always plan the budget around “Wow” factors.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

The best tip we can give to anyone working on a fundraising event: communicate. Never make assumptions; always ask and keep your colleagues informed.

Next Up…

Our next blog post in our Budget and More series will explain why sharing your budget with your event professional is important. Coming soon, so stay tuned!