–> Picture a magical woodland glade, with a path running through it, afternoon sunlight slanting down.
–> Now, see black tables set along it, candles and bouquets of flowers on the tables.
–> Conjure a tripod of branches with lights strung under it, a portal to walk through!
–> Then imagine gentle live music with a drummer, guitarist, bassist and singer, and a cellist too!
–> FINALLY feast your imagination on a locally sourced 5 course meal, including a mouthwatering 3 cheese platter with pickled strawberries (wow!), a palate cleanser of rose water boba, lavender and blueberries, a sweet tomato/watermelon soup (with dollops of cream) and so much more.
If you can picture all that, you’ll have a pretty good idea of my weekend with my client, an Idaho land trust.
The leadership of this land trust wants to not just honor the land, but honor the native people, honor the businesses who supplied the food, drink and cups, the staff, and the guests too.
How did it get so magical?
Our work was inspired by the fabulous Wondersmith (I am also a monthly patron of her art and recipes). I recommend that you check out her work and become a patron as well, if you want to start creating unforgettable events that leave folks full of wonder and awe.
Sitting there, we felt both happy and sad.
It was exquisite, as an experience, from start to finish, and it was also poignant, because it reminded me of life pre-COVID. How much we’ve lost. How much we took for granted.
Did they make money?
Of course. Our planning and fundraising work together paid off, and this new event raised over $40K with just 50 people in attendance, and no fundraising asks.
This weekend, I saw the future of fundraising dinners, and it is this.
Coming together OUTSIDE over our love of the land and our common humanity. This first year event, with a new executive director did something incredible- make community over just a few short hours.
I wanted to share this with you, because some of us are considering how to do fundraising events in the months and years ahead.
Why am I telling you about this?
Because your work matters more than ever but funding isn’t keeping up with the need.
Because potentially 40% of our nonprofits could go out of business next year. Because we need to reinvent our sector to survive and thrive.
Because creating wonder and awe renews us when our souls are weary from so much bad news.
We all need to become wondersmiths! If you want to figure out a way to make your event more full of awe and delight this coming year, just write me! Let’s chat about working together.