Our client, the Tri-County Humane Society (TCHS) in St. Cloud, MN, depends on individual donations and the generosity of private donors to fund their efforts. Each year, a gala event called “Wine, Kibbles and Bids” is held to help raise money for the TCHS animal shelter.
Special occasions, such as the TCHS “Wine, Kibbles and Bids” Benefit, require a lot of planning. The evening event is important for the TCHS because it offers them an opportunity to learn more about the philanthropists who care about their organization. It is also a great way for staff members to interact with supporters and strengthen community relationships.
The Wine, Kibbles and Bids Benefit had the perfect combination of activities that added up to a record-breaking fundraiser.
Eight great activities the Tri-County Humane Society used to raise over $105,000:
1. Wine Tasting & Gourmet Dinner
The main event at this gala is bringing pet lovers together to enjoy a gourmet dinner and taste old world vintages and new world wines. This fundraiser has grown significantly throughout the years and the Tri-County Humane Society now has a goal of selling 270 tickets to fill the location to capacity. Tickets are sold at the shelter, by board members, through social media and online.
2. Silent Auction
The silent auction is a great way to bring together a friendly night of bidding wars. From the time guests arrive until they sit down for dinner, they can browse the exceptional collection of auction items. The fun created while offering unique items to the highest bidder has continually made this activity a success for the Tri-County Humane Society.
3. Live Auction
If you think the silent auction is fun…the excitement continues after dinner with the live auction. This Fix-A-Pet live auction sets the Tri-County Humane Society auction apart from all other live auctions! According to Kate Kompas, Volunteer and Events Coordinator, “The Tri-County Humane Society is committed to spaying and neutering all pets prior to adoption to help decrease the number of unwanted pets in the community and improve the quality of life of the pets adopted from our shelter. Thanks to volunteer veterinarians and the generosity of community veterinary clinics, this surgery costs us an average of $50 per animal.” According to WJON radio in St. Cloud, MN, “In 2017, a total of 1,820 pets were fixed. That’s an annual cost of approximately $91,000!” At the auction, live pets are brought to the front of the room and participants bid on some “cuddle time” with each pet. The benefits of this auction are used to spay and neuter animals at the shelter. The auction raised $10,745 and was matched by Jan Ritsche, a friend of the Tri-County Humane Society. Since we know you’re going to ask, the answer is “no”, guests cannot bring home the live auction pets.
When the doors open, guests are greeted with a gift. Every year, each guest looks forward to the event’s branded wine glass. Over the years,guests have collected the wine glasses and use them as a glassware “set” at home. This year featured a stemless wine glass imprinted with the Tri-County Humane Society’s logo and the message, “Adopt-Donate-Volunteer.” Attendees use the glass to enjoy tasting the wine presented at the event. Tri-County Humane Society partners with ePromos Promotional Products for the wine glasses.
During the past 40 years, the Tri-County Humane Society has earned a great reputation. They are good stewards of donations and they always do right by the animals. People attend this event because they want to help. Staff members simply approach these philanthropic individuals, thank them for attending the event and ask if they would like to contribute to the shelter.
While tasting wine and beer and browsing the auction items, a live jazz band is entertaining the guests. A slide show is also presented to show the animals adopted in the past year.
When guests enter the event, they automatically receive a complimentary raffle ticket. Later in the evening, a barrel of wine varietals, a barrel of beer bottles and a bucket of lottery scratch-off tickets are given away during the raffle. Of course, guests can purchase additional raffle tickets to increase their chances of winning.
8. Heads or Tails Paddle Game
People purchase paddles for $5 each. They can purchase as many paddles as they want!
Marketing The Event
For a successful event, the Tri-County Humane Society relied little on traditional advertising. They didn’t use radio, commercials or newsprint. Their promotions included the Tri-County Humane Society newsletter, social media (20,000 followers strong), volunteer engagement and promotional products.
Of course, the program included speakers talking about current and future projects, but the fun was truly found in the combination of money-raising efforts. Attendees left the Wine, Kibbles & Bids Benefit with the great feeling that giving provides – a better sense of the organization and how their donations will directly benefit the nonprofit’s mission.
Interested in reading about the first year ePromos partnered with the Tri-County Humane Society? Click here.
Photo Credit: Amy Wolfe