Charity events/dinners

AndreaDM

<font color=red>Yeah...we mainly colored that day<
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Do you attend any charity auctions, dinners or galas? They are huge around here, NE Ohio and it seems to be the season for them, you could probably find one every weekend! This past weekend was the big one benefitting a local hospital, black tie and ballgowns with tickets starting at $200 plus all the live and silent auction items. Of course businesses buy corporate tables and can write it off, so a lot of people aren't buying tickets out of pocket. We didn't go, but a number of our friends did and social media was lit up with everyone all gussied up. We are going to one next month to benefit the local domestic violence shelter, it's not quite as expensive but will still be a nice event and I'm looking forward to going and supporting a good cause. Anyway just curious if these events are as popular other places? Oh, it also seems every single non-profit in this state has a 5K run too! No shortages of ways to donate money!
 

soccerdad72

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 23, 2012
Pre-Covid, we would go to at least one, sometime two per year. And run in one 5K for the same organization, which my wife is on the board of (Achievement Centers for Children - since we're also in NE Ohio). It's been a few years since they've had in person benefits, however.
 

SteveH

Where's my Mai Tai?
Joined
Sep 8, 1999
Over the years I've been to so many that I got so totally burnt out on breakfasts and dinners, I've helped run a few as well, so know how expensive it is to run them. Between rubber chicken, over cooked eggs and under-cooked potatoes I'm just done.

The only breakfast I still go to is for the local "Breakfast with the Chief" which raises funds so the local officers have money to assist people that are having an issue and it allows the officer to immediately step in; buy gas, hotel room or fix a flat.

Beyond that if I believe in the cause I research it, read their IRS 990 and write my own check and save them the time and money on a "meal"
 

AndreaDM

<font color=red>Yeah...we mainly colored that day<
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Yes, this is the first time since 2019 that most of these charities have had in-person events, they were virtual last year which is just not the same.
 

ronandannette

I gave myself this tag and I "Like" myself too!
Joined
May 4, 2006
Yes, we’ve been to lots of them but all for faith-based relief ministries or foreign missions. Nothing that would make the society pages. Local Covid restrictions on gatherings were only just lifted in February of this year and organizations have been slow to resume these types of activities.
 

RangerPooh

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
DH and I attended one last August that funded Honor Flights for WW2, Korea, and Vietnam veterans. We only went because one of DHs colleagues is on the board and was unable to attend and asked us to attend in her and her husbands place. While I loved the cause and may consider attending in an upcoming year, the money that people dropped during the auction was crazy! A lady at our table wanted handbags and it was an outright bidding war between her husband and another husband to the tune of thousands of dollars.

DH just attended a gala two weeks ago for work. I forget what the cause was, but assume it was health related. Again, we did not purchase the ticket, but I believe his work did. This one was also a formal affair just like the one above.

A quasi gala is the annual PTA dinner and auction that the local public elementary school hosts annually. DH and I attended one year and while it was not a formal event, the money spent was crazy. Parents were bidding thousands of dollars on a $100 cake, trying to out show each other. While they dd that DH and I spent hundreds on the silent auction tables that were largely ignored and better than cake. Just a bunch of SAHM trying to prove their value while looking down on others. Ridiculous. While we love our schools, we went only once and said never again. We'd rather write a donation check than spend time with these families.
 

NotUrsula

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
I'll go to dinners/galas for a good cause, but I don't do auctions. I can't stand auctions, and won't have anything to do with either attending them or helping to organize them.

PS: A major part of my dislike for auctions is my dislike of the concept of the "theme basket". My home is cluttered enough as it is; I really don't need themed clutter, too, let alone pay about 5X its worth for the privilege. I'm fine with donating for a cause, but the theatrical gesture of dramatically over-paying for something I could buy on the open market just bugs me, because I'm frugal by nature.
 
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PollyannaMom

I was a click-clack champ!!
Joined
May 16, 2006
We help run a comedy night for a local scholarship fund, but it's not fancy like the galas and balls you're talking about - more like casual dress and pizza. But there are raffles and a silent auction, and its a great cause! It was nice to have it back this year.
 

tvguy

Question anything the facts don't support.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Most are just now starting to restart. I've been to a few crab feeds. My kids school had a big charity dinner and auction every year. Went a couple years as a volunteer to work the auction, never bought a ticket or took part in the dinner. Catholic High School auctions are wild. Someone paid $5,000 for a basketball autographed by the girls basketball team. They also auctioned off a $30,000 cruise, and a $60,000 Lexus, and both went for over $10,000 over value. Never seen so much money flying around.
 

disykat

This person totally gets me
Joined
Jun 5, 2000
I'll go to dinners/galas for a good cause, but I don't do auctions. I can't stand auctions, and won't have anything to do with either attending them or helping to organize them.
I feel the same way about auctions. I'll go to a silent auction, but I HATE live auctions with a burning passion. I had to be involved in a few for my kid's activities in high school and was very uncomfortable. Spending money or watching people spend money makes me squirm, so attending an event that is all about people publicly competing to spend the most money REALLY makes me squirm!

I go (or went, before Covid) to fundraising events on occasion, but don't enjoy dressing up or anything about them. I want to participate in the fundraising and enjoy socializing with everyone, but yuck. Tvguy mentioned crab feeds and that definitely sounds more like my style. I miss the old standby of "spaghetti dinners." It seems like people really like "fancy," but I don't.
 

tcufrog

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
I volunteer every year to help plan the fundraising dinner, dance, and auction that DS11's school's Parents Club has every year. This year's event was at the local zoo. There was an open bar, a cover band, and giraffe feeding. It was a lot of fun. It's the only fundraiser we have other than the on-campus Spirit shop where you can buy used uniforms and spirit gear.

I may not volunteer next year though because I'm unhappy with the meddling the school liaison did during the planning. Normally the school is hands-off but this staff member is new and created all sorts of problems during the planning and made my job much harder. The worst thing she did was refuse to release the net profit and released an insufficient breakdown of the money raised. The numbers she gave the committee gave me no feedback regarding how my portion did so that I could assess what did and didn't work for next year.
 

mrodgers

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 29, 2009
Nothing like the OP, I wouldn't know where to even go to something like that for that kind of expense.

We have a lot of spaghetti dinners around, benefit dinners for various individuals like someone with a child in need. Usually $10.

Also every voluntary fire department has gun raffles. Usually $25-50/ticket and if you go, there's food available.
 

LuvOrlando

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
When my kids were little we did community events like Family Bingo, Car Washes but not a fan of the charity at a distance sorts of things. I feel deep distrust of organizations who want to do the distribution of wealth for me, to be honest. I'm much more comfortable still handing out $5's or rounding up as tip to people who do even the smallest thing for me because I know that store curbside person, that gas station attendant and that kid loading sod at Lowes are all going to use it to pay for food. Been doing this since 2020 hit and so far I see no sign that people around me still don't need a hand - they are always so very deeply grateful, especially the gas station people who are always shocked.
 

AndreaDM

<font color=red>Yeah...we mainly colored that day<
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
I feel the same way about auctions. I'll go to a silent auction, but I HATE live auctions with a burning passion. I had to be involved in a few for my kid's activities in high school and was very uncomfortable. Spending money or watching people spend money makes me squirm, so attending an event that is all about people publicly competing to spend the most money REALLY makes me squirm!

I go (or went, before Covid) to fundraising events on occasion, but don't enjoy dressing up or anything about them. I want to participate in the fundraising and enjoy socializing with everyone, but yuck. Tvguy mentioned crab feeds and that definitely sounds more like my style. I miss the old standby of "spaghetti dinners." It seems like people really like "fancy," but I don't.
Same! I've been known to bid more than I should on silent auction items after a few drinks (this is why they do an open bar lol), but the thought of live bidding gives me so much anxiety!

Nothing like the OP, I wouldn't know where to even go to something like that for that kind of expense.

We have a lot of spaghetti dinners around, benefit dinners for various individuals like someone with a child in need. Usually $10.

Also every voluntary fire department has gun raffles. Usually $25-50/ticket and if you go, there's food available.
We have a LOT of those too, in fact my sister's church held one for my niece years ago when they had a ton of medical bills. The fire departments have their pancake breakfasts and festivals too.


I've been involved before in planning a few and I know that I am NOT cut out to beg companies for donations to auction/raffle. I know a number of business owners and the amount of donation requests they get is crazy!
 

tcufrog

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
I've been involved before in planning a few and I know that I am NOT cut out to beg companies for donations to auction/raffle. I know a number of business owners and the amount of donation requests they get is crazy!

I agree. When I help with planning, I never offer to help with solicitation. My mom was great at that and would ask anywhere. She even went to the indie record store filled with counter culture teens and 20 somethings that none of the other parents would go to. She thought the owner and employees were nice and always got big donations from them.
 

scrapquitler

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
No, I am not at all interested in attending those kind of events. If I want to donate money or goods to a cause, I will just make the donation. These big flashy events cost money that the charity could just put toward their cause.
 

AndreaDM

<font color=red>Yeah...we mainly colored that day<
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
No, I am not at all interested in attending those kind of events. If I want to donate money or goods to a cause, I will just make the donation. These big flashy events cost money that the charity could just put toward their cause.
These event costs are more than covered by the ticket price. Example, the dinner I referred that cost $200 per ticket, I'm sure that the per guest cost was between $50-$100 each. So the charity made $100-$150 per person PLUS the money brought in by all the auction/raffle items. Would all those people who attended have just donated $100 to the charity? Probably not. They are also a great way of networking and advertising. I have attended events where my husband's employer purchased a table for $X that included 8 tickets. They got the business name on the signage, website, programs, and it shows that this business invests back into the community. There's a lot more going on than just showing off. Same goes for charity golf events.
 








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