Heritage Streamlines Costs and Guest Experience
for Regional Non-Profit’s Annual Gala

Services

On-Site

Check-in
Volunteer Management

Content
Management

Speakers
Live Auction
Pledge Campaign
Honoree Recognition

Logistics

Food and Beverage
A/V
Script Writing

Objective

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s (CFNV) annual black-tie gala welcomes more than 600 business, philanthropic and community leaders to celebrate the region’s growth and diversity and to raise critical funds to support its work to make a more equitable, vibrant, and inclusive community.

Stretched thin with a small staff, CFNV hired Heritage to handle the logistics of their annual black-tie gala and act as the on-site event lead. Specific help was needed sourcing, negotiating with and securing vendors to ensure cost control, recruiting and managing on-site volunteers, and reformatting the program’s flow to enhance the guest experience.

Solution

After a thorough evaluation of past vendor relationships and costs, Heritage negotiated contracts with vendors ranging from photographers to florists to deliver quality products and services with no increase in expenses. Keeping with CFNV’s mission of giving back to the community, Heritage recruited dozens of day-of event volunteers from local colleges and universities to assist with running the event, giving hospitality students a valuable hands-on learning experience to add to their resumes. Together with a committee of CFNV board members, Heritage restructured the gala into a more efficient format by reworking the show timeline and editing the stage script.

Results

Through the help of on-site volunteers working the silent and live auctions and pledge campaign, CFNV was able to raise more than $535,000. Event expenses totaled four percent under budget, resulting in CFNV meeting their net revenue goal. The reformatted event structure ensured that the gala concluded on time, thus alleviating a past concern of attendees.