Question

Topic: Taglines/Names

Nonprofit Gala In Need Of Theme And Tag Line

Posted by stephanie on 250 Points
The Ripples gala is our signature fundraising event. The impact of donating to the Ripples auction extends beyond support for the organization. It’s the engine that provides the benefits to support nonprofits helping children and families in need. The idea behind Ripples is that our community of supporters will form a wave of support for children and families in our region. We desperately need a theme (not as in an adult prom, but for the messaging) and a tagline.
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RESPONSES

  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Member
    It would help to have more background of your organization/gala.

    It sounds like you've have these galas before. What themes/taglines have you used? If you didn't use any, why are you wanting one now?

    Also - who specifically is likely to attend? What region do you serve? Are you serving those in need directly or are you supporting other nonprofits? How is what you're doing different in your community?
  • Posted by stephanie on Author
    All great questions! This event was rebranded Ripples in 2018, prior to that it was called the Art and Wine Auction. I am new to the organization as is the Executive Director. As far as I can see, there hasn't been a tagline used in the past. The intention in having a theme and tagline this year and moving forward is to support our branding. As an organization, as I have been told, branding and recognition in our community have been a struggle. Who is likely to attend, existing donors, business partners, board members, and their network of people.

    While we are not direct service, Deschutes Children’s Foundation provides the space and support where nonprofits succeed at helping children and families. We are providing affordable classroom and office space to 20 nonprofits in Central Oregon. By providing our nonprofit partners with space and support to fulfill their missions, Deschutes Children’s Foundation increases their capacity to help children and families in our community. Our campuses are safe havens for people in need to find support and resources in convenient locations.
  • Posted by Gary Bloomer on Member
    I suspect branding has been a struggle because of the word salad represented by the organization's mission statement:

    "Deschutes Children’s Foundation provides the space and support where nonprofits succeed at helping children and families."

    Given that your event is in four months (May 6), I suggest sticking with the existing theme and that your team begins planning the 2024 event no later than June 6 (and yes, I'm serious about this). Nonprofit development teams are infamous for leaving insufficient time to properly think through and focus on naming and packaging (I know because I've worked in nonprofits for over 20 years).

    Given the tight deadline (I'm thinking invitations need to be in the mail by March 17 at the latest), you may be better off focusing on increasing your reach using previous years' themes. I know this is less than ideal, but without knowing more about exactly how you help people in the community, time may not permit a new name.

    Because regular attendees are already used to the idea of Ripples, i suggest going with what you have and fine tuning and changing direction for next year and using the summer to instill the new name and theme so that attendees anticipate it in early May 2024.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Member
    If Ripples is already a recognized event name in the community (and it's been a great fundraising event for you since 2018), leave the name alone. If you were to tweak the name, why not: "Ripples Gala Auction"?

    As for a "tagline," consider: Supporting the Deschutes Children’s Foundation.

    My thinking is that "Ripples" alone doesn't give a clue that it's an event and the tagline connects the event to your organization.

    BTW - Great naming requires a deep understanding of your organization's issues, time, and leadership (to both institute the change and to aid in its rollout).
  • Posted by stephanie on Author
    Thank you, Jay! I appreciate these ideas. We aren't looking to change the name of the gala itself, but I am getting pressure from our board to have a theme. For example, another nonprofit event I was involved with is Spotlight on Homelessness and the theme for that specific year was "Together in Hope". I was hoping to riff off the name of the Gala and really emphasize the ripple effect in a theme of some sort.
  • Posted by sadousaving on Member
    Interesting information
  • Posted by Mike Steffes on Member
    Theme & tagline to consider:

    Ripples—We're Better Together
    "Your donations will grow into powerful waves of support for children and families"
  • Posted by stephanie on Author
    Thank you, Mike!

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