Special Events

Special events are a mainstay of the nonprofit sector. Many organizations rely upon events more than ever for the crucial strategic components of fundraising and deepening stakeholder engagement. In 2020, we saw a dramatic shift toward virtual experiences, leaving nonprofits little time to rethink the tried and tested model of in-person events. A year later, we are seeing the much anticipated return of in person experiences, though digital events remain relevant and will likely be so for the future.

Whether virtual or in-person, fundraising events need to accomplish two primary goals: 1) generate revenue and 2) introduce or remind attendees of the importance of an organization’s work, in a way that elicits an emotional response that inspires action. 

To achieve both goals requires multi-tiered expertise that our agency has cultivated over two decades providing strategic support to nonprofit organizations and socially responsible companies. We have a dynamic process that addresses the unique issues and desired outcomes of our clients, through the lens of a deep understanding of the ever evolving giving trends of the philanthropic community. 

We have nuanced experience with both in-person and virtual events, having planned our first virtual event in 2008. We understand how to help clients connect with audiences and create pathways to revenue generation and engagement. Our approach is focused on identifying the best ways to interact with the distinct audiences that typically attend events. This allows us to create and produce events that speak to the needs of all key stakeholders. 

Beyond traditional core event planning services, from venue scouting to day of event execution, we provide the following:

  • Board and Committee coaching and support
  • Audience development
  • Event fundraising and reconciliation
  • Script writing 
  • Event conceptualization
  • Honoree selection and support

To learn more about our approach to audience development, read this article written for NonProfit Pro, by The Wakeman Agency CEO, Vanessa Wakeman.

Read here how we helped Hispanics in Philanthropy transition their 2020 conference to a virtual experience in only 8 weeks.

To learn more about our special event services, call us at (212) 500-5953, x113 or send an email.

The YWCA of the City of New York partnered with The Wakeman Agency to revitalize the YW’s Salute Luncheon.

Results at a Glance

  • Completely overhauled and executed a signature event in fewer than four months
  • Exceeded funds raised by 15%
  • Increased giving at the event
  • Initiated a fundraising model the YW still uses today
  • Coached the Board of Directors into a more active fundraising role
  • Partnered on the event for five years, increasing fundraising year over year 

Read the full YWCA case study.