The Children’s Hospital at Westmead is part of The Sydney Children’s Network. It’s the largest network of hospital and services for children in Australia. Each year their services manage 51,000 inpatient admission and over one million outpatient service visits.
This year, Kids Rehab at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead raised $725K net profit at the 2017 Emerald Ball, one of the hospitals signature events.
We spoke to their Event Manager, Tess Assaad, on how they achieved these outstanding results. The details are revealed below:
1.How often do you hold fundraising events?
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead holds numerous fundraising events each year, however, there are approximately five signature fundraising gala dinners hosted by relevant departments. Emerald Ball is inclusive of this number.
In addition to gala dinners, the Fundraising Department provides consultation on hundreds of community and corporate events each year for those wishing to raise money for The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
2. What advice can you give to other fundraising event organisers to maximise their efforts?
Every event should have a ‘point of difference’ distinguishing itself from other events.
- Ascertain what your charity’s ‘point of difference’ is and capitalise on this when promoting and marketing the event
- Ensure you adhere to a budget
- Refrain from over capitalising on certain aspects of the event that bring little or no return to the bottom line
- It is important to have plenty of debriefs post event with key stakeholders including guests, venue, presenters, sponsors, donors, staff, volunteers, suppliers etc.
- Establish if the event met everyone’s expectations; ascertain any problems or areas of improvement; determine which areas were well received
- Document all feedback so when you are planning for the next event it’s readily available and you don’t miss anything
3. How successful was the Emerald Ball?
The 2017 Emerald Ball was very successful. The event raised a record breaking figure of $725K net profit which will help fund rehabilitation treatment programs for children with disabilities including: Acquired Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Limb Deficiency, Spinal Cord Injury / Disease, Spina Bifida and Connective Tissue Disorders.
Guests who secured tickets to the Emerald Ball at the ICC Sydney on Saturday 27th May were treated to a night of superb entertainment! In true Emerald Ball tradition, this world class event left guests thoroughly entertained throughout the night with performances by Aussie Musicians Diesel & David Campbell plus one of Australia’s most acclaimed and a brilliantly funny comedian, Jimeoin! Our MC for the night, Ms Sami Lukis, did a wonderful job ensuring the blockbuster order of events went smoothly.
Also included in the entertainment line-up were the incredibly awesome, highly energised Furnace & the Fundamentals, who ensured the party continued well into the late night. Auctioneer Andrew Morello did an outstanding job in the live auction. There were lots of giveaways, prizes, and fabulous items in both the silent and live auction plus one lucky guest walked away with a brand-new Mazda CX-3 Maxx.
4. What is your top tip to hosting a successful fundraising event?
Achieving a positive ‘guest experience’ is the essence to any successful fundraising event. It’s imperative to find a winning formula that provides guests with a balance between first class entertainment, a variety of fundraising elements on the night which they can participate in and most importantly, engagement of guests in the primary purpose of the charity event.
5. How important was it to have Givergy’s award winning fundraising technology as part of the event?
The Givergy technology is a premium product which played a pivotal role in the fundraising success on the night. The pre-event online auction was seamless and easy to navigate. The bespoke website was presented professionally and was well received by the guests pre-event.
The transfer of data from the pre-event mobile site to the tablet was impeccable. Guest engagement and participation thereafter was also impressive. The tablets were ideal for our guests as they were not reliant on any particular service provider hence were always readily available to place bids. The larger screen of the tablet was also more appealing to guests rather than viewing prizes on their smart phones.
From my perspective, because the technology was so simple to operate it created a higher level of participation and engagement by guests, leading to a record breaking fundraising amount raised in the silent auction!