Get involved in third-party special events

Ensure that event upholds hospice's positive image

Casino night, dinner dance, golf tournament, a designer showhouse, and concerts are all. While the time and effort to plan and hold those fundraising events can be significant, the community awareness as well as the funds raised are important to sponsoring hospices.

With any special event that includes your name as a beneficiary, ensure that the event is well run and presents your organization in a good light, even if the event is sponsored by someone other than your hospice, says Pam Brown, CFRE, executive vice president for community development at Alive Hospice in Nashville, TN. "We are fortunate that local organizations want to name us as the beneficiary of events they plan, but we insist that our special events staff person be involved in the planning meetings when we know about the event," she says.

Hospice staff involvement is important for two reasons, Brown says. "We want to reduce the risk of being associated with an event that might put the hospice in a negative light, and our staff person can offer assistance as our way of showing gratitude for the support," she explains. "Our staff know what is and isn't allowed at special events in our area and can help the organization avoid problems," Brown says. For example, one organization was hosting an event for which they planned to raise funds for the hospice, and fundraising activities included a raffle, she says.

"The state of Tennessee has strict laws regarding games of chance, even raffles tied to fundraising events," Brown says. The event organizers did not realize that they were supposed to apply for a permit to hold a raffle, so they were in violation of state laws, she says. "We told them that we couldn't be associated with their event if it included a raffle," Brown points out. Once the raffle was no longer part of the event, Brown's staff were able to work with the organization. "Our involvement prior to the event enabled us to reduce our risk of involvement with an event that included an illegal game of chance and helped the organization hold a successful event."