Record-setting Annual Fundraising Ball – “Elegance at Sea”

Posted by Annette Lindemann on Fri March 27, 2020 in Talking About Hospice

Congratulations are in order to Hospice by the Bay’s Development team and the dozens of staff and volunteers whose efforts helped earn the Marin Independent Journal’s Reader’s Choice Top Honor Award for Best Non-Profit Gala in Marin.  The one-night event raised $720,000 in support of HBTB’s core mission and community care programs.

“We are extremely proud of this acknowledgment by the Marin IJ and its readers,” said Miguel Ruelas, Development Director.  “It’s a really big deal for our entire team to know the community appreciated our efforts and dedication, especially because we achieved so many ‘firsts’ last year.”

  • Highest attended fundraising event in HBTB history (421 guests)
  • Most profitable annual Ball (more than double the funds raised in any previous year)
  • Fund a Need live donor engagement in support of HBTB’s core mission
  • Dollar-for-dollar matching grant for all Fund a Need donations up to $44,000
  • First $25,000 event sponsorship (from UCSF)

One strategy that made a huge difference in fundraising was to shift the event’s donor engagement format from a traditional live auction where attendees bid on various high-ticket items, to a “Fund a Need” which raises dollars that directly support Hospice by the Bay’s many programs.  Guests heard moving testimonials from HBTB patient families and in response raised their bidding paddles for higher donations than ever before.

Does Ruelas feel uncertainty about fundraising in relation to the current pandemic and potential recession?  “One thing I’ve witnessed after many years in fundraising is that philanthropy doesn’t necessarily change when the economy does.  People who are generous and inclined to help others, do so from the heart.  That doesn’t stop.  Sometimes they give even more after an economic downturn because they know the need is greater.”

Plans for HBTB’s 45th Anniversary Ball are already underway!   Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 7, 2020 at Peacock Gap Country Club, San Rafael.  More details soon!

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