Wining and Dining Donors
We've all heard the studies that claim a glass of wine with dinner is good for your health. As it turns out, injecting a little bit of wine into your organization's special events can be quite good for your fundraising health as well.
At least, that was the case for the Chesapeake Rotary Club and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego in 2010. Both organizations held wine festival fundraisers to bring in considerable donations, and create excitement and buzz for their causes last year.
Continuing our four-part series on successful fundraising campaigns from the past year, this month FundRaising Success highlights the Chesapeake Rotary Club's Chesapeake Wine Festival and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego's Rhythm & Vine Festival.
— Joe Boland, senior editor
Chesapeake Virginia Wine Festival
By 2009, the Chesapeake Rotary Club had just about had its fill of its annual spaghetti dinner.
"Each year for the past 20 years, we had done a spaghetti dinner at a local high school," says Roland Davis, secretary of the Chesapeake Rotary Club. "The spaghetti dinner wasn't making any money except for the $90 worth of tickets each notary member had to buy. So it wasn't a popular fundraiser, and we were looking for another idea."
Davis' nephew Scott Danner, who is also in the Chesapeake Rotary Club, told his uncle that "he loves going to wine festivals, they seem to be very popular, big crowds … why don't we look at doing that?"
That prompted Davis to start looking online at wine festivals, and he saw there were other rotary clubs doing them and raising $50,000 to $80,000 or more, "which was tremendously more than the spaghetti dinner," Davis says.
Davis and Danner presented the idea to the club and got the go-ahead. Davis was named chairman of the inaugural Chesapeake Virginia Wine Festival in 2010. He went on a quest to secure the location, date, sponsorships and attendance for the event with the goal to raise as much money as possible for the rotary club that would then go to seven or eight charities, the main recipient being the Sidney M. Oman Cancer Center at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center.