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Julie Darling

Mar 4, 2012 >> All in the name of Charity: Julie Darling taps the best and brightest to dish on creating a successful charity event

One of the questions that I get most is ‘What is the key to a successful charity event?’ My take? Always approach it with this question in mind: ‘How can I make the event successful so people come year after year?’ Don’t be penny wise and dollar foolish. If your guests have a great time and have something to talk about, your revenues will go up year after year.

I’m reaching out to three very dear friends to get their two cents: from the perspective of the experienced to the first time co-chair.

ONE >> Rally for Kids with Cancer 

“Some of the events I have had the most fun at were Rally For Kids With Cancer events.  They take place in many different cities, and the object of the event itself, is to have fun.  Participating fundraisers and their selected celebrity navigator compete on an all day scavenger hunt which ends with a red carpet gala awards dinner.

It is challenging and very rewarding as well as an opportunity to meet many different people and celebrities. Often with charities, many people are donating their time & resources and there are occasions when that leads to confusion and miscommunication in execution. Really, the end result, whether it be one dollar or one million dollars, is money being raised and donated to help people, animals or situations in need.  And that is something that makes me feel good about myself and the world.”

>> Ivan Sergei, Chicago Rally For Kids Winning Team Leader 

TWO >> Illinois Eye Bank, dedicated to the restoration of sight  

“What I feel made Aviator’s Night for Sight so successful are 3 things. First, it was for a great cause. Second, we had strong brands as sponsors: Marquis Jets, Lake Forest Sportscars and RL Restaurant to name a few. And last, it was a unique concept for Chicago that had people talking. We’re the only charity in Chicago to use an airport hangar as a venue with private jets, exotic cars, casino, live music and great food. That combo makes for a memorable night and gets people wanting to come back next year.”

>> Franco S. La Marca, Co-Chair 2011 

THREE >> Between Friends, a non-profit agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and building a community free of abuse

“1. Motivate. Be positive and vigilant against negativity and drama. Ever mindful of the cause and the real work at hand.

2. Find the passion. People come to be (unpaid) volunteers for different reasons and with different skill sets. Match the two with individual tasks that create enjoyment and generate results.

3. Notes. Record what works and what does not. Keep sound files on everything you do. When the event is behind you, regroup as a team and examine. It will put you miles ahead for the next event.”

>> Kevin Charnota, Bubble Ball Co-Chair 2012