Last-Minute Prep for Your Fall Galas

Brian Kurth

We are always looking for thought leaders to help nonprofits as part of our Neon One ecosystem and are excited to showcase myRollCall’s expertise on planning a great fall gala.

Gala season is just around the corner, and while the venue, food and drinks may already be set in stone, there are still a lot of things that can derail your plans if you’re not fastidious enough – especially in the 24 hours leading up to your event. Prevent crunch time from turning into chaos with the following checklist.

1. Assign volunteer roles based on individual strengths and personality.

You might be surprised how many times we’ve seen misplaced volunteers. If a volunteer is uncomfortable or unable to complete their task, nobody wins – not the guests, not the event, and not the volunteers. Is there a volunteer who’s super outgoing? Task them with checking people in. Have someone who really likes order and is tech savvy? Have them manage the check-out process. The more comfortable and capable everyone feels, the more smoothly things will run.

2. Finalize table assignments.

Ensure all guests are accounted for – no duplications nor exclusions. Whether you’re using an online event platform like myRollCall or an Excel spreadsheet, it’s important each guest is assigned the proper seating. Review this once. Review this twice. Review this three times, even, to prevent any disruption while getting folks seated.

3. Double-check Your Tech.

If you’re using a mobile app for check-in/-out (which we certainly recommend!), make sure your volunteers have devices that match the app’s mobile phone requirements. It sounds simple enough, but the last thing you need is incompatible technology among your team.

4. Your volunteers are your salesforce for donors.

Encourage them to ask your guests to use their credit card for check-in. We’ve found that in some instances, 80% of guests will do so. Now, their info is already on file, making the check-out process even faster for everyone.

5. ALWAYS have a plant (or two) for your largest paddle-raise levels.

Few things are worse than hearing crickets as you’re trying to raise that big money. Plus, giving is contagious; if one paddle goes up, more are sure to follow.

When planning a large-scale fundraising event, it’s the little things that so easily fall through the cracks. By just a little planning (we love a good checklist!) and thoughtful delegation, you can ensure the details are well taken care of so you can focus on the bigger picture – raising those funds!


myRollCall is an easy-to-use event-planning and day-of-event tool that we’re sure you and your team will love. We get that there is a lot of stress that comes with planning a large fundraising gala, which is why we want to take it a step further and offer the benefit of our personal assistance with myRollCall Plus. Let us do some of the heavy lifting for you.

What does Plus get you?

All the benefits of myRollCall PLUS three (3) hours of virtual consultation and/or assistance for your staff and team of volunteers in advance of your gala. A $500 value, yours free!

Leave a Comment