Wednesday, February 20, 2013

47 local charities mistakenly have gala fundraiser all on the same night

You're invited...47 times!

The leaders of some of Metro’s largest charities are wondering why there were 47 gala fundraising events last night in the city.

For some reason, each charity picked exactly the same night to hold their annual fundraising gala dinner. Even worse, three were held at the same downtown hotel. Preliminary reports from all 47 charities is that attendance at their events was way down from last year and that most raised far less than in previous years. It’s left charity leaders scratching their heads.

“I can’t believe that we all had our gala dinners on the same night,” said Peter Snidely, CEO of the Metro Trust, who had a Brazilian Mardi Gras-themed dinner to raise money for their social service programs. “This is obviously the fault of other charities for picking our date. We always pick the same date every year. Always. Except last year. But other than that and the one year we didn’t have it, always!”

At the Community Foundation of Metro, Executive Director Dibble Brewer said the date for their Las Vegas-themed gala was announced more than a year ago.

“We had absolutely no idea other charities were using our night for their gala dinners, too,” said Brewer. “Funny, though. Now that I recall, we had a hard time getting a band and flowers.”

Some donors say there were warning signs months ago. Philanthropists like Sid and Ethel Moneybags said in an interview that they told local charities that they had received 32 different invitations for a fundraising event that evening. They even called a few charities and told them about it.

“The manager we talked to at the hospital foundation just shrugged it off by saying she imagine we received 32 invitations for dinner every night,” said Sid Moneybags.

The gala mix-up may be the reason why local charities were complaining earlier this year about a lack of volunteers. A group of charities held a press conference three months ago to plead with the public for more people to become event volunteers.

“We’re all facing a critical shortage of volunteers to run our fundraising events. For some reason, the numbers of people we use to help program and lead things like gala dinners has decreased dramatically in the last few months. We’re not sure why,” said the group in a media release at the time. “It could be that the people of Metro just don’t care.”

The 47 gala dinners might also explain recent complaints by Metro business leaders that charities were making too many demands on them.

“This is probably why my hardware store go hit up for 30 different auction items and 22 sponsorships and why we sold out of duct tape and plastic garland a few days ago,” said Chamber of Commerce President Frank Bigsales.

The big winner of the evening appears to be the local university string quartet, which did seven back-to-back recitals at different fundraising galas.

“We told them that we were going from one gala to another, but they just all ignored us. Several of them said it didn’t matter since their gala was going to be much better than everyone else’s,” said Ludwig Von Beethoven, leader of the group.

In response to the mess, charity leaders says they will keep the date of all future galas a secret and only reveal them to donors 48 hours before they happen.

In the meantime, the charities asked donors and the public to focus instead on the 22 curling bonspiels and 38 car washes they have coming up this weekend.