SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Non-profits and community service groups looking for fundraising opportunities are rushing to get something on the calendar for 2021, in a year when half of the months were off limits due to COVID-19 conditions.
The St. Vincent's 20th Annual Golf Classic at the Montecito Club has been an example. The Monday event is just what the organization needs at a time when so many Friday, Saturday and Sunday dates are filling up with various groups booking their events.
This specific event raised critical funding for financially challenged families especially mothers and children.
St. Vincent's President and CEO Rosa Paredes said, "the competition is starting up again for event space. We are very blessed to be here again. The Montecito Club has gone above and beyond and so easy to work with."
Live fundraisers whether it's on a golf course or in a ball room, unlike the virtual events last year that non-profits held, can often have better results.
Paredes said, "the direct message in person is more meaningful. People can see the passion in our eyes when we are talking about our programs. They are asking 'what does St. Vincent do?' and we share the story."
One organizer and supporter said is contagious.
Bill Cordero said, "matter of fact some people are playing courtesy of someone else and they said next year I want to pay my own way. "
Within these events, is the outreach to get more supporters and a younger demographic to lay the foundation for the future.
Cordero said, "and that is a challenging task because everyone is seeking the same thing."
Recent fundraisers that have filled the calendar just in the last week have included the Special Olympics Polar Plunge where teams raised money and then took a chilly dive into the Santa Barbara waters.
There was also the Police Foundation 911 At Ease International event a week ago that drew about 600 to support first responders.
The Food for Life dinner and fundraiser for the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County celebrated the purchase of a new, much larger south county warehouse and the preparations for emergency food supplies countywide.
Nearly every non-profit, expect for those that held virtual events in 2020, fell behind on their fundraising goals due to the pandemic.
Going forward the virtual fundraising combined with in-person events may be the formula that works for certain organizations.