Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Every organization has it's own terminology for fundraising dinners. Even within Cru, the site that runs TeamGold, we've called these events many things over the years. In the 90s there were a lot of 'banquets' and that proved to be a successful and helpful term.
Today, though, calling our event a “banquet” conjures up thoughts of a church basement, a “rubber” chicken meal and a high-pressured speaker employing strong-armed tactics to raise money. That is the furthest thing from what we hope to portray. Your goal with this event is threefold: appreciation, information and challenge. You hope to appreciate those partners who have labored with you up to this point. You want to inspire current and new donors with messages, testimonies and songs. And last, you want to challenge people to partner with you financially, and then in other ways.
Your goal with this event is threefold: appreciation, information and challenge.
Your main focus will never be on dollars. Out of a 2 hour and 15 minute program, you only address giving for 15 minutes (including completing the envelopes). That does not make this event a fundraiser. The greatest amount of time is spent appreciating and inspiring those in attendance. You never hide the fact that you will ask for money – your invitation makes that clear – but you won’t make it the major focus of your time. You want this to be an event they look forward to and, if possible, an event that is the high point of their year spiritually. Remember, the average Christian sees 2-3 people accept Christ in their church each year and thinks that is very satisfying – you are showing them much more than that, which should be an incredible inspiration to them.
We recently updated our terminology from 'Fellowship Dinner' to 'Vision Dinner'. Don't get caught up on using the exact term 'Vision Dinner' - these dinners have been called many things throughout the past decades including 'Fellowship', 'Victory', and 'Celebration' Dinners. What's most important is that you choose a name that sufficiently casts vision for your desire to appreciate and inspire your guests.