• Nonprofit Learning Lab

Volunteer Roles for Your Nonprofit Gala


Planning a #nonprofit #fundraiser can be overwhelming with many tasks to complete leading up to the gala and details to manage at the actual event. How do you stay organized with a limited budget? How do you get extra help if you do not have the funds to pay for more staff? Using #volunteers can help an event run smoother especially if you know the best ways to engage volunteers on site at your event. Check out some of our tips below on how to utilize volunteers at your next #gala.


Welcoming Guests: Walking into gala events can sometimes be disorienting for guests. Perhaps guests are not sure where to go or just need to get to the restroom after sitting in traffic. A friendly face welcoming guests and providing directions makes for a smooth guest entry to your event. Volunteers should be dressed professionally and have a branded name tag of the organization, so they are easily identifiable to guests.


Floaters: Having a volunteer that is a designated floater whose responsibility is to literally walk the venue and make sure everything is going well helps ensure everyone has a great time. Random tasks that we have seen volunteer floaters help out with include: a) assist elderly guests navigating crowded spaces in an event, b) move chairs, c) help event staff find important individuals, d) give guests directions or e) answer basic questions if they are trained appropriately.


Clean Up: The end of a gala can be overwhelming, and guests want to quickly leave. Some guests may be standing in line to pick up auction items, other guests may be speaking to staff to give an extra donation or any matter of issues may occur at the end of an event. Having volunteers designated to grab specific items that need to be collected can be incredibly helpful. Collecting items may include nametags, centerpieces or other items belonging to the nonprofit.


Having volunteers assist with an event should be extra help for staff. Make sure you are choosing the right volunteers to serve in these roles. You want to pick volunteers who have knowledge of your organization and understand importance of your event as dedicated volunteers will be more committed to the role. Lastly, make sure to train the volunteers that are going to help out. Give them a schedule and prepare them in advance so they feel comfortable in doing their tasks to ensure success.

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