Innovation comes easy to Ajit George, founder of the nationally regarded and highly successful Meals From the Masters fund raiser for Meals on Wheels Delaware, now in its 15th year. This event has become a signature of statewide benevolence and consumes an entire week of bountiful benevolence and gastronomic gorging.
His immediate brainstorm is Collabagala; i.e. Collaboration + Gala, to be staged at the Chase Center November 17. One hundred per cent of the net proceeds will benefit 10 Delaware charities. They are Blood Bank of Delmarva, Westside Healthcare, American Lung Association, Best Buddies of Delaware, Catholic Charities, Delaware Center for Justice, Newark Day Nursery and Children's Center, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Read Aloud Delaware and YWCA.
The RDC, the Chase Center and Strongpoint Marketing (George's firm) are the founding sponsors. Founding media sponsor is the News Journal.
The Delaware Community Foundation and DANA (Delaware Association of Non-Profit Agencies) are in the mix as well, although not beneficiaries.
Says Chris Grundner, CEO of DANA, “We chose to get involved in Collabagala as a partner because we believe the event could be a game-changer and it is important for us as the sector leader to help push the envelope a bit in the community. Because the event is brand new and so ground-breaking, we expect it to grow over time and get bigger and bigger each year.”
The founding sponsors are removing all the risks that non-profits confront when staging a fund raiser: management and promotion. The beneficiaries must sell tickets and solicit Silent Auction items from their respective lists of donors.
George expects well over $100,000.00 in auction items. Coming from so many different organizations, they will be copious and diverse.
Exclaims Ginny Marino, CEO of YWCA, 'Collabagala is a game changer and we are thrilled to be a part.”
Mary Hirschbiel, ED of Read Aloud Delaware, echoes the sentiments of all of the charities. “We look forward to sharing our story a wider community.”
The exposure that all will achieve in the “Collaboration” is ten times what they could do on their own. When a charity stages their own in house Silent Auction or other event, everyone knows about them from the starting line. This is reinforced by Michael Waite, Director of Marketing and Communications at Blood Bank of Delmarva. “This is an opportunity for us to collaborate (there's that word again!) with other non-profits. BBD does not do many special events so it is a chance to get involved with a fun event in a different atmosphere.”
The theme is James Bond, appropriate to the premiere of the new Bond movie at the new Penn Cinema at the Riverfront. (They are donating 1000 tickets).
The $125.00 ticket price includes food, open bar and $25 of chips for Casino Royale.
George admits he has no idea the turnout, but is laying the groundwork. The mantra of entrepreneurs will forever be....”with great risks come even greater rewards!”
For tickets and donations to the Silent Auction www.Collabagala.com
To become a sponsor, connect with Strongpoint Marketing 302.295.5060