By Mary P. Walker, Petrus Blog Contributor & Local Charity Board Member
Over the last eight months, special event fundraising has morphed from live gatherings to cyberspace experiences. During this time, I have “attended” a number of virtual events, watched others on YouTube to learn, and was on the committee to plan a “virtual” fundraising walk.
I’ve also had conversations with Msgr. Scott Friend, vocations director for the Diocese of Little Rock, and Brian Russell of the University of Southern California Caruso Catholic Center. In the past, the diocese hosted a series of dinners to raise funds for the support of seminarians. The Catholic Center raised funds through honoring a USC Catholic alum with an upscale gala dinner. Last year, my local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) hosted a walk to raise funds.
In this episode, Andrew visits with Brian Russell, Campaign Manager at Caruso Catholic Center at University of Southern California. In this episode of the "COVID Solutions" series, Andrew and Brian talk about pivoting from a long-standing gala to a new virtual event. They discuss the initial steps they took to make the change, the monetary success of the event as well as the pros and cons of such a change. They also talk about the long-term viability of these types of events.
Brian Russell is the campaign manager at Caruso Catholic Center at University Southern California. He is currently in his 10th year of working in Catholic fundraising and his 4th year at USC.
They are talking about the long standing gala that they host every other year and how they went virtual this year.
History of the Gala
They started the Gala event in 2010 and it takes place every other year. It is the big fundraiser for the center/church.
In May 2020, they had to figure out how...
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