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* Training Acknowledgement:

I am accessing this resource in connection with my role within a life affirming (pro-life) Pregnancy Help Organization. I understand that this resource is intended for a pro-life audience and is considered off the record. Additionally, I understand that my registration may be subject to cancellation (with a full refund of any fees paid) by Heartbeat International at any time and for any reason. I understand that all media inquiries should be directed to:

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Squeeze the very most you can out of your upcoming banquet—both in terms of fundraising and “friend-raising”—with Banquet Planning from Scratch from Heartbeat International’s Kirk Walden. A long-time pregnancy help leader and full-time pregnancy help banquet speaker, Kirk’s tips and ideas come directly from life-affirming efforts just like yours.

Whether this is your first or 40th fundraising banquet, this manual is for you! If you read The WOW Banquet, you will find some similar ideas in here. But you will also find more. Much more.



Our Passion To Serve
Our Commitment of Care and Competence
Heartbeat International
About This Manual
About the Author

Chapter 1: Key Principles
                Key Principle 1: This is a Fundraising Dinner
                Key Principle 2: We Need a Mission Statement
                Key Principle 3: We Must Provide a Big Vision
                Key Principle 4: Our Event Should Finish in Two Hours
                Key Principle 5: We Must Reach Men
                Key Principle 6: We Must Invest in This Event
                Key Principle 7: Our Event is a Spiritual Endeavor

Chapter 2: First Decisions
                Crafting our Mission Statement
                Picking the Right Date
                Picking a Night of the Week
                Pick the Right Venue
                Pick a Time
                Decision: Speaker or No Speaker?

Chapter 3: Building Our Banquet Team
                The Banquet Organizational Chart
                Banquet Coordinator
                Venue coordinator
                Program Coordinator
                Prayer Coordinator
                Guest Fulfillment Coordinator     

Chapter 4: Covering the Cost
                Ticket Sales: Up Front Funding Can Lower our Results
                Budget the Banquet
                Table Sales: Can be Effective but be Wary
                Underwriting: Fewer Asks, Larger Results?
                Finding Funding: Securing Underwriting for Our Event

Chapter 5: Be Our Guest
                Attendees We Would Love to See
                Attendees We Do Not Need
                Table Hosts Make the Difference
                Common Mistakes in Choosing Table Hosts
                The Search for Table Hosts
                Profiling Our Table Hosts
                The Final characteristic: No “Half” Couples
                What About Previous Table Hosts?
                Rating Our Table Hosts
                The CEO’s “Power Table”
                The Recruitment Process
                Our Table Host Reception Sets the Stage for a Great Event
                Table Host Banquet Night Packet
                The Invitation Process

Chapter 6: Catering and Food
                What’s for Dinner? A Look at our Food Service
                Catering: Table Service or Buffet?
                Caterers: Creating a Team Dynamic
                When a Buffet is Our Only Option
                Choosing Our Menu
                Setting the Table and “The Coffee Conundrum”

Chapter 7: Parallel Fundraising Events
                Silent Auctions
                Live Auctions
                Item Sales

Chapter 8: Our Program
                The Rule of 72
                Rule of 72 Sample Timeline
                Rule of 72 Time Savers
                Rule of 72 Words & Phrases to Avoid
                Everyone on the Stage Matters
                Emcee (Master of Ceremonies)
                Our Invocation and Benediction Speakers
                CEO Tips
                Client Stories Introduction
                Ways to Tell Client Stories
                Client Story Tips
                Choosing Our Speaker
                Speaker Questions to Ask
                What Does Our Speaker Need from Us?
                The Appeal—Intro
                The Appeal—Elements of Success
                The Appeal—Our Commitment Card
                After The Appeal—Saying Goodnight
                Potholes to Avoid on the Road to a Successful Program           

Chapter 9: Saying Thank You and Evaluating Our Success
                Thanking Our Donors
                Thanking Other Key Players
                Looking Ahead to Next Year
                Evaluation: Know Our Investment
                Evaluation: Know Our Income
                Evaluation: Know the Big Picture
                Evaluation: Break It Down and Solutions Emerge 
                After the Analysis

            Sample Fundraising Dinner Budget
            Table host Dessert Timeline
            Sample “Job Description” Sheet
            Sample Instruction Sheet: Whom Shall I Invite?
            Sample Previous Year Guest List
            Sample Questions and Answers Page
            Banquet Night: Sample Guest Register
            Banquet Night: Sample Instruction Sheet
            Sample commitment Card
            Example Thank You Letters




Kirk Walden brings experience in fundraising dinners from virtually every perspective. He planned fundraising dinners as an executive director of Women's Hope Medical Clinic in Auburn, AL (1991 - 1999), coached ministries on events as a consultant for LifeSteward Ministries (2000-2003) and travels the country as one of the pro-life community's most sought after banquet speakers (2001-Present).

Today, as an Advancement Specialist for Heartbeat International, Kirk brings his knowledge of what it takes to create a successful event from start to finish (Or, "From Giddyup to Whoa!", as he says) in this manual.

Inside these pages you'll find Kirk's attention to detail and his big-picture perspective on what this event can mean to your organization. You might also find some humor tossed in, too!