June 27, 2014 The More They Drink the More They Spend, or Do They?
I’ve heard time and time again that non-profits want their guests to “drink a lot” before the live auction because they’ll “spend more money”. Well, everything has a limit and I’d like to discuss those that pertain to alcohol and fundraising.
Many events will have open bars and/or bottles of wine on the table with free flowing spirits all throughout the evening. I want to caution you that too much of a good thing can spell disaster. More alcohol consumed = less fundraising. It’s pretty simple math.
According to David J. Hanson, Ph. D, in his article How Alcohol Effects Us: The Biphasic Curve, depending on various factors, there is a two-part effect that results when alcohol is consumed. During the first phase a person’s blood alcohol concentration rises above a certain level where the “buzz”, if you will, is present. The second phase of the biphasic curve occurs when the blood alcohol concentrations rise past that point. This is when charitable giving becomes affected. The important thing to note from all of this is that you want to keep your guests enjoying the event while in the first phase of the curve and try not to encourage them to continue drinking into the second phase.
Not only do you need to consider the fundraising aspect but you can also get into legal issues with regard to entering into a contract while intoxicated – buying items at an auction is just that, a contract. And don’t forget the legal exposure these inebriated guests might provide your organization during their drive home.
If you choose to offer alcohol at your event, make sure there is a balance in its consumption so that it won’t affect fundraising. Limit accessibility to free flowing alcohol and conduct your fundraising before the “peak” to maximize the revenue potential for your organization. Your guests will thank you in the morning!
Make every minute a revenue generating minute!
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