From my own experience, I know the pivotal role events play in achieving fundraising success. Through multiple seasons of Team in Training, I’ve managed to double and triple my individual fundraising goals by hosting events. And just the other week, I witnessed the power of a group fundraiser when the WGirls Date Auction raised $44,000 with one event alone!

So what happens when you empower a group of 11 people, passionate about the fight against blood cancer, to raise the most amount of money they possibly can within a 10-week campaign? The competition heats up and folks are able to raise a lot of money for a great cause! The 2011 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man and Woman of the Year campaign is wrapping up this Saturday at the Grand Finale Gala, where winners will be announced based on the most amount raised (each dollar counts as one vote in the candidate’s favor). Historically, events have been a huge fundraising factor for the most successful candidates, including 2009 Man of the Year winner Bill Shen as well as 2010 candidate Dan Darcy, who raised an overwhelming $182,606 with events ranging from a Giants Tailgate to a Masquerade Bash. Last year, we even highlighted one candidate’s particularly successful event on our blog, the LLS Celebrity Gala at the Bentley Reserve.

A handful of this year’s candidates have also been using events as a primary source of fundraising. Aggie Bonpua launched Soulmates Wines in honor of her brother, Louie Bonpua, who passed from Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia in 2002; her Soulmates Wine Tasting event was a brilliant fit. Sandra Acevedo-Hanns used connections at a local hotel to host two events at The Fairmont: Fashion, History and Fun and Music Talent Search. Monika Sola‘s team Bleeding Orange held both a kickball tournament as well as Cocktails for a Cure at Circa, Rosemary Gong hosted the Good Long Life Luncheon with celebrity chef and Kenneth A. Winn held wine tasting benefit IN IT TO WINN IT. And finally, cancer survivor Mark Zafra organized a whopping 23 events within the 10-week period with his team Mission 4 Remission, and attributes 80 percent of his fundraising success to his events alone.

Shelley Constantini, owner of skin care studio BellaPelle, shared with us her experience using Eventbrite for the first time during her campaign: “We found Eventbrite easy to set up. All of the options made it seem tailor-made for our events. It helped us from start to finish and we were able to post the event link easily on all of our online messaging. Once the ticket sales started rolling in, we were able to track the guest lists which made the line at the door move quickly. One of the most fun options was the iPhone app for entry management. However, seeing the cash in my account after the event may have actually been the highlight! Eventbrite was with us every step of the way, from a posh art gallery party, to a bachelor auction at a local lounge, then onto a haute couture fashion show at our very own BellaPelle Skin Studio.”

I’ll definitely be attending the Grand Finale Gala this Saturday, so make sure to grab tickets to support all the 2011 candidates and their campaigns! Hope to see you there!

For the low-down on all the best fundraising events in SF make sure to follow BriteSF on Facebook and Twitter!

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