Visiting Nurse Service of New York

Orr Group partnered with VNSNY to plan and execute its 125th anniversary gala, which resulted in an event that hosted 550 guests and raised a record-breaking $1.33 million, more than any previous event in the history of VNSNY.

Situation

One of the oldest not-for-profit home healthcare agencies in the country, Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) has been a vital part of New York’s public health infrastructure since 1893. Combining the latest medical knowledge and nursing techniques with a commitment to social programs in partnership with the city’s world class hospitals and medical centers, VNSNY has grown to serve more than 33,000 patients and their families in New York on any given day.  

In anticipation of its 125th anniversary of VNSNY, VNSNY came to Orr Group seeking to develop a strategy to accelerate fundraising at its annual gala. The VNSNY annual fundraising gala is a tradition dating back to the 1970s and this year VNSNY was looking to do something special to mark this significant anniversary.

Solution

Orr Group partnered with VNSNY over an 8-month period leading up to the gala. Our work began by assessing the event’s potential against its target revenue goal of $1,100,000.  To do this, we met with donors and board members to solicit feedback on the goal, past events and ways to make this event distinctive and best sources of revenue. We then compiled our findings and developed a comprehensive fundraising strategy that addressed gala leadership, board engagement, and pricing and benefits. The team also created a detailed vendor engagement strategy that led to increased vendor revenue and engagement.  With the event strategy in place, Orr Group worked alongside VNSNY’s event team throughout the gala preparation phase, assisting with strategy implementation, outreach, and solicitation.

Impact

VNSNY’s 125th anniversary gala hosted 550 guests and raised a record-breaking $1.33 million, a 32.5% increase over the previous gala and more than any previous event in the history of VNSNY.  What’s more, 13% of all revenue came from new donors, not affiliated with either honoree. VNSNY also used social media to promote the gala and build anticipation. The gala also incorporated an onsite fundraising component for the first time in the organization’s history.