ChildLine: the Got Talent ball

Exhibited by
Natasha Sweet.
Added
June 10, 2013
Medium of Communication
Event
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Children, youth and family
Country of Origin
UK
Date of first appearance
October, 2010

SOFII’s view

This is event fundraising at its best. Raising almost £350,000, the ChildLine ball 2010 demonstrates some excellent fundraising techniques and is a must-read exhibit for anyone who is planning an event in the future.

Creator / originator

NSPCC.

Summary / objectives

ChildLine is a service of the NSPCC. It is a free and anonymous counselling service for children and young people in the UK. The ChildLine ball is a prestigious and exclusive event which takes place every year. It aims to raise a significant amount of money to answer more calls from children and young people, and also to raise awareness of ChildLine.

Background

The ChildLine ball has taken place annually for many years and has steadily and impressively grown both in terms of the size of the event and also in the amount raised throughout the evening.

Much of the NSPCC’s fundraising is volunteer-led. Therefore the event manager at the NSPCC worked alongside the ChildLine ball committee to plan and organise this event. The committee is made up of nine dedicated supporters who are connected via their various business and personal networks. They play an important role in securing sponsorship, deciding the theme of the evening, selling tickets and also getting auction prizes.

Special characteristics

The ChildLine ball 2010 was held at the Savoy Hotel, London.

For the past three years, the ChildLine ball committee has chosen to theme the event around a well-known TV programme. This year the popular show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ was selected. The theme influences all aspects of the evening including the host, the production and the entertainment. This is what sets the event apart from the many other fundraising balls and black-tie dinners that take place in the run up to Christmas.

Amanda Holden, a ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ judge, hosted the evening. Specially filmed video messages from the show’s presenters, Ant and Dec, and also from the very well-known music and TV mogul, Simon Cowell, were also played on the big screen. Throughout the evening, guests were entertained by a number of talent acts from past series of the show including routines from comedy dancers Stavros Flatley, thrilling dance duo Twist and Shout and young drumming sensation Kieran Gaffney.

The event raises a large amount of income from a number of different sources and secures sponsorship from various companies. Tickets were priced at £350 per person and sold out. Additionally, a number of fundraising activities took place on the night.

Celebrity auctioneer Jonny Gould led a live auction of six lots. These included several ‘money can’t buy’ items such as a table for ten people at the Pride of Britain Awards, the last ever Big Brother chair and a behind the scenes visit to the popular Australian soap opera Home and Away. A silent auction also took place throughout the evening. Sixty-three lots were featured, including luxury holidays, special designer items and several more celebrity items including a football coaching session with professional players and tickets to watch the filming of popular TV shows.

Guests were also encouraged to buy a £20 raffle tickets during the champagne reception.

They were also reminded about why the event was taking place. In the middle of the evening, a short yet moving film about ChildLine was played on the main screen. Esther Rantzen, the founder and president of ChildLine, then asked guests to pledge a donation. This raised £14,000, which was then matched by the main sponsor of the event. 

Influence / impact

The event was a huge success. It raised a net profit of £345,000 and also received a large amount of media coverage in several national and regional newspapers, as well as featuring in many online articles and websites.

Merits

This is an excellent example of a well-managed, slick and original fundraising event which used a variety of techniques to engage guests and persuade them to make a donation. The ChildLine ball 2010 proves that fundraising events, if done correctly, can be very successful even in the face of the current economic uncertainty and difficulty.

View original image
The ChildLine ball 2010 was themed to the popular TV series, Britain’s Got Talent.
The evening was hosted by Britain’s Got Talent judge and TV presenter Amanda Holden.
BBC news reader Fiona Bruce and the founder and president of ChildLine, Esther Rantzen, also attended the event.
View original image
Guests could bid on many ‘money can’t buy’ auction prizes including the last ever Big Brother chair.
Throughout the evening, guests were entertained by a number of talent acts from past series of the show including routines from comedy dancers Stavros Flatley, thrilling dance duo Twist and Pulse (as pictured) and young drumming sensation Kieran Gaffney.