Is it High Time for High Tea? | npENGAGE

Is it High Time for High Tea?

By on Mar 15, 2012


I recently came across an Australian organization’s web pages highlighting a high tea function held to honor long-term supporters and to induct newly announced bequest givers into their friends program.   The organization’s mission is animal welfare and they hosted their tea at the nearby botanical garden.  More than 250 people attended!

That’s not it though.  They also hosted a similar event at a more distant location with more than 90 people in attendance to do the same thing – induct bequest givers into their friends program!  This time, it was held at a vineyard.

I have to say, I fell head-over-heels in awe of their ingenuity.  While in the past I’ve hosted similar functions, the location wasn’t my top priority – and maybe the attendance should have told me something.   I used to be satisfied with 20 or 30 people coming to such as event.  If I had it to do over again, I’d spend more time on location, location, location.

Certainly it’s not the most important element, but it’s surely one of the top three.  What better way to attract attendance than to host an event in a beautiful setting?  Wouldn’t you want to come?

The way I see it, it’s a win-win for so many.

  • Your fellow non-profit cultural organization wins when you partner with them for events
  • Your organization wins when you can share your mission story and gratitude with as many people as possible
  • Your participants win by spending time with an organization’s representatives in a relaxed environment – receptive to hear and internalize messages
  • We all win by celebrating and encouraging loyalty and generosity by our most ardent supporters

Check out the pictures and scenes of the RSPCA’s events online.   Maybe it’s high time you held a high tea to say “Thank you”!

*Katherine Swank is a consultant for Target Analytics. You may reach her at

Katherine has over 30 years of experience in the fundraising industry as a consultant, development officer and advancement team manager. As a member of Blackbaud’s analytics consulting team for over a decade, she facilitates strategic, client-facing content for Blackbaud’s custom modeling, wealth screening, and prospect research solutions to enhance clients’ development efforts with data-driven strategies.  Before assuming this role, she served as the national director of gift planning at
the National Multiple Sclerosis Society home office. Katherine has raised over $200 million during her career. She is a past president of the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable, a former lawyer and also served as an affiliation faculty member at Regis University where she taught development-related courses at the master’s level for more than 10 years. She is a frequent speaker at BBCON, NACGP, Apra, AFP and other industry conferences.

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