Fundraising Event, 156, died February 26, 2020 in Kalamazoo, MI, where it was born, with 95,400 nonprofit fundraisers by its side. A memorial service was held Thursday evening at kitschy renovated firehouse event spaces everywhere, replete with discount Chiavari chairs, bone-color linens, and cold chicken.
Fundraising Event was born as “Kalamazoo Sanitary Fair” on November 10, 1864, the lovechild of Ladies Soldier’s Aid Society of Kalamazoo. As a youth, Fundraising Event moved frequently around the United States until 1948, as a teenager, arriving in New York City under the name “Met Gala.” For the next quarter-century, it found its way until meeting Diana Vreeland, who really cleaned it up. It received a M.A. in philanthropic studies from the Lilly School at Indiana University, though never really did much with the degree.
Fundraising Event was at its best in the evenings, during the months of spring. As a young adult, it was mindful and full of purpose; its closest friends knew it as “modest,” “effective,” and “not a tremendous burden on staff.” As it aged, its tastes grew more refined and elegant, and it started spending time with a more exclusive crowd, which it charged for the pleasure of its company.
Over the past century-and-a-half, Fundraising Event was actively involved with thousands of American nonprofit organizations, particularly arts, culture, social service, and healthcare. Its interests included silent auctions, cloth napkins folded like birds, and imposing upon friends to sponsor high-cost gala tables.
Fundraising Event is survived by its siblings, GivingTuesday and 5k Run/Walk. Though estranged, it is also survived by its cousin, Girl Scout Cookie Drive. It was preceded in death by Haseki Sultan Imaret in Jerusalem.
Donations may be sent to your local chapter of Association for Fundraising Professionals, in support of National Philanthropy Day — fair market value of $45 per person.