Despite a difficult year of fundraising because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Humane Society for Hamilton County is ending on a positive note.
The HSHC’s last fundraiser of the year, Tinsel & Tails, was held in November and was a larger success than past years, bringing in $250,000 for the nonprofit.
Traditionally held at Ritz Charles in Carmel, HSHC presented the 2020 event at 502 East Event Center in Carmel with the expectation of accommodating nearly 1,000 people. However, as the HSHC staff were setting up the event, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced that events were again restricted in size because of the spread of COVID-19.
Immediately, HSHC staff pivoted to a virtual event.
“We were already doing a hybrid event, so we were going to have however many people in the room and then broadcast parts of it virtually,” HSHC Director of Marketing Max Williams said. “That moment, we decided to go completely virtual, and the pieces were in place already, so that was nice. But taking the whole event and making it virtual was difficult with less than two weeks to plan.”
Approximately 1,000 people watched the virtual event, which raised $250,000.
“To put that into perspective, in a non-COVID world, we raised about $150,000 last year, so it was tremendously successful,” Williams said. “I think people are wanting to see something from us and were excited to still be able to do the event virtually, so people adjusted for that in this crazy time we’re in.”
Williams described the event as an “almost flawless” evening. A silent auction raised the majority of the funds.
“We were struggling with the silent auction through the year because a lot of businesses were closing and a lot of people that we got stuff from in the past were not able to donate this year,” Williams said. “So, we had to get creative. We came up with new and exciting items, such as an hour cuddling with puppies or kitties, naming a litter of kittens or puppies, taking over the Instagram for a day. The silent auction did record numbers, too.”
For more, visit hamiltonhumane.com.