Top 5 Nonprofit Gala Theme Ideas — And Auction Travel Packages to Double the Excitement!
By Philantopia on December 19th, 2023 | Categories: Uncategorized

A lot of work goes into planning and executing a nonprofit fundraising gala, and many nonprofit staff and volunteers will spend months dreaming up the most fun, effective, and memorable ways to connect with donors and raise money.

One of the most joyful aspects of planning a gala event is choosing the theme. Donors love getting dressed up and celebrating in style, whether that style is in the vein of the Wild West, a swanky Monte Carlo casino, or something else! Today, we’ve put together some top ideas for gala themes. Take your theme the extra mile by selecting Philantopia auction travel packages that perfectly compliment the event, and watch your donors glow with excitement!

Gala Theme Idea #1: Under the Sea

Think blues, pinks, and greens, with delicious seafood on the menu and ocean-inspired cocktails! Especially if your organization focuses on ocean conservation (but even if it doesn’t!) this is a playful, enchanting theme that offers plenty of room for creativity. 

Add these travel packages to your live or silent auction to lean into the theme even more:

Romantic Bali Travel Package for Two — Snorkeling or SCUBA diving, anyone? Explore the sparkling Indian Ocean from Amed, a stunning coastal town in northeast Bali, where guests will spend seven nights at the exotic Villa Candi Matahari Resort.

Bahia Cabo Hotel Beach Vacation Package (Mexico) — Just off Cabo San Lucas’ most swimmable stretch of sand, Medano Beach, the Bahia Hotel & Beach House offers sunset dinner cruises, snorkeling, beach lounging, a refreshing pool, and much more!

Miami Magic Getaway Guests will spend four nights in a luxurious standard guest room at the Berkeley Park Hotel, just two blocks from the iconic Miami Beach! Miami is an action-packed, thrilling destination, perfect for enjoying the shore, shopping, and getting immersed in the unique South Florida culture.

Gala Theme Idea #2: Carnival

The history of carnival celebrations is well documented, and always involves fun games, plenty of delicious food, often costumes or fancy outfits, sometimes rides, and lots of laughs! Guests will have a ball at your carnival-themed event, and you can add in some wildly fun trips to add to the celebration: 

Santa Monica Beach Getaway (California) — While the ocean is always alluring (especially on the West Coast where it offers stunning sunsets), the Santa Monica Pier is a very special place. Filled with arcade games, rides, and carnival food, guests will have a blast at this unique destination! 

New Orleans Home of Jazz Culinary Vacation Tour (Louisiana) — There really is no bad time to visit The Big Easy, but anyone attending during Mardi Gras is in for an unforgettable whirlwind adventure. This special trip focuses on jazz music and culinary delights — two of New Orleans’ specialties. 

Hotel Barcelona Cultural Vacation Package (Spain) — The Spanish are famous for their annual Carnival celebrations, held on the 7th Tuesday before Easter (the exact date changes every year!) However, Barcelona is always a wonderful place to visit, and on this travel package, your guests will be in for a delicious, cultural adventure!

Gala Theme Idea #3: Wine Tasting

Whether your donors are wine aficionados, fans, or simply enjoy having a glass every now and then, attending a wine tasting is always an adventure for the taste buds. Invite a professional sommelier to really dial up the flavors, and perhaps set up an arrangement with a local wine shop to sell wine for charity!

Take it a step further by including these tantalizing wine tasting trips to your auction list: 

Napa Valley Wine Tour Package in Calistoga (California) — For those who enjoy amazing food, world-class wine, and decadent scenery, this travel auction package is perfect! Guests will be swept away on a six-hour chauffeured winery tour, stopping at three prestigious wineries in Napa Valley. It’s a wine-lovers’ dream come true!

Sipping Bordeaux France Vacation Package — Guests will delight in this incredible travel package that takes them to the heart of wine region in one of the most beautiful locations in Europe. They’ll enjoy a bike tour, full day private wine tour, and the incredible sights and smells of France (pastries, anyone?). 

Under the Tuscan Sun Italy Vacation Package — Bring the friends! This special package accommodates four people in Cortona, where guests will enjoy a private wine tasting at the coolest wine bar in town. There is no place in the world like Tuscany, and guests will have the experience of a lifetime in this spectacular medieval town!

Gala Theme Idea #4: The Wild, Wild West

Cowboys, prospectors, trains, saloons — phew! Stepping into the Wild, Wild West for a night of fun will make for memories your donors won’t soon forget. Perhaps a photographer can create old-timey Sepia-tone images for your guests, and you can serve whiskey-based cocktails. 

Elicit the adventurous allure of the Wild West by adding these trips to your auction docket: 

Mountain Getaway in Jackson Hole, Wyoming — If your donors love the outdoors, they’ll be smitten with this getaway. Just a short distance from Grand Teton National Park, this part of the world is filled with stunning wildlife… and still has that Western flavor of old!

Las Vegas National Finals Rodeo — Nothing says “cowboy” like a rollicking rodeo — and nothing says “rodeo” like the National Finals! Saddle up, because this annual event is sure to be a showcase of spur-wearing, lasso-tossing cowboys and cowgirls from all over the country!

CMA Platinum Experience – Country Music Awards 2024 (Tennessee) — Music has always played a big role in the American West, and what better way to celebrate than with two tickets to the biggest night in Country Music? Catch the most glamorous stars and the best music at this event.

Gala Theme Idea #5: Princess Party Ladies Luncheon

Gather the ladies who lunch for a midday tea party event! Who doesn’t love a spot of tea with cucumber sandwiches and a side of fundraising for a great cause? Of course… you could always turn up the fun and serve a nice champagne at the event, as well! 

These packages will be sure to appeal to the playful princess in each woman! 

Disney World and Space Adventure Vacation Package (Florida) — If anyone’s going to take the princess theme seriously, it’s the folks over at Disney. Pack up the clan and go visit some of the most famous princesses at Disney World; then, meet a real astronaut at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex!

Music and Castles Portugal Vacation Package — Explore historic castles in Portugal and imagine what it was like to be an actual princess hundreds of years ago! This package for four is set in one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, and includes incredible dining and cultural experiences. 

Cabo Mexico Spa Vacation ~ Vista Encantada Spa Resort — Of course, you don’t have to be an actual princess to be treated like one! This five-night package at one of the most peaceful and luxurious spa resorts in Cabo is perfect for a ladies’ getaway. Your donors will love it!

Make the Most of Your Fundraising Gala with Philantopia Travel Packages 

Here at Philantopia, our mission is to help you raise as much as possible with your next fundraising event so you can continue doing the important work you set out to do! Our experienced travel experts can guide you and your team through the process of selecting the perfect trips to offer at your next silent or live auction, raffle, or sweepstakes.

Contact us here, or browse more of our travel packages here.