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Adrienne Gaffney, writing for Billboard covers The (RED) Supper fundraising event and the logistical roadblocks caused by an intense thunderstorm that befell the charity’s New York City campaign launch for AIDS relief. Adrienne Gaffney is a freelance writer who has worked on the staff of The Wall Street Journal Magazine and Vanity Fair. She grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts and lives in Manhattan.

The Roots, Mario Batali Weather NYC Thunderstorm for (Red) Charity Dinner

Questlove of The Roots peforms at the Infiniti presents The (RED) Supper fundraising event to launch EAT (RED) DRINK (RED) SAVE LIVES on May 31, 2015 in New York City. Noam Galai / Getty Images for (Red)

Questlove of The Roots peforms at the Infiniti presents The (RED) Supper to launch EAT (RED) DRINK (RED) SAVE LIVES on May 31, 2015 in New York City. Noam Galai / Getty Images for (Red)

By Adrienne Gaffney | Billboard | 6/1/15

1,000 sopping wet guests arrived at New York’s Pier 26 on Sunday for the (RED) Supper, a dinner launching the Bono-led charity’s month long fundraising campaign for AIDS relief. A monstrous thunderstorm had presented additional logistical obstacles for the event’s host, Mario Batali, and the chefs he’d enlisted to prepare an outdoor meal for the masses in NYC.

“Nothing’s insurmountable,” Batali explained, sipping a berry cocktail and sampling an appetizer. “You go back and you look at them and they’re all happy. Maybe the rain has been dumped onto their grill or their fryer isn’t really hot right now but it will be in a minute. Working under slight adversity is how you can really tell a great chef from a pretty good chef.”

mobilecause-outlook Working under adverse conditions, The (RED) Supper fundraising event managed to keep patrons fed and happy. “Nothing’s insurmountable,” stated Mario Batali, celebrity chef and the event’s host. Even though some were soaked, the quality of the food and great music that accompanied the event, made it all ok for the 1,000 guests stuck in the rain.

Be Ready For Your Fundraising Event

Before you finalize ideas for your next fundraising event, take a little time to work through these simple steps to plan and prepare to avoid disaster and ensure success.

Spot the Danger Before It Does You In

The Scouts have been using the motto “Be Prepared” for over 100 years and it’s still good advice. First think about the different things that could go wrong before and during your event. Make a list of every disaster, big or small, that could happen. You will use this list later to come up with solutions to help you avoid frantic, last minute scrambling. For example, consider what happens if there is bad weather, a sponsor or celebrity pulls out at the last minute or someone has a medical emergency during your event. Identify the dangers so you can plan accordingly and earn your preparedness merit badge.

Figure Out the Odds and What Comes Next

Each of the risks that you identify has a certain amount of probability of ever actually happening. Assign a threat level to understand those odds and severity of the impact each scenario would have on your fundraising event. Like if the forecast calls for snow, which may close some roads to your venue, which may prevent your largest donors from attending your event.

Plan for Each Emergency

Now it’s time to come up with solutions to overcome each of the potential risks you identified for your fundraising event. Create contingency plans to cover every scenario taking into consideration the likelihood and impact for each one. For example having backups ready for things like sponsors and musical acts and an alternative venue in case of inclement weather.

Scenario planning for your fundraising event ensures your success by preparing you for whatever calamity may come your way.

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