We can offer innovative ideas and fundraising solutions that can help your nonprofit achieve a fundraising goal that you thought was out of reach.
As a nonprofit, you are short on time, money and staff. You have aggressive fundraising goals but don’t know how to achieve them because you have a short list of dedicated, albeit overworked, volunteers and/or staff. Perhaps you have brand new staff or board members who are not familiar with your donors or are just new to fundraising in general. Maybe your fundraising efforts have plateaued in recent years and you just don’t know how to reach that next level.
GFS Events creates timelines, offers procurement assistance, reaches out to sponsors, produces job descriptions for volunteers and manages the day of event details so that you can connect with your donors and guests and cultivate those relationships which will lead to higher dollars for your event. Your guests, donors and sponsors will thank you for running a well-executed event. Your board members will thank you for raising the dollars you need to achieve your mission.
Our nonprofit clients often feel a sense of excitement during the event planning process. GFS infuses energy into your planning committee and volunteers because we make the entire process seamless and fun—not taxing and dull. On the night of the event, our clients feel a sense of accomplishment. When the event runs smoothly and we raise the dollars we hoped for, there is definite joy!
Schedule a 30 minute fundraising analysis to review your past events or discuss the goals for a future event.
I was initially drawn to the development and nonprofit field because of my interest in the health care field. This interest eventually led me to a master’s degree in Healthcare management from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Years of working in strategic planning and business development for hospitals and healthcare organizations gained me the analytical skills, organizational expertise and compassion that I now bring to the field of nonprofit fundraising and event management.
Healthcare management was a field I enjoyed but my real passion developed when I joined a board for a local nonprofit over 10 years ago. I realized how much I enjoyed fundraising, nonprofit work and that I had the skills to be successful in this field. As a wife and mother to three wonderful children, it is important to me to also teach my kids the importance of nonprofit work. My family regularly supports and volunteers at many of the events we do each year.
I started GFS Events in 2012 because I knew that nonprofits needed help through my own board and volunteer work. I am an entrepreneur by nature and starting my own businesses was a natural progression of my goals and skills. I really listen to my clients to understand their needs. So many nonprofits need assistance with creating and executing a successful fundraising event. You can have a committed set of volunteers but you also need expertise, organization and knowledge of fundraising principles to really knock it out of the park.
I love fundraising. I love working with nonprofits and helping them to reach their goals. I have been able to double and sometimes triple the fundraising goals for my nonprofit clients. It makes what I do every day a privilege and not just a job.
Makenzie Santerelli has been working in the nonprofit world for many years. She was event coordinator for A.R.A.S Foundation and coordinated procurement and event management. She has also worked with Lake Samm 4-Square Church and Youth with a Mission (YWAM) helping with fundraising, organizing events and mission trips. She has served as Outreach Coordinator for Bellevue College for the past two years. She has a passion for advancing women’s rights in society and confronting important issues such as safety and equal opportunity. She has been with GFS Events since spring of 2016 and enjoys working with passionate people in the nonprofit field.
Theresa Larsen brings over five years of nonprofit fundraising experience to GFS Events. Theresa has experience with organizing, planning and executing fundraising events. She developed her expertise in fundraising and events while serving on the executive boards of a few local nonprofit organizations.
Theresa loves helping nonprofits fundraise because of the positive impacts on society that these organizations make. Nonprofit events are so important because they increase the organization’s visibility and provide opportunities for current and potential donors to interact with the organization. Her exceptional level of detail helps to ensure that events go smoothly.
Theresa is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Her interest in nonprofit fundraising led her to obtain her Master of Public Administration with a focus in Nonprofit Management from Seattle University. Theresa is the mother of two children and she lives in Issaquah. In her free time, Theresa enjoys snow skiing and hiking.
Kavitha Peters developed her passion for fundraising and event planning while serving on a local nonprofit board over the last four years. She has managed the planning and execution of a variety of fundraising programs including auction events, corporate sponsorships, and fun runs. What she enjoys most about working with nonprofits is building relationships and community involvement. She is especially passionate about advocating for children. Kavitha holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Richmond and completed her graduate studies at the University of Florida. She lives in Sammamish with her husband and two children. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking and exploring all the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
"Gazala was outstanding to work with for our recent Tee Off for Valley Health golf tournament fundraiser. She is highly organized and provides a very detailed timeline at the start of the project and consistently follows through and follows up on the essential project tasks. She provided key support in identifying and following up with sponsors, recruiting golfers, creating advertising materials (web-based and print), and running a smooth event. Throughout the planning, Gazala was always willing to stop by our board meetings to touch base, answer questions, and encourage board member involvement in the event. This really helped build enthusiasm for the event. Additionally, Gazala is very personable and people respond very well to her. This is a great trait to have in a person who is seeking sponsorships for fundraising events!"