Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit leading the international fundraising efforts to rebuild and restore Notre-Dame Cathedral. The organization canceled all previously scheduled in-person fundraising events in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To ensure that Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris could continue to safely cultivate and engage its community while attracting new supporters to grow their revenue base, we adapted our 2020 strategy to include more robust digital communications and a large-scale virtual event, Humanity Rising: Notre-Dame Reborn, which took place on October 29, 2020. Our team worked on all aspects of event organization, including: marketing strategy, development of all branded gala collateral and coordination with executive leadership and the Host Committee.
The event was a great success for the organization, with highlights including:
- More than $350,000 raised.
- Over 950 unique viewers during the duration of the gala program.
- An inspirational gala theme that leveraged clear calls to action to rebuild and restore Notre-Dame Cathedral, helping Our Lady rise from the ashes of the tragic fire on April 15, 2019.
- Engagement of high net worth donors who participated at Patron sponsorship levels, as well as mid-level donors who contributed at symbolic ticket levels.
- An outstanding program featuring:
- Remarks by award-winning actress Glenn Close and filmmaker Ken Burns.
- Performances by world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Notre-Dame’s organist Olivier Latry and others.
- A virtual tour of Notre-Dame Cathedral as she stood before the fire, guided by an expert in French Gothic architecture.
- Master of ceremonies Bill Kurtis, celebrated former news anchor and current judge and scorekeeper of NPR’s “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me”
The virtual gala received excellent feedback from attendees, sponsors and dignitaries such as the Ambassador of France to the United States, along with requests for encore showings of the full gala program.