5 of The World’s Biggest Annual Fundraising Galas

By Aneeza Qureshi /London Venue Expert

Thu 23rd Mar 2023 Corporate Venues

5 of The World’s Biggest Annual Fundraising Galas


Image: amfAR Gala Cannes


Though planning a fundraiser can be incredibly satisfying, it’s often tricky to get your creative juices flowing. If you’re lacking ideas for your next big fundraising event, why not look to other successful galas from around the globe for inspiration.

These types of events bring together beloved celebrities, generous philanthropists, and other notable figures to dine, dance, and raise money for worthy causes.

In this article, we’ll look at five of the world’s biggest annual fundraising galas, what makes them unique, and how you can use them as a template for your own event.


The Gold Dinner for Sydney’s Children’s Hospitals Foundation

Photo by Darren Leigh Roberts

Since its inception in 1997, The Gold Dinner has grown to become one of Sydney’s most exclusive fundraising events. The dining extravaganza, held at the Venue Alexandria, helps to raise money for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation, and raised a record-breaking $8.5 million in 2022.

So, what makes this dinner so unique? Well, this annual event features a strictly gold-themed dress code, with guests decked out in their most luxurious metallic attire. The star-studded evening includes a gourmet dinner, live entertainment, and an auction of exclusive items and experiences.

Get inspired: Why not take a cue from The Gold Dinner’s theme and get creative with your event’s dress code? Of course, it doesn’t have to be metallic-themed, but making it something that your guests can have fun with will only add to the magic of your evening. Whatever you choose, consider incorporating the theme into the decor or entertainment to tie everything together.


Art of Wishes for Make-A-Wish UK held at London Museum of History

Natural History Museum Wedding Photography by Motiejus
Natural History Museum Interior, Photography by Motiejus

Showcasing the UK’s best up-and-coming artists, Art of Wishes is an annual fundraiser which in 2022 took place at the London Museum of History (beneath the impressive Blue Whale skeleton). A portion of the proceeds from artwork sold goes to Make-A-Wish UK, with the 2021 event raising an unprecedented £3.5 million and granting 1,600 wishes to children with critical conditions.

Featuring live music, culinary delights, and the opportunity to bid on the previously mentioned one-of-a-kind art pieces, Art for Wishes offers both fundraising for a great cause and priceless exposure for new artists.

Get inspired: Whatever the focus of your event (art, music, food), why not partner with up-and-coming names as part of your fundraising efforts? Hosting your event in a notable space like an art gallery or modern event space can also help create a memorable and sophisticated atmosphere.


amfAR Gala at Hotel du Cap Eden Roc

Taking place in the French coastal city of Antibes, the amfAR Gala is an annual event held at the storied Hotel du Cap Eden Roc. The event raises money for the American Foundation for AIDS Research and is attended by a who’s-who of actors, musicians, and fashion icons. Attendees are treated to a black-tie cocktail reception, a gourmet dinner, and a live auction of big-ticket luxury items.

Get inspired: If you’re looking for a way to get your guests involved, how about a live auction? As well as being a lot of fun and giving attendees a chance to bid on exclusive items, it allows you to highlight the impact their donations will have on your chosen cause. The live element lends a competitive spirit and can create some amazing results for the beneficiaries.


The Met Gala in NYC

Hailed as one of the most exclusive social events in the world (with a guest list that’s hand-picked by grande dame Anna Wintour of Vogue), New York’s Met Gala boasts high-profile guests from the worlds of fashion, film, and music each year. Complete with one of the most-watched red carpet events, and a highly secretive event inside The Met, the gala raises millions of dollars annually for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.

As an invite-only event and with tickets going for $35K, the Met Gala is a truly unmissable spectacle.

Get inspired: Why not ramp up the one-of-a-kindness of your event? Offering a VIP experience to top donors or sponsors can help to give your event a feeling of exclusivity. Of course, you don’t have to charge quite as much as the Met Gala for entry.


Butterfly Ball for the Caudwell Children Charity UK

The star-studded Butterfly Ball is an annual black-tie event, raising money for the UK’s Caudwell Children Charity. The exclusive fundraiser features live music, with notable acts such as Nicole Scherzinger and Jessie J performing at past balls.

A staple of the event is a charity auction, with proceeds going towards the charity’s work to support children with disabilities. A fantastic evening for a wonderful cause. In 2022, the ball was held at The Londoner.

Get inspired: Providing live music at your fundraiser is a fantastic way to pace your evening. It allows guests to relax and enjoy great performances between the other exciting features you have in store.



Whether you’re planning a gala for a business, small charity, or a major non-profit organisation, inspiration is the starting point of every great formal function.

If you’re looking for services or locations for your fundraiser, Venue Crew has you covered. Our range of trusted venues and vendors will give you plenty of choice for your next exciting event.



Venue Crew

Hi I'm Darcy, and I can help you find the perfect venue for your upcoming event, would you like some help?

1 Speak with Darcy