We sat down with Lorna Chin, Associate Director, Relationship Data Services and Cortney Bacon, Fundraising Events Supervisor and Jungle Party Manager, to discuss their 39th Annual Jungle Party. They used Greater Giving Mobile Bidding for the first time this year and their guests loved it! Woodland Park Zoo was founded in 1899 and works to save animals and their habitats through conservation leadership and engaging experiences, inspiring people to learn, care and act.
What is the background of your fundraising event?
Cortney: Woodland Park Zoo just celebrated its 39th annual Jungle Party with 1,000 of the Puget Sound Region’s civic and philanthropic leaders.
Lorna: Jungle Party actually started as a potluck and has evolved into one of the best parties in town!
Paint a picture of your event.
Cortney: Jungle Party includes informative tours of animal exhibits, fun-filled bidding on unique items during the silent and live auctions, a colorful reception with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages from the area’s culinary leaders, gourmet sit-down dinner, live entertainment, raffle, a wine ring toss and more!
Lorna: This year’s theme was “Show Your Stripes” and was the fundraising component of a larger summer-long campaign to showcase our new Malayan tigers and conservation efforts within the community and abroad. Jungle Party also had an unprecedented 11 co-chairs whose creative ideas and high energy helped elevate this year’s Jungle Party to a whole new level. We featured some great items in the silent and live auctions such as a Seahawks trip of a lifetime, a Georgia Gerber sculpture and garden foundry party, a luxurious Singita Safari trip and three Show Your Stripes tour tiger ambassadors. We also introduced our first after party where guests could enjoy live entertainment, dancing and beauty treatments.
How successful was your event (based on your own metrics and goals)?
Cortney: This was a record-breaking year for Jungle Party using mobile bidding. We raised over $2 million!
Lorna: We also raised over $900,000 for Fund-Our-Future, our raise the paddle portion of the event, which was another record-breaking number for us. This year’s Fund-Our-Future programs themed “Show Your Stripes: Cause and Uproar!” focused on tiger conservation, animal care for our tigers and sloth bears and our new presentation animal program. Beyond the events financial accomplishments, this year we also incorporated some new elements, including our first ever after party. Greater Giving was a key component that greatly improved the registration process and customer service. We could easily and quickly see who gave us their credit card, who attended and who won what item. We also didn’t have to wait to sync the data between three different systems! These fun, new ideas helped with the overall success of the event. In fact, this year’s Jungle Party was a sold out event, for both the dinner and the after party!