Theme Ideas for a Charity Gala

Updated March 23, 2017

A charity gala is an elegant affair that deserves an equally elegant, sophisticated theme. Give guests the chance to showcase both their style and creativity at your charity gala. The more glamorous they feel, the more generous they may be.

Vintage Themes

Nothing says "classy" like a well-done vintage party theme. Try Old Hollywood for your theme; roll out red carpets, set a black-tie dress code, serve champagne in goblets and give long cigarette holders as party favours. Or use the Roaring Twenties as a theme. Your venue could be decorated to resemble a 1920s speakeasy or cocktail party. Ladies could wear flapper dresses and long pearls. You could also have a "Jackie O and JFK" gala theme. Both had impeccable style and were the closest to royalty America has had.

Literary Themes

Literature can provide a wealth of inspiration for gala themes. Have a Greek mythology theme. Decorate your venue to look like Mount Olympus and instruct attendees to dress as Greek gods and goddesses. You could also use "Gone With the Wind" as your theme. Turn your facility into a flashy Atlanta mansion or a plantation house. Tell ladies to dress in antebellum ball gowns and men in Rebel or Yankee soldier costumes.

International Themes

The foreign or exotic can give your charity gala a thrilling ambience. Turn your venue into Paris with replicas of the Sacre Coeur and Eiffel Tower or set up a long fountain leading to a Taj Mahal replica. Paint everything white and have guests dress in sarongs and saris. You could also use the hot Buenos Aires nights as inspiration. Set up parrillas, brightly coloured decorations and a big dance floor. Play tango music and tell guests to wear their best dancing clothes.

Location Themes

Set up card tables with professional dealers and turn your charity gala into a Las Vegas casino. Tell guests to wear their flashiest finery and let them gamble the night away. You could also have a mountain theme. Scatter fake snow and create mountain replicas. Instruct attendees to wear white, glittery attire and arrange faux snow-covered trees throughout. Or, try a football stadium theme. Put down turf and set up big-screen TVs along the walls tuned to sports. Use white paint to delineate field lines, set up inflatable field goals and serve appetizers from upside-down football helmets. Tell guests to wear a favourite football jersey.

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About the Author

Kate Bradley began writing professionally in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a minor in German from Berry College in Rome, Ga; TEFL/TESOL certification from ITC International in Prague; and a Master of Arts in integrated global communication from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.