Founded in 1987, the Hands On Children’s Museum’s carefully crafted exhibits & galleries have been a hit from Portland to Seattle. Many parents endure hours of ‘Baby Shark’ on repeat, just to ensure their children, and secretly them as well, get the joy of experiencing all that HOCM has to offer. From their early learning programs, to their field trip opportunities and beyond – the museum has become a staple in the PNW for molding young minds and providing at least a few hours of relief for parents.
With tactile learning at their forefront, HOCM knew it was going to be important for them to implement a creative and unique strategy when it came to their fundraising tactics. As a non-profit organization, the HOCM receives a majority of its funding to expand exhibits and build new programs and events through donations from it’s donors. In 2001, they began their ‘Sand in the City’ event which took place throughout the course of the summer. Though the event was an absolute hit, it was not sustainable as an annual fundraiser – a goal of the museum’s.
In order to ensure the success of the event, in 2014 the idea was presented to transform it from a weekend festival, to a single Gala at the end of the summer. This would allow the museum to continue hosting their themed activities for families throughout the summer, whilst giving parents their own, and much deserved, party of their own.
Another major factor that was important for the museum was finding a place to host 150 + rambunctious adults. As it turns out, we all have a little kid hiding somewhere deep inside of us – especially when the Kool-Aid starts flowing! The HOCM’s Outdoor Discovery Center was the perfect location, and allowed parents to experience the museum’s new exhibits after hours. Think ‘Night at the Museum’ minus all of the bad guys.