Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum: How OneCause Fundraising Platform Enabled Event Flexibility



As a remembrance, preservation, and education center, the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum serves to honor and share the pivotal role in which Hawaii played during World War II.

Through programming and exhibits, the museum strives to engage and educate visitors by sharing artifacts, personal stories, the impact and the response to the attack on December 7, 1941 and the Pacific region battles that followed.

Since its opening, the museum has been able to reach more than 2.5 million visitors from around the world and provide educational experiences and programs for school aged children. The museum tells the story of a pivotal moment in American History to help inspire hope and spur a nation to remember the past.



To preserve their historical landmarks and honor the anniversary of the attack, The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum hosts an annual fundraising gala, For Love of Country Gala. In prior years, they leveraged various mobile bidding providers, but struggled to have their event needs met, as the museum’s Director of Development, Woo Kim, explained:

“As we entered 2021, we needed to find a solution that would support our hybrid event goals. We have had experience with other software in the past, but it had limited functionality and did not provide us with what our event needed. We were looking for a new experience that would help our event succeed, especially as the climate around the pandemic seemed to be ever changing,” stated Kim.

The museum needed software that would be flexible to the evolving changes to their event, but still provide an exceptional donor experience for both in-person and virtual attendees.



Through trusted recommendations from other nonprofit organizations in the community, Kim was introduced to the OneCause Fundraising Platform.

“Because of the easy user experience and supportive staff, we were excited to see how OneCause could adapt its software to what we wanted for our event,” said Kim.

Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum was armed with the tools and technology they needed and eager to get their gala underway! With the flexibility provided by the OneCause Fundraising Platform, the museum was able to provide:

A Flexible Event Experience

When preparing for an event, every nonprofit desires to have the ability to adapt to any changes that might occur during the planning process. They need tools that have flexibility built-in.

Though their initial goal was to host a hybrid event, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum decided four months prior to their event date to move fully virtual. This was an effort to keep their donors and community safe with the changes to the state of the pandemic. With their event fast approaching, the museum was able to pivot and move their event format to virtual through reticketing and reorganizing their event processes.

However, four weeks prior to their event, Hawaii restrictions began to lift. Even though it was crunch time, the museum knew that if they could provide some sort of in-person offering, it would drastically improve their donor’s experience.

With the support of the OneCause team, the museum was able to transition their completely virtual event back to a hybrid event, with the click of a button. In just a few short steps, they were able to add an in-person experience for their local guests.

PHAM event site

“Even though our last-minute changes added complexity, it was amazing to be able to provide an in-person experience for our donors. It definitely helped increase the impact of our gala,” exclaimed Kim.

Over the course of their event planning, the museum had transitioned their event format twice! With the OneCause Fundraising Platform, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum was able to make necessary event related changes to provide the most beneficial in-person and virtual experiences to all their attendees through:

  1. Multiple ticket types
  2. Adaptable table assignments
  3. Flexible check-in and registration

With the need for flexibility, the museum was able to host a successful hybrid event even amid last minute event changes.

Seamless Giving with Various Donor Engagements

With a hybrid event, it’s important that attendees, no matter where or how they attend, are still engaged with your event and mission. Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum needed a way to direct their guests to a singular giving experience, even when accessing the Gala in different ways. That is where  the museum’s use of OneCause text messaging became key to their success.

The museum broadcasted their gala event on:

  • Their giving center within the OneCause Fundraising Platform
  • Their website
  • Local television

By using multiple media outlets, the museum captured a wide breadth of supporters, from the local community to attendees residing outside Hawaii.

To connect all these different channels, the museum directed donors to give via a text messaging short code at the bottom of their event stream. This direction helped unify the giving experience across all outlets for their event and pointed all supporters to the OneCause Fundraising Platform.

“With things changing so quickly, we were hesitant to send our supporters physical materials – so directing everyone to the website to donate or understand event changes was key,” explained Kim.

Implementing multiple outlets for their gala allowed for the museum to reach the most potential supporters and not lose out on any giving potential!

Innovation to Empower their Donor Experience

When running an event there are lots of tasks for an organization to do to have a successful run of show. The museum needed a way to lessen organizational management and empower their donors to take control of their own event experience.

One way the museum did this was through empowering guest registration. By sending text messages to all attendees, the museum was able to send event reminders and registration links to prepare guests prior to attending the gala.

These reminders allowed for supporters to feel empowered to enter their own information into the system before arriving at the event, reducing the delay at event check-in!

In addition, the museum used these messages to direct guests to their event site, allowing for easy exploration of auction items, event information, and the live broadcast, all in one place. Overall, their event site provided an easy giving experience for donors and increased their auction exposure!

“With implementing The OneCause Fundraising Platform we experienced limited emails and questions regarding the user event experience, especially when we were already busy with event planning and logistics. It really helped make our event run successfully,” stated Kim.

With the OneCause Fundraising Platform, the museum provided an engaging, flexible, and user-friendly event experience for their guests while focusing on sharing and spreading their mission!



Amidst an ever-changing event, the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum saw great event success!

  • $333,000 in total proceeds
  • 118% of silent auction goal
  • 100+ in-person attendees and a broad virtual audience

Connect with a Cause

To learn more about the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, please visit their website.

Wrapping Up!

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