For most charity events I highly recommend doing a plated dinner versus a buffet. Mainly because with a plated dinner your guests are already in their seats and relaxed, ready to pay attention to the speakers and auctioneer. A buffet takes a long time to before every table is served, which pushes the auction and fundraising way back to a time that people are exhausted and maybe a little too tipsy to give full attention to what you are there to accomplish… raise money!
The secondary reason for having a plated dinner is simple… it is more classy and makes your guests feel like they are at an event that demands respect and high dollar giving. Remember, every small thing that you do to enhance your event has a positive impact on your bottom line. You not only want your guests to leave your event giving every last dollar and then some, but also talk about how classy and fun your event was to their friends and peers. This will result in higher attendance for your next event, which can result in making more money.