As we move into the holiday season, people are generally in a giving mood and it’s a great time to throw a memorable fundraising event! Organizing a fundraising event can be time consuming and expensive, but if your planning is right, you’ll get back an amazing return from your donors.
Tips for organizing a great fundraising event
A lot of planning goes into the arrangement of any fundraising event. Here are a few quick tips that should help maximize your efforts BEFORE the day of the event.
- It is important that you establish a quantitative goal for your event. This will allow you to conduct the event in a manner so that your goal is reached.
- Identify your target audience and invite the guests accordingly – this could be a time consuming task, but it’s well worth the effort. You will need to optimize your database of potential donors and ensure that as many of them as possible attend your event.
- Make sure that there are enough volunteers to help you with the event. The volunteers can help in different ways – welcoming the guests, coordinating a smooth event flow, reaching out to your audience for their contributions and giving your audience a nice send-off after the event is over.
- Have your event promoted using a variety of different media. Sending emails or WhatsApp messages cost next to nothing and you should fully utilize these platforms. Facebook and Twitter should also be used for these communications so that a larger audience gets to know about your event. Encourage your social media followers to reply to invitations and constantly share the event with their friends and colleagues.
- Even after the invites have gone out, your marketing activities for your fundraising event shouldn’t stop. Focus on periodic pre-event communications so that your audience is excited to be part of your event.
- Have your fundraising goal clearly mentioned in your invites and in all your associated marketing activities.
- If this invite list needs calling (apart from sending the invites through email etc.), you should have volunteers assist with calling your guests to maximize attendance.
- Leverage different channels for selling event tickets – both online and offline.
- Practice the execution of the event so that it sails through smoothly – trial runs are a must if you want your fundraising event to succeed.
How to raise more money during your fundraising event
Your event should have a range of exciting activities that your audience is going to enjoy. Let people participate in challenges, singly and in groups, and interact with each other. A happier audience is bound to lead to more money being raised.
Live auctions tend to work wonderfully well in fundraising events and you should have your own. If you have an auction going on, be sure that you keep the momentum going throughout the auction. If there are too many items to be sold, the momentum tends to slacken after a while, something you cannot afford. Stick to a time timeline for the auction portion of the evening, and put up the best items for sale.
Last but not least, you should have your pledge campaign in place during your event. The pledges can be shown live using technology and your MC should be able to holler and motivate more and more guests to make their pledges during the event. Once the pledge wheel starts rolling, the momentum does build, but you need someone to keep the action running at full-speed all the time.
Make your audience feel important and ensure you send them a “Thank You” note immediately after the event conclusion – this will ensure that your donors feel proud of the work that they have done!
In the end
Fundraising is the best way to ensure that your goals are met. When a lot of people contribute towards a goal, the individual contributions are well within the budgets of most. A nicely conducted event where you have plenty of action for your guests gets them into a giving frame of mind. And it is at this moment that your volunteers should urge them to make their pledge. Follow these tips, and there is no reason why your fundraising event will not be successful.