What You Need To Do To Make The Most Out Of Your Fundraising Event

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Written by Tim Grable

June 26, 2019

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Organizing a charity event remains one of the most efficient ways to raise money for a nonprofit organization. However, there is no denying the fact a lot of resources, such as time, money and effort, are needed.

So, in order to fare well when calculating your profit, it’s important to make every bit of that investment count. To help you out, we’ve included a few fundraising event planning tips on how to get more out of your function. 

More often than not, the success of a non-profit event is the result of careful, thorough planning. Yes, this can be time-consuming, but the truth is that what you do before the day of the event can make all the difference.

What You Need To Do To Make The Most Out Of Your Fundraising Event

Organizing a nonprofit event is a fantastic opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your guests, strengthen their relationship with your nonprofit, and significantly boost donations.

Unfortunately, there is no single recipe you can follow to host successful events. However, you can rely on a few proven ingredients to maximize the chances of your fundraiser being a hit.

How To Make Your Fundraising Event Be A Guaranteed Success

This article will focus on highlighting a few essential steps you shouldn’t skip in preparation for your event.

Keeping these in mind will ensure your event has the best chances of being a success and raise a significant amount of money for your cause. Ready to get started?

1. Setting Clear Goals for Your Event Early on

Goals are essential because they help guide your entire event planning itinerary. The more specific you can get, the better, so see if you can break down your goals into subsections.

This will make it much easier for you to outline tasks which need to be completed, as well as to keep track of the progress being made.

What’s more, the staff will also be aware of their primary responsibilities for the fundraising event ahead of time.

It will also help you get better organized, as you will be able to get a head start on the more time-consuming tasks in your fundraising planning checklist. All in all, it will lead to a more streamlined, more efficient planning process that makes the most use out of available resources.

2. Choose a theme

Themes are fun, they can be extremely creative, and you can find one that will fit the type of fundraiser you are having. For example, if it is a fundraising event for cancer research, the theme could be that all the attendees need to wear something pink. Imagine how men would rock pink ties!

3. Make the location attractive

Conference rooms are the most used type of places for fundraising events, but it does not have to be a cold place because of that. You can turn it into a maze, a game, something that will intrigue the attendees, and that will make them say “I wish I would’ve thought of that!”.

4. Marketing Your NonProfit Event

Another thing you should incorporate in your plan has to do with promoting the event to your targeted audience. It’s important to show your supporters that the event is – blatantly put – worthy of their time and donations.

Try to get the word out about your event, generate hype and get people excited about attending. Possible strategies to include in your marketing plan are:

  • using your organization’s fundraising network,
  • mailing invitations,
  • direct mail,
  • social media promotion.

Be careful how you choose your event promotion timeline; the goal here is to engage your donors and build excitement without becoming dull or spammy.

5. Employ a Multi-Chanel Promotion Strategy

One of the keys to turning your fundraising event into a success is ensuring you manage to fill those seats. Therefore, it’s paramount to spread the word to as many people as possible.

To engage multiple groups of followers and boost fundraiser turnout, consider using the following mix of online platforms:

  • Your organization’s website. Create specific landing pages where people can learn more about your fundraiser and reserve their spot on the guest list.
  • Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. These are all great channels you can use to keep your followers up to date with the latest developments regarding your fundraiser. Create special hashtags to increase the online exposure of your event.
  • Pinterest. This highly visual platform can be particularly efficient if you’re hosting a gala action or a themed event, as you can use it to share images of your auction items or your unique decorations. Also, include event hashtags and links to your event’s landing page.

6. Maximize Online Exposure for Your Fundraising Event

Nowadays, there are many available online channels you can use to promote your event. So why not make the most out of them?

In addition to helping extend your reach and sell more tickets to the event, you’ll also get valuable exposure for your cause. Here are a few things you should consider doing:

  • Create an Eventbrite page where you share the most important details about your event and the cause it supports.
  • Spread the word about your event on your social media accounts. You can also ask your donors and staff members to post content which is related to your event on their networks, as well. Event banners or updates about the schedule are just two examples of content they can post.
  • Create a three-part email sequence to send to donors and supporters. The first email should announce the event, the second would serve as a reminder, while the final email is meant to create a sense of urgency and boost last-minute RSVPs.

7. Rally Your Champions

If you want your fundraising event to be a success, you can’t be the only one promoting it. So try putting together a group of supporters who are willing to pitch your event to their friends, families, co-workers, and others who may be interested in it.

Think of people who have already supported your nonprofit, have a full circle of contacts, and are passionate about your cause. Those are your champions.

So get them on board to help you run broader social media campaigns to raise awareness about your event.

Get them involved in the planning process and guide them on what is the best way to describe your organization’s mission.

All of this effort is likely to help increase the number of people who show up for your fundraiser and donate. 

8. Don’t Pass on the Opportunity to Have an Engaged Audience

An engaged audience who feels actively involved in your event is more likely to resonate with your cause and therefore more willing to support it.

So it’s important to focus on captivating your guests and getting your message across in an effective yet not overpowering manner. So a professional entertainer or master of ceremonies can help you achieve that.

9. Invest in High-Quality Entertainment for Your Fundraising Event

It’s important to prioritize creating an enjoyable experience for your guests at your event, and picking quality entertainment can surely help you engage and delight your guests.

However, if you’re not sure what kind of entertainment you should be gravitating towards, here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Keynote speaker. A professional speaker will add great energy to your fundraiser and keep guests focused on your organization’s underlying cause.
  • Magic show. This is a great way to help your fundraiser stand out from the rest and ensure it will leave a lasting impression on guests.
  • Live event painting. A professional live event painter will bring that wow factor to your event, as attendees will get to witness the birth of a piece of art right in front of their eyes.

10. Booking the Entertainment Well in Advance

Some planners leave this part of the planning process for the final stages – only to realize that their first choice of entertainment is no longer available.

To make sure this won’t happen in your case, consider booking the entertainment at least a couple of months in advance. A few top suggestions include musicians, variety acts and clean comedy acts.

The best entertainers have a strong stage presence and command the audience’s attention from start to finish, all while making them feel comfortable and encouraging donations.

Not only that but having the name a professional entertainer on the event invite is likely to help you get more people to attend.

If you are looking for top entertainment which will take your fundraising event to the next level, then go ahead and browse through our portfolio of over 1,500 best-in-class artists, speakers, and performers.

There are plenty of great choices to pick from, and we’re confident the right entertainer for your event is among them. Happy browsing!

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11. Have a Clear Follow-up Strategy

Instead of doing nothing after hosting a fundraiser, you should leverage the wave of interest and excitement the event has generated to create new opportunities for the future.

Make sure to reach out to every guest after the event, thank them for their support and provide them with a new way to engage with your organization.  Stay in touch and provide updates about your cause.

This increases the odds of your event guests becoming some of your organization’s most passionate advocates. This is also a great strategy for turning one-time supports into recurring donors.

12. Putting Together a Back-Up Plan

The details of what this backup plan entails will depend on the specifics of your fundraising event, of course.

The takeaway here is that you should think of the variables in your plan – the things that are most likely to change and disrupt the smooth running of the event.

For instance, if you’re planning to host your fundraiser outside, think about having a backup solution in case of bad weather or other possible disruptions of this kind. This way, you won’t have to send donors home early.  There many also be times that you will need to move your event online and do a virtual fundraiser.

Thinking about alternative solutions in good time will help you avoid getting a panic attack if something doesn’t go according to plan on the day of the event.

Explore More Entertainment Options on Our Blog

We hope you will consider using the tactics included in this article the next time you’re planning a fundraising event for your nonprofit.

Also, if you are looking for more fundraising tips and inspiration, make sure to take a look at some of the other articles posted on our blog.

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