We’ve all been to them: fundraising events that are dull, lacking a pulse, and seemed to go for hours on end. We sit there constantly watching the clock, our minds wandering away from the message at hand trying not to fall asleep – again. So when we get an invitation to this same event, we struggle to find an excuse not to go. Alternatively, we ask ourselves, “I wonder how much is it going to cost for me NOT to have to attend this event again!?!”
Sound familiar? Well, we believe that good fundraising ideas do not have to be a nightmare. Rather, a successful fundraiser runs like a dream, and it FUN! What if you could create a fundraiser that past attendees intentionally clear their schedule and actually look forward to attending again this year? Alternatively, create a fundraiser that past attendees are so excited about that they invite their friends out of sincerity rather than an obligation?
Is this possible? Yes! Is it affordable? Absolutely. Here are some of the best fundraising ideas to put the FUN back into your next fundraiser:
What are some good fundraising ideas?
1. Make them want to come
It happens to all of us. It is a perfectly good weekend. You are enjoying time with your family and then you remember: you have to attend another lackluster fundraiser. Why not do it differently this year? Time is precious to all of us, so why not make your event a place they want to come to. How do you do this? By not repeating the same protocol and schedule every other fundraiser: Dinner….Speaker…Ask….Let’s try and grab them before they leave scenario.
Using an entertainer is one of the best ways to make a successful fundraiser. Entertainers are a fun and innovative approach to fundraising. Sidesplitting comedians, moving Sand Story, and Theatrical Audience Participation is a surefire way to connect with your audience and communicate your brand and mission at your next fundraiser. People tend to give more when they are relaxed and having a good time. No one gets their checkbook out if they are asleep.
2. Know the personality of your fundraiser
Each good fundraiser has its own distinctive personality and audience. You must consider whom you are trying to attract to attend your event. Are you trying to reach parents? Kids with aging parents? Medical needs? Youth Services? Pet lovers? Chances are your organization has a niche market, and your fundraiser must do the same to be successful. A preschool fundraiser is likely to be more successful if it hosts an event where children are welcome. An animal rights event is much likely to gain success with the comedian that understands the benefits and laughable moments of pet ownership. An international relief organization fundraiser will likely benefit more from a Sand Story than a juggler. Matching the mission of your event with the appropriate keynote adds credibility and flow to your fundraiser.
3. Take advantage of Board Involvement
Any meeting planner knows the value of packing out the house. You could have the best entertainer, scrumptious food, and award-winning musicians, but what difference will it make if your fundraiser is poorly attended? Board members are an essential part of any successful fundraiser. Each person knows a handful of people that he/she can attract to your organization. Reach for a goal of a percentage of new attendees that have never heard of your group and place this in the laps of your Board members. Perhaps even have a contest to see who can invite the most people to the fundraisers. Board members know there are responsibilities that go along with an invitation to join, so do not be afraid to include them.
If yours is not a “working board” a fundraiser is a great opportunity to rally support to reach the goals of your common cause.
4. Blast out your Silent Auction
Considering all donations are 100% profit, a silent auction is one of the most profitable pillars of a successful fundraiser. If no one is assigned to oversee this important event, then the silent auction will fall short of its financial potential. Who will organize the committee? Who will gather the items and decide how to present them to gain the greatest donation? Who will decorate the tables and create the bid sheets? Assigning one person to spearhead similar questions will make your silent auction a success.
In addition, get creative with your silent auction items. In addition to the common donations of massages, salon and restaurant gift certificates, secure donations that will be attractive to the niche of your attendees. Having a range of auction items in cost and experiences is another way to make the silent auction catered to a wide audience.
5. Consider the Ask
Almost every fundraiser sets aside a few minutes of the presentation to ask the attendees to partner financially with the organization. This is called The Ask. Attendees expect this and often want to participate. So take some time to consider how your organization specifically needs financial partnerships and clarify that in the Ask. Decide ahead of time who will give The Ask. Many entertainers, even comedians, are experienced and do not mind making the Ask if made aware they are expected to ahead of the fundraiser.
Ways You Can Increase Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising Appeal
Despite having a great cause and good fundraising ideas, many organizations don’t get enough help. That’s why nonprofits need to increase their fundraising appeal. If you are struggling with gaining enough donations, this article will help you tremendously. Here are four ways to entice people and raise more money.
1. Make the Donation Process Simple
A big problem that many nonprofits don’t realize they have is a complicated donation process. Put more calls to action and “Donate” buttons on your organization’s website.
Right after you explain why people should help, offer them the chance to do so.
Many people may be willing to donate but having to look for a way to do it diminishes your fundraising appeal. Ensure that you can accept money from every credit card company. People should always be a click away from donating.
When meeting a possible donor in person, always ask for their help and be prepared to accept said help. Most people are willing to share if it’s easy and fast.
2. Talk about What Matters
Another way nonprofits lose opportunities is by talking about the wrong subjects. Your organization needs money to pay the staff and continue to function. However, that’s not what matters to donors. They care about the cause, not the nonprofit.
When convincing people to help, explain why the cause needs them.
Show them how every donation changes lives for the better and how they are contributing to the greater good.
Your fundraiser’s appeal lies in the changes you make. Focus on the bigger picture instead of the little things.
3. Cultivate Your Relationship with Donors
A healthy relationship with donors means high fundraising appeal. To achieve this, keep in touch with them as much as possible.
Take an interest in the personal lives of your donors. Ask them how they’ve been and how things are going. In turn, they will become more interested in the organization’s affairs.
Whenever they help in any way, make sure to thank them in a personal manner. Send donors small gifts such as stickers or calendars. They will have something to remind them about your nonprofit.
4. Organize Fundraising Events
Such ceremonies are very popular among nonprofits. They raise money while providing donors with fun activities. Events are also excellent for raising awareness.
The key factor in increasing your fundraising appeal is the entertainment you provide to your guests. If they are having fun, they’ll donate more.
To ensure that everyone is having a blast, book a professional speaker.
They can captivate audiences while explaining the importance of their donations. They are the best fit for fundraisers.
A successful event will drastically increase the number of donations and your donors’ loyalty.
There are many talented performers out there. Choosing the best one can be tough. Get the help of an agency to make the process easier. They will get you the right person to represent the organization.
How to Leave Money on the Table at a Non Profit Fundraiser
Now that you have good fundraising ideas and fundraising appeal, it’s time to plan your next Non Profit fundraiser for your organization. The stakes are always high for nonprofits as they do not want to see their financial giving decrease. Yet, often fundraisers do not raise money or even show a loss without financially breaking even. So, what is the deal? Why do so many Non-Profit fundraiser events have the best planning, yet still fail to raise money?
How to give away money at a Non Profit fundraiser
1. Plan everything but the Ask.
As you plan your fundraiser, pay attention to all the important details. Have you checked with the caterer? Is the setting trendy enough? What about the centerpieces and place settings? Do they color coordinate? Remember, the Ask will come together in one way or another. Who cares about pledge cards and pens when they have a beautiful centerpiece they could win
2. Bring up everything you need in the Ask
At your next fundraising event, be sure to tell your attendees about absolutely everything you need for your nonprofit organization, rather than just the single goal of the fundraiser, to raise money. If you are raising money for the tuition of a school, then be sure to mention that your attendees can also donate soup labels to help your school. This way, their minds will not be on the specific need to raise money for tuition, but on how many cans of soup they have in their pantry. Why give cash when you can give soup labels!
3. Be nearsighted when it comes to the Ask
At your next non profit fundraiser, be sure that you only set out collection baskets and nothing else. The attendees will have no desire to make monthly donations, so why even bother to ask? Here’s a fundraising riddle: “What’s better than giving money away at your fundraiser?” “Letting it walk right out the door!”
4. Make the Ask extremely difficult for your attendees
You actually have a choice between two different methods to make the Ask difficult! First, do not have any writing instruments on hand at your fundraiser. Second, forget about credit cards because merchant accounts are too expensive. Forget about the cost of doing business, and only accept cash from responsible attendees that have brought their own pens.
5. Have the janitor do the Ask
At the end of the fundraiser, just randomly select a person who is remotely affiliated with your Nonprofit Organization to do the Ask. It is simple: all they have to do is tell everyone how much they love what you are doing and the sit-down. Do not worry about those meaningless details of financial goals and fundraising needs. Why end the night on such a downer!
For additional help planning your fundraiser for your Nonprofit Organization, call The Grable Group at 615-283-0039. We are experts at helping fundraisers raise money.
We have years of experience with fundraisers. Get in touch with us, and we will help you with good fundraising ideas and find an entertainer who sweeps your guests off their feet. Give us a call at 615-283-0039.