The Complete Guide on How to Organize a Fundraising Event

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Written by Tim Grable

December 4, 2018

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A fundraising event is a popular way to raise money for an initiative. While they can be very rewarding, you also have to consider that organizing successful fundraising events can be expensive and will require much hard work.

Thankfully, we have put together a comprehensive guide which will walk you through the essentials of  How to Organize a Fundraising Event which is set to win!

1. Establish the Event’s Purpose

Usually, besides raising money for an initiative, a fundraising event has a secondary objective it must achieve. Before going on to organize the event, you must establish what you are ultimately trying to accomplish through it.

Maybe you are looking to raise awareness, to gain publicity or to network. Whatever the reason might be, you want your objective to be clear from the get-go.

After that has been settled, then you can figure out how to proceed next.

2. Set Your Fundraising Goal

It would be best if you established what monetary threshold you are looking to achieve. There a few variables to consider when you’re deciding what amount of money you want to raise when you organize a Fundraising Event.

The Complete Guide on How to Organize a Fundraising Event

This depends on what is the objective of your initiative, what will the money be used for or what their intended purpose is. Once you have established that, you can proceed to come up with ways on how you will raise that amount of money.

There are numerous ways to approach this aspect. You can maybe have an entrance fee, or you will rely entirely on donations.

3. Consider Your Budget When You Organize a Fundraising Event

It would be best if you did a listing of all the expenses required for the event. Knowing the budget is essential to give you a sense of the event’s possibilities and how it will pan out.

Your budget plan should include the expenses of the following:

  • staff
  • invitations
  • rent for the venue
  • catering for the event
  • security
  • the utilities
  • entertainment
  • props.

Remember always to have some extra money for situations which might lead to unforeseen costs.

It’s imperative, when you’re budgeting, taking your fundraising goal into account – you wouldn’t want to end up spending more than you are looking to raise.

4. Promote Your Fundraising Event

Think of your event as something similar to a new product. Once you’re ready to put it out, you need to market it to ensure its success heavily.

It would be best if you convinced your audience that this event is worth spending their time and money on.

marketing, plan

There is no cookie-cutter way on how to successfully market your fundraising event, but that is the beauty of it since you can get creative with this process.

Some methods of spreading the word about your event are invitations, flyers, posters, contacting the media, publicity campaigns or word of mouth.

5. Offer An Amazing Experience

You want your event to be special and to offer your audience a meaningful experience. That is why you should consider entertainment as the main attraction.

You will quickly see the benefits of entertainment in how people will perceive your event.

What Type Of Fundraising Event Should I Organize?

Organizing a fundraising event can be very beneficial for your organization, no doubt about it. It can build quite a positive reputation, and people will be more willing to support an organization that does something for the community.

If the public perception is positive, then you can be sure that this will have favorable effects on your organization’s goal. That is why it’s safe to say that the right event idea can be worth millions.

Here are a few excellent ideas to help you get started.

1. Set Up an Art Show

Art has the power to capture people’s attention. It evokes both strong feelings and thoughts. So perhaps, one of the most impressive traits that it has is that art has the power to spark a dialogue.

If you choose art as the central theme of your fundraising event, you should consider one of the following ideas:

  • Organizing an exhibition. The chances are that there are at least a few local artists who want to gain a bit more exposure for their art. You can ask them to donate some of their works. If there are any potential buyers, you can put the art up for auction.
  • Organizing an art sale. You can turn this type of event into an open fair, where artists put their works up for sale.
  • Talent showcase. In this type of event, the focus will be entirely on the artists. You can hire them to showcase their skills to the audience live.

For this last part, we can suggest an incredible idea for entertainment that will surely take the attendees by surprise: sand painting in front of a live audience.

Joe Castillo is one of the most renowned sand painters in the world. His artistic prowess and ability to create a compelling story are unmatched. And that’s why his shows are a treat to watch.

2. Organize a Benefits Concert

A benefits concert is a very ample way of raising funds for a noble cause. Music has the power to get people together and to unify them toward a common goal.

Not to mention, the prospect of listening to good music while helping to make a difference in the world sounds tempting to anyone.

What Type Of Fundraising Event Should I Organize?

For this type of event, make sure you book a venue that’s large enough to host a band and a large audience.

As for the artists, you can recruit local artists to promote local talent. Besides that, we also suggest hiring a professional musician or a band.

Having many years of experience on stage, they are bound to offer your audience a truly unforgettable experience.

3. Put Together a Dinner Party

Whether you want the event to be formal or a tad bit lighthearted, one thing is for certain, a great dinner party never fails.

Parties of this type are usually luncheons, cocktail or wine-tasting events.

lounge, meeting, conference

While everyone is gathered to enjoy their delicious meals, we recommend you provide them with some entertainment.

In this instance, we can suggest hiring a comedian. Someone with an energetic attitude and a lot of humor is bound to make your fundraising event a blast.

How To Successfully Market Your Fundraising Event

Hosting a fundraising event is still one of the most efficient ways to re-energize your long-time donors and recruit new supporters.

Also, the more people you get to attend your event and rally up behind your cause, the better.

To help you with that, we’ve listed a few powerful ways to increase attendance at your next nonprofit fundraiser. 

The Complete Guide on How to Organize a Fundraising Event

1. Reach out to a Social Media Influencer

In addition to promoting your event to your email lists and across your social media accounts, another thing you can try is influencer marketing.

Chances are you’ve heard about this already, but just in case you haven’t, influence marketing is a modern take on celebrity endorsements.

It involves teaming up with a person who has a large following on social media (which can range from thousands to millions of people).

The idea behind it is pretty simple. You get an influencer to share details about your organization, cause, and fundraising event with their followers.

By doing so, you can reach an entirely new base of potential supporters who may want to buy a ticket to your event. The secret here is to team up with the right influencers, meaning influencers who:

  • post content which is relevant to your event/the cause it supports
  • are a good fit in terms of the values they promote on their accounts and their overall personal brand
  • have an engaged following.

There are different tools you can use to identify influencers in your sphere. Scrunch, for instance, lets you pinpoint the right influencers based on specific keywords, topics they’ve posted about on social media, and more.

2. Host Pre-Event Sessions Online

Offer people the opportunity to engage with your organization virtually – and give them a taste of what they can expect on the day of the primary fundraiser.

Highlight any exciting activities which will take place or feature a short Q&A with one of your key speakers or special guests.

This can help you get to folks who may still be on the fence about attending your fundraising event – and make them swing in a favorable direction.

Once you know which the points you want to make are and how the pre-event should go, you can easily host live sessions using:

  • Facebook Live
  • Instagram Live
  • Twitter chat
  • YouTube Live Streaming.

Of course, don’t forget to mention where people should go to register for your fundraiser. Make sure to link to your event registration form on each platform you use to host these pre-event sessions. It should help you increase the number of tickets sold even further.

band, entertainment

3. Book Exciting Entertainment for Your Fundraising Event

Entertainment is an excellent way to make an event seem more exciting – and thus more appealing to potential attendees.

So the good news is you have plenty of great options to choose from. You can, for example, book a professional magician or a live painter to delight the audience and make your event stand out.

Or you can hire a professional speaker to inspire your audience and raise awareness about your cause.

If this is something you want at your event, you should know we can help provide best-in-class entertainment at your fundraisers!

Start browsing our portfolio of over 1.400 keynote speakers, artists, and comedians to find the best fit for your upcoming event.

Kick Your Fundraising Event into High Gear

The ideas featured in this article are great to start a fundraiser, but why stop here?

We, the Grable Group, are a booking and talent management agency. If you want to enhance your guests’ experience, then don’t miss the chance to hire professional entertainers for your event.

If you are considering How to Organize a Fundraising Event, then do not hesitate to call us at (615) 283-0039 and we will gladly help you find top-quality entertainment.

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