Nonprofit organizations need funding. That’s a given. And a great way to secure the funds your organization needs is through fundraising events. That’s if you manage to engage your donors’ interest and create a memorable experience for everyone involved.
The holiday season is here, and that is great news for charity organizations. Why? Well, people are in a giving mood during the holidays: We know that for a fact.
Clearly, this time of the year is imperative for nonprofits of all sizes.
How can you leverage on people’s increased generosity during the season of giving? It is simple: By Organizing a Charity Event This Holiday Season.
It is an excellent way to boost donations and make sure your cause is the talk of the town.
Easier said than done, right? Here are 8 tips to help you out plan an awesome event:
The timing is right, but that does not mean you do not have to put any thought into it. Keep these tips in mind, and your event will be as appealing as Christmas cookies.
1. Share Stories to Spark Emotion
Stories are the fastest way to get donors to sympathize with your cause. Moreover, they are particularly appropriate for events that take place around the holidays.
You can share stories about your mission, and about the people whose lives have changed for the better thanks to your organization.
These are the moments that will move donors and help them understand what makes your nonprofit so unique.
2. Include Specific Activities When Organizing a Charity Event This Holiday Season
You should consider choosing a general theme when organizing a charity event this holiday season.
Depending on the month when your event will take place, your theme will most likely revolve around Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Winter in general.
Once you decide on a theme, you can start thinking about different activities to engage donors. For instance, you could:
- Have one of your team members dress up as Santa Claus. Set up a photo booth where donors can take a picture with Santa in exchange for a small donation.
- Have an auction to sell hand-made Christmas decorations created by those helped by your nonprofit.
3. Let Donors Know about Your Charity Event Well in Advance
The only possible downside is that many people have already made plans on how to spend their holidays.
You can make sure that will not stand in the way of your event being a success with proper planning. Once you have settled on a date and a location, you can already start promoting your event – even though you do not have all the details in place.
Ask for confirmation, and try to stay in touch as much as possible.
4. Choose unconventional venues
I don’t have to tell you how important location is when planning any type of event.
Hotel meeting rooms may be practical, but they are just not that exciting. In fact, after a while, they get pretty boring, so why not try something different for a change? Let me give you a few ideas:
- Theaters – They make for beautiful, unconventional venues. Just make sure they have all the facilities you need to successfully hold your event.
- A historical venue – Renting the house of a former president or a monument, for example, is a great idea to jazz up your next fundraising event.
- Aquarium – It doesn’t get much better than this! The blue light from the water will set the mood just right and impress your donors.
People like to be surprised, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box and be creative.
5. Make your fundraising event interactive
Events should be interactive. It’s as simple as that. Think about it: People who are at your fundraising event are there because they want to experience your organization beyond the fundraising letter you send out. They want to interact with you and other like-minded individuals and see a mission statement in action.
[ Image Credits: Bloodwise ]
Consider including an element of interactivity if you want your event to stand out, spark interest and inspire donations. You could set up a voting booth and let your donors decide on one aspect of the evening or bring in an expert to teach them a new fun skill that you can link to your cause.
Whatever you do, make sure you make your supporters feel like they are part of the event.
6. Set the mood for giving
One key to a successful fundraiser is to make your donors feel like they want to give. You can do this by sharing meaningful stories about your organization and the work you do. Don’t just talk about how their contributions will help your chosen cause. Show them how they help your organization with pictures, videos or testimonials. Better yet, get those who have been helped by your organization to speak at your event.
7. Select a theme that fits your guests
Having a theme can immediately add interest and excitement to any fundraising event. It also helps make it easier to organize the décor, food, entertainment and special giveaways for the evening. There are plenty of themes to choose from. The most popular are fashion, popular culture, history, art and politics. Starting with one category, you should be able to come up with a specific theme to please your audience.
8. Don’t Overlook Entertainment when Organizing a Charity Event
Donors don’t only come to your events because they want to know more about your organization, but also because they want to have fun, and entertainment plays a key role in that. As you might have already guessed, the biggest factor you need to consider is your audience.
Everybody loves to laugh, so you can’t go wrong with a comedian who can entertain your guests throughout the event. We think Bob Nelson would be a great addition to any charity event since he has plenty of experience with fundraisers.
A big part of Organizing a Charity Event This Holiday Season that will increase funds has to do with creating a giving environment. In other words, setting the right atmosphere.
We have already established that donors tend to be more active during the holidays. However, you can further boost donations if the ambiance is fitting. Needless to say, entertainment plays an essential role.
The acapella music group Linkin’ Bridge would be an excellent choice. They will surely impress guests with their warm harmonies and emotional performances.
Looking for a variety act that will remind guests how important their presences is for your cause? In this case, we recommend Heidi Schwartz – a live event painter everyone will remember.
Just like Santa Claus, this opportunity only comes once a year. Now is the perfect time to plan for the new year, and make these last months count.
You can use the tips shown in this article to tweak and improve your current holiday campaign, or save them up and use them next year.
Either way, we hope they would be of good use to you.