Fundraising event is a widespread form of fundraising, useful to cultivate support and attract new donors. If well planned, it’s an efficient way to gather money, but definitely requires hard work, strong organization skills and also financial resources.
In order to create a successful fundraising event, bear in mind these important 7 steps of the organizational process:
# 1 Define a Clear Goal
Select a goal that has to be unique, measurable, clear and focus all your resources on it. Understanding the goal you want to achieve will help you to figure out the key elements you have to focus on. Most of the time the organizers of such an event just want to raise money, other times they want to promote the organization and reach out to a new network.
# 2 Allocate the Budget
Have you ever heard the saying “it takes money to make money”? That’s 100% true for fundraising events. Therefore, it’s very important to create a detailed budget listing, before you start to plan all the details. The main liabilities concern space rental, staff, catering, entertainment, food and prizes. You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of prizes, since guests really look forward to not only donate, but also win something as well.
Obviously, the budget you decide to allocate is strictly related to the event goal. So, in order to scrape that amount you need, and considering all the expenses you have to face, we suggest you to monitor your budget constantly, leaving a little extra room for unforeseen costs.
# 3 Select Your Target Audience
Selecting the target audience is essential to figure out the right way to persuade them to donate and to define all the details of the event (venue, entertainment, prizes etc.). Try to invite the people you think are very interested in the cause and keep them engaged, sharing the event on the social networks and generating word-of-mouth.
# 4 Find the Sponsor
Anyone can be a sponsor! You can start speaking with restaurants and supermarkets, asking for discount cards or food donation. You can also try to contact big or small companies: bear in mind that every year they have a specific budget that can be devolved in charity. Try to figure out how the event mission is aligned with the company’s goals, convince them that this is a profitable form of advertising and establish a good and long relationship for the future events.
# 5 Recruit Staff and Volunteers
A good staff is fundamental for a successful event, but if you can find enthusiastic volunteers it would be better! First of all, you save money, then they are in the right mood of the event. So, try to reach and involve as many friends, colleagues and relatives you can!
# 6 Promote Your Event
You are planning the most amazing fundraising event of the last ten years, but it will be useless if you do promote it in the right way. Draft a marketing plan in order to accurately market to your target audience. The most effective ways to promote the event are: your website, social media, non-profit’s fundraising network, direct mails, advertising hoardings and word-of-mouth. Go wild, spread it everywhere!
# 7 Follow-Up
Probably one of the most important part of the event is the follow-up. In fact, a typical mistake made at the end of a fundraising event is to be silent. Don’t be lazy, send thank you cards, email the most generous donors and call the volunteers. Keep a good relationship with your donors and the potential ones, you’re probably going to ask them for another donation!