Five Tips for Throwing a Fantastic Fundraiser

Americans are a charitable bunch, donating over $410 billion in 2017, according to GivingUSA. Charity events or fundraisers are a great way for organizations to bring awareness to and raise money for their causes. To that point, Eventbrite found that 80% of Americans believe it’s important to come together in person to spark positive change.

Cue your event! Whether you’re planning a 5K run or a black tie silent auction, your event serves as a way to bring together your community and introduce new audiences to your mission. To inspire your community, start with these five tips to drive attendance and donations.

1. Lead with your cause

Why are supporters excited to give? It’s all about the cause. When planning your next event, keep this in mind and focus on organizing an event that emphasizes your mission. Everything from the type of event and it’s the theme, to the marketing and promotion, should hammer in on why donors should open up their pocketbooks and give.

One way to do this is to leverage aspects of your organization into the event theme. For example, walks or runs are a great fit for health-related or local community organizations. A silent auction or gala is a great way to support the arts. Incorporating what donors love about your organization keeps the “why” top of mind.

2. Define your fundraising goals

What are your objectives for the event? Are you raising a set amount of money to fund a specific thing, i.e. raising $100,000 to build a hospital? Or do you have an open-ended goal with a minimum threshold? Whatever your goal may be, define your ultimate monetary goal for the event.

Secondary goals

Do you have additional goals like increasing your social media presence or email subscriber list? Make sure to define the secondary, non-monetary goals you have for your fundraiser.

How will you get there?

There are many ways to achieve your goals, so also plan on how you will achieve those goals – will it be through 5 large donations or pledges for ongoing support?

Once you’ve flushed out your goals, communicate them to your stakeholders – both so your team is on the same page, but also so to hold yourself accountable.

3. Connect with your champions

Nonprofit events are often primarily staffed by supporters and volunteers – these supporters are critical in executing an event. The best place to start, when looking for volunteers, is with your core group of supporters. So, reach out and invite them to participate, especially if you’re a small or volunteer team, you should reach out to your champions early on to get them involved.

Leverage their talents

Your supporter base is likely comprised of professionals in a wide range of fields, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for specialized support! Get the marketers in your network to support with promoting the event, and reach out to an accountant to review your budget.

4. Leverage the right technology

Live events aren’t a complete rejection of technology and digital platforms. In fact, organizing a fundraiser, today Here’s the technology that will help to streamline management and planning:

  • Streamline donor management with fundraising and donor management software
  • Use social media and to drum up excitement for your event
  • Utilize project management tool, like Asana, to keep track of all of the moving pieces
  • Manage registration and ticketing on a platform like Eventbrite
  • Last, use an even app, like Guidebook, for an engaging attendee experience

5. Post-event follow-up

Data suggests that it takes 7 to 12 interactions before individuals make the decision to donate. Don’t get discouraged if every attendee doesn’t donate during your fundraiser, instead, think of it as a touchpoint in your communication plan and an opportunity to continue the conversation.

Continue engaging with attendees by creating a series of follow-up emails. Start with a Thank You, then move on to sharing tidbits and reminders from the event – share photos, insights from speakers, top moments, etc. to keep your fundraiser and cause top of mind.

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