Your company is hosting a large fundraiser event. You have ben tasked to lead the charge. Here are four tips to make your fundraiser event a HUGE success.
#1: Get Your Budget Set Early
The goal of a fundraiser event is to raise money. There is typically a cause or organization that a fundraiser will be raising money for. However, even in a fundraiser, you will have to spend money to make money. It is extremely important to set a budget for this event that will be taking place.
What is the goal?
How much money are you trying to raise for this event? That will determine what type of fundraiser you are hosting. There are all different kinds of fundraisers to bring income to an organization. You could host a Gala fundraiser, a Masquerade ball, or even a silent auction. The list goes on. Choose the amount of money you are trying to raise so you can set proper numbers for tickets sales, sponsorship opportunities, and more.
What are the expenses?
There are many things you will have to buy and spend money in an event like this. The location will probably be your biggest ticket item. If you are hosting a dinner, you will need to budget for the caterers, the servers, and even the cleaners. You may possibly want to hire a moving crew if you will be adding furniture to the desired venue. Special add-ons always make a party more special. Remember, all these things will cost you. So make that budget and get it approved early in the process.
#2: Choose a GREAT location
When you host a fundraiser event, make sure to choose a great location. Your venue can make or break the event. Spending money on the room where the party will take place may save you money on expenses further down the line. A great venue with a great atmosphere can also cause people to give more money when they are present.
Here are some tips to finding a great venue:
- Do your research online.
- Visit many different places before choosing the winner.
- Ask about All the Fees (Cleaning, security, staff).
- Don't forget about parking.
- Make sure to get a list of amenities.
#3: Be Creative
There are so many fundraisers happening for so many great causes. How can you make your fundraiser event stand out from the others? Be creative.
Don't settle for doing what everyone else has always done. Come up with some new ideas. Do something fresh and memorable. Even add a personal touch! This will cause your guests and potential donors to remember your cause. If they remember, they will probably give.
- Photo booths are fun. But have you ever created a mosaic picture with everyone's photo from the event?
- Use a Gobo light to brand your event everywhere.
- Personalize everything, even the water bottles!
- Give a really creative favor that people can take home with them.
- Can the room even smell like something special for your event?
- Hang pictures creatively for your cause.
#4: Don't Forget the Follow Up
Most people want to give to good causes. Many people actually say they will, but then they forget. When hosting a fundraiser event, don't forget about the follow-up. Refuse to believe that people chose not to give; instead, they simply forgot. So don't let them forget about you!
Emails are Great!
For every guest, make sure to get their email, phone number, and even their home address (if they'll give it). Before the night is even over, send them a follow-up email. Set up an automatic email system (like Mail Chimp) to send out automated emails for the next 3 weeks. Make sure every email has a link so they can easily give right away. The online giving portal should be simple.
Texts are better!
Within 24 hours, send a text to each guest and thank them for coming to the event. Whether it's you or your team, make sure they get a text. You can even include the link to give. They know what you want so don't be bashful about it! Sometimes we simply need to ask. Especially follow up with those who pledged or committed to giving while at the event, but haven't done so yet.
Handwritten cards are icing on the cake!
This one is not always necessary, but can make a HUGE difference. No one sends letters in the mail anymore. So stand out! Be different. Send a handwritten thank you card to each guest. Simply thank them for coming. If you have terrible hand writing have someone else write the cards! This will cause that guests or potential donor to think about you and your cause once again and maybe even give!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is the difference between a corporate event and a fundraiser?
A: A corporate event could be a number of different kinds of events: birthday party, team building event, product launch party. A fundraiser is an event usually hosted by a nonprofit to raise funds for a certain cause or organization.
Q: Do event rentals give discounts to nonprofits?
A: Every rental venue is different. If you are a nonprofit, when requesting a quote for a certain venue, make sure to let the event staff member know you are a nonprofit to see if they give discounts. Be prepared to show your nonprofit status.