Whether your business is rallying funds for a noble cause or you’re a non-profit needing a financial boost, orchestrating a successful fundraising event might seem daunting. However, you’ll be relieved to discover that launching an effective fundraiser can be achieved in just a few manageable steps.
Let’s delve into these steps and get your fundraising event off the ground promptly and efficiently:
Set Your Fundraiser Goals
Before you make any moves to plan your event, you need to know exactly why this event is taking place. Fundraising should always have a specific goal amount to be collected, and to calculate that amount, you might think critically about how the funds will be used.
As an NGO, you should intimately know the costs of goods or services you are trying to acquire; if your business is fundraising for a different cause, you might connect with a specific charity to better understand how much they need to accomplish certain objectives.
Having specific goals in place is beneficial for several reasons. First, it provides some guidance with regards to ticket prices, attendance minimums, and more, so your event team can better define the scope of the event.
Additionally, it can help with marketing, giving a purpose to the event that is easy to communicate to prospective donors. It should go without saying that any goals you establish should be realistic and achievable with the time and resources available to you.
Choose Your Fundraiser Type
You can be as creative with your fundraising event as you please. If you are looking for some inspiration for your event, consider the following types of events that are popular amongst fundraisers:
- Gala dinners, cocktail nights
- Fun runs, bike rides, marathons
- Music festivals, guest speakers
- Silent auctions, raffles, market stalls
Different types of events have different advantages and disadvantages. For example, a music festival can help build a community around a certain cause while garnering a good amount of press coverage, but it takes quite a long time to organize.
In contrast, you can probably put together a silent auction relatively quickly, but donors are much less likely to interact with one another. Again, your goals should help guide you toward the type of event that makes the most sense.
Craft a Fundraiser Budget
With your goals set and your event type determined, you can get to work crafting a budget. The more accurate your budget is, the better. If this is your first fundraising event, you should take the time to collect quotes from a wide array of vendors and suppliers, so you can get a sense for how much different aspects of your event will cost.
Talking with vendors may help you get a sense of aspects of your event you hadn’t considered, such as custom wristbands to provide to ticket-holders or an online platform for collecting donations. You might also ask if vendors have discounted charity rates, which can help to reduce your costs and keep your budget in check.
Select Your Fundraiser Staff
No fundraising event can function effectively without a dedicated team overseeing it. You will need staff to manage invitations, to coordinate vendors, to communicate with donors and collect donations and to keep the event organized and running smoothly during the day of. You should absolutely take advantage of your current staff, but you might also need to attract volunteers or use third-party services to fill in the gaps.
For example, there are marketing firms that have special expertise in promoting charity events, and utilizing their training and resources could ensure the success of your event. Any unskilled staff you bring on should be trained appropriately in their tasks, especially if they are going to be handling food, money, children or other potentially risky concerns.
Host Your Fundraising Event
The day of your event has finally come, and it is time for all of your hard work and preparation to come to fruition. Before the event starts, you should meet with your staff to share any last-minute information and motivate everyone to do their best to make attendees and donors feel comfortable, excited, and generally willing to give.
You might provide key members of your staff with two-way radios or other means of communication to ensure everyone is in contact throughout the event. You should also profusely thank attendees and donors, perhaps drawing attention to some of your most generous guests and reminding everyone of the good works that may be accomplished as a result of their contributions.
Fundraising for a good cause can be immensely rewarding in more ways than one. The sooner you start planning your first fundraising event, the sooner you can start putting together outstanding events that make a big difference to the causes close to your heart.