Many nonprofits rely on fundraising events to raise a lot of money in a short period of time. But organising a fundraising event is not an easy task. You have to work out many details to arrange a fundraiser that will inspire people to donate. No matter what the size and the theme of your event, there are a few things you need to take care of to make sure your event will have a favourable outcome.
Plan a Budget
A great cost-benefit analysis that will compare the costs of hosting a fundraiser with the money that’s expected to be raised is the first step in planning a budget.
Experts agree that fundraising events should generate a 60%-profit margin. Keep that in mind when planning a budget. Set aside 40% of the money you are planning to gather, to cover all the costs of the organisation. And then make sure that the costs don’t exceed that budget.
Invite the Right People
To make your fundraiser a success, you’ll have to attract the right kind of donors. Don’t just invite everyone. Think carefully about who’s likely to care about your cause and who has the money to back it up. Browse through your previous guest lists. Check out your newsletter subscribers base for interesting names. See who follows you on social media channels.
Then select the names that are likely to contribute to your cause and invite them personally. Giving your invitation that personal touch will help you entice people to show up. Also, make sure to send out paper and digital invitations a few weeks in advance. If you are unsure about the design of your invitation, browse the internet. Websites like Evite and Canva, for example, offer plenty of free templates you can use to animate your guests.
Pick the Venue
The right venue can in many ways influence the number of people who will attend the event. Make sure that the venue is big enough to encompass everyone you were planning to invite. Pick a place that’s at a convenient location with an easy access even for people with reduced mobility. Also, make sure that the staff is professional and reliable, by having a little chat with the staff members before you commit to a place.
Hire an Event Planning Company
Organising a fundraiser all by yourself can be overwhelming. So why not hire a professional to help you out? For a small fee, the event organising company can lend you a hand with almost everything and bring more people to the event. Professional fundraising event organisers know where the best location is, who to call, which food to order and can help you create a buzz around your event. Hiring a professional organiser will save you a lot of time that you can spend handling other tasks. Fundraising Events can also help you put together a very memorable night, which will surely help you achieve your funding targets.
How to Select the Menu
Often the venue you have chosen will offer you their own menu for the event. Many decide to accept this offer since it’s easier to have everything in the same place. If you decide on using the venue’s food and drink, remember to go through the menu and try to adapt it to your cause. You don’t have to accept a prearranged menu. You can always ask for additional meals and drinks. Nothing’s set in stone and everything can be negotiated.
If you choose to use catering, make sure to select someone reliable. When it comes to fundraisers, you need the food to be delicious, but also on time.
Another thing to consider is how the food and beverages align with your cause. If you are raising funds for an animal-related charity, a vegan menu could be your best option. Speaking of vegans, remember that you’ll have all kind of attendees with different dietary habits and limitations, which is why you should always have several options regarding the food.
5. Don’t Forget the Promotional Activities
If you want to ensure that your fundraiser is a success, you have to invest some time and money into advertising the event. No matter how important the cause, you’ll still have to convince your attendees that the fundraiser is worth their time and money.
There are several ways to do that. You can use your fundraising network to spread the word about your event. Email online invitations or send paper invitations via direct mail. Or use your network of collaborators and former donors and rely on the word-to-mouth promotion. Promoting your event doesn’t have to cost a lot of money as studies show that 27% of nonprofits spend less than 1000 dollars on marketing efforts a year.
Not all fundraising events reach the desired goal, but if you follow these tips, yours certainly will. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to host fundraisers that will attract more attendees and more money to your cause.
Check out our post on how to set up an office reception as well.