The secrets to a successful fundraising event are to plan, plan, and plan. In other words, a plan and good preparation is the key. A clear plan that was agreed upon by all members of your team early on will save you from the stress and headaches of preparing a fundraising event. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure open communication within your organization.
A fundraising plan is a flexible, written document that changes and improves as you determine what’s best for your campaign to fulfill your project objectives. So, do not be afraid to scrap your initial plans and start again. To make it easier, check out these easy and practical steps as you plan for your first or next fundraising event.
Form a Fundraising Team
It’s essential to create a team consisting of members with various backgrounds and skills. Though it helps if they are fundraising experts, the most important thing is they’re willing to dedicate several hours each day throughout the planning phase.
After you form a group, delegate tasks to each member according to skills and knowledge. It’s always best to invite some members who are outgoing and friendly with vast social connections. Usually, these individuals are not scared to ask for money outright. Also, hire someone proficient at composing letters and grant applications. If possible, bring onboard somebody with an accounting or finance background and any person passionate about what you do. Most importantly, you need a leader with excellent organizational and people-management skills for coordinating your team’s efforts and meetings.
Choose the Right Kind Of Event
When preparing for an event, be sure that it shows the following:
- Audience or demographic
- Available time
- Staff and volunteers
If it’s your first time, you can begin with small events and then aim for larger events after establishing your organization and gaining experience in planning fundraising events. What is important in the meantime is having a community of supporters.
If you want to ensure favorable results for your fundraising event, it’s always best to leave it to the experts. Professional fundraising consultants are highly trained with years of experience, offering a wide array of fundraising services. Specialists like fundraisingcounsel.com can conduct a campaign feasibility study to ensure that your organization is capable of running a successful fundraiser. As they say, “come to us” because “we transform institutions that transform lives.”
Get to Know Your Community
After determining just how much money you need for your project, it’s time to figure out how to raise it. Ask yourself these questions:
- How much money can businesses potentially donate?
- Which businesses are interested in giving?
- How about foundation grants? What do you need to be eligible?
- Do you think the people in your community are interested in attending your event, writing a check, or simply donating cash and getting it done?
- Are other people outside your community willing to support your event?
Make sure to brainstorm with your team and discuss every detail you need concerning the fundraiser. Also, remember to align your objective with potential donors’ objectives.
Plan a Fundraising Timeline
If you don’t have an event date yet, start setting it now. While you can still move the date depending on the circumstances, having a deadline will provide your team with focus and a sense of urgency. Without it, your project might be postponed for many years, only relying on small donations. To prepare for a date, think about the turn-around time for foundation grants and how long the equipment and materials required for the event will be delivered. Take note of holidays and other aspects that might impact delays.
Ensure Positive Experience for Your Donors
Be sure that your fundraising event inspires your supporters. You can consider these tips:
- Invite the right people.
- Make your invitation compelling and emphasize your mission.
- Encourage your ticket buyers to share it with others, like sharing the event on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms.
- Send out paper to those who need it and sell tickets online since most people have access to the internet anytime and anywhere.
- Solicit from both attendees and non-attendees and give them the option to donate more than the ticket price.
- Thank your supporters right away.
Promote Your Fundraising Event
Take advantage of the internet and social media platforms to promote your fundraiser. You can ask corporate sponsors to promote it as well on their websites and social networks. That’s why it’s essential to invite supporters that are also passionate about your cause so that you’ll feel more comfortable and it will be easier for you to ask for favors.
Examine Your Results and Keep Relationships with Your Donors
Assess your results after the event. Were your promotions reliable in attracting new supporters? Did more individuals online or offline participate? Answer these questions and find out what worked and what didn’t. Don’t forget to thank your supporters and maintain the relationship while looking for new donors to support your cause.