Fundraising events can be a great way to popularize an organization and raise money for a terrific cause. The only caveat: the event must be successful. Putting in the time and energy to plan efficiently, and well in advance, will allow an event to run smoothly and truly astound guests. In order for attendees to feel comfortable supporting a cause, they must contain the knowledge and passion required to make a solid donation. There’s no better way to urge guests to contribute than to give them a memorable, fun and educational experience.
Think about your target market and venue space, and discuss possible activities that would be appropriate for that crowd. After acknowledging the audience and venue, discuss ticket sales, relative to price, sponsorships and package details for attendees. Would the event be upscale? Or, is it more casual?
Once the goal of the fundraising event is established, the budget and ticket sales are set, and the host committee is finalized, it’s time to discuss the details that can create a festive event for supporters. The primary goal of non-for profit events is to build awareness and raise money, and the activities and accouterments that go into a non-for profit event can make all the difference.
- Feature A Slideshow
Showcasing images of “success stories” of those whom have benefited from the organization can help attendees connect with the cause and observe tangible evidence of its pivotal effect in making a difference in people’s lives. Instill hope, urgency and gratitude through powerful imagery, and allow guests to develop a passion to provide a meaningful contribution.
- Have A Photo Booth
Having a photo booth at an event is both fun and useful for leaving a lasting impression. People love dressing up in silly accessories, such as big sunglasses, fake cigars, shiny bling, and goofy wigs, and usually they post the photos on Facebook or hang them at home on the fridge. By preserving the memory of the event, it routinely reminds guests to think of the organization and give back.
- Provide An Open Bar
If it fits in the budget, an open bar can really elevate an attendee’s experience and may even compel them to donate or bid on prizes more generously. While the tickets may be more expensive, the open bar can be a major draw for guests and can really help promote the organization across a wide audience.
- Display Donations On Screen
Studies show that displaying donations in real time on screen can compel others to join in on the fun. Apart from making more money, it’s also a great way to say “thank you” to guests for their generosity and to keep the mood of the event light and happy. Giving acknowledgment also makes contributors feel valued, which can positively reinforce them to support the cause on a routinely basis.
- Ask For Food Donations
Inviting vendors to help sponsor the event through tasty donations is a great way for the committee to save money on the event and to provide guests with an array of bites to excite their taste buds. By building trusting and mutually beneficial partnerships with food vendors, you’ll also make future events for the organization smoother with return business and great results.
- Send “Thank You” Notes After The Event
Sending follow-ups to people who attended the event is a great way to keep them reminded of the event, its cause and the urgency to help. It also shows that you appreciated their presence and donations, and you hope to foster that relationship going forward. Send out a handwritten note, an item, such as a notebook, mug or an item that works well relative to the theme of the organization and event, or a personalized e-card to express your gratitude and gain returning attendees for future events.
- Set Up A Raffle
Beyond the opportunity to donate by purchase of an event ticket, raffles are a great way to provide even more opportunity for attendees to participate and contribute. Plus, the prizes are usually terrific and highly desirable—well worth the bids! Ask for contributions from the fields of travel, entertainment, health and fitness, sports and spa treatments, as those are in high demand and can really gain a lot of traction.
- Encourage People Who Have Benefited To Come
If the organization is to help sick and abused animals find happy, welcoming homes, then bring a few rescue dogs to the event so that attendees can feel closer to them and the organization. Likewise, if an organization is to help children in hospitals feel happier and healthier, bring a few of them to the event to speak about how the organization has helped them. This emotional connection will help promote the organization and its support.
- Have Musical Entertainment
Everyone loves music and dancing. Bring in musical entertainment that suits the organization, the crowd and the venue. Whether it’s classical music during dinner or a DJ for dancing later in the night, find some form of music that will provide guests with a memorable, entertaining evening. You can even include original songs about the organization for a festive, playful addition!
Planning a non-for-profit event can be tough, but with these fun activities and efficient planning techniques, you’ll be sure to gain returning attendees, build long-term relationships, achieve donations and support for your cause, and make a real difference in people’s lives.
Interested in scheduling your next event? Contact Viper Alley at 847-499-5000.