You’re passionate about your cause and now you need to host an event to raise funds. Many established nonprofits hold annual benefits or have seasonal campaigns, but what if you’re new to the fundraising scene?
At The NEW Center, we’ve hosted a variety of events, from seminars and corporate training sessions to galas and fundraising events.
So, whether you’re a seasoned planner or a hosting novice, we’ve noticed a few tips that the most successful events have in common.
1. Start with a Vision to Develop a Winning Plan
The best events start out with a great plan. Take some time to figure out how you are going to raise funds.
- Are you using a silent auction?
- A gala dinner with a prominent guest speaker?
- A donor appreciation party?
Once you know how you plan to generate donations, the framework of your event will becp,e clearer. Now, you can breakdown your event’s framework into smaller steps and move onto tip number two.
2. Build Your Team and Delegate
No matter how passionate you are, you’re going to need some help making your event successful. You’ll need to take the smaller steps you’ve already identified and match them to people in your organization.
Be sure not to overlook the role of volunteers. You may already know someone who is perfect for a particular task. Do not be afraid to ask them for help, even if they are not currently involved with your organization. This can be a fantastic way to build your organization.
But don’t forget about the event planners at The NEW Center! Our team can help you cover all your bases and take some of the stress out of planning.
3. Coordinate Online Promotions with Traditional Marketing Materials
Everyone recognizes the power of online marketing and social media to generate interest for just about anything these days. Your event will need a strong online presence, but do not neglect those often-forgotten offline techniques.
We’ve noticed that a significant amount of an organization’s donor base is often not as engaged with social media as the organization. These folks still enjoy a written invitation or a simple phone call.
When you pair and coordinate your online and offline efforts into a consistent message, you have a much better chance for success.
4. Enlist the Help of Influential Ambassadors for Your Event
You can multiply your success by employing what marketers call “social proof.”
Reach out to some of your most passionate and influential members and ask them for help.
They can reach out on your behalf to other prominent members of your community or share your event heavily on the social media channels they frequent.
This strategy can bring your event to the attention of many individuals in your community who would otherwise be blind to your organization.
5. Match the Venue to Your Event
You may be reluctant to budget for a venue to host your event. We understand that your goal is to raise funds and not spend them. However, having a beautiful place to hold your event that makes donors feel at home is a strategy that can actually increase donations.
For example, if you are holding a dinner with a keynote speaker, choosing an elegant environment where everyone can see and hear is important. Also, serving delicious food can really put people in the mood to be generous.
Plus, great venues have the experience and talent to free you up so that you can mingle and engage with your patrons without worrying about the minute logistics of the event. That’s what we’re all about at The NEW Center!
6. Pair Your Event to an Appropriate Date and Time
This is something that can make or break an event. Start the planning process well in advance so you can lock in a date and time that fits your organization the best. If you’re in the planning process for an upcoming fundraiser and need a venue, contact us today!
For example, if you are planning an event raises funds for student success, late summer before school starts would be a wonderful time. Awareness will be naturally high, and parents and donors will not be overwhelmed with the burden of returning to the “back to school” routine.
Also, pay attention to the time of day. If the bulk of your attendees is retired a luncheon may be the perfect choice. We know it seems obvious, but we’ve seen a failure to recognize this tip really hurt an event’s success.
7. Take Notes to Increase Success with Future Events
The best planners take copious notes both during planning and on the day of the event.
Whether you jot a few thoughts down on a note card or save a few key points in your phone, these notes let you track what the best parts of the event were and what you can improve on for next time.
This will allow you to record the feedback of your guests as you go rather than trying to recall the “hits” and “misses” of last year’s event several months later. It may even be advantageous to schedule a review meeting with your team in the days after the event. This will allow the whole team to reflect on what they think worked and didn’t work for the event.
Need Help Planning Your Next Fundraiser?
We love helping nonprofits and associations host successful fundraising events. Our event coordinators know how to handle the challenges you face. From matching your event to the right room to choosing the best menu for your attendees, we can help your organization generate the support it needs.Contact us today to get started!