Nonprofit fundraising events are a brilliant way to attract new donors and get additional support. Whatever event you throw, there will be a ton of prep, financial support, and hard work needed to achieve your goals. Before you get to work, here is a guide on organizing and throwing a successful nonprofit fundraising event.
Establish Your Cause
We totally get you may be itching to start planning your nonprofit fundraising event. But, you need to establish a cause first. Defining the purpose of the event is the first and most important step. From the get-go, you must be clear about who you are raising money for and the reasons behind it. This will create a clear promotional strategy before the event takes place and signal to donors what their impact will have on participating in the event. Having a clear aim in mind is far more impactful. Whoever is helping you run the event, make sure you’re all on the same page before the planning gets underway.
Know Your Target Audience
You may be of the impression having lots of people at your event can only be a good thing. However, they may not all be there for the right reasons. Whatever nonprofit fundraising event you host, you need to establish who your target audience is. This will ensure the right people turn up who want to get involved with the cause. Whether you’re looking to bring in new donors or past patrons, bear your target demographic in mind before going any further.
Determine How You’ll Collect Donations
While ticket sales may be the main form of fundraising for your event, that’s not to say you cannot raise extra funds on the day. Up until recent years, cash donations have been the main form of fundraising. Although there’s no problem collecting cash from donors, more and more people are switching to card donations which means there’s no hassle counting up the dollars! To keep everything organized, you should consider creating a donor database. You can check out this guide to donor databases from Givebutter. They have a platform that brings people together, which can help you raise funds successfully, track progress, and interact with your donors.
Create a Budget
Whether you’re planning a small-scale affair or going all out, there are lots of factors to think about regarding the cost of the event. This includes food, beverages, venue hire, and entertainment. While we wish it could all be free, it isn’t! Therefore, establishing a budget from the start is essential. Once you have a budget in place, this will avoid you overspending on the organizing of your fundraiser. The number one rule of budgeting is to allow for unexpected costs. No matter how prepared you are, things can and do go wrong from time to time. It’s wise to set some cash aside for these eventualities. You may not have a lot of money to spend on the event either. If this is the case, let the venue provider know this. Because you’re hosting a fundraiser, you may be able to get some money taken off.
Find a Suitable Venue
After setting your budget, you can go on to find a suitable venue for your nonprofit fundraising event. The venue you choose is what will bring your fundraiser to life – no pressure! If you’ve chosen an in-person event, you will need to pick an appropriate space that can accommodate donors. Make sure you pick a venue that correlates with your theme and ask questions related to your event. To give everyone plenty of notice, it’s best to decide on the date and venue for your nonprofit fundraising event at least 6 months beforehand. Whether you hire out your local church hall or have a charity race in a park, your venue must reflect what the cause is all about.
Before your nonprofit fundraising event kicks off, you need to ensure lots of donors turn up. If they don’t, all your efforts will go to waste. Thanks to social media, you can spread the message of your event without having to put your hand in your pocket. You can create a Facebook event and get people to share it, so it reaches as many potential donors as possible. Why not go one step further and launch your own Instagram page for the event? You can post updates in the lead-up to the event while gaining lots of followers in the process. We appreciate not everyone is tech-savvy, so if you fall into this category, it may be wise to have a friend help out!
Hosting a nonprofit fundraising event is a fantastic way to increase donor engagement, reach new supporters, as well as building relationships with donors and create extra sponsorship opportunities. Whatever you’re passionate about and believe in, make sure you plan and host an event that’s associated with the cause, which is sure to boost your donations.