Putting together a fundraising event is a complicated task – even experienced corporate event companies sometimes disagree on the best way to proceed regarding certain aspects of the planning process.
However, when raising money for a cause, it’s crucial to use the best practices of the industry because coming up short is simply not an option.
So, to help you get started, we’ve compiled some of the most important aspects of organising a fundraising event so that you don’t make the crucial mistakes that are quite common in the industry.
Ready to get started? Then read on below.
Set a Clear Goal
The first step of putting together a successful fundraiser is figuring out what the fundraiser is about in the first place.
While that may seem obvious, you need to be very specific in defining the cause for your event, figuring out the main reasons why it matters, and coming up with a calculated and precise number of funds that would be the goal that you’re trying to achieve.
What’s more, setting goals can help you and your team focus on the project as well – by having a number to aim for, you can get a better understanding of precisely what you have to do to make it happen, which is essential when allocating resources and the time of your team.
When you have the purpose of your event crystalized, you can also use the reasons for the event as compelling material to convince potential donors to contribute to the cause, which is, in the end, the most crucial factor that determines whether an event is a success or not.
Compile a List of Potential Donors
In order for your fundraiser event to be successful, you need to have attendees. But just any attendees won’t do – you need guests that care about your fundraising cause and have the resources to make a significant donation.
Therefore, you need to spend time identifying people who could be the best donors for your event and compile them into a list.
With the help of a target list, you’ll have an easier time coming up with a compelling and unified outreach campaign which invites guests to attend and participate in your fundraiser.
When you know the people that you want to invite, you can tailor the messages and make sure that they have the biggest impact. You can talk about why they are fitting candidates to donate to the cause and make the message more relevant and engaging than if you were trying to talk to everyone at once.
Think about what groups of people would find your cause meaningful, and emphasize the reasons why it matters in your communications.
You could even send personalized letters to the people that you want to invite, and segment your list to make sure that each group receives an invitation that has the highest chance of getting them to take action.
Choose the Right Venue
Fundraising events are unique in a sense that they are designed to raise money for a cause, which means that sometimes, corporate event management companies want to cut corners and try to save as much money on the event itself as possible.
However, while being efficient and smart with the budget that you have is crucial, the venue shouldn’t be an area where you compromise on quality because that could cause your entire event to be unsuccessful.
After all, even if you have the best cause and a willing audience that wants to contribute, you still need to get people in the same room, and doing so in an unsuitable venue can be a challenge, to say the least.
That’s why experienced corporate event companies that are putting together fundraisers are extremely thorough when choosing the right venue.
But what should you focus on when making a choice?
Well, first off, you need to figure out how big your fundraising event is going to be. If it’s a local event that’s limited to one city, choosing a central location that’s easy to access via public transportation is a good idea.
For larger events that will have guests flying in from abroad, a location closer to the airport would make more sense, since people could arrive and leave from your event more conveniently.
You also need to consider the size of the venue, the necessary amenities, and whether the event venue will position your fundraiser the right way.
Spread the Word
While it’s great to do outreach campaigns to get the key donors to your event, if you want to maximize results, that may not be enough, and you may need to run public marketing campaigns to draw attention to your cause and boost participation.
Luckily, there are plenty of marketing approaches that you can use to promote your event and fill up the seats quickly.
One of the easiest ways to market your fundraiser is through social media – you can find almost any group of people on social media and get targeted and compelling messages in front of them.
You should also set up your fundraising page, which can serve as a hub where you post relevant information, educate prospective attendees, and drive traffic from your ads.
When running ads, you should try to qualify prospective attendees by having them opt into your list and fill out a bit of information about themselves. This can allow you to personalize the messages and ensure that you’re only going after the people who can contribute to your cause.
One final thing to consider is that although the attendance of the live event is limited, technology today allows having an unlimited number of potential contributors to tune in through the web.
If you set up a live stream of your event and pair it with an online payment processing platform, you can collect donations from people all over the world and dramatically increase the amount of money that you can receive.
Although running fundraising events on the web is still relatively new, many corporate event management companies are seeing tremendous success with it, and since setting up a stream is very affordable, there’s no risk with sharing at least part of your event with a global audience.
Choose the Right Event Ticketing System
When you’re organising a fundraiser, make the ticket selling process convenient by selling tickets online. There are plenty of online ticketing systems out there, many of which charge exorbitant ticketing fees, making it financially infeasible for fundraising events. With Yapsody’s event ticketing system, it goes the other way around. If you’re a non profit organisation presenting a fundraiser or any kind of event, Yapsody offers you a 50% rebate on event ticketing fees, cutting down expenses furthermore. Needless to say, if you’re selling free tickets, event ticketing is free for you. Basically, when you’re choosing a ticket registration software, make wise decisions.