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How to Plan a Successful Fundraising Event

If you’re involved in a nonprofit or charitable organization, you understand that soliciting donations online isn’t always enough. In fact, a large portion of many groups’ revenue comes directly from fundraising events. Of course, these events can’t be thrown together last minute. They involve a significant amount of planning, and if your organization hopes to host a successful fundraising event, it’s important to not overlook the following steps.

Have a Purpose and Goals

Regardless of your organization’s focus, it’s likely that it can be broken down into many different aspects. An organization focused on combating poverty in an area, for instance, may deal with homelessness, food security, clothing needs, and a variety of other issues. For a fundraiser, however, it’s usually smart to set one specific purpose.

This purpose could be “help end homelessness in our community” or “give children access to books.” These specific purposes leave themselves open to focused goals. Helping to open a local library or expand a homeless shelter are just some of the possibilities. When people know there’s a specific purpose in mind, they’re more likely to show up.

Choosing an Event Type

There’s no shortage of event types that you can utilize for fundraising purposes. The right event for your organization can vary depending on your budget, target demographic, specific goal and even the number of people you have on staff. Event types can range from silent auctions and competitions to art exhibitions and concerts. Make sure your event lines up with your specific goal.

Realize People Have Schedules

One of the biggest mistakes people make when planning their fundraisers is putting too much focus on the fundraiser itself. This obviously seems counterintuitive, and there’s no doubt that your main focus should be attracting people to the event.

It’s important to not forget, however, that many who want to help simply won’t be able to attend. Because of this, it’s always important to mention how people can donate online when marketing the event. Online donation forms combined with fundraising software can ensure people help out even if they can’t get the night off.

Seek Out Corporate Sponsors

Finding corporate sponsors may sound difficult, but you should always remember that finding event sponsors is much simpler than finding startup investors. Companies are realizing that most consumers want to do business with socially responsible businesses. This means entrepreneurs must give back to their local communities, and sponsoring a fundraising event is a perfect way to do this. Both the business and the charitable organization will get great marketing out of the partnership, so it’s a win-win.

Figure Out Who’s in Charge

Regardless of how great you are at planning, you’re going to need a leadership team if your fundraising event is to be perfect. This could be as simple as choosing a three-person planning committee for small events or multiple committees for larger fundraisers.

Different individuals or committees could deal with sponsorships, ticket sales, venue selection and setup, procurement of auction items, and management of volunteers. All of these are essential aspects to a successful event.

Market, Market, Market

The best fundraising event in the world will amount to nothing if it’s not marketed appropriately. Facebook ads are essential since they can target specific demographics. Local partners should also be utilized to get the word out. Regardless of how much marketing you typically engage in, your event should result in a significant promotional increase.

Repeat donors, focused fundraising software, and devoted local partnerships can go a long way in the nonprofit world, but when it comes time to host an event, you have to step up your game. By following the aforementioned tips and putting a huge focus on planning, you can ensure that your next fundraising event is a successful one.

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