What goes into making a fundraiser? You’d think the process isn’t that difficult - just arrange for a fun event and get people to come. But there's a reason nonprofits will hire other organizations to do their fundraising. It’s a much more involved process that takes skilled planning and foresight to assure everything goes as smoothly as possible! Here are five tips and tricks from Do More Iowa on how to put on an amazing fundraising event.
1. Have a Purpose and Set Goals
What is the purpose of your fundraiser? Do you have a particular campaign or program you are trying to raise money for? Raise brand awareness? Improve your organizations overall public appeal? Set objectives to reach these goals, both financially and socially. Assign roles to individuals throughout your organization to assure you reach each one.
2. Choose Your Client Wisely (if you’re working for one)
If you’re doing your own event for your own organization, then this isn’t an issue. But if you are hired by an organization, make sure you know their history. Talk to previous clients of theirs if possible, and get to know the employees and the culture of the organization. Making sure you are working for (and with) those who are reliable is incredibly important.
3. Find a Specific Audience and Have a Marketing Plan for Them
Knowing who this fundraisers audience is incredibly important. You will probably want as many people as possible to attend your event, but if you cast your net too wide, you won’t catch the right fish. Know who to target specifically and go from there.
4. Set a Budget and Stick to It
Have a budget for the event and a goal of how much money you want to make back. Are you just trying to break even? If you are working for a client, make sure you know exactly what is in their budget and always stick to it. The cost of a venue, food, number of employees, entertainment, etc. all needs to be taken into account.
5. Always Send Thank You Notes
Make sure you thank the people who took the time to come to your event, especially those who supported the event financially. Sending a handwritten note can make all the difference in your organizations brand. If you have guests make sure you are grateful for their charity and participation. Even if it takes a while, this could be one small gesture that your guests will remember and appreciate. It will surely make them want to come to your events again. Especially for clients, make sure that you show you are thankful for their business, which can help ensure future work and recommendations in the future.
Being credible and reliable is instrumental to pulling off a successful event. Surround yourself with a team you can trust, and have your own set of guidelines to follow for each event. But above all, remember your purpose, stick to your goals and keep intentions positive.