Creating a successful fundraising event is a fast and effective way to raise funds for your non-profit organisation. You need the right event ideas, successful planning and a few key considerations. You also need to know your target audience and the type of activity you are planning for. With these in mind, you are on your way to raising a lot of funds.
What is a fundraising event?
According to eventbrite, a fundraising or charity event is designed to raise money, awareness and/or sponsors for your registered charity or non-profit organisation. The benefit of a fundraising event is that you can raise funds quickly in a live event environment, and raise awareness of your cause which could take longer to do online or through other already known channels for raising funds.
1. Decide on a main reason for planning the event
Why do you want to run this particular event? While the obvious answer is to raise money, you may also need to thing about the kind of awareness you want to raise. You may want to promote a particular cause, raise awareness about a specific issue, engage with a particular kind of audience, and acquire new supporters who may contribute in other ways in future. Identifying your purpose makes it much easier to set up all of the details for your event, get everyone from your organisation and your personal network involved. These people will also be ready to share the workload when they know what they are working towards.
2. Review other similar events
Before planning your fundraising event, look at some of the many events out there already. Which events are currently popular and what can you learn from the ones who have got it wrong? Try to experience as many other events as possible as an active participant. You’ll be able to find out what participants are excited or unhappy about, and how to handle specific challenges like ensuring on-the-day registration runs smoothly or deciding which venue works for everyone. Planning for a fundraising event is tasking and requires a lot of hard work. Therefore, the more information you have to hand, the more experience you get from other events, the better.
3. Set a date, location and time for your event
Before you decide on your fundraising event, look at the date, time and space you have available. Your preferred date might clash with another important event also taking place on the same date as yours. People may then prefer to go there or your crowd will be split. If there is a national event, coverage will be focused on that rather than yours. Try as much as possible to select a location that is accessible for your ideal
4. Get donations
In order to make your fundraising event a success, set a target mark for money raised. Donations for your event can be made by attendees, through ticket sales, activities, from the markup on food and drink sales, or through an event such as a raffle or auction.
5. Here are some methods you can use to get donations:
- Promote to your personal network – your personal network is a great place to start to ask for donations towards your fundraising event, or to get people to attend. Include as much detail as possible about who the event is for and which charity will benefit from the donation to increase interest. This could be via Whatsapp group, email, social media or a leaflet.
- Approach local businesses – if you need donations to help cover the cost of setting up an event, local businesses are a great place to start. You can exchange value in the form of sponsorship by allowing a business to have their logo or name around the event, or get them involved in donating prizes for a raffle or auction. The money raised from the raffle/auction will be very useful and seen as part of your target amount.
- Ask suppliers for donations – see if your venue, caterers or staff will “donate” some of their fee to your non for profit. Check also if they’ll reduce the markup on items to help you raise more.
- Marketing – Now that you have an outline of your event idea and who it is for, it’s time to go to town. Building momentum and interest is a key part of a successful fundraising event. Think about the different marketing channels you have on hand and build an event marketing plan. Use an event planning checklist to ensure you have everything covered.