Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

8 Steps to a successful fundraising event

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Jan 15, 2018 2:56 PM

When thinking of a fundraising event, the amount of time you put in the preparation will determine its success. It is critical that you figure out the impact you want the fundraising to have on the company, the effort, resources, and people required to make it happen. Check out these steps which guarantee a successful fundraising event.

Set the Goals and Purpose

How much money are you thinking of raising? Without a clear objective, you may not be able to determine whether the event was a success or not. Also, are you holding the event purely to raise money or do you have other intentions? Do you want to build public awareness, market your products, reach out to new donors or engage the existing ones? When you have a clear goal and purpose, planning the event will be easier.

What type of an Event to Hold?

There are many types of fundraising events you can hold ranging from a prestigious gala, concerts, an auction, online fundraising, dinner, auction, to a fashion show among many others. Your target audience's geographical coverage, preferences, and class will determine the type of fundraising event to hold. A more formal evening event will suit most corporates while a concert or a fashion show will attract fun-loving people who are also looking for entertainment and involvement besides raising funds for the event. If you are not sure about what is best, it is important to consult industry professionals. For example, ABC Fundraising provides workable fundraising ideas for different entities.

The Budget

Even if your primary goal is to raise money, you will also have to spend some in preparing the event. When you know the kind of event you want to hold, you will be able to set up an appropriate budget. Do you need to hire space and if you do, how big should it be? How many people do you want to involve? Do you need to hire equipment, catering services and anything else that will be required? Serving your guests with refreshments and snacks is essential.

Your Target Audience

It is also important to think of people you want to attract. This will help you craft an appropriate event. Can anyone attend the event or are you looking at attracting top businesses people, corporates, parents or any other group of people? The more specific you are on the type of audience you want to draw, the more your marketing campaigns will be successful.

Setting the Time and Date

This is an important consideration. You should set the time and date based on the availability of most of your target audience. Are most of the people available during the weekends, evenings or are they okay if you set the event on any day? Busy business people may find an evening event more appropriate while there are those who may not mind attending the function on the weekend. Weigh the options. Other considerations to think of are the dates too soon, do they coincide with other events taking place nearby and if it is an annual event, are the dates and time consistent with those held previously?

Marketing the Event

There are many ways you can market the event. This includes calling, mailing or dropping invitation cards, newspaper prints, TV announcements, social media postings company websites among many others. When you want to reach a general audience, television and newspaper prints may be more effective. When it is a private event, mailing individual cards will be more appropriate.

Dealing with Event Registration

You may consider selling tickets for the event. If you do, will you offer a flat rate or will you consider early bookers, groups, and VIPs? It is also essential to start selling the tickets as soon as possible. This will give people enough time to get them.

The Actual Day

You should make sure everything is ready before the first guest arrives. This involves preparing the venue, making sure the seats, refreshments, entertainment systems and anything else is in order. If you are holding a sale, the items should also be ready and on proper display. Volunteers and anyone else involved should be at the venue early enough.

Other than preparing for the event, it is also important to keep in touch with the attendees even after the event. Thank them and let them know that you appreciated their attendance. They would also like to know the amount you raised and any other appropriate information.

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