Hundreds of fundraising events are held every year – maybe even thousands. Unfortunately, many of those fundraising events don’t meet the target that organizers have set for them. It could be due to anything from lack of proper planning to a lack of ways to encourage donations.
My experience in fundraising up to (and in some cases over) golf tournament prize ideas $50,000 per year, I learned that the key to securing large and lasting funding from a variety of sources was in the quality of the event I held. But, you can’t expect to gain all of your money from one event – it’s what you do during and after the event that actually matters the most!
The event is where things start. It is an opportunity for you to get the ball rolling (or keep it rolling in some cases) with many prospective donors. So, here are my 4 elements of having ensuring a great fundraising event:
” Keep things moving – If people get tired, or if there is a lull in the action, people generally sit on their wallets or keep the clasp on their purse tightly closed. Keep your event moving – give only short pauses in the event itself for people to mingle and move about the venue. Speakers, activities, draws, etc, will keep people engaged in the event. Once engaged, the purse strings loosen.
” Provide ‘money opportunities’ – Anything like a 50/50 draw on the evening, or games of chance, or a silent auction tied to a fundraising event is usually a good idea. People are there to help out an organization, so you might as well give them every opportunity to do so – without going overboard, of course.
” Take time to meet people – This element comes third on this list, but it is probably the MOST important element for continued success in fundraising. Think of your organization like a house – the stronger you build the foundation, the longer it will last. Each potential supported can be part of a strong foundation for fundraising. The leaders of your organization (and fundraising team) should make an effort to meet and speak with as many people at the event as possible. Take an interest in their donation and tie it to what the organization has planned or is current doing.
” Leave them with something – It might be a magnet with your organization’s logo; it could be a golf ball and tee with your organization’s stamp on it – anything that is going to remind those in attendance at your fundraising event of your organization is a good thing. You don’t want them to forget as soon as they walk out the door. You want them to remember the fundraising event, maybe take a look at the website you have set up, and possibly subscribe to a newsletter so they can keep informed.