Congratulations! You have decided to support a worthy cause. You are now brainstorming ways to meet or even exceed your fundraising target. How about hosting a fundraising event?
Here are 10 tips to get you started!
Form your team
Putting together an event is no easy feat! Gather your friends who share the same vision as you, create a meaningful team name and start planning your event.
Set your objectives
The key to success is to have measurable objectives. What is your fundraising goal? How many attendees will you invite?
Pick your theme
Put the ‘FUN’ in FUNdraising! What will people do at your event? A few years ago, I teamed up with two other friends to fundraise for The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. We decided to organize a salsa event. How did we come up with this idea? We put our heads together and asked ourselves, who do we know? What are we good at? What makes an event fun? I happened to know someone who is a salsa dancer. I invited him to offer a free salsa lesson at the fundraiser. Not only did he say yes, he also reached out to his network! Thankfully, we had two instructors showing us how to cha-cha-cha!
Pick a date and time
Avoid long weekends when most people would be out of town. Are there other big events happening in the community that would compete with your fundraiser?
Create your timeline
Produce a critical path listing all the actionable items with a clear deadline, and the person in charge to complete each action.
Create your budget
There are costs to running an event. List all the items that you need. How much will each item cost? List budgeted cost versus actual cost to keep track of your expenses. Note when payments are due to vendors.
Find sponsors and partners
Brainstorm and find ways to keep your cost down to the bare minimum. Who do you know in your network that would be interested to help? Are there mutual gains that could be explored? Could you partner with a business who would like to be involved with the cause? Can you find sponsors?
Here are two examples.
For our salsa fundraiser, we had to find a venue space. We decided to host the event on a weeknight because dance clubs have less traffic during the week. They would be more inclined to offer space in exchange for a minimum required attendees. Thank you to Six Degrees Salsa for donating space!
We also partnered with MarieNatie Cosmetics who was about to launch their natural make-up line. They wanted to connect with a new audience, and we wanted to attract more people to attend the fundraiser. In this case, it made perfect sense to work together. We presented more values for attendees as well. Along with a free salsa lesson, the ladies could also receive a free makeover by MarieNatie Cosmetics.
Let the money come in
How will the money come in? You could sell tickets. Here are some questions to ask yourself when determining the ticket price.
Along with selling tickets, consider making a compelling ask at the fundraiser. What is an ask? It’s a direct question asking someone to consider donating a specific amount. Would you consider making $X tonight to support organization X, so they can continue creating impact for ________.
To build up your ask, I would suggest allocating a time during your fundraiser to make a speech. Your friends may know why you are organizing this fundraiser, but what about your friends outside of your network who are attending your event? Explain to your audience why you are supporting this worthy cause. Do you have a story to share about how you have benefited from this charity? Or, could you invite a beneficiary to speak at your event? Tell your audience what the impact of the money raised will do for the community or the world.
Share it with your heart! Your audience will be moved.
Encourage your audience to make a donation immediately by visiting your donation page. This way, they will receive a tax receipt right away.
Thank and follow up
Make it memorable! Remember to thank attendees, sponsors, and anyone else who supported your fundraiser immediately. Share pictures from the fundraiser and the amount raised. Be sure to include your donation URL. This gives an opportunity for those haven’t made a donation at the event to do it now.
Raise more money
Your fundraiser is done, but there are more opportunities to raise more money. If you have reached your fundraising target, how about raising your goal further? For example, you’ve raised $1,000 from all your fundraising efforts. How about raising $500 more? If you’ve reached that goal, how about another $500? Send an email to your network, or post on your social media site. Thank everyone who helped you reach the initial goal. Can they help you go further? Ask them to share and raise awareness in their network.
Did you find this blog post helpful? Tell us about your latest fundraising event? What made it successful? What were your key learnings? Leave us a comment below!