The secrets to a successful charity event are planning, planning, and planning. A clear plan that was agreed upon by all members of your team beforehand will save you from the headaches of preparing a fundraising event. That’s why you should have open communication within your organization.
A fundraising plan is a flexible, written document, which changes and improves as you determine what’s best for your event to attain your campaign objectives. So, don’t be afraid to ditch your initial plans and start all over again. To make it easier, have a look at these simple and practical steps as you plan, whether it’s your first, second, or fifth fundraiser.
If you want to guarantee favorable results for your first fundraising event, working with professional fundraising consultants must be a part of your plan. They are highly trained with many years of experience in the industry. Their company services include a campaign feasibility study to determine if a fundraising organization can successfully run campaign events.
Form a Fundraising Team
It’s important to have a team consisting of members with various backgrounds and skills. Though it helps if they are fundraising experts, the most important thing is they’re willing to dedicate several hours per day throughout the preparation phase.
After you form a team, delegate jobs to each member according to skills and knowledge. It’s always best to find some members who are outgoing and friendly with vast social connections. Usually, these individuals are not afraid to ask for money outright, plus they know many people. In addition, hire somebody proficient at composing letters and grant applications. If possible, bring onboard someone with an accounting or finance background and anyone passionate about what you do. On top of these, you need a leader with good organizational and people-management skills to coordinate your group’s efforts and meetings.
Pick the Right Type of Event
When preparing for an event, make sure that it reflects the following:
- Audience or demographic
- Available time
- Staff and volunteers
If it’s your first time, you can begin with small occasions, and after that, you can go for larger events after establishing your organization and acquiring experience in organizing fundraisers. What is necessary for now is having a community of supporters.
One of the advantages of hiring fundraising consultants is that they will help your team identify obstacles that hinder you from achieving your optimal fundraising potential.
Research Your Community
After figuring out how much money you need for your project, it’s time to figure out how to raise it. Ask yourself these questions:
- How much money can businesses possibly donate?
- Which businesses are interested in giving?
- How about foundation grants? What do you need to be eligible?
- Do you believe the people in your community are interested in attending your event, writing a check, or simply donating cash and getting it done?
- Are other people outside your community willing to support your event?
Make sure to brainstorm with your team and talk about every detail you need. Keep in mind to align your objective with potential donors’ goals.
Plan a Fundraising Timeline
If you are still undecided on the date of your event, you’d better set it now. While you may move the date, having a deadline will provide your team a sense of urgency and focus. Without it, your project might be postponed for several years, just relying on small donations. To prepare for a date, consider the turn-around time for foundation grants and the length of time the equipment and materials needed for the event will be delivered. Take note of holidays and other factors that may cause delays.
Ensure Positive Experience for Your Donors
Be sure that your fundraising event inspires your supporters. You can consider these suggestions:
- Invite the right people.
- Make your invitation compelling and emphasize your mission.
- Encourage your ticket buyers to share it with others, like sharing the event on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms.
- Send out paper to those who need it and sell tickets online since most people have access to the internet anytime and anywhere.
- Solicit from both attendees and non-attendees and give them the option to donate more than the ticket price.
- Thank your supporters right away.
Promote Your Event
Take advantage of the internet and social media platforms to promote your event. You can ask corporate sponsors to promote it also on their sites and social media. That’s why you should find supporters that are also passionate about your cause so that you’ll feel more comfortable asking for favors.
Evaluate Your Results and Preserve Relationships with Your Supporters
Examine your results after the event. Were your promotions effective in bringing in new supporters? Did more individuals online or offline take part? Address these questions and learn what worked and what didn’t. Furthermore, don’t forget to thank your supporters and maintain interaction while looking for new donors to support your cause.