Fundraising events are for more than just raising money. They are also designed to attract new donors and keep current supporters interested. In order to keep donors returning and supporting your mission year after year, it is important to host successful events.
If you’ve been losing donors in recent years, it could have something to do with your fundraising events. When planning and hosting fundraising events, avoid these costly mistakes:
1. Bad timing – Even a really great fundraising event with amazing fundraiser auction items might not attract donors if it is set at the wrong time. An event right after holidays, for example, may not be well attended. Push that event to spring and you will likely get a better response. Multiple events happening in town on the same night could also affect attendance. If your community has some sort of social calendar, make sure your benefit isn’t competing with other big events.
2. Doing the same event over and over again – Sometimes, if the event is popular enough and supporters look forward to it, a Nonprofit can get away with hosting the same thing every year. In many cases though, recurring events can get stale. Keep your events fresh and spice things up each year by rotating themes, venues and entertainment. Don’t be afraid to take some risks and implement new ideas you’ve been afraid to try out in the past.
3. Ignoring donors – During the actual fundraising event, it’s easy to get tied up in the commotion and spend too much time trying to make everything perfect. It’s crucial that you don’t get so busy that you ignore your donors. Make time to talk with attendees face-to-face and make memorable connections with new and old supporters. You want to let donors – especially your biggest supporters – know that you truly value their contributions and continual support. You can even take your appreciation a step further and recognize your big donors with a VIP area or a recognition ceremony before or after the event.
At your next fundraising event, make sure to avoid these three mistakes and improve your chance for success.
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