When a Nonprofit fundraising event is managed efficiently and effectively, it can be a highly successful platform for raising money for your worthy cause.
However, an event that is poorly planned or mismanaged can quickly become a losing proposition that costs your organization more money than it earns. Here are five simple tips to keep your good event from going bad.
1. Defray Hard Costs with Creative, Value-Add Event Sponsorships
Instead of appearing in front of a business and asking them to sponsor your event, present them with three value-driven sponsorship packages tailored specifically to that business. Your sponsorship presentation should not only cover your organization, who you help and why the business should join you; it should also clearly spell out why the recommended sponsorship packages will benefit the business.
Market your event by providing potential sponsors with any available information that includes demographics, such as ages and incomes, as well as any other relevant details about your attendees, supporters, committee members and board. Be prepared to fine-tune the offer based on feedback from business.
2. Utilize Volunteers to Reduce Staffing Costs
Many non-profits tell their employees it's “all hands on deck” when it comes to staffing the numerous menial jobs required to run an event. In some cases, however, these employees will end up working overtime and driving up event costs. Instead of over-working your staff, be sure to use free labor from volunteers to staff your event whenever possible.
For more info on managing volunteer teams, check out:
3. Host an Online Auction Before the Event
Since you are already promoting your event and communicating with your constituents, why not host an online auction to get the fundraising off to an early start? An online auction can be hosted at little to no cost by using your website, or sites like Bidding for Good, Benefit Events and Greater Good.
An additional benefit to the pre-event online auction is that you can use the site to continue to solicit donations and promote auctions and activities to be held at the actual event.
4. Include an Opportunity for Non-attendees to Give
Someone may want to support your cause, but a conflict may prevent them from attending your event. Be sure to include an option on your invitation and registration pages that indicates “I cannot attend, but I would still like to show my support. Please accept my donation of $_____”. You can also encourage non-attendees to support your event through the online auction.
5. Set a Post-event Fundraising Goal
Hopefully, you now have a captive audience that has enjoyed participating in a fun-filled event supporting your organization. Set a post-event fundraising goal based on the number of attendees and create an additional fundraising vehicle as part of your post-event communications.
You can set a long or short term fundraising goal, for instance 3 months or 3 years. If your post event goal is $300,000 over the 3 years and you had 1,000 event attendees, donations must average $300 per attendee or $100 per attendee per year.