Planning a charity event for the first time can be totally overwhelming. With countless things to coordinate, numerous people to please and the pressure to justify the event by raising enough money - all while staying within budget - can make even the savviest event planner apprehensive.
It’s time to step back, take a deep breath and adopt the right mindset when you plan a fundraiser for the first time. What is that mindset? Believe it or not, it’s not just about how much money you raise.
The most important thing to focus on for first-time events is establishing a strong foundation for the future. Whether it’s your Nonprofit’s first ever fundraising gala or you’re adding another event to the annual social calendar, your focus needs to be on creating a legacy event that will continue yielding dividends for years to come.
1. Create a memorable experience
All too often, Nonprofits will spend that first year planning an event with a hyper focus on generating revenue – which is great – but it usually comes at the expense of the event experience itself. Make sure you go the extra mile to ensure your donors have a great time. This means doing things you may want to skimp on to save costs your first year, such as a hosting your event at a nice venue, having an open bar or hiring a live band.
2. Focus on second-year profit
Hosting a gala or golf tournament for the first time should - and most likely will - generate some revenue for your cause, but don’t worry if it’s not a grand slam in the fundraising department. That money will come. Donors who look forward to attending your event year after year produce far more revenue than a donor who comes to your event just once.
3. Concentrate on donor development
Fundraising events are a wonderful social activity. They offer a chance for your charity to demonstrate the good it has done while extending gratitude to those who have made it all possible. Nonprofits that put the effort into creating legacy events understand that developing these