Have you been tasked with organizing a local fundraising event? Perhaps your child’s school, sports team, recreation center, or club needs to raise funds, or then again maybe you have just taken an active role in a community project that is near and dear to you. Fundraising events can be an excellent way to come up with the cash necessary to pursue various projects and goals. Of course, simply holding a fundraiser event isn’t enough to guarantee success, there is a lot that will need to be done in order to prepare for it.
So, before you start to feel a bit over-your-head and question your sanity in saying yes to the role of fundraiser organizer, you may want to look at these tips that can help ensure success. Going through each one in a methodical manner will help you to stay organized, focused, and on track to host a fabulous event.
Come Up with a List of Fundraising Ideas
The very first step you’ll need to take is to come up with a variety of fundraiser ideas that you will present to members of the organization, company, or board of directors that has asked that the event take place. Ideally you want to present a few solid ideas giving everyone the option to choose what they think best fits for the event.
In terms of how to come up with those ideas, try to think of ideas that reflect the team, organization, or charity that will be fundraising and ensure it is engaging for those who take part. Often the ideas that offer something to donators tend to do better, such as providing a service or item in exchange for a donation.
Take for example the famous Girl Guide Cookie fundraiser that happens multiple times a year. By purchasing the cookies, the person is getting cookies in return, and their money can then be used to fund various initiatives within the troop.
Set a Budget for the Event
Now it’s time to think about the budget. No matter what the fundraiser is, there is bound to be at least some costs incurred. Setting a budget early on in the process will ensure you don’t go overboard.
Once the budget is set, it will be important that you track all expenses. There are apps you can use that allow you to track these items with ease and quickly view what your running total is. Some even make it possible to generate statistics, reports, and graphs that will provide a more in-depth look at how you’re spending the budget.
Consider How You Can Create a Loyal Donor List
It’s also a good idea to think about fundraising ideas that create a loyal donor list – in other words repeat donations. Rather than a one-off event, try to come up with ideas that can be repeated more than once a year or at least on an annual basis.
Outline How the Fundraising Event Will Achieve Goals
It’s also very important to be specific on how the funds will be used, what they will go towards, and how much is needed to reach the goal. Should your fundraising event do exceptionally well, it’s also a good idea to have a clear plan on what will happen to the excess funds raised.
Be Well Aware of Who Your Target Donor Is
In order to appeal to donors, you need to be clear on who your audience is. This is the best way to come up with an idea that will prove successful, as you will be able to appeal to their specific interests.
How Will You Advertise Your Event?
Now it’s time to think about your reach, and how you plan to advertise the fundraising event. Will it be open to the general public, or are you focusing on a specific group of people? Either way you need an effective and simple way to reach them.
One of the most effective tools for fundraising events is to advertise them on social networks. This will generate a lot of views, and the hope is that you start trending and people start sharing the event with their own list of contacts. All posts can link back to a webpage or contact information regarding the fundraiser.
In terms of the best place to advertise – you want to keep your eyes on the big platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can create an account for the event itself on each of the platforms, posting engaging and interesting content as it becomes available. It’s a great and cost-effective way to generate buzz for your event.
Local media should also be another option, such as the local radio station or newspaper. Obviously, you’ll need an advertising/ marketing budget to make this a reality.
You May Need Different Types of Fundraisers
Keep in mind that it may also be necessary to hold a few different fundraiser events that are meant to appeal to different audiences, whether you are hosting an in-person or online fundraiser. There is no one-size fits all solution with fundraising, so in that case diversifying your options makes sense.
Bring in the Experts
After all is said and done, and you’ve followed all the important steps, it still may be too big of a project to tackle on your own. Without proper training and experience, hosting a successful fundraising event can be tricky at best.
If you find you’re just not getting the results you’re after and you’re worried you may not meet your goals, it may be time to bring in a fundraising expert or consultant who can either help you out or take over. It’s about doing what is necessary to ensure success.
Throw the Kind of Successful Event You Had Hoped For
By following each of these tips and steps you will be sure to put together a successful fundraising event that will help you to meet the goals of the company, charity, or organization. Keep in mind this is a process, it takes a lot of work, time, and dedication, but it will be well worth it in the end.