If you’ve ever planned a fundraising event, you understand the months of planning and coordination that go into it. From securing sponsors to mobilizing volunteers, the process of executing a successful event can be all-consuming. With all of that hard work, you want to make sure that you get the most out of your event. Follow these tips to host a successful fundraising event.
1. Remember, It’s Not About You
Although you might be tempted to structure your fundraising event around the activities of your organization, you need to approach your planning from the perspective of your donors. Why do they choose to support your cause? What keeps them engaged with your mission? What might inspire new donors to attend and give? Whether you’re hosting a clinic, partnering with a local celebrity, or auctioning off high-value items, your event should focus on what will be most engaging to your target audience.
2. Use an Online RSVP Tool
You want to make it as simple as possible for potential attendees to register for your event. An online tool like Eventbrite’s nonprofit fundraising platform lets people RSVP from their phone or computer, taking the hassle out of driving to purchase physical tickets. Perhaps even more important than convenience, however, is the ability to collect contact information during registration. Store this information so you can send thank you cards, e-cards or a simple email to attendees and keep them engaged with your organization in the future!
3. Develop a Social Media Strategy
A study from Statista determined that 81% of Americans had a social media profile in 2017, meaning social media is critical to reach your target audience. Start by promoting your event through your social profiles a few months in advance to build up excitement. Develop a unique hashtag and encourage your donors to posts using it leading up to and during the event. Having a photo booth is another great way to inspire attendees to share pictures and tell their friends about the great time they had at your event (again using your event hashtag)!
4. Stay in Touch
You planned for months and your event went off without a hitch! Now what? Make sure to capitalize on the positive momentum to keep donors engaged throughout the year. Use the contact information you captured with your RSVPs to communicate to donors how much was raised and what impact that will have on your organization’s programs. You can tailor your message to thank people for coming and let no-shows know they were missed. Use your event hashtag to find great photos and videos of the event you can share on your social profiles or use to promote next year’s event. Finally, think about other ways to keep donors involved like volunteer opportunities or participation in a supply drive.
Understanding how to get the most out of your event and keep attendees engaged after it’s over will help you have a successful fundraiser. Just remember that your event is a small piece in the bigger picture of your organization’s yearly goals and activities. The benefits of a successful fundraising event last long after the event is over.
By Cara Benson: Cara, Community Manager at Eventbrite, is dedicated to inspiring “live” events and interactions. Her work aims to encourage others to embrace the creativity, connection, and sense of community associated with live events.
Need help infusing your mission in your fundraising events? Download the free guide: 20+ Places to Share Your Stories at Nonprofit Events.