So, you are hosting a fundraising event for your cause. Those are fun to do. I loved participating in those, in this past. I will again soon. You want to raise as much money as possible, of course. Below are ten steps to have a successful event.
1. Why are you doing this?
Seriously. Ask yourself why you are holding a fundraising event. Be honest about your intentions. Some people do it out of the goodness in their hearts, and they have an authentic passion for the cause. Some people do it for publicity for their company. Some do it for both. Whatever the reason, someone will hopefully benefit, other than yourself, should you get the job done right.
2. What is the goal of the event?
This is not the same as why you are personally running a fundraising event. You have to figure out the goal of this event with your team of employees/volunteers. After expenses are deducted, how much money should you have left? All efforts that go into running this event smoothly, should be to raise this exact amount of money, or more.
3. Who is your target?
I do not mean to sound vicious. Ok, yes I did. But, who are you trying to take money from? Figure out your donors. They can be families, parents, individuals, business people, young professionals, old professionals, children with allowances. Figure who they are and adapt your strategies accordingly.
4. What is your budget?
Figure out what you need, and how much it will cost. How much can you spend? What can you get with what you can spend? Here are some details to think about for an event like this, that are also costly: catering, invitations, staff, space rental, entertainment, security, utilities. These are some of the essentials. Of course, there are other details to worry about when thinking about setting a budget. Some details are not so necessary, but if the budget permits, having these small details at your event makes all the difference.
5. Who are the people who are going to help you raise that money?
These people do not care, nor should they care, about the details of your event. They do not have to worry about anything running smoothly. You do.
6. Who are the people that are going to carry out the boring tasks?
In other words, who is going to help with the set-up? They will not be the people raising money for you. There is a lot of detailed-oriented planning that goes into carrying out a set-up. The set-up needs to happen with a lot of time in advance, before the event. This means you need to spend a lot of time thinking about the details of an event’s set-up. You need to think about the location, food, entertainment, volunteers’ clothing. Definitely, think about the itinerary. I repeat, think about the itinerary. Please…think about what will be going on during the event.
7. Who will market for you?
Marketing is fun. Market. Your target audience needs to know about the event to know more about the product or service. You need more money. Let people know.
8. Who are your sales people?
You need a way for money to be made in a practical sense. For example, you need someone to collect tickets, slips, or donations.
9. Will you need to practice?
If no, practice. If yes, practice. You have enough time to sort out details. Not everything will go smoothly. Nothing goes 100% smoothly. However, you can eliminate preventable mistakes.
10. Will you need to thank your donors?
Yes. You need to thank your donors afterwards. Nobody ever thanks donors. Donors are people. People have feelings. Feelings get hurt. Do not hurt the feelings of people who can, potentially, give you money.