18 Apr The Wonderful Communications 10 point plan to a successful fundraising event
Fundraising events are hugely popular and organising them can be just as fun no matter how big or small your event. However, if you underestimate the task ahead you may find yourself giving away more than just your time and money!
Due to the current economic climate the squeeze on supporter’s incomes are tighter than ever, so how do you make your events stand out from the crowd and ensure that they are still well attended and deliver a good return on your investment?
The Wonderful Communications 10 point plan is here to help you navigate through that potential minefield when it comes to organising that memorable fundraising event. From our experience the key points below will give you ideas, thoughts and recommendations on how to achieve that successful event.
Whether your events aim to raise awareness of your cause or funds for your charity, this is the Wonderful Communications 10 point plan you need to help you on your way. And remember, our 10 point plan is a guide, a road map to help you on your journey, so use it and share it with others and if things don’t go your way, it’s not the end of the world.
To help you ensure that your fundraising event is a success, here are ten key factors that you must incorporate into your event plan:
Before you start, you must decide what the objective of your event is. Is this truly a fundraising event? Or does it have other goals? Perhaps you are hoping to raise money at the event, but the main function of the event is to gain publicity, or reach out to a new network. Many charitable events have more than one goal. Working out the finer details for your event will depend on knowing what goals you are trying to achieve.
2. Fundraising Target:
In conjunction with the event host committee and key fundraisers, you must decide what amount of money you plan to raise at the event. If this is truly a fundraising event, then everything in the event plan will be geared to raising this specific amount of money. The amount you choose should be what you hope to net, that is, the amount you plan to raise after expenses are deducted. Concentrate on looking after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves!
Every fundraising event plan should contain a complete budget listing all of the expenses that will be required to hold the event. Your budget should include staff, invites, venue hire, catering, entertainment, transportation, security, utilities, and anything else that will be required to make the event a success. Your budget should always take into account your fundraising target, ensuring that you raise that amount above and beyond all expenses. Be sure to leave a little extra room in your budget for unforeseen costs and those variables.
As part of your fundraising efforts, your event will most likely have a “host committee” or a group or individual who is in charge of the finer details. These people are responsible for contributing substantial amounts to the event and encouraging others to do the same. The host committee is generally composed of wealthy donors, business leaders, or local celebrities. The host committee or chairperson are not responsible for actually running the event, but are integral to ensuring that you reach your fundraising goals.
5. Target Audience:
Who is the target audience for your event? Is this a general fundraiser where everyone will be invited? Or is this event geared towards a specific group like business people, parents, or young professionals? In short, you must decide whom you will invite to your event. It’s crucial you decide early on as to who attends your event as this will have a significant impact on your guests if the atmosphere is not right.
6. Set – Up:
You and your team should always plan the event set-up well in advance. The set-up includes all of the particulars of the actual event: Where will it be? Will food be served? Will there be entertainment? What kind of dress will be required? What is the itinerary for the event? All of the above are vital to a successful event, so planning in advance will give you the edge and the time to deal with any unforeseen problems along the way.
7. Marketing & Social Media:
Just like a new product or service, your event needs to be aggressively marketed to your target audience. You need to convince your supporters that your company and event are worthy of their time and money. Draw up an entire marketing plan for the event. Possible methods of “spreading the word” include: using your non-profit’s fundraising network, mailed invites, direct mail, telemarketing, word of mouth and the event host committee. Social media has been a great source in recent times and the growth of facebook, twitter and various other forms of social media have enabled your event the opportunity to go far and wide in terms of publicity. Use every format you can to promote your event as the more people you tell the more aware people are of your event.
8. Ticket Sales:
Once you market your event, there must be a procedure in place for making the actual ticket sales, or accepting donations for the event. You must decide whether there will be different contribution levels for the event (such as a flat ticket charge, an extra charge to be invited to a V.I.P. reception in addition to the event, etc.). You must decide who will sell the tickets, how they will be distributed or delivered, and who will be responsible for organising the incoming information. By selling a number of tickets beforehand really gives you an idea of how many guests will be attending your event. Keep on top of your sales and you’ll certainly keep an eye on your expenses at the same time.
9. Practice Makes Perfect:
While you probably won’t need a full run-through of your event, it is essential that everyone who is working the event know, ahead of time, what their responsibilities are, where they should be during the event, and how the event is going to go. If you are having a large or unusual event, the key event team may want to have a practice run to make sure that your operation is running smoothly. Remember, it is so important that the left hand knows what the right hand is doing! Good communication skills are needed at the event so as to make sure everybody is on point, remember, practice makes perfect.
10. Thank – You:
One of the most common heard complaints from supporters to charitable fundraising events is, “They never even said ‘thank-you.’” Make sure that you take the time to send thank-you notes to everyone who is involved in your event, including supporters, volunteers, staff and venue. Keep your donors happy as you are probably going to be asking them for another donation sometime in the future. A simple thank you makes a huge difference and will help you on your next fundraising event.
At Wonderful Communications we work on the simple basis of three main factors to help us achieve that memorable, successful fundraising event.
- Raise Funds
- Raise Awareness
- Have A Good Time
Always remember and never forget, only the few will help you bake the cake but everyone will want to help you eat it!
Wishing you every success with your fundraising events in the future.