Fundraising is an art. Whether it's a simple happy hour or a gala event, fundraising takes time, effort, and some help from friends. To execute a successful fundraising event takes many moving pieces. Today, we've listed our top 5 tips for throwing a fabulous fundraiser.
1. Crunch the Numbers
Throwing a fundraiser is the epitome of "you need to spend money to make money" mantra. Depending on the size, theme, and formality level, the budget can change. However, one thing is certain, you must know what the budget is! Often, fundraisers can lose money from poor planning and financial budgeting. Make sure the fundraiser will raise money for your cause instead of lose it! Also, setting a target goal for how much you would like to raise can keep everyone on track.
2. Get Champions
Know someone that cares about the cause? Involve them! Tell them about your fundraiser and let them be the champions for the event. Personal networks are extremely important in fundraising. Getting others involved and allowing them to bring their ideas, money, and friends can turn your fundraiser from a dud to a success.
3. Mix It Up
Don't be afraid to have multiple different "ways to raise" for your fundraiser. Just because you have one event doesn't mean the ticket price needs to be the only way you raise money. You can incorporate a silent auction or a raffle in the event. You may even want to offer packages and items to buy in the future where a portion of those proceeds go to the cause. Pick up the phone and call local businesses to see if they would want to support, donate, or collaborate.
4. Thank Your Supporters
This is the most obvious but can be the most overlooked. Take time to publicly or privately thank your supporters. This includes monetary support and time support like volunteers. Not only will they feel as if they have contributed to the cause but they are much more likely to want to give their time and money in the future. This could be paramount to creating a sustaining and successful non-profit or annual benefit.
Follow-up with everyone! Vendors, volunteers, contributors, staff, etc. Not only thank them (like previously stated in #4) but ask for their feedback on the event and how you could improve. Record this information so the next time you fundraise, you have clearer goals on what people liked and didn't like. Remember, your attendees want an experience whether it is a happy hour or a night on the town, give them the experience and they will happily give back to your fundraiser.
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