The keys to a successful fundraiser are to plan, plan, and plan. A clear plan that was agreed upon by all members of your team early on will save you from the headaches of planning a fundraising event. That’s why you must have excellent and open communication within your organization.
Keep in mind that a fundraising plan is a flexible, written document that changes and improves as you determine what’s best for your event to meet your campaign goals. So, don’t be afraid to scrap your initial plans and start again. To make it easier, check out these easy and practical steps as you plan for your next fundraising event.
Create a Fundraising Team
You should have a team consisting of members with various backgrounds and skills. Though it helps if they are fundraising experts, the most important thing is they’re willing to commit several hours per day for the planning phase.
After you form a team, delegate tasks to each member according to skills and knowledge. It’s always best to find some members who are outgoing and friendly with vast social connections. Usually, these people are not afraid to ask for money outright. Also, recruit someone good at composing letters and grant applications. If possible, bring onboard someone with an accounting or finance background and anybody passionate about what you do. On top of these, you need a leader with good organizational and people-management skills for coordinating your team’s efforts and meetings.
Choose the Right Type of Event
When planning for an event, be sure that it reflects the following:
- Audience or demographic
- Available time
- Staff and volunteers
If it’s your first time, you can start with small events and then aim for large events after establishing your organization and gaining experience in organizing fundraisers. What’s important for now is having a community of supporters.
If you want to guarantee favorable results for your first fundraising event, hiring a counseling team should be a part of your plan. They can even help you develop a campaign feasibility study to make informed and strategic decisions before your event. They are your go-to people since they are experienced, knowledgeable, utilizing an effective process of studying.
Research Your Community
After determining how much money you need for your project, it’s time to figure out how to raise it. Ask yourself these questions:
- How much might come from businesses?
- Which businesses are interested in donating?
- How about foundation grants? What do you need to be eligible?
- Do you think the people in your community are interested in attending your event, writing a check, or donating cash and being done?
- Are other people outside your community willing to participate?
Ensure to brainstorm with your team and discuss every detail you need. Remember to align your mission with potential donors’ goals.
Plan a Fundraising Timeline
Start setting your date now. While you may move the date, having a deadline will provide your team a sense of urgency and focus. Without it, your project may be delayed for years, depending on small donations. To plan for a date, consider the turnaround time for foundation grants and how long the equipment and materials needed for the event will be delivered. Take note of holidays and other factors that might cause delays.
Ensure Positive Experience for Your Donors
Make sure that your fundraising event inspires your supporters. You can consider these tips:
- Invite the right individuals.
- Make your invitation compelling and emphasize your mission.
- Encourage your ticket buyers to share it with others, like sharing the event on Facebook or Twitter.
- Send out paper to those who need it and sell tickets online since most people have access to the internet anytime and anywhere.
- Solicit from attendees and non-attendees and give them the option to donate beyond the ticket price.
- Thank your supporters right away.
Promote Your Event
Take advantage of the internet and social media platforms to promote your event. You can ask corporate sponsors to promote it as well on their websites and social networks. That’s why you must find supporters that are also passionate about your cause so that you’ll feel more comfortable asking for favors.
Evaluate Your Results and Maintain Relationships with Your Supporters
Assess your results after the event. Were your promotions effective in attracting new supporters? Did more people online or offline participate? Answer these questions and find out what worked and what didn’t. Moreover, don’t forget to thank your supporters and maintain communication while looking for new donors to support your cause.