Non-Profit Events: Strategies for Successful Fundraising Events

Non-profit events are a great fundraising tool, but before you can excel at fundraising events you need to inform yourself about the most effective planning strategies.

Non-profit event planning strategies range from the initial establishment of your fundraising event goals to knowing your event’s budget and engaging with your fundraising event guests after the event has finished. 

Carry on reading for a list of excellent fundraising event strategies that will allow you to host your most successful non-profit event possible!

Non-Profit Event Planning Strategies 

Know your fundraising event goals

All successful fundraising events start with knowing what you are setting out to achieve by hosting the event in the first place. Having tangible goals in place allows you to measure your progress and quantify your fundraising success later down the line. 

At this stage in the planning process, it is important to plan exactly how much money you wish to raise so that you can pivot the rest of your planning process around this one fundamental goal. 

But your fundraising goals should not just be centred around revenue, engagement goals are also important to establish, for instance rebuilding connections with previous donors. 

Non-profit event budgeting

To reach your fundraising goal it is essential that you keep to a strict budget when planning your event. Keep on top of all the outgoings required to host your event. Although the individual details will vary across the different fundraising events you may organise, a few common items to consider include: 

  • Catering 
  • Event venue decorations 
  • Event venue hire 
  • Tables, chairs etc
  • Event staff
  • Sound and lighting equipment

A good way to keep track of your spending and your budget is to have it all recorded on a spreadsheet, or some form of event planning software, so that you can make the necessary calculations accordingly. 

Non-Profit Events: Strategies for Successful Fundraising Events

Select the correct type of fundraising event 

Choosing which type of fundraising event will be the best match for your endeavours involves careful planning. You should use your fundraising goals to inform the type of fundraising event you eventually opt for, but also consider which type of fundraising event will spark the most interest with your donors. Choosing a fundraising event that allows you to employ as many donor engagement strategies as possible is imperative.

Charitable event ideas include hosting a concert, a car wash, a movie night, a gala, a dinner or a fun run just to name a few examples.

Select a good date and time for your fundraising event

Selecting an appropriate date and time for your event needs to happen before you can look into hiring a venue. Here are a few things to consider when choosing an appropriate day and time for your fundraising event: 

  • Have you planned far enough ahead? You need to have long enough to ensure your dream venue is not booked up and to ensure you can maximise the chances of your attendees being available. 
  • You need to check that your proposed date does not conflict with any holidays or any major local events.
  • What time of day would suit this activity best? Is this a weekend or evening fundraising event?

Non-profit event marketing

A good marketing strategy will be your best friend at your fundraising event. 

There is no point putting all this time and effort into planning an event if you do not end up attracting any attendees or donors! 

Your best bet for a successful marketing strategy is to combine both online and offline marketing tools. 

You are going to want to excel with your digital marketing in non-profit event promotion – your social media presence, email newsletters and keeping your event website up to date. Offline marketing can include handing out flyers (or posting them) and putting adverts in the press. 

To enhance the marketing strategy you need to utilise professional photos of your fundraising events taken by a professional event photographer. Professional photography will do justice to all the hard work put into organising the event – and create amazing visual content that is then available for future marketing.

Get organised for the event

The task of getting organised for your big fundraising day involves multiple parts. Selling tickets for your fundraising event is a significant preparation task, as is setting up your venue ready for your fundraising event to take place.  

Once your event is more or less planned and your venue booked, you should be looking to encourage the acquisition of tickets. However, there are a few things to consider when it comes to selling tickets, these include: 

  • Where do you want to sell your tickets? Choose a ticket provider that is familiar to your donors, or otherwise make them familiar with how to purchase event tickets on your event website. 
  • Plan what you will do with the personal information your attendees offer to you as part of the ticket purchase process. One clever way to manage this personal data is to use it in a personal donor database, for example. To ensure that you keep your costs within budget, rent iPads for the volunteers and staff for check-ins and guest interactions.
  • Setting up your venue for the big fundraising day is also a significant task. You need to suitably decorate your venue as planned, organise any staff and volunteers you have working the event, organise the catering and the many other essential tasks. 
Non-Profit Events: Strategies for Successful Fundraising Events

Engage with your attendees after the event

A fundraising event does not cease being influential when it is finished; you still have the capacity to influence your attendees. Engaging with your attendees after the event is as much a donor engagement strategy as hosting polite conversation during the event itself.

After the event, you should send out thank-yous to all involved, including your staff and guests. You also should be sure to reiterate how their support has helped the cause, and how their continued support could help it even further. 

You can also gain essential feedback from your attendees that will be useful for improving your future events. 

And that is it, you are now on the way to hosting one successful non-profit event after another!

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