Raising money for a certain cause can be done in a variety of ways, but throwing a fundraising event remains one of the all-time favorites for most people. Not only are fundraising events effective in getting donations, but they also create a strong link between the donors and recipients. Most of all, they’re the most fun of all! Be that as it may, there’s still a pretty big catch. You won’t get to enjoy any of the previous perks if you fail to plan a successful event. If you want to plan a great fundraiser that people will want to visit, here are the steps you should take.
1. Define Your Goals
Like everything else in business, you should always move according to a plan. In this case, you want to define your cause, your fundraising goal, and then set a cap for your event’s budget. Your cause will be the main value proposition around which you plan everything else. Keeping your cause in mind will help you set a goal for the amount of money you’re hoping to raise, which will affect the activities, invitees, and marketing strategies. Finally, you’ll need to set a budget range to stick to and limit your expenses. You want a range that allows for a little wiggle room in case something unpredictable comes up.
2. Know Your Target Audience
With your goals clear in front of you, you’ll move onto researching your target audience. After all, knowing what will attract your target audience and delivering on that promise is the main key to planning a successful fundraiser. The interests, demographics, and expectations of your target audience will direct all your planning efforts. For instance, a fundraiser for a non-profit camp or school can be an open invitation walkathon to engage with the community, while a formal dinner in the form of a gala can be more appropriate to target major donors.
3. Plan Suitable Theme and Activities
Based on the information you’ve gathered so far, you must have a few ideas for your next fundraiser. That’s all fine and dandy, but it’s even better if you encompass your ideas in a theme and plan the activities accordingly. A quick browsing session through a fundraising and planning website can help you brainstorm dozens of brilliant ideas for your next fundraiser. Is it better to throw a game-themed fundraiser or an indoor arcade-like one? Do you want to expedite donations by running a bar or is it better to leave it open for ages? Once you’ve studied those ideas, weighed their pros and cons, and narrowed down your list, only then can you start the actual preparations.
4. Find a Good Venue
Next comes the venue. The venue you choose will play a big role in how your overall plan works out. For starters, the venue should allow you to carry out all your fundraising activities within the theme you’ve established. It should be spacious enough to hold all of your invitees comfortably and host your catering. Depending on your activities, you may need open courts for games and/or sports, a stage for giving speeches, or modern tech and hardware to play videos or run simulations. It should fit within your budget. Above all else, it should be somewhat new to hype up your invitees and leave them awed.
5. Do Your Marketing Right
It’s normal to spend most of your efforts planning for the event itself, but that shouldn’t stop you from giving its marketing the effort and resources it requires. How do you expect to hit your fundraising goals if you can’t even reach your target audience? To achieve that, you need to market your event properly. While you can still carry out traditional forms of marketing, like direct mail and phone calls, your odds will be better by investing in digital marketing. Typically, this will include content marketing, advertising, email marketing, and other strategies across various social media and digital platforms.
6. Automate Your Technology
Taking care of the marketing, registration, and donations manually will be more than challenging. To ensure smooth and seamless operations, you’ll do so much better by automating your processes. You can diversify your donation methods to include online donations, sell your tickets through an event ticketing platform, and automate marketing tasks for more efficiency and efficacy.
At the end of the day, your fundraising event should be tailored according to your target audience’s tastes. You want them to feel excited about attending the event, enjoy their time during, and leave the event feeling satisfied for spending their money. Merely having a good cause is not enough to deliver these feelings, and that’s why you should carefully plan every step of your next fundraiser.