Oct 18, 2013
When organizing a live charity event, leaders and volunteers have to ensure all of the small details are taken care of so participants have a great time. Live events are fun, exciting, and educational for the community and can build a strong following for the cause.
But the only way nonprofits will benefit from holding auctions, galas, or other events is by preparing in advance and promoting the cause online and offline.
Here are six helpful tips to running a successful live charity event for nonprofits:
1. Get local businesses involved.
The more the merrier with charitable events! Local businesses can help by providing support in numerous ways. Whether companies assist financially or by providing supplies, space or volunteers, they are a great asset to the charitable event. BidPal says that community organizations can also donate items, if the event is an auction, or offer a direct donation to the cause.
Common auction items include:
- Signed sports or music memorabilia
- Travel packages
- Themed baskets
- Dinner for two at an upscale restaurant
- Fine jewelry or designer clothing
It's important to choose unique and desirable items for your auction. No one wants to bid on something that they could just as easily buy at a local store.
When asking for donated items, remind businesses that they are not only helping your cause, but they'll also get some promotion and exposure during your event.
2. Utilize social media.
Promoting the event is essential. Not only will social media attract new supporters, attendees, and volunteers, but it will also bring people to your nonprofit's website to learn more.
First and foremost, your site should include a donation form in case anyone feels like giving. But it's also important to share:
- Educational information about the cause,
- Event details,
- And support opportunities.
This information should be shared on your website and throughout the social media realm. Encourage fans to share event information on Facebook, Twitter, and the other sites they frequent as well.
3. Provide additional entertainment.
Even if the event is an auction, walkathon, gala, or something similar, there should always be other opportunities to have fun. For instance, offer games for children in attendance, provide a dunk tank for volunteers or coordinators, or invite a local band to play a few songs.
Having something else going on will not only encourage people to come, but guests will also stay longer and perhaps give more to your nonprofit!
4. Implement high-quality payment processing solutions.
How nonprofits are going to accept donations is really important. Point-of-sale terminals or kiosks are a great option if your organization is looking to accept donations in-person at the event.
Being able to process credit cards will save a lot of hassle arranging checks if participants don't have cash gifts. Plus, your nonprofit will be able to process the money right then and there!
5. Offer volunteer signups.
At your event, make sure to set up a table where people can learn more about and sign up for future volunteer opportunities. An information table where people can talk about the cause, event, and how to get involved will develop a discussion around your organization and get people excited about how they can help.
6. Give thanks.
There's a lot that goes into planning an event—the people who helped, the local businesses that supported it, and the donors who gave their time and money so the occasion could take place, just to name a few factors—and nonprofits should show their thanks during or after the event takes place.
Send out thank-you letters and emails and make personal phone calls to the supporters that really went the extra mile during the planning and execution phases of your fundraising event.
There are lots of logistics that go into pulling off a successful fundraising event. These 6 steps will help you get started and will help carry you through the end of the event!