Holding a fundraising event: Part 1

There are a number of ways that you can encourage a higher number of individuals to make a donation to your nonprofit. Hosting an event can help get people passionate and interested in your organization's cause, according to Fundraising Newsletters.

It is a great way to showcase the difference you make and the importance of contributions to your unique mission.

Know how to successfully run a charity event to raise money for your nonprofit with donation forms and payment processing options.

Know your vision and create a budget 
When you decide to host a fundraising event or charity auction, it is crucial that you decide why you are planning this activity.

The purpose may simply be to raise additional money for your organization, but you may also have been recently starting fundraising for a specific event or group associated with your mission.

For example, if your nonprofit has a passion for delivering high-quality education to all children, a school that is in danger of being closed down may prompt your nonprofit to hold an event to contribute donations to keep the school open and provide updated learning materials for the students who are currently enrolled.

In addition to settling on a purpose for your event, establishing a budget is one of the crucial first steps. Factor in any expense that may be associated with hosting.

The rented space, food, invitations and any other service that may enhance the success of your event should be considered when setting aside money.

Another financial consideration you should make is how much you would like to raise.

Establish a goal donation amount to suffice the needs of your specific mission. For example, if the school needs a certain amount of funding, try to supplement the costs.  At your event, ensure that you advertise your goal and as contributions roll in, adjust how close you come.

Recruit and Form Your Committees
Solid committees are the backbone of planning an event. Without a group of people who are dedicated to seeing your fundraising event through to the end, you won’t be able to raise enough money to meet your goals.

Generally, there are two types of committees that you’ll need to recruit and form:

  1. The Planning Committee - The planning committee is usually composed of staff and board members and a few volunteers. They do a lot of the behind-the-scenes preparation that makes a fundraising event, well, fun.
  2. The Event or Host Committee - The event or host committee is comprised of staff members and volunteers who go out and raise the funds to finance the event. They sell tickets, merchandise, sponsorships, and obtain in-kind donations for fundraising events.

Of course, aside from these two basic committees, you’ll also need a strong volunteer base to help do some of the heavy lifting (literal or metaphorical). This could include:

  • Setting up and tearing down at the venue.
  • Registering attendees and distributing event materials.
  • Answering any questions that donors might have.
  • Handling minor incidents or accidents.

Learn more about planning a fundraising event here.

Think about your target audience and marketing plan

You want a high volume of individuals to attend your event. Inviting loyal donors and reaching out to the community to recruit new benefactors will help increase the overall success of your event and ultimately lead to a higher number of contributions you can use for your cause.

Nolo recommended sending personal invitations or emails to your current donors as soon as you have details solidified. Ensure that they know that their attendance is important. Consider asking potential attendees to let you know whether they will be able to make it to the event.

This can help you make decisions regarding food, beverages and available seating.

If you want to open your event to the public, tweet about it and post information on Facebook so that more people can view the invitation. Also think about publishing a notice in your local paper.

When advertising your event, you may be able to gather more money if you charge for admission or suggest an optional fee for those who wish to attend the event.

Key takeaway: Know what your needs are as a nonprofit and which option is best for you. 

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