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5 Tips for Running a Fundraising Event

One great way to raise additional funds for your project is to run a fundraising event. There are many ways for you to run an event and what works for your project or organization may not work for another. When planning an event, you’ll need to figure out what is best for your project at that specific point in time and what your fundraising event can accomplish. Here are some tips and tools for planning a fundraising event.

  • Have a purpose for your event and make sure to communicate that purpose to the attendees. There are many reasons to host an event.  For example, you might throw an event to thank your donors or to give them a sneak peak of your final project. Maybe instead, you’re trying to raise awareness for your project in the early phases, or you just want to get your donors and audience members together for a night of fun. Considering your purpose will allow you to plan better for the event.

  • Consider your target audience and don’t be afraid to be selective about who you invite. This allows you to design the event around a specific group of people and their interests, which will ultimately make them feel more important to your organization. Remember, you can always run another event later for a different group of donors or audience members.

  • Charge Admission. This may seem straight forward, but it is imperative if you want to have a surplus of funds after the event. “Suggested donations” can be great, but they can also hurt you in the long run, because you will inevitably have many donors who will not offer the suggested donation amount for admission. Your patrons want to be there, so they will pay to come.

  • Ask for a donation in the invitation.  You will inevitably receive regrets from those who are unable to attend your event. By giving them the opportunity to donate instead, you allow them to stay involved with your project even though they cannot be physically present.

  • Set up a “donation station.” At a donation station, you will have a person who is there to accept fully deductible donations by check and man a computer for credit card donations (if you choose to bring a computer for this purpose). This gives your donors the opportunity to donate throughout the course of the event.

As always, do not forget to thank those who attend your event. You want to make your your audience feel important so that you can nurture your relationship with current donors and create relationships with new or prospective donors.  This will hopefully grow your donor base and keep them coming back for more.