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10 Tips to Make Your Fundraising Event a Success

Fundraising is an important piece to the profit puzzle for any organization. With these tips, rising up to the challenge while exceeding event expectations is quite tangible. Whether it’s for a sports team, 4H club, or a friend with health-related issues, these tips can help you meet new goals and raise more money:

1. Gather by traffic. If possible, plan your event around a bigger one like a school carnival or sports game. This will guarantee an audience and you can even theme your fundraiser to match the joint event.

2. Less talk more action. Acknowledging sponsors is important, but there is a fine line between grateful recognition and too much “talk time”. You don’t want to lose your audience engagement and if you have a handful of sponsors, the time can add up quickly. Use the power of technology and create a 2-minute video that is professionally designed and features the sponsors. Voila, everyone is happy!

3. Attempt to keep costs down- Don’t hesitate to ask local businesses for help. They want to put their money where it counts. It’s your job to communicate and express the need. Businesses could cover event costs such as poster printing, donating raffles prizes, or providing the venue space.

4. Hungry people are not happy people- don’t make your guests wait to eat. Whether we admit it or not, we know that food is a top priority to most guests. Too many events feature hours of upfront speeches and entertainment prior to providing dinner or even hors d’oeuvres. Serving earlier will give you a happy and satisfied audience that’s far more receptive to your message.

5. Focus on center stage, not centerpieces—spend wisely. Most guests don’t rave about an event they went to that had spectacular centerpieces. However, quality entertainment can leave a lasting impression on guests and have them talking about it for days. Shift your attention and budget to where it makes the biggest impact. Lavish “fluff” can appear as though the organization is spending extravagantly instead of using all outlets of money wisely. You don’t want attendees asking, “Why should I donate?”

6. Adapt & evolve. Throwing an annual event? Traditions can keep your audience coming back every year, but we have to evolve year-to-year. You will see where improvements can be made, and every year will go smoother once you adapt to these! Efficiency and effectiveness are two key components to events.

7. Utilize social media- Social media is a great tool for sharing news of your event. Create a Facebook event or page and state your main message or cause. Make sure to keep these sites updated. Mention the fundraiser on your personal sites so you reach more people. People may have good intentions to donate then forget, so a reminder is usually appreciated.

8. Share your story- Personable stories bring character to your event. If your fundraiser affects you on a personal level, share this story! People are more indulgent in fundraisers that have real stories behind them, and the media are more likely to cover fundraisers with a story that “tugs at the heartstrings” or has a human interest giving you more exposure and more earning potential.

9. Advertise your event- You can’t advertise enough. Shoot for methods that are cost effective or even completely free. Contact your local paper and radio. Tell anyone and everyone in your community. Pin posters up in local shops, businesses and town halls. Brainstorm new strategies and put them to work!

10. Thank you- Event etiquette should never be forgotten. Saying thank you is important yet we often forget to say it. Contributors to fundraising events should always understand they are cherished. Tell your attendees and donors thank you at the event, and take the time to send thank-you notes to everyone who was involved; this will leave a great impression. This might not be the last time you ask them for donations or assistance.