When you need to raise funds for a charitable cause or startup venture, the first step is deciding on tactics. Sure, you could stand at the local shopping centre with a collection tin. But, for the serious fundraiser, running a dazzling event could be a far better option.
Live events can help to support a digital campaign and vice versa. Plus, the so-called event economy means millennials now prefer the memorable experiences that come from live events.
1. Define your cause
A sense of purpose is essential for all event planners, but especially those with a fundraising aim. To motivate people not only to attend – but also to part with their hard-earned cash – you’ll need to create a strong moral or inspirational aura.
Writing a mission statement early on can help to define the tone of your marketing efforts and who you’ll reach out to.
2. Set specific targets
Targets are important for all fundraisers, but especially when you’re staging an event. You need to be able to measure Return on Investment to make sure your budget has been spent wisely.
Your primary targets will be financial – and if they’re tied to a specific aim, you need to make sure your financial targets are high enough to account for all costs. But, other types of targets are also important, including time frame targets and those relating to brand lift and growth.
Above all, make your targets S.M.A.R.T – that’s specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.
3. Book the essentials
All fundraiser events need a venue, so make sure you book this well in advance. Choose wisely – think about capacity, decor and geography. If you are targeting corporate donors in London, a small event in a village hall will not deliver the results you need.
From food and refreshments to essential staff, every aspect needs to work like clockwork.
4. Get creative
With the housekeeping complete, you can delve into the creative side of event planning. The best events offer something unique that captures the imagination of audiences, so eye up your competition to get ahead.
Event bureaus such as Speakers Corner can help to source an impressive host for your event, creating an inspirational hook to encourage donations.
5. Market with passion
Marketing is important for any event planner – the exciting part is that there are many potential routes to go down. You could try your hand at paid social promotion, polish up your email marketing techniques or try to secure some killer PR placements.
Whatever your technique, consider sourcing help from a professional. There are a number of useful freelancer databases you can access for free online, giving you access to top-tier talent.
6. Put funds first
When you immerse yourself in the colourful world of event planning, it is easy to get swept away from the core aim. Remember to place funds first, deciding how you will generate funds from every aspect of the event.
Decide how to collect funds – you might choose to use a digital ticketing service or host a range of fun-filled activities on the night. The potential to win prizes often motivates guests to make small donations that can stack up.
It’s almost always worth setting up a digital donation box to complement your event efforts. This way, you could secure funds even from people who can’t make the big day.