Planning a fundraiser event is no easy task. The success lies in the details!
Planning a Fundraiser: The Process
We work with so many clients that are planning a fundraiser event and we help them find just the right entertainment for their event. We wanted to share these thoughts for those that are new at this and need some pointers along the way.
Start with a goal and a plan! To determine the objective of the event, ask yourself the following; What is the end goal? Raising awareness? Recruiting new supporters? Raising money?
Once you understand your goal, each step of the way you can ensure your decisions all work towards that end goal.
The next step in the process is deciding who your audience is. Do you have a list of donors, volunteers and supporters? That’s a great place to start. Who else do you hope to attract? Generate a wish list of guests – either specific people or “types” of people you want in attendance.
Next, you need to pull together a committee to help you with this big endeavor. Once you have the committee in place, you can start breaking out the tasks and having people take ownership of their part. Remember that a fundraising event is a lot of work and you will be glad to have the support and extra hands.
Typically the tasks fall under the following categories:
marketing / sponsorship (which includes solicitation or re-activating existing donors)
setting up the venue and post-event cleanup post-event follow-up
Next you want to plan your budget – which will guide you in the decisions you make going forward. Getting quotes from various vendors allows you to select the vendor that offers the most value and fits within your budget for the event.
Consider the event logistics – date, time, venue, food, beverages, entertainment, audio equipment and more. Once decisions are made you can start negotiating and nailing down contracts with your vendors.
Keep in mind that perception is very important when planning a fundraiser. Your invitees will make an assumption about the event based on venue, food and entertainment. You need to excite them with those components to show them the night will be a good time.