Fundraising Event Tips: Draw A Big Crowd
Media coverage is essential to drawing a big crowd. Step one is putting together a press release describing your event with a newsworthy angle. Newspapers, radio and television stations are all looking for stories of interest to their readers, listeners, or viewers.
Follow the standard who, what, when, where, why, and how press release format, but focus your summary paragraph on the most compelling storyline behind your event.
That storyline might be the good work your charity does for a specific cause because human interest stories are always popular. Or, it might be the local celebrities that are attending or the live entertainment that is scheduled because those people are newsworthy in themselves.
Other news angles might be the fun aspect of the event, an unusual theme or setting, a grand prize drawing from a raffle, or an auction item which is newsworthy in it’s own right.
Press release tips
Step two in getting publicity involves distributing your press release and accompanying photographs, preferably pictures focused on the newsworthy aspect of your event, to the media contacts in your market.
It’s not enough to just send out the press release. Make follow-up phone calls to important outlets such as television stations and major newspapers.
Have a purpose behind the call. Offer interviews with key figures from your organization or event. With a television station, offer a strategic camera angle for a standup reporter such as one with a grand prize item in the background. If you have a celebrity tie-in, work that into your offer.
The key is getting substantial publicity that creates a desire in viewers or readers to attend your event.
Fundraising Event Tips: How To Raise More Money
You also want to ensure that your event raises the maximum amount possible from your attendees and that means leaving no fundraising opportunity unused.
Price your event tickets high enough to maximize revenue without sacrificing participation. If attendance is capped at a certain number, make sure you sellout well ahead of time. If your event includes activities in which not everyone will participate, offer tiered pricing that charges more for full participation.
Include a large selection of items and services in silent auctions spread around the perimeter of your event. For your best items, have a live auction conducted by a professional auctioneer.
Since raffles are always a great moneymaker, use raffle ticket sales to allow people who won’t be present a way to win some of the prizes and support your cause.
Having a cash bar is another way to boost results. You can also offer an exclusive wine tasting or even a premium whiskey tasting if it better fits your event profile.
Gourmet dinners catered by exclusive restaurants are also very attractive event enhancements. Many people will pay a premium for meals with a celebrity chef tie-in or other prestige factor.
You always want to get as much advance publicity as possible. Play up the most newsworthy story angle you have in your press release and follow up with all the important media outlets.
Put together a premium fundraising event by including multiple moneymakers centered on your particular event theme. Include auctions and raffles because they provide significant income and allow corporations and non-attendees multiple ways to help your cause.
And most importantly, do everything you can to make your fundraising event truly a night to remember.