Hosting a business meet-and-greet networking event as a fundraiser for your cause is a great way to raise funds. In areas with lots of young professionals, networking events are a popular way to make business connections and its easy to add some fundraising activities to these types of get-togethers.
Fundraising networking events for a good cause can raise significant funds if you add in some fun ways to raise money. Since these are primarily young professionals, you can do things like holding a charity date auction or including a combination wine tasting or craft beer tasting. In fact, there are many ways that you can blend some fundraising activities into your event.
12 Fun Ways To Raise Funds At Your Networking Event
- Multiple Prize Raffle
- Silent Auction
- Live Auction
- Impact Auction
- Charity Date Auction
- Wine Tasting
- Craft Beer Tasting
- Whiskey Tasting
- Reverse Raffle
- Chinese Auction
- Services Auction
- Taste of The Town
Multiple Prize Raffle – Raffles can raise lots of money if you sell a lot of tickets. The best way to do that at a business networking event is to sell the tickets at the registration desk and offer multiple prizes instead of just one. Get donations of popular electronics items to supplement your main prize such as high-end video game systems or big screen TVs.
Silent Auction – This is an easy way to raise funds at any event, but most groups fail to take advantage by offering consignment items like hot air balloon rides, autographed memorabilia, or vacation resort rental packages. There are many firms that offer these types of auction consignment items and you don’t have to pay for anything that doesn’t sell.
Live Auction – Larger events or those with a well-heeled crowd can raise significant amounts of money with a live auction. To maximize your fundraising results, use a professional auctioneer and offer auction items like exotic vacations or once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Impact Auction – An impact auction is one where attendees are asked to pledge a certain amount as a direct donation. The auctioneer will ask the crowd to raise their paddles to donate money to make an impact on your cause and will usually do the “paddle raise” at four or five price points. The group paddle raise boosts giving tremendously because people like to publicly show their generosity.
Charity Date Auction – This is a fun way to get the crowd involved as dates with eligible singles get put up for auction. An experienced auctioneer can get the crowd roaring with laughter and opening up their checkbooks for fun dating opportunities.
Wine Tasting – Wine tastings are a great way to raise funds at an event because people enjoy sampling wines they normally wouldn’t buy and you are essentially selling wine by the glass at a good markup. You can also sell bottles of the wines being tasted.
Craft Beer Tasting – Sampling craft beers from local breweries is another big draw for a networking event because it provides a good focal point for conversation and meeting people. This obviously very popular with the guys, but also a surprising number of women enjoy beer tasting as well.
Whiskey Tasting – Sampling fine whiskey is another fun activity for a networking event. Another variation is sampling martinis or other mixed drinks. It raises a good amount of money and is a great alternative to having a cash bar, which rarely produces significant funds after expenses.
Reverse Raffle – A reverse raffle keeps the crowd involved because the winner is the person whose ticket number is the last person drawn instead of the first. Plus, you can also offer additional raffle tickets during the event for people who want to get back into the drawing. There’s also a variation on the reverse raffle where the prize is something that people don’t want to win and people pay to have it go back into the raffle drum for someone else to “win.”
Chinese Auction – A Chinese auction offers a way to raise more money for certain items by letting people bid on items using pre-purchased tickets. This type of auction raises more money because every ticket bid is essentially a raffle entry for that auction item. Compared to a regular silent auction where only the winning bidder pays for the item, this approach lets you keep all the revenues from all the bidders. The Chinese auction works best when you have a large crowd and lots of low-dollar items.
Services Auction – Individuals and firms donate their services to be auctioned off to support your cause. Because a lot of young professionals and technical people like to attend networking events, their services are valuable commodities that can raise funds and help them promote themselves and their skill sets at the same time.
Taste of The Town – Sampling food from top area chefs is another activity you can use to raise funds. This type of activity makes a great draw for your event and provides an excellent way to raise money with ticket sales for the tasting experience.
So, if you want an inexpensive fundraising event idea, hosting a networking event for young professionals is a great choice. Just be sure to use fun, creative nametags that break the ice quickly and spark conversation among your attendees.
Networking Event Nametag Ideas
- World’s Greatest …
- Talk To Me About …
- All we need is …
- I’m chasing …
- QR Code nametags
- Offer funny multiple choice boxes
- Include Twitter handle
- Giant oversized nametags
If people are having fun, they’ll stay longer and you’ll raise more money. Plus, they’ll talk up your event to their friends and co-workers, making it much easier to draw an even bigger crowd to your next networking fundraiser event.