Fundraising events are one of the most effective ways to raise funds for your organization, increase your donor bases, and get valuable publicity for the work of your nonprofit organization. If done wrong, your special events won’t provide the funds you seek, and will in fact hurt your organization because of the negative word-of-mouth your organization will receive.
Doing Special Events To Raise Funds For Your Nonprofit
Therefore, in doing your special events, failure is a luxury your organization quite simply can’t afford.
Here are some steps you can take to help insure that your special events are done right, so that your organization gets all the benefits that good special events offer.
1. Select a special event chairman for your event. This position should not be held by your board chairman, board members, or your executive director.
Because, first these people already have other responsibilities, and second because in selecting your event chairman what you should want to do is to supplement your existing people resources not saddle them with more responsibilities.
So don’t hesitate to go outside of your organization to find this person, if needed.
2. Carefully plan your special event, and one of your key planning tools will be your Event Master Plan, which will cover the kind of event you’ll have, when it will be held, and where it will be held.
Other important plans you will need are: A Budget Plan; A Funding Plan; A Publicity Plan; A Donor Recognition Plan; A Site Logistics Plan; and a Disaster Plan.
3. Develop an event’s timeline to keep your special event on course. For smaller special events you need between 3 to 6 months lead time.
And for larger special events you will need between 6 to 9 months lead time, to do your special event right. So be sure you give yourself plenty of time.
4. Set up a special event’s committee, as well as all the needed subcommittees. Such committees will include ticket sales committees, a gift solicitation committee, a publicity committee, and others.
Because, all fundraising is a people intensive activity and this is nowhere more so than in doing special events, and you will need lots of people to help make your special event a success.
5. Prepare as many of the documents you will need to do your special event successfully even before you need them, in the form of template documents so that keep your special event on track.
Some of the many kinds of document you’ll need are an event case statement; gift solicitation letters, publicity releases, volunteer’s worker kits, event signs, and numerous other documents.
6. Hold a full dress rehearsal of your special event with all your key player involved, and walk through each step of your event. So that all directly involved know exactly what their respective role is, and just where they fit into the overall process.
Moreover, if your event involves some kind of talk presentations be sure to provide scripts to everyone who talks, and be sure to set a time limit on those who will be speaking so that you start and finish on time.
7. Do your special event being sure that if you accomplish nothing else that at least everyone has a good time. If they don’t they won’t speak well of your organization nor attend future special events.
Too try to earn a reasonable profit of at least 50% or better on your event after all cost are subtracted. On key to earning a reasonable profit is to get as many of the materials you need donated, and to obtain cash gifts from local businesses and others, which will be added to the overall revenue produced by your event.
Now to successfully do special events will require time and effort on your part, but the value of your special event and the benefits your organization will receive will far out weight the time and effort involved.
Because your event will allow you to raise funding, increase your donor bases, and provide valuable publicity for the work that you do. Thus special events should be regular part of your organizations fundraising efforts and revenue sources.
About the Author
Berwyn J. Kemp is a fundraising consultant who helps nonprofit organizations obtain funding.