One fundraising event that draws a big crowd and raises a lot of money is a craft beer fundraiser or Brewfest. Craft beer festivals are already a popular draw with over 3,00 of them scheduled in the U.S. in 2016.
Putting together a craft beer festival as a fundraiser works just like any other fundraising event. The basic “how-to” areas are you want to line up your main attraction, plan your event, organize your volunteers, get lots of publicity, include lots of additional ways to raise funds, and attract a big crowd.
Brewfest Fundraising Event
Getting a good selection of craft beer vendors to attend is relatively easy as they want the exposure because it’s great marketing for them. There are several ways to locate these small brewers: search the web, contact breweries in your area, visit a local brewpub and ask for contacts.
As far as planning your event, you’ll want a high-traffic location with plenty of parking and room to setup several dozen beer tents. Arrange for tents and other necessary equipment through a party rental store. Pick a date and contact your local government for any needed permits.
Line up some live music for entertainment and start organizing supplemental offerings such as food samples from local restaurants and sales displays featuring area artists. You will also want to have some trophies made to award to the top brews in each category. Get some local celebrities involved by forming a judges panel to complement onsite fan voting for the top craft beers.
People are going to be wandering around from tent to tent sampling different brews, so make sure you give them plenty of things to enjoy while they wander like hot pretzels, smoked bratwurst, and other tailgating-style foods. As the crowds gather around the various beer tents to get their samples and hear information about how the beer was made, remind them to fill out their favorites on their Brewfest scorecards.
Maximize publicity with press releases and effective use of social media such as a Facebook fan page and Twitter account. You’ll want to make sure to get your press release into the hands of the right people at your local newspaper plus all the local radio and TV stations.
Reach out to those in the local business world about posting event flyers and offering advance ticket sales. Arrange to have a local radio station broadcast live from the event because that guarantees lots of advance publicity.
To raise additional funds at your craft beer fundraiser event, arrange for donations of goods and services to offer through silent auction bids and possibly a live auction for the highest value items. Get creative and bundle some related items together into a themed offering that will attract more bids.
Sell beer-related merchandise such as supplies or t-shirts. You can even create a souvenir one featuring your own beer festival and sell those for extra funds.
Do a cash raffle where the winner gets 50% of the raffle ticket sales. You can also easily do a silent auction of donated goods or merchandise.
To maximize the crowd at your Brewfest, get the word out through all the local pubs and stores that sell craft beers. Sell advance tickets at a discount so that you can gauge how well received your event will be. For maximum effect, plan on making your event an annual occasion for beer lovers, so that you can build momentum going forward.
And that’s how you put together a craft beer fundraiser.