Fundraising events have been around for a long time and more than likely, they’re not going anywhere any time soon.
If you want your event to draw big crowds and encourage big donations, you’ll need to think outside the box a little.
In this article, we’ll lay out five forward-thinking ideas to add some much needed energy to your events.
Here’s a preview of the strategies we’ll go over:
Now, let’s jump in!
We can tell you all the tricks in the book, but the best way to keep supporters interested in your events is to simply plan interesting events.
Essentially, it’s time to start thinking about what your donors want to attend rather than relying on what they will attend.
At this point, it’s possible that your nonprofit has a tried-and-true method of attracting donors to your events. And don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with planning events that work and work well.
However, in order to keep donors engaged long-term while attracting new donors, you will need to spice things up every now and then.
Here are a few ideas for doing just that:
Let’s recap: Mix up your next fundraiser by adding multiple components or revitalizing a classic strategy with new technology. No matter what you’re planning, look for ways to breathe new air into it and give your donors something to look forward to — and tell their friends about.
Very little can come between some people and their phones, and you don’t want your event to have to compete for their attention.
The solution? Meet donors right where they are: their mobile devices.
You might already be utilizing mobile technology to optimize your giving strategies in other areas, but did you know that there are mobile solutions that pair perfectly with your events?
Here are just a couple of examples of how you can make your next fundraiser as mobile-friendly as can be:
While both of these services are designed to be simple for the user to get started with, make sure you fully explain the process to your donors before and during the event. You’ll want to let attendees know to bring their smartphones and have volunteers on hand to offer support if needed.
Let’s recap: By integrating mobile devices into your event, you can make giving more convenient — and fun! — for your supporters. Let your donors know that your event has multiple options for mobile giving and watch the donations pour in!
Hopefully, your organization has effectively made the move to social media for at least part of your promotional strategy.
You might be just starting out with social networks or already a viral sensation. Either way, there’s no reason to ignore your social media strategy while your event is taking place.
Obviously, you should be using social media as a key method of advertising your event and providing quick, important details to your donors, such as time and location. But, did you know you can continue the social fun while your fundraiser is in motion?
Here are a few of our favorite ways to stay social throughout your event:
Let’s recap: Social media is a major player when it comes to promoting your event, but it can be a star the night of the show too! Incorporate livestreaming, social media challenges, or live-posting to make your event a hit both offline and on.
Between social media, newsletters, direct mail, and your website, donors might get a little fuzzy on exactly what the details of your event are.
Building customized, designated websites for your fundraising events creates a one-stop shop for all your attendees’ questions and needs.
Rather than having to navigate an array of social media pages and your organization’s general site, supporters can quickly find all the information and giving resources they need on a dedicated event site.
You’ll definitely want to make sure your event site has the time, date, location, and attire of your event all displayed prominently. A place to register or purchase tickets is also a must-have. And, if your event has a peer-to-peer component, you should also provide a link for supporters to set up their donation pages.
With the right software, you should be able to fully brand your site to match your organization. Including logos, images, and your own color scheme can brighten up your page and really make it your own!
Thanks to fundraising event software, these sites are easy to set up and can house a variety of features depending on your needs.
Here are a few features in particular that we love:
Let’s recap: Separate from your nonprofit’s website, a customized event website can provide donors with easy access to any information they might need about your fundraiser. Plus, some website software also includes other useful features, like donation forms and online auction services.
So, you’ve managed to put together a near-perfect fundraiser. Congratulations!
You may think your job here is done, but the most successful fundraisers don’t end when the doors close.
Don’t view your attendees as one-time participants! Instead, consider your fundraising event the start (or turning point) of long-term donor relationships.
Here are a few ways to use your fundraising event as a chance to steward your donors now and down the road:
Let’s recap: Events are a great chance to meet with donors in person and connect with them in a new, tangible way. Make sure donors’ long-term commitment is a focal point at your event, and keep that interest going after the fundraiser ends.
Fundraising events are a staple for fundraisers everywhere, but even some of the classics can use a modern twist.
Shake up your next fundraising event by incorporating one (or all!) of these ideas, and let us know what worked for you in the comments!
Want more help planning your next fundraising event? Take a look at these additional resources: