If you’ve worked for a nonprofit organization, you’ve probably been part of a fundraising event, whether it was a gala or a casual happy hour. Many nonprofits, especially smaller organizations, rely on fundraising events to raise cash from donors in a short amount of time.
When you’re responsible for planning a fundraising event, working out all the details to create a memorable night for attendees can seem overwhelming. In most cases, the size of your nonprofit and your donor level will influence the kind of fundraiser event you choose to host. If you’re planning your first fundraiser, here are six tips that will help you throw the best gala in town.
Set a budget
Depending on your organization, you may be able to persuade vendors, caterers, and even entertainers to provide free services for your event. However, in most cases, fundraisers require cash to cover expenses such as transportation, staff, food, and venue space.
Before beginning to plan the details, create a budget for your fundraising gala. Your budget will determine what kind of food, venue space, entertainment, and transportation will be offered at the event. Once you start to plan your event, pay close attention to your budget to account for any unexpected expenses.
Choose a venue
Your budget dictates whether you’ll be able to host a gala at a high-class hotel or throw a casual party at your home. If you’re willing to open up your home to potential donors and make attendees feel comfortable in your home, throwing a fundraiser at your house will allow you to spend more time focusing on the finer details.
If you have space in your budget for a venue, consider the purpose of your event when choosing a venue. Affordable and extravagant functions rooms in Brisbane are perfect for hosting dinners and happy hours.
Organize a host committee
Successful fundraising galas rely on donors. To persuade donors to attend, you’ll need to organize a host committee to promote the fundraiser. Members of the host committee must be willing to pitch the event to friends, coworkers, and other potential donors, and should persuade potential attendees to donate. Promoting the event may involve hosting a photo share among potential donors that attend the event. Asking those who attend to upload their photos to a local cloud could be a fun way for them to feel connected with other party goers. Posting about the event on social media, whether using these very photos or others, is also a great option.
Host committees are typically composed of individuals who already support the nonprofit. Members should be knowledgeable about the organization and should have a diverse network of contacts.
Offer multiple opportunities to donate
Although attendees are expected to cover the cost of a ticket, consider offering other opportunities for attendees to donate. To host a raffle or silent auction, contact local businesses to offer prizes, such as a spa day or a free meal. If your donors aren’t the type to donate larger amounts of money, ask them to sign up for volunteer programs to help your organization.
Create a memorable experience
When donors attend fundraising events, they expect a memorable experience in return for their donation. Some organizations provide entertainment high-profile guests, while others offer a high-class dinner or a guest speaker. If you’re hosting an event for a direct-service organization, contact local clients and ask them to speak.
Don’t forget to follow-up
After the event, make phone calls, send emails, and make an effort to follow-up with each donor (and potential donor) to thank them for supporting your organization. Following up with donors and potential donors after the event will allow you to meet with donors, add them to your network, and invite them to future fundraising events.
All in all, following these tips, can help you throw a memorable fundraising gala, promote your organization, and encourages attendees to donate.