They can also be a huge waste of time.
As someone commented on my post last week: Events are great for visibility and exposure,”but they are terrible ways to raise money.”
Well, many organizations – yours included – are probably 100% committed to their events.
So since we are having them anyway — and everybody seems to have them — let’s make sure they are as productive as possible. And fun too!
Don’t forget to join my Highly Profitable Fundraising Events series, too.
The live sessions begin May 10 but everything will be recorded. The gurus will tell you HOW to pull an additional 20k-100k or even more from your event.
4 Top Tips to Make the Most Money From Charity Fundraising Events:
1. Go after the biggest sponsors possible.
Don’t think too small. Your event attracts a certain demographic of attendees.
What company would like to market itself in front of your attendees? This is when you can really think big. What do you have to lose?
Be willing to customize benefits based on what a particular major sponsor would want. It’s done all the time.
I have found myself saying to a sponsor, “I’ll personally make sure we do everything we can to make your experience xxxx.”
Remember that approaching a sponsor is not like a philanthropic pitch. A company may not be that interested in your mission in the community.
Instead, they are looking for ways to promote themselves and sell more products.
Many fundraisers carry their nonprofit mindset into a call on a sponsor.
Doesn’t work! You have to put your “profit” mindset on!
2. Treat your sponsors like major gift donors.
One of my biggest beefs with event people is that they often neglect their sponsors after the event.
Once the event is over, and the sponsors get a report about the event’s success, then nothing else happens.
You need to be in touch with your event sponsors all year long.
Why? Well, you want them to sponsor again don’t you?
You want to stay in touch with the company and its representatives.
Make sure they remember you. Send them a holiday gift. Send them a valentine. Invite them over. Keep them in the loop of what’s going on with your organization.
Then, when it comes time to start discussing your next event, the door will be open and you’ll have a sponsor prospect who already knows and likes you.
3. Organize a terrific “fund a need.”
I’m seeing more and more BIG MONEY come in via a “Fund a Need” pitch at the end of the evening. Here’s how to make it work:
1. You must, must have a good sound system!
What good is the pitch if no one can hear you?
I attended an event just last night, with 40-50 VIP’s in the room and no sound system.
What a crime. What a waste. Hearing was almost impossible because of all the background noise from other rooms. Alas.
Time and time again, it has broken my heart to hear a terrific Fund a Need get lost in the din of the party conversation.
2. You must, must have something specific to fund.
I mean specific!
I attended two quite wonderful auctions recently here in Raleigh, but in both situations, the “Fund a Need” was terrible.
Why? It was so generic. There was no real appeal. Nothing heartfelt. Nothing specific to talk about. Very blah.
Worse, the auctioneer didn’t REALLY understand the mission, so he could not say wonderful things about the organization’s amazing work.
My heart broke for these two terrific organizations and the money they were leaving on the table that night.
4. Make sure your event committee includes go-getters who have sales experience.
If you have some can-do volunteers in charge of sponsorships and tickets, you can sell out your event with more sponsors than ever.
So be sure you enlist go-getters for the committee. Be sure they are people who can get things done.
People who are natural leaders don’t mind calling the shots and asking others to fall in line.
Find people with sales skills for your event committee. They will not hold back, they’ll feel comfortable, and they’ll be successful.
Try this: One of my strategies for making sure my volunteers deliver is to set them up in teams and have them compete with each other.
Again and again, I’ve seen volunteers have fun and really enjoy themselves – AND Perform better – when there was some fun competition going on. Give it a try!