With a little planning, it is easy to host a successful fundraising event that is sure to have people talking! Don’t miss out on the added spirit of generosity many feel this time of year. Some smart planning and tactical thinking will help you make the most of the season. Because so much time goes into fundraising, it’s important to focus yours on items that will do the most for your program.
Have a Plan of Attack
Discussing the purpose of the fundraiser is a great place to start. It is important to have a clear goal in mind. Brainstorming ideas such as methods of fundraising, themes, venues, products or services and legal responsibilities will enable everyone to be on the same page. Establishing a timeline and a list of responsibilities will make the fundraiser run like clockwork.
Plan for Pizazz
Organize a fundraising event that will be fun for all involved. Create a great social affair that people will want to make an annual event. ‘Different’ may be daring but it can also be delightful.
Fix Your Focus!
It will be necessary to decide who will be the intended audience for the fundraiser. This will greatly affect the type of fundraiser and the amount of money that you can raise. This time of year, Christmas and Hanukkah are the obvious theme choices. Failing to consider the seasonal obligations of some targeted audiences could hinder the success of the event. For example, creating a raffle for white goods during the holiday season may not be as successful as possibly a cookie drive leading up to Christmas.
Determine the Budget
Depending on the type of fundraiser, different costs will be involved. It is essential that the budget is set from the beginning and all involved are fully aware of the budget. Consider seeking sponsorship to help strengthen the fundraising event.
Ask and You Shall Receive!
Fundraisers actually have several purposes. Primarily they are to raise money for a cause yet they have two more powers that if tapped into, can make the fundraiser even more successful. Fundraising highlights a cause. For example, it may bring attention to cancer research or even youth community involvement by highlighting a local junior softball team. So with this in mind, it is a good idea to seek the support of local businesses and celebrities.
Often by just asking, you can get goods and services donated for the fundraiser. Payment for such generosity is usually in the form of free advertising or acknowledgement by the fundraiser. It can be as grand as mentioning business names in radio interviews or simply printing company logos on product boxes or the backs of t-shirts. People love to get behind a good cause and often it is easier to offer free seating or a team of volunteers than to write a check.
Be Seen and Heard
Acknowledge supporters and advertise the fundraiser. Be explicit in the reasons for raising funds and list ways people can give. Tap into the local community and again, don’t be afraid to ask for support. The worse they can say is no. Contact local radio stations, newspapers and even favorite stores, restaurants and businesses. Utilize community newsletters and fully engage social networking media. Merchandising is also a fun way to spread the word!
When the event is all done and dusted, it is crucial to thank those who involved. Personal letters are touching and very considerate. A Certificate or photo is a great way to show appreciation to local businesses. For larger events, a gift bag for those attending is a clever way to show gratitude. These can be filled with samples gained through sponsorship. A letter printed in a local newspaper and on social networking sites can show appreciation for community support.
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Keeping on budget with your fundraiser means checking out different printing and photocopying services to find one that will let you put more money towards the fundraising goal. Choose wisely.