To get what you never had, you have to do what you've never done." -Thomas Jefferson
Fundraising events are an effectual way to grow your organization in a few important ways. The first thing that typically comes to our minds is the financial impact, which is very important! Fundraisers can bring a great one-time boost in income. However, fundraisers should be more than a way to bring in money. What is more important than that one time boost is the new relationships that will begin because of the event. We believe that the purpose of any fundraising event is to grow your contact base, as this is ultimately how your organization will grow significantly over time.
The average event that Perception Funding is involved in with our Ministry Partners raises $20,000 in one-time gifts the night of the event! But what's more, is that an average of $27,000 in new donations is raised over the course of the next year from people who fell in love with the mission at the fundraiser.
The purpose of this post is to help you learn how to plan and throw an event that focuses on developing lasting relationships with new donors and not on the one-time funds for the evening. We'll also cover other organizational aspects of putting on a successful event.
What you need for a successful event
Whether you're just having hosts and other volunteer bring food or you're getting it donated you need a Food Finder. Our hope is to never pay for food. The hard part is that a restaurant typically won't donate a whole meal. Here's a few ideas to work around that challenge:
If you're doing a silent auction you'll need an Item Organizer which is a key role in pulling off this event, you'll learn more about this role in the downloadable timelines below.
The 3 key roles (Host Coordinator, Food Finder, Item Organizer) we've discussed in this post all have to be lead by 3 different people for your event to truly be a success. At the same time these three people need to work together and be a team. They are the lead team for the event.
The timeline for the event itself is very important to get nailed down, but it is not the first thing to do. One of the biggest mistakes I see Organizations making is spending hours and hours planning the evening it self instead of inviting guest. We've seen so many well done fudraising events fall flat. They had an amazing program all lined up, and you could easily tell they spent a lot of time preparing, but the problem was they didn't have anyone there to see it. A good rule of thumb is that in the first 4 weeks of planning a fundraiser event you shouldn't spend more than 30 minutest planning the evening itself. Trust us on this and everything will come together, it will look amazing, and you'll actually have people there to enjoy it and to give!
Here you can download the event timeline and host packet. Please let us know if you'd like more resources as we have so many things that we can share depending on your event.
We've created Launch Pad to help you put a fundraising plan in place, to help you stay organized, and to help hold you accountable.