Events are a powerful fundraising tool for nonprofits, if not one of the most powerful fundraising channels. In fact, 84% of event fundraising pledges are fulfilled. So, if you’re looking to raise money for your organization, organizing a fundraiser to increase individual contributions is the way to do it.
Not only do events bring in much-needed funds, but they can also help organizations attract new donors and engage their supporters in-person or virtually, which can lead to long-lasting relationships with loyal supporters. With that said, fundraising events are significant endeavors that require a lot of time, planning and often a large budget to run.
Whether you’re considering holding a virtual fundraiser or a post-COVID in-person event, use the tips below to stay organized while planning to exceed goals and expectations.
Plan a Successful Nonprofit Fundraising Event
If you’ve determined a fundraising event is the best approach for your organization, create a plan that will help you organize, promote and carry out your event.
If you are holding a virtual fundraiser, you will need to choose the best platform and format for your needs. Will it be a live stream fundraising event hosted online, or an online fundraiser hosted on a campaign landing page? Depending on your goals, you may consider incorporating elements of both! Through platforms like Panorama by FrontStream and its cloud-based auction management capabilities, nonprofits can quickly launch virtual events like charity auctions online to drive donations.
Once you’ve chosen your platform and which type of event will be most beneficial to your organization, be sure you’ve answered key questions and considered your options. Nonprofits should have a clear and organized vision of the event. To do this, determine your goals and target audience before you start planning the event itself. Is this event for existing supporters, or are you trying to reach new ones? It’s critical to have a clear call to action for attendees, a theme, and to know what you’re trying to achieve through this event.
Once you’ve established your goals, expectations and purpose, gather your team and decide who will be included in the planning process and break down tasks. With everyone working together, you’ll have a much easier time planning a successful event.
Keep Your Event on Track
To keep your event on track, be sure to have an event plan in place and distribute it to your staff, volunteers, board members, and anyone else involved to help you stay organized and gain positive results. An in-depth plan and checklist are crucial to staying organized and achieving goals to secure as much donor participation and donations as possible.
When creating your fundraiser checklist of everything that needs to happen before the day of the event, be sure to consider your promotion strategy and providing event guests with more than one way to donate. Investing in digital fundraising software can help nonprofits carry out these strategies and keep their events organized through digital fundraising event management tools.
Panorama by FrontStream, for example, is an all-in-one digital fundraising platform for managing, planning, processing and promoting fundraising events. It enables nonprofits to easily create virtual auctions and virtual and in-person peer-to-peer events such as walks, runs and rides, as well as ongoing digital donation form-based campaigns. Not only that, but Panorama also provides a fully integrated, highly secure PCI level 1 compliant payment processing platform for nonprofits to collect digital donations as well as donor data to help nonprofits better understand their donors and reach new markets. Panorama also gives you the ability to promote your event across multiple channels, meeting your donors where they live.
Last but not least, don’t forget to include a donor follow-up task on your checklist. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to develop a thank you strategy. Send a personalized email to those who attended the event and all those that contributed donations. Remember, happy supporters are loyal supporters!
Start Planning Your Fundraiser Today
Digital fundraising events have many benefits for nonprofits as they bring in additional funding for the organization and awareness within the community. However, planning a fundraiser doesn’t need to be overwhelming. If you take the time to flush out all the details from the start, planning your virtual or in-person fundraiser can be a breeze. All it takes is some planning, promotion and organization.
It also takes a well-organized and productive donation program to raise sufficient donations for your event and rally donors to become lifelong supporters. Find out the most common mistakes nonprofits make in their donation programs and how to fix them in our free guide.