Fundraising events are a popular form of raising money as well as awareness for certain causes or groups. Charity balls or dinners are also considered as social events, and many people can’t wait to receive their invites or e-vites.
If you’re planning a fundraiser or a non-profit event, you must remember that there’s a lot more riding on it than just good reviews. The success of the event assures your charity or group of funding for at least one more year. So plan your event carefully.
Here are a few pointers to help you along:
1. Have a Clear Goal or Purpose
Non profit events don’t always have to be just about raising money. Some events are used as a vehicle to introduce a new project, a personality (like an endorser or benefactor), or introduce the organization to the press and public. Having a clear goal sets the tone for the rest of the planning stages, and gives you a good idea of who to invite as well as where to hold the event.
If it’s a real fundraiser, however, the goal will be to set an amount that needs to be met.
2. Set Your Budget
Know how much you can spend by listing down all of the expenses. Thus should include the cost for invitations, the venue rental, catering, security, décor, food and entertainment. It is extremely important to stay within the budget you’ve set, otherwise you won’t be able to meet the target amount you’re trying to raise. Word of advice though: set aside a little extra money for unforeseen costs or additional charges.
3. Plan Your Guestlist Carefully
The key to a successful fundraiser is having the right mix of people in your event. Are you inviting businessmen? Artists? Parents? Young professionals? It’s up to you to decide who your target audience is, just be sure that these are the people you want to be associated with your project. If it’s a press launch, be sure to invite members of the press, including internet influencers.
4. Envision the Set Up
You can create a mock-up of the venue set up including seating arrangements, buffet set up, and where the stage will be. If there will be dancing involved, make sure that there’s enough space in the ballroom for it. Additionally, the band should be positioned strategically for everyone’s pleasure.
Fundraisers are more formal than any ordinary party, so it’s best to hire entertainers who are appropriate for the event. A rock band is definitely out of the question, but a lounge singer or pianist would be tasteful and elegant. For a more contemporary touch, you can hire a jazz duo and have them perform an eclectic selection of R&B songs, Top 40 hits, and some jazz classics.
Here’s a bonus tip: After the party, don’t forget to send thank you cards or an email to all your guests as well as the event volunteers. This is one way of keeping your donors happy, and willing to support you and your organization next year.