Many of you have experienced the stress that is a fundraising event, and the planning can be just as intimidating as the actual event. So, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you plan, execute, and follow up your next fundraising event.
1. Build the partnership relationship before your event.
The purpose of your event is to get people excited, informed, and on board with the mission of your organization, so you first need to build a better relationship with those that will be attending.
If you build relationships well, it will take an insane amount of work. Be intentional throughout the year to make regular phone calls, personal touches, and send thank you notes to every partner who participates with your ministry. This is the ultimate investment for your event; the preparation you do now will set the success for your event in motion. This means you need to do your homework, spend some time, and build as much relationship with your financial partners and attendees as possible.
Another aspect of building relationships involves praying for your partners. Everyone involved in the event should be praying for the attendees that will come. Talking to God about your ministry partners is just as valuable as talking to your ministry partners about God and the impact your ministry plans to make for His Kingdom.
2. You must also understand the capacity in the room.
Another part of preparing for this event is not only to know your audience relationally, but also to know your audience’s giving potential. Your fundraising event program will look different for a group of business professionals than it will look for a gathering of individual friends.
In the same way, you need to do your homework in order to tailor your program for the giving potential that attends, whether that be $10,000 or $1,000 or $100 in commitments. All are valuable and all are worthy of planning your event time for them.
3. Focus on how your partners had an impact.
The purpose of your program should include how each person is a part of it, or can become a part of it, and to get people excited about what God is doing. You must be able to explain who you are, what you do, and the impact your partners made through your ministry.
You want people to walk out of your event and be able to tell others the impact being made. If you can’t do this with total clarity, you are missing your investment opportunity. If you need it, take time before organizing your event, to clarify your organization’s strategy and the way you will present the impact. This preparation will serve you well at your event, and allow you to present your ministry clearly so that others can repeat your mission and its impact easily.
4. A clear and confident ask for partnership is key.
At the event, create a relaxed environment where people are comfortable to mingle and engage with one another. This is your event. It’s up to you to create this environment because it won’t happen naturally. Use simple things like background music and assigned seating with strategic people from your organization seated with key partners. Do all you can to make asking for funding natural and clear, which makes it comfortable for the audience.
5. Follow up immediately.
Keep your audience engaged even after your event has ended. Thank people for coming after the event, follow up with calls, letters, emails, and social media posts. You may find the entire event was a waste of everyone’s time if there is no follow up. Follow up not only with the attendees, but also follow up within your organization. Evaluate with your staff whether the investment of time, energy, and money was worth it for the funding that was received through your event.
Don’t be intimidated by putting on a fundraising event in your own organization. Plan ahead, keep your message clear and comfortable, and follow up well. Working to tailor an event to your own audience could be an excellent investment to gain funding for your ministry.
Want to learn more about putting on a successful fundraising event? Sign up here for our upcoming webinar! Where two Senior Tailored advisors tell you everything they know about fundraising events.
Jodie Coher, Communication Specialist
With a passion for discipleship, it’s a true joy for my writing to be a small part of sending others to the mission field. I also enjoy interacting on social media and spending time with my small family in Missouri.