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Planning a Fundraising Event

Planning a Fundraising Event

in this video we’re gonna talk about how
to plan a fundraising event. My name is Dan Kimball product specialist at Aplos
software you know in planning fundraising events there are tons of
events out there everybody’s kind of looking for that magic bullet or how to
raise a lot of money for your nonprofit organization but today what I want to do
is kind of kind of walk you through and talk a little bit about you know what
are the basic components of any kind of event whether it’s a huge event such as
like a dinner banquet or a gala or something even smaller scale either way
there are some some basic core components we want to talk about you
know the first thing you want to do when planning an event is actually identify
its purpose what is it that you’re actually trying to accomplish with the
event for example there’s fundraising events where your actual raising money
and there’s actually such a thing called a friend raising event where maybe the
money is not important but maybe you’re just introducing people to your
nonprofit organization church or ministry so you want to really kind of
get its purpose down what you know what is it exactly you’re
trying to accomplish by doing this event and then after you identify the purpose
you of course you want to set a goal how much money are you trying to raise or
what is it you’re trying to accomplish through that event so let’s say for
example you’re let’s just take for the sake of this video a gala or a dinner or
some kind of dinner type of function you want to set a financial goal and then of
course you want to set a budget so you want to raise $50,000 how much is it
going to cost you to put this particular event on once you kind of get those in
place then of course you got to get into the nitty-gritty the details to putting
that thing on we all know especially for small nonprofits you know you still have
to do your regular job you’ve still got the work of your mission to do so you
throw an event in there it can get real busy so what I recommend people doing is
identifying or putting together some kind of leadership team it could be
volunteers led by a staff member from your nonprofit or church it could be an
all-volunteer group it could be your group paid staff it either way somebody
who’s kind of the point that’s really in charge of putting that
particular event on we call that a committee you could call that a
volunteer committee so once you kind of have those basics of course then comes
the planning and then you want to identify who your target audience is who
you’re trying to get there that’s kind of be really important based off the
event if it’s a you know is are you looking for a younger crowd are you
looking for a group of alumni are you looking for big donors are you looking
for both everybody you know wants that perfect scenario where I want all ages
and I want to raise a million dollars well that may or may not you know not
happen in your first try but either way these are good things to talk about and
and really zero in on on who it is your audiences who are you targeting for
example it might be a tournament of some kind well you’re gonna say well we’re
gonna look for kind of a younger audience maybe younger people don’t you
know don’t want to do a traditional sit-down banquet or vice versa maybe you
know if you’re trying to reach out to an older group they’re not going to want
like a concert or something like that you know so I think that’s kind of an
obvious type of thing so it’s really important that you as you start to plan
and promote you really identify ting keep in mind who it is you’re targeting
and how you target them if it’s an older audience you’re probably gonna want to
reach out more by a traditional invitation and an email if it’s a
younger audience you might want to look into doing a Facebook or a text or
something in in that matter as well and then of course you got to promote it and
really give yourself enough time for me what’s really frustrating as a
fundraiser is when I hear about or find out that organizations have put on this
really cool event they’ve done the planning they’ve set a budget they set a
goal and then all of a sudden they didn’t give themselves enough time to
get the word out so all of a sudden I get an invitation for something like
it’s like in two weeks so you know even as much to go back and do something like
what’s called a save the date card or a save to date notification six months out
four months out something like that so those are details that are become really
important in promoting and putting on that
that so again when talking about your target audience
there’s a couple ways you can approach it you know you have to kind of ask your
question are we going for the audience or are you trying to put it on that
particular fundraiser it’s kind of like the chicken and the egg kind of debate
if you think about it that way what’s more important well I think you know the
biggest thing is you want to think about it more of how well do you know your
donors and prospects I think that’s really the first question you want to
ask every if you google best fundraising idea in the world you’re gonna get a
thousand different searches and opinions and things like that or if somebody
comes to you says hey this organization over here did this really awesome dinner
banquet they did a live auction they auctioned off a house in Maui and and a
boat cruise and all this and they raised five hundred thousand dollars you should
do that and you go okay great let’s do that but you’re a brand new organization
you haven’t been around for three or four years you might not have the donor
base to do that kind of event so it’s really important I think before you even
get into any kind of event understand and know your audience you know are you
young are you old are you both you know kind of thing or even do a survey you
can very simply as is throw out a survey to your donor or if you have an advisory
board get some feedback kind of that way so let’s keep let’s go on with this you
know let’s suppose you’re gonna do this dinner or this banquet you you’ve got
everything in motion you have maybe a group planning it and one of the things
you want to think about is the actual setup of that event what a lot of people
don’t realize is that the time involved you get the promotion out
maybe there’s invitation there’s RSVPs involved but now you have event day or
event weekend they’re set up involved so you really want to be thinking
strategically about what does that look like are you do you need extra
volunteers are you gonna close down your office for the day a lot of people don’t
realize just sort of the little details another little item that I really like
to encourage people when talking about special events is the actual practice
what we call walk through a lot of people you know they maybe don’t think
about the the location and maybe there’s some logistical things do you have a
plan a do you have a plan B whatever reigns is it indoor is it outdoor you
know all those kinds of things so if you’re feeling overwhelmed you kind of
want to take it step back and go yeah these are the kinds of things you want
to think about so not only do you have setup day but you actually have a
practice day where maybe you walk through the registration process want to
make sure your technology works if you’re doing like registrations with
your computer or maybe you’re taking donations you know that kind of that
kind of thing and then finally you know of course you have the details of the
event the last thing to think about in doing a special event is to follow up
what happens after the event are you gonna ask for donations at the event are
you gonna ask people to respond or give you something after the event and then
last but not least my favorite thing to do is to thank people you got to have a
thank you plan and whatever I think the great I’ll call it the great sins of a
fundraising event is having people a bunch of people come to your event and
not taking down any kind of information and email you know who did they come
with some way to to reach back out to them and say hey thanks for coming
because of your attendance the following happened we raised this much money 300
people were became more aware of our of our our mission in downtown wherever you
may be kind of things so don’t forget to think and and then build off of that
another thing to think about when when doing a special event is your volunteer
base in your volunteer corps that in itself can become very important a good
volunteer base can save you obviously a lot of time a lot of money in some cases
in terms of staffing but you really want to think through you know first of all
who are your volunteers and how are you getting them and to make sure that on
the day of the event there’s someone that’s giving those volunteers
particular tasks and things to do are they working in shifts are they working
the whole time for example you know a lot of people don’t think through let’s
say you’re doing this dinner this banquet you have 40 tables that you’ve
sold and you have volunteers and their jobs are over around dinner time are you
going to feed them are you gonna feed them the same dinner that the
the guests of that event or are you gonna maybe do pizza for them in the
back you know those things will add to your expenses as well so just really
have a strategy about again who your volunteers are and who’s kind of
responsible for giving them tasks because at the end of the day you can’t
fire yeah I mean you can maybe ask them to not come back but it can be kind of
awkward if you have a volunteer that you don’t either know what to do with or
maybe a volunteer shows up and and maybe they’re not as helpful as you would hope
so be thinking about that as you as you build out your event and then the last
thing I just kind of want to touch on is is you know the difference wean a really
good event versus maybe a not-so-good of that and I really think it comes down
into planning and we all know there’s there’s always going to be circumstances
that maybe we can’t control that’s the great kind of joy and stress about a
special event you just can’t predict you know I as an example recall a time I was
responsible for a fundraising dinner and we had this really beautiful lighting
pieces and in the middle of the event two of them caught on fire during the
event and it was pretty it was pretty wild and and funny if he afterwards but
it certainly took us by surprise but luckily we had a cup people that got
right on it put the fire out they they kind of distracted the guests say it’s
no big deal we’re gonna keep moving on but it was something that I mean and I
could probably give you a lot of other examples of things that have maybe gone
wrong but really what you want to think of the difference between a well-planned
event is is really thinking out some of the details ahead of time I think things
like the registration and Food lines those are two areas that can really be
the difference between a what I’ll call a clump a clunky event versus a
smooth-running event are people waiting around for too long to get to their
table or you know is it unorganized so I really think that to do an event you
really want to think through the the planning and some of the steps ahead of
time so that it’s a really good experience from the guests standpoint so
I hope you enjoyed this video you find it useful
be sure and subscribe if you want more videos like this and certainly give us
some feedback add some comments in there tell us about your event experience and
we’ll love to hear from you

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