8 Tips to Planning a Successful Fundraiser or Benefit

8 Tips to Planning a Successful Fundraiser or Benefit

1.) Establish a planning group or Committee that will assist with planning and execution of the event. Create a contact list with everyone’s emails/phone numbers and distribute to the group.

2.) Set a fundraising goal! How much do you want to raise at this event for charity? If you do not have a goal than it is hard to gage if the event was a success at the end.

3.) Assuming you already know what, the fundraising event will be the next step is brainstorming event venues. Consideration should be given to free venues or space that can be donated.  If none are available you should ask potential paid venues if they offer a reduced room rate for charity events.  Many of them do but you need to ask!  Another thing to ask the venue is if they will provide a signature cocktail and donate a portion of the drink profit to the charity.  This is a fun way to get them involved but don’t forget to advertise the drink at the event so people know to buy it!

Note:  If you need ideas for fundraising events please see my other document under “Event Planning Tools” titled: “Fundraising Event Ideas.”

4.)  If alcohol is being served at your event you should also serve food. An inexpensive option to a buffet or plated meal is passed appetizers.  Remember the less you spend on your venue and food the more you can raise for your cause.  You should plan for at least 3-4 appetizer items per person depending on if you are offering cheese and crackers and dessert.

5.)  Many fundraisers require tickets to be sold in advance so that a headcount can be decided for the food. If you are selling tickets in advance you may want to consider some of the online Event Registration systems available.  Some offer charity or non-profit options with reduced processing fees.  The credit card processing fees can take away from the amount you raise for your cause so read the pricing carefully.  “Facebook Events” are a great way to promote events but are not great for event registration and payment processing.

6.)  Raffles and 50/50s are a good way to raise additional money at a fundraising event. Use your planning group or Committee to help sell tickets.   If you know some of the raffle items in advance try posting photos of them in the “Facebook Event” or do “Facebook Live.”  Also, be prepared for people to ask if you have a “Square” to process credit cards at the event.  The “Square” is a credit card reader that connects to your smartphone or tablet and allows you to easily process credit cards and email receipts.  It is inexpensive to obtain but there are credit card processing fees just like the online registration systems.

7.)  Make sure that attendees know what the fundraiser is for and how their support is making a difference. By presenting a photo slideshow, printed program or video at the event attendees may be touched and feel more generous.  Minimally I would suggest having someone announce where the proceeds will go and how they will benefit the person or charity.

8.)  Say THANK YOU! Be sure to publicly thank your volunteers, sponsors, attendees, vendors, venue, and anyone else involved in the event. Although they are most likely not looking for this it is always nice to be appreciated and a classy way to end the event.

Hopefully these tips will help you have a very successful fundraiser! Should you need assistance with planning your fundraiser or need a Day of Event Coordinator please feel free to reach out to me at jessica@jessicamartinevents.com.