There are few fundraising efforts more popular than holding an event. But while events can bring in much needed funds, they can also take lots of time and can often be costly. That’s why proper planning can be critical and is necessary for making it a great success. Here then, are the most important things to consider when planning your next event.
Deciding on a purpose
The first thing you’ll need to do is determine what the purpose of your event will be. As some events are devoted entirely to raise money others have a variety of goals including garnering publicity and developing a network. By understanding what you want to accomplish will help determine all the details in your event plan.
Establish a fundraising goal
With input from everyone connected with the event, you will need to set a goal for fundraising. Once that’s established everything done moving forward will have that particular amount in mind. The number chosen should be what is hoped for and what will be left after all expenses are paid.
Deciding on the budget
The budget for an event should be decided upon and it should include a list of all related expenses such as invitations, rental space, food, entertainment and anything else that will be required. It’s also wise to leave a little more room in your budget for any unexpected expenses.
Who will be involved?
Fundraising events require the participation of many people including host committees made up of donors, celebrities and business leaders. They may not be in charge of the event but they will play an important role in its success as they contribute their time and in some cases money but they also encourage others to do likewise.
Who do you want there?
Deciding who will be invited to the event seems simple enough but considerations will have to be made on who best will help make the event a success. Whether those are business people, parents or young professionals or a combination of sorts, identifying those to reach out to is extremely important to the success of your event.
Everything is in the details and this especially true in deciding on all particulars like where to hold the event, whether to serve food, what dress is appropriate, the complete itinerary and if there should be any entertainment.
As with most new products getting the word out is crucial and the same holds true for marketing your fundraiser. Convincing supporters that your organization and event is worthy is paramount. When you write your plan, be sure that marketing strategies are a part of it and include all the potential methods for reaching out to people.
The sales end
Once you market your event, there must be a procedure in place for making the actual ticket sales, or accepting donations for the event. You must decide whether there will be different contribution levels for the event (such as a flat ticket charge, an extra charge to be invited to a V.I.P. reception in addition to the event, etc.). You must decide who will sell the tickets, how they will be shipped or delivered, and who will be responsible for organizing the incoming information.
Although you may not need to rehearse things, it’s vital that everyone involved making the event run smoothly understands what their roles and responsibilities are and where they need to be during the event. If it helps, run through the specifics with key event staff beforehand.
Thank those involved
A big mistake event organizers make is forgetting to thank those who made it all possible. This includes donors, volunteers, staff and all the vendors too. Remember to send thank you notes to all especially when you consider that you will probably need their help again sometime in the future.
Making sure all the key components are included in your event plan won’t necessarily ensure the success of your event but it will certainly help increase the chances for it.
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