Fundraising events are a staple of non-profit development. Yet so many organizations that rely on events are consistently disappointed with the amount they raise through this method. Today, we present three quick tips for raising more money at your next fundraising event:
#1 – Track Attendees for Future Fundraising Events
Most non-profits take down contact information for those who buy tickets for their events. But what about those who attend as guests? Are you tracking who is coming to your events, and how to get in touch with them, even if they didn’t buy the tickets?
If not, you’re missing out. I know it’s a hassle to try to get contact information for everyone that is attending. Many organizations want to do it, but feel that they don’t have the time or staff to do it at the event check-in table. Trust me… it’s worth the hassle.
If you are holding an annual event, the people who attend as guests of others are an amazingly strong prospect list for your future events. If you do a good job talking about your non-profit’s mission at your event, chances are these people will want to get involved with your organization, either at a future event or simply as a donor to your non-profit.
If you don’t track attendees, you’ll never know!
#2 – Make Phone Calls
This is probably the most effective way to boost fundraising for your next non-profit event. So many organizations rely on simply sending out event invitations to their list and harping on host committee members to sell tickets and sponsorships… and never pick up the phone to make an actual ask.
Non-profits that make calls for their events – either to ask people and companies to sponsor the event or to follow-up on event invitations and ask people to buy tickets – see a huge increase in fundraising event revenue over those who don’t.
Does your non-profit make phone calls for your fundraising events?
#3 – Keep Your Events Accessible
Lots of non-profits have only one criteria for their event venues: cost. These organizations try to keep costs down by holding the event at the cheapest venue that still will allow them to hold a nice event.
And many non-profits are able to find somewhere nice to host their events relatively cheaply… and that place is usually way outside of town (that’s why the cost is so reasonable). That’s why you see so many fundraising events being held way out in the suburbs, or well outside of the town center. This could potentially be a costly mistake.
While it is important to try to keep event costs reasonable, it is also important to make sure that as many donors as possible attend your events. When events are hard to get to, fewer people attend. It is far easier for someone to walk down the street or take a cab to your event than to drive 25 minutes to get there.
The next time you are planning a fundraising event, think to yourself… where are most of my donors located? Where are most of the people coming to this event from? Then, see if there is a reasonably priced event venue close to most of your donors.
Photo Credit: The Dana Files