From 5k runs to motorcycle rides to gala charity auctions, non-profit groups large and small have a lot of options to raise funds for their cause. But each of these events can be quite an undertaking. It can be on the scale of planning a grand wedding several times a year – there are a lot of moving parts! We have three tips to keep your event running smoothly.
Start planning early.
Obviously, you can’t just go into this willy nilly. We recommend you start by gathering a committee about a year before the event. It seems like a long time but trust us, you’ll need it! Talk about the goals of your event and how it fits into your organization’s overall mission and fundraising plan and decide how you’d like to promote the event. Then we suggest delegating jobs to people and volunteers with backgrounds in those fields (i.e. – marketers taking care of promotions, someone with managerial or HR experience organizing volunteers, ect.) and schedule regular meetings to assess how you’re doing.
A few months before the event, begin to ask your general volunteers if they’ll be able to help with various “day of” tasks like registration or helping set up or break down tables, ect. Asking early makes it easy for them to save the date. Make sure your volunteers understand their rolls and then, about a week before the event, invite all volunteers to the site if possible for an orientation and take questions if anyone is confused.
Information is key to success.
Build in presentations through out the event to thank donors and participants for attending and remind them of the accomplishments they have helped your charity achieve and what you’d like to see it achieve in the future. Consider multimedia presentations that will keep people’s attention or even guest speakers who can inform the guests or give testimonials.
You may also consider placing information around the event – posters, signs or videos that give tidbits of information about successes your organization would like to celebrate!
Don’t forget to make sure all your volunteers understand what your organization does and how it does it! This seems simple but if volunteers are able to better help guests understand the mission and goals of the organization it helps deomonstaight that passion and professionalism of the cause that guests are supporting.
Make your event an experience.
Whether its a fun run or a ticketed ball, you need to entertain your guests and make sure they are having a good time. After all – when people are in a good mood they are more likely to donate! They are also more likely to tell others about the event and return the following year.
This is your chance to get creative! Choose a circus theme and invite local circus performers to showcase their skills throughout the night. Ask a local dance studio to give guests a quick lesson and dance the night away to a live swing band. Invite celebrities to act as masters of ceremonies or have a campfire singalong. The possibilities are really endless.
And don’t forget – say thank you as many times as possible!
Seacoast Events also offers a number of show-stopping services that enhance events such as photo booths, larger than life games, event lighting and more. Other entertainment you may consider is live music or DJ services or demonstrations. We offer a non-profit discount for qualifying organizations too! Contact our event coordinators and today and find out how we can help!
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