While the primary mission of hosting non-profit events is generally to fundraise, there are also other essential reasons why fundraising events are so important for organizations. Let’s discuss some other benefits and reasons why hosting fundraising events are one of the vital lifelines for any non-profit organization.
5 Reasons to Host Fundraising Events, Beyond Raising Money
Hosting fundraising and nonprofit crowdfunding events generally take a lot of planning. Is it worth it? The short answer is yes! There are many reasons to host fundraising events, beyond just raising funds. So here is our list of five extra reasons for hosting fundraising events. Of course, the good news is that all of these will help you raise more money down the line:
- Strengthen Relationships and Support
- Raise Awareness About Your Cause
- Provide Donor and Sponsor Recognition
- Build Your Donor Base
- Pave the Foundation for Other Forms of Fundraising & Engagement
Strengthen Relationships and Support
Hosting a nonprofit fundraising event is a highly orchestrated effort that involves many parties to make the event a success. When it comes to hosting an elaborate event, such as a gala or a charity golf tournament, a team of volunteers contributes to all the behind-the-scenes magic that makes an event come to life. This may include putting together goody bags, collecting sponsored in-kind donations for the charity auction or setting up the tables and decor, just to name a few things on the long list of tasks ahead. On the other side of the event, the attendees also contribute towards achieving the fundraising goal. The more volunteers contribute their time and effort towards your cause, the more their support is strengthened. The same goes for attendees, where the more they participate in events hosted by your organization, the more their support is strengthened. Their dedication solidifies towards your cause as they contribute their donations, time, and effort consistently towards your special events.
Going hand-in-hand with building support from your donors and volunteers, your events naturally raise awareness about your cause. With events, it is easy to update your supporters with timelines of achievements, new developments and more, which shows them how integral and impactful their support has been towards the cause. One of the reasons fundraising goals and support growth can become stagnant is due to a lack of communication about your organization’s progress. If supporters don’t see a clear picture of how their donations are being used towards the mission or goals, it becomes easy for your donor base to waver. The key when growing towards your goal is to always build upon your existing donor base, not to gain new ones as you lose old ones.
Provide Donor and Sponsor Recognition
One of the most effective ways of retaining your donor base is by giving them the spotlight. Recognizing major benefactors can come in many forms within an event. One of the ways of recognizing a donor is by giving them an award for their contributions. Another way is by event participation, such as allowing them to speak at your event or introducing someone important at the event. For sponsor recognition, this can include naming certain sections, tables or other aspects of the event for high-worth sponsors. The mutual benefit for sponsors is that they gain exposure for their brand through your organization, while you receive in-kind or monetary donations to support your efforts. Read more about how to attract sponsors to support your fundraising events.
Build Your Donor Base
While one of the crucial benefits that events provide is donor retention, gaining new supporters is another significant benefit that is paramount for sustaining growth towards your fundraising goals. Many event attendees often come with a plus one, which offers a great way to spread awareness about your cause to new audiences. Another medium of welcoming new attendees is through marketing, public relations and promotions. As the news of your event spreads throughout the community, news outlets and social media, it is a great way to welcome new faces to come and learn more about your cause, attend an event or get involved by volunteering.
Pave the Foundation for Other Forms of Fundraising & Engagement
Events are the starting point of building face-to-face trust with your donors and solidifying relationships. When an organization has a strong donor base offline, online fundraising efforts become more seamless to achieve. Online fundraising efforts include peer-to-peer fundraising or crowdfunding. Walk-a-thons and fun runs are popular peer-to-peer fundraising events. When paired together to support individuals or teams towards their participation in an event, friends and family are more prone to contribute donations for the bigger cause behind an event.
While these reasons clarify the importance of hosting fundraising events, the endeavors towards planning a fundraising event do not happen overnight. Here are some helpful tips for fundraising event planning.
Tips for Planning Stellar Fundraising Events
Follow these steps when planning nonprofit events:
Plan for the Entire Year
Your nonprofit needs to have a fundraising strategy. Events can contribute a sizable amount of your annual fundraising goals. Analyze your past fundraising numbers, then plan the fundraising goal for the year that demonstrates reasonable growth. After the goal is determined, decide on the number of events required to achieve a portion of the goal. It takes at least 3-6 months to plan an event, based on logistics, attendees, and fundraising event budget, so plan and delegate accordingly.
Build a Strong Event Planning Committee
Events take a lot of time, effort, and commitment to successfully execute. A strong committee has a team of people that can contribute experience, time, resources and network. The tasks that make an event successful include sponsorship procurement, event planning, event budgeting/bookkeeping, and more. Vet and choose your committee carefully to create a balanced team, as each individual will have their certain strengths to contribute towards the needed tasks at hand.
Utilize Fundraising Software
Managing growth for your fundraising goal and seamlessly organizing your events to achieve them can be easier to do with robust fundraising software. DoJiggy’s software features make your planning and fundraising efforts more effective and efficient, such as real-time reporting, streamlined communication with volunteers and attendees, event ticket management, ability to host peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, secure credit card processing, and more.
Review and Document Everything
In addition to maintaining your database of donors, sponsors, and volunteers within the fundraising software, documenting processes and procedures is a salient step towards sustainability and future event planning. As the committee grows and changes, saving templates for forms, outreach emails, marketing collateral, letters, invitations and more saves time and energy. New committee members and volunteers should never need to start from scratch when taking over a role. Be sure to host post-event follow-up meetings, to determine your event successes and failures.
With the major benefits of hosting fundraising events and some helpful tips on how to plan events for your organization, this is a great start to planning your organization’s goals towards achieving growth into the new year.