Animal Shelter Fundraising

Planning A Fundraising Event

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Planning A Fundraising Event

Organizing a fundraising event is a great way to raise money for an organization or cause. Fundraising events raise awareness, encourage community participation and provide a fun event or gathering, all while raising money for a good cause. Planning a fundraising event, like planning for any other event, requires time, organization and creativity. Follow this easy-to-follow guide to successfully plan a fundraising event.

What is the objective?

Before you start with any actual event planning, first decide what the objective is for your fundraising event. Most fundraising events have more than one goal. The goal may be to gain publicity, raise awareness, expand an existing network or reward volunteers for their efforts, all while raising money at the event. Know what the desired result is so you can design an event that meets that goal.

How much money do you expect to raise?

How do you know if your fundraising event is a success if you do not have a fundraising goal? Establish a clear and measurable fundraising goal. The goal must be achievable but also a little out of reach. This will provide additional motivation for those involved in the event, and their target audience, to strive to achieve the goal of fundraising. Track the progress of fundraising using indicators and publicize progress using social media and other marketing channels. Encourage your fundraising network to contribute to help you reach your goal. Keep in mind that this goal is the amount of money left after paying all the expenses of the event.

Set a budget for events

With your fundraising goal in mind, set the budget for your event. Make a complete list of all the expenses involved in organizing this fundraising event.

This includes:

  • Possible rental expenses for a facility
  • Catering
  • Equipment rental
  • Personal expenses
  • Invitations
  • Entertainment (guest speakers, musicians)
  • Decorations
  • Transport
  • Security personnel

Your budget should reflect all known costs and include an amount for unforeseen expenses. To meet your fundraising goal, the amount of money raised in the event must exceed all expenses.

Know your target audience

To effectively market an event, be it an event to raise funds, a meeting or a festival, you must first establish who your target audience is. Are you trying to reach young professionals who will embrace your cause? Is your fundraising event something for the general public and anyone can attend? Perhaps your target audience is the owners of small businesses that will contribute a percentage of their sales to your cause. Think about who you are trying to reach so you can tailor your marketing efforts.

Advertising of the event

Once the event date is established, and the target audience is selected, it is time to work on the event’s publicity. Develop a public relations/marketing plan for the fundraising event, one that is separate from your fundraising event plan. Include a timeline for making announcements and sending materials, as well as the methods available for distribution. This may include:

  • Mail invitations for the event
  • Direct mail marketing campaign
  • Social meetings with representatives of the host committee
  • Online presence (website of the organization, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • Direct reach to the fundraising network of the organization
  • Local community outreach
  • Local newspapers and online publications
  • Businesses of the organizing committee and social network

Make your advertising campaign a priority. Without effective marketing, the event itself, as well as the charitable cause, will go unnoticed and the goal of fundraising will not be achieved.

Do not forget to say “Thank you”

Do not make the costly mistake of not thanking the participants/donors of your event, event sponsors and volunteers. Take the time to send personal notes to everyone who participates in your fundraising event. Thank the catering company for its participation in the sponsorship of the event and for providing stellar food. Thank the scout volunteers for their time and energy to help prepare the stores. Thank the vendors who provided much-needed rentals at a discount. You understand the idea.

With a little planning, you can organize a fun, entertaining event that people will want to participate in. You’ll raise funds for a good cause and maybe even entice new volunteers or donors to provide long-term support.

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