Non-Profit event planners are all about service. After all, they exist to help people. So it’s no surprise that they maintain this commitment to service is found in their events, especially fundraising events, creating the best experience for attendees they can. But how do non-profit event planners actually get donations from these stellar events? How can they sell tickets, get attendees on subscriber plans, and take pledges? Never fear, because Sparxo will share 6 ways to get donations for your Non-Profit events.
Set Goals for Your Event and Attendees
The first step to a successful non-profit event is to set clear goals. Give yourself a benchmark for donation success, and don’t keep it private – share it with your attendees. Put this in advertisements, posters, and announcements, to make it clear your organization and the event’s attendees are all working toward this same fundraising goal.
You’ll also need to set a budget for your non-profit event, a goal for event spending. You obviously need to raise funds beyond the amount you’re going to spend. A clear budget goal will help keep your costs in perspective and get more for your money. Make sure to include things like venue, seating, entertainment, food, drink, as well as any unforeseen costs. You’ll want to pad your budget to account for the unexpected.
Last, give the event-goers a goal beyond the fundraising goal. Give them an activity, a game, participatory entertainment – something to keep them engaged. Simply putting people in a room with food is often not enough. Professional development, networking, or even meet other singles are all excellent attendee goals.
Make it fun
Get donations is not a valid event theme. Satisfied attendees open their wallets. If you want event-goers to donate, you want them to have a good time.
One of the best ways to make event-goers enjoy their experience is to get them to be social. These social-theme fundraisers like speed-dating or meet and greets are a fun way to expand upon the traditional benefits dinner format.
Another great way to get event-goers to have a good time is by offering value upfront. Provide them with free food, free drinks, free entertainment, party favors, and other goodies. Make it clear you’ve spared no expense on their behalf.
Make it Personal
One of the most time-honored means of fundraising is establishing a personal connection. This means making your attendees feel special, that they matter.
The first step here is to tailor each individuals’ experience as best you can. These are things like personalizing emails, personalizing cards, and creating intentional seating cards. You’ll also want to frequently check in with attendees and get their feedback.
Then, when making your fundraising appeals, you’ll also want to keep it personal. Stress how their contribution could specifically help another person. It pays to have examples of your nonprofits work to show them, and explain how by contributing, they will be creating results like the ones your non-profit has achieved in the past. Subscription-based calls to action are very effective here, especially coupled with pictures and details.
For example, the Scottish homeless charity Cyrenians created a digital chatbot ‘Alex’ designed to inform people about how easy it is to become homeless and the struggles they face. The ‘Ask Alex’ chatbot not only gave their cause a clear human element, but it allowed users to see exactly how they could help people like Alex, and how their contributions mattered.
Make it easy
When it comes to donations, convenience is king. Make it as simple as possible for attendees to donate, with credit card readers and pledges available at your event. Many attendees will only feel inspired to donate at the event, when emotions are high – don’t let these slip away. A little logistics can mean the difference between a donation and a forgotten donation.
You’ll also want to consider the venue. Pick someplace affordable, that meets your needs. Will it accommodate all your attendees? Is it affordable? Some venues might be willing to discount or event donate their space to be associated with a good cause. If you have any flexibility with your date, it can help secure a venue at a lower cost. Second, make sure your venue is accessible, and in an area your attendees are comfortable. Don’t make your attendees go too far out of their way.
5. Find a sponsor
Sponsorship can make or break your event. If your organization can secure a sponsor, more of the money your nonprofit raises can be used for your organization’s important causes rather than used to secure new donors.
But how do you go about finding new sponsors? It’s important to realize that sponsorship is not charity. In exchange for sponsorship, sponsors expect you to wield your event’s influence to give them a warm introduction to your event audience. They want to be exposed to your existing donors and clients who may be in their target demographic.
Start by creating a list of potential sponsors, whose customer base may align with your event attendee demographic. Learn as much as you can about each potential sponsor business and their target customers. It’s crucial to understand a potential sponsor before you propose a partnership.
Your next step is to make contact. Put together a strong argument for why this company should sponsor your non-profit event, explaining your nonprofit’s mission, and that attendees of your event may make customers for the sponsors’ business. We recommend sending out a batch at a time, each email tailored to the potential sponsor, with specific details about their business. You can find a simple sponsor request here. You can find a sample event sponsorship request letter here.
While a cold-call is often frowned upon, this could be a good option if a potential sponsor has a limited online presence.
Sell Tickets Online
Technology has taken ticket sales online. Not only can you now sell tickets directly from your site, but web tools ad social media give you an opportunity to advertise and reach new potential attendees on a budget.
Invite all your Facebook friends by creating a Facebook event page, get your friends to invite more people and share the event. Social media like Facebook also offer powerful advertising tools to let you send targeted promotions to the right audience, at low prices. Consider targeting users in your niche.
If you don’t already have one, we recommend you set up a Mailing List ASAP. Sure, Social media can be great for promotions, but direct messages through Facebook or Instagram can easily get lost. An email will go directly to the person intended and will be read when it’s most convenient. Setting up a newsletter system with a service like Mailchimp is free up to 2,000 contacts and unlimited emails. This will help you craft personalized messages and allow anyone interested in your event to stay up to date.
Last, capitalize on your network. Reach out to past attendees and donors, sending personalized messages that encourage them to attend your next event. This will not only increase attendance but increase the likelihood of donation.
As a non-profit event planner, you’re busy with scheduling, your clients, venue, and spreading your message of change. When it comes to ticketing software, you’re looking for convenience and often pick the first software you hear. However, most ticket sales software takes huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. You can use Sparxo to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets directly from your website with no redirects – all for free!
- Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
- aggregate all of your customer data in one place
- Keep 100% of your ticket sales
- Sell event tickets online
- White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand