While the primary mission of hosting nonprofit events is generally to fundraise, there are other essential reasons why fundraising events are so important for organizations. Let’s discuss other benefits and reasons why hosting fundraising events is a vital lifeline for any nonprofit or charitable 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. On the other side of the event, the attendees also contribute to 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. Supporter dedication solidifies toward 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. When growing towards your goal, the key is always building upon your existing donor base.
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 way to recognize 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 major event 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 of events 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 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 for building face-to-face trust with your donors and solidifying relationships. When an organization has a strong donor base offline, online fundraising efforts such as peer-to-peer fundraising are easy to achieve. Walk-a-thons and fun runs are popular peer-to-peer fundraising events. When paired together to support individual or team event participation, friends and family are more prone to contribute donations to your organization.
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 to ensure that events run smoothly and create a good image of your organization in the community.
Plan for the Entire Year
Your nonprofit needs to have a fundraising strategy. Events can contribute a sizable amount to 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 execute successfully. A strong committee has a team of people that can contribute experience, time, resources, and access to their 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 certain strengths to contribute to the needed tasks.
Utilize Fundraising Software
With robust fundraising software, managing growth for your fundraising goal and seamlessly organizing your events to achieve them can be easier. Our software features make your planning and fundraising efforts more effective and efficient. Your organization will benefit from real-time reporting, streamlined communication with supporters, event ticketing, the 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, fundraising 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. 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 planning events for your organization, this is a great start to planning your organization’s goals towards achieving growth into the new year.