Whether you are planning an in-person, virtual, or hybrid fundraising event, one thing they all have in common is making them profitable to benefit your cause. So how do you decide on fundraising event pricing? It’s essential to strike the right balance when calculating costs for your charity events. You don’t want to charge too much, as you want to encourage maximum participation, but making a profit is essential, so you can’t go too low either.
To help you find that perfect balance, check out our pro tips on successfully pricing charity events and exceeding your fundraising goals.
Gather a Planning Committee and Create a Solid Budget
Before you decide how much your registration fees will be, it’s vital to draw up a detailed budgeting plan for your fundraising campaign. Don’t attempt this alone. Gather a planning committee of like-minded people who will ensure the success of your fundraising campaign. Determine your fundraising goals and budget together. Don’t forget that fundraising events with targets raise more than those without. So aim high and spread the word!
Your fundraiser will benefit greatly by recruiting a strong fundraising committee from the get-go. Remember not to overstretch yourself when setting your fundraising goals and be realistic when planning your budget and overhead costs.
What Do Your Attendees Expect to Get Out of the Event?
No matter what type of fundraiser you’re organizing, they all have one thing in common when planning your finances. You will need to examine your target audience’s perception of value. This is crucial to understand as it determines the direction you choose to go in and the size of your fundraising budget. Decide whether your potential registrants see value in being entertained, playing a part in helping a particular cause, or enjoying the feeling of belonging to a community. Offer fair but competitive pricing, as it’s important to be on the same pricing level as other similar events.
What to Expect from Virtual Technology
Technology can be expensive, but if your organization knows what works best, it’ll be worth what you’re paying for. Make sure you meet your target audience’s virtual expectations when choosing the right platform. Here are a few factors to examine when making these important tech choices.
Where Are Attendees Connecting From?
Once you manage to engage globally, you must think about what time to run your virtual event to suit everyone all over the world – choose a time that is convenient for all your worldwide attendees, preferably at the weekend, during daylight hours, such as 9 am in the UK and 5 pm in California. Don’t make your fundraiser too long so that it runs over into the night in one time zone when it’s only late morning in another country.
Identify your target audience. Is it mainly Millennials and Gen Z’s, who are generally more tech-savvy and up-to-date with all the new tech trends? Or are you receiving more interest from the Boomer generation, who might be more concerned about basic tech needs and more focused on the mission and impact of your campaign? In a nutshell, don’t splash out on a super fancy platform if your attendees are not inclined to take advantage of it.
If you have an international audience, ensure you understand what streaming channels exist in each country where you have registrants. You may use a channel in the US that needs a different link to that in India or certain parts of Asia. Again, it’s crucial to identify where your audience is participating from to seamlessly integrate all attendees and pull off a successful and profitable virtual fundraiser.
Connectivity Setbacks and Tech Support
It’s incredibly important to consider the differing levels of global connectivity. The fact is that some of your attendees will have faster and more stable internet connections than others. This is also a factor when offering your campaign globally, as certain countries will have better internet access than others. Audio and video connections may drop in and out during your campaign so make sure not to scrimp on tech support. This is essential when running a smooth virtual fundraiser. Solid tech support will come at a price but will be worth every penny to avoid losing valuable donors.
So, let’s dive into how to price face-to-face, virtual and hybrid events.
In-Person Fundraising Event Pricing
Restrictions remain in place for many physical fundraisers, but this doesn’t mean they have ceased to exist since Covid shook everyone’s world. With appropriate safety regulations in place, people are starting to gather and create a sense of togetherness again for a good cause.
So, how do we calculate the price of an in-person fundraiser? Here are a few questions to consider when planning your fundraising finances:
- Will you need to rent a venue, transport, entertainment, A/V equipment, signage, or catering?
- How strict are your rental contracts? Cancellation clauses and flexible contracts are incredibly important during these uncertain times.
- Do you have a backup plan for unexpected cancellations or last-minute changes? For example, virtual or/and hybrid options?
It’s important to consider the cost of on-site manpower when pricing your face-to-face fundraiser. Registration fees need to reflect the following in-person event costs:
- Team members (remember that even if they are volunteers, they will most probably incur travel costs to get to the venue.)
- Registration tables
- Event management
In-person charity events can vary significantly in price. If you are planning a community walk-a-thon and there’s no need for venue rental, transportation, or catering services, your organization will not necessarily have to splash out on a huge budget. On the other hand, if your group is planning an upscale silent auction and gala evening, you won’t be able to scrimp if you want to impress your donors and aim high with fundraising goals.
In-person event pricing will strongly depend on what you want from your fundraiser. Whether you want to sell expensive tickets to an exclusive event or host something more affordable but with a greater turnout, make sure that your registration and ticket prices reflect value-based pricing.
Pro Tip: If this is your first fundraising event, price it within the mid-low range. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to attract high-paying attendees if it’s your first event, and if the price is more affordable, it will encourage more people to participate. We all know that more people equals more donations and increased awareness for your cause. Over time, your popularity will grow, and you’ll be able to charge more for tickets and registration fees. For your first event, you could even consider charging a low fee or free admission to certain parts of your fundraising event so that more people sign up and become new supporters of your organization.
Virtual Charity Event Pricing
Virtual fundraisers have become increasingly popular since 2020, a trend here to stay. When pricing your virtual fundraising events, ensure the price is low enough to provide value but high enough to generate a profit. Virtual events can be highly cost-effective and offer many benefits when price planning.
Here are just a few benefits of virtual events to consider:
- Save money on venues, catering, signage, live hosts, and A/V equipment rentals, among many other physical event incidentals.
- Expensive transport costs are eliminated with virtual events. No need to take planes, buses, or cars to the fundraiser, as all your attendees will need to do is connect online.
- Hotels, rentals, and restaurant bookings are a huge saving for virtual charity events, as registrants will participate from their homes or offices.
With all these savings on utilities and incidentals when planning your virtual fundraiser, you can offer your participants cheaper registration fees and more value for money. Who doesn’t like saving money and still getting great value?
Naturally, virtual fundraisers’ main cost is the tech side of things. So make sure to examine the following tech costs when pricing your event.
- Choose the best platform for virtual events
- Hire online Tech Support
- Live Streaming platform and equipment
- Virtual A/V Technology
DoJiggy offers a free live-streaming platform to give your supporters more engagement opportunities and options to contribute to your cause.
Your virtual charity event pricing will strongly depend on how much you want to invest in tech. If you want your campaign to be super fancy with branding everywhere, your costs will increase. But your costs will be reduced if you focus more on the attendee experience and keep the tech side relatively simple.
Pro Tip: Apart from raising awareness and money for a good cause, other important reasons people attend fundraisers are to network, learn a new skill, and hear from experts and even celebrities, who are affiliated with your organization. Don’t forget this when planning your virtual fundraiser. Offer virtual conferences or Q&A with experts, so that your attendees get their value for money.
Hybrid Fundraising Event Pricing
Executed well, a hybrid fundraiser is a perfect marriage between a face-to-face event and a virtual event. Because of this combination of two event models, a hybrid charity event is typically more expensive than a virtual event but still more affordable than an in-person campaign.
Don’t underestimate the extensive thought and planning of organizing a hybrid fundraiser. It’s essential to seamlessly integrate two event models, in order to execute a successful campaign. To better understand how to achieve this, take a look at our suggestions.
Hybrid Fundraising Tech Costs to Consider
- Platform – choosing the right platform for your fundraiser is vital. Check what best suits your campaign’s needs and your budget.
- Online Tech Support
- Live Streaming
- Virtual A/V Technology
Hybrid Fundraising Face-to-Face Costs to Consider
- Rentals: Venue, A/V Equipment, catering, transport, signage
- On-site event management
- Registration tables
How Do You Justify Charging More to Physical Attendees for the Same Event?
A higher registration fee is charged to physical attendees due to elevated costs of the in-person part of the fundraiser. Indirect costs such as catering, hospitality, transport and venue rental all add up and this must be reflected in the difference in price between physical and virtual registration fees.
Yes, face-to-face interaction comes at a higher price but physical registrants should see the value reflected in their in person experience and what they are offered during the onsite event. Finding a fair ratio between the face-to-face registration fee and those taking part virtually is essential and depends on many factors, such as expected participation on-site, costs covered by event sponsorship, and the added value offered to the on-site attendees.
What Model Offers the Best Value?
Be aware that depending on the scale of your event, a hybrid fundraiser can range from 20-50% more expensive than a physical or virtual-only charity event.
Note that it’s important to decide whether to focus your marketing strategy on promoting the virtual or physical part of the event. If there are more virtual registrants, the venue rental for a hybrid fundraiser should be cheaper than a complete in-person event, as you will need a smaller space. However, the opposite will occur if you have more face-to-face attendees, as your venue will need to be bigger to accommodate everyone.
Consider adding more virtual elements to your hybrid fundraiser to keep costs low. For example, how about getting a virtual host to elevate engagement for the virtual participants? This means that the online attendees will receive that personal touch often lost through the screen. Also, with someone taking responsibility for the virtual supporters, your in-person team can focus on the live event, eliminating high stress levels.
Additional Costs for All Charity Events
All fundraising events have a common goal: increasing awareness and raising money for their cause. Many pricing factors vary depending on what model you choose for your campaign. However, some common ingredients can be used across fundraising models to achieve a successful and profitable charity event.
Take the following into consideration when pricing your fundraiser:
- Marketing and promotion can be as cheap (even free) or expensive as you desire with social media.
- Selling branded merchandise on your e-commerce store is a great way to add extra money to your organization’s bottom line.
- Procuring desirable prizes and auction items is essential to attract participants.
- Offering incentives and rewards can motivate your attendees to give generously.
Conclusions on Charity and Fundraising Event Pricing
You will always get out of your fundraiser what you put in. This does not mean spending a fortune on the best tech platforms, top-of-the-range A/V equipment, and exclusive venues. Keep your organization’s mission at the forefront of your planning strategy. Don’t go over budget on unnecessary factors that distract from the money and awareness you are trying to raise to make a real impact for a good cause, but consider all your costs when defining your fundraising event pricing.