Whether you are planning an in-person, virtual, or hybrid fundraising event, one thing that 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 it’s essential to make a profit so you can’t go too low either. To help you find that perfect balance, check out our pro tips on how to successfully price charity events and exceed 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 early on, 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!
By recruiting a strong fundraising committee from the get-go, your fundraiser will benefit greatly. Just 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 the 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, make sure that you understand what streaming channels exist in each country where you have registrants. At times 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, in order 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 in order not to lose valuable donors.
So, let’s dive into how to price face-to-face, virtual and hybrid events.
In-Person Fundraising Event Pricing
Restrictions still remain in place for many physical fundraisers but this doesn’t mean that 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 great 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 greatly in price. If you are planning a crowdfunding walk-a-thon and there’s no need for venue rentals, transportation or catering services then your organization will not necessarily have to splash out on a huge budget. On the other hand, if you are 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 your fundraising goals.
Basically, in-person event pricing will strongly depend on what you want to get out of your fundraiser. Whether you want to sell expensive tickets to an exclusive event or host something more affordable but with a greater turnout, just make sure that your registration and ticket prices reflect value-based pricing.
Pro Tip: If this is your first fundraising event, make sure to price yourself 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 take part. We all know that more people equals more donations and increased awareness for your cause. Over time, if you decide to host an annual signature event, 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 and it is a trend that’s here to stay. When pricing your virtual fundraising events, make sure that the price is low enough to provide value but high enough to generate a profit. Virtual events can be extremely 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 more 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 it connect and enjoy!
- Hotels, rentals, and restaurant bookings are also a huge saving when it comes to virtual charity events, as registrants will be participating from the comfort of their homes, offices or gardens.
With all these savings on utilities and incidentals when planning your virtual fundraiser, you will be able to offer your participants cheaper registration fees and more value for money. Who doesn’t like to save money and still get great value for their spending?
Naturally, the main cost surrounding virtual fundraisers 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 designed with features to give your supporters more engagement opportunities and options to contribute to your organization’s cause
Basically, your virtual charity event pricing will strongly depend on how much you want to invest into the tech side of things. If you want your campaign to be super fancy with branding everywhere, obviously your costs are going to be increased. But if you are more focused on the attendee experience and keeping the tech side relatively simple, your costs will be reduced.
Pro Tip: Apart from raising awareness and money for a good cause, other important reasons people choose to attend fundraisers is 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’s with experts, so that your attendees are getting their value for money.
Take a look at our top ideas for virtual fundraisers here and get started now.
Hybrid Fundraising Event Pricing
Executed well, a hybrid fundraiser is basically 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 that goes into organizing a hybrid fundraiser. It’s essential to seamlessly integrate two event models, in order to execute a successful campaign. To get a better understanding of 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 that of 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, which is 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 levels of stress!
Additional Costs for All Charity Events
As we mentioned at the start, all fundraising events have one thing in common – increase awareness and raise money for their cause. Many pricing factors vary depending on what model you choose for your campaign. There are however some common ingredients, which can be used across all 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 as expensive as you desire. Check out our guide on how to promote and market your fundraiser with the latest social media trends here.
- 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 are essential in pulling in participants
- Offering Incentives and Rewards can motivate your attendees into giving generously
Conclusions on Charity and Fundraising Event Pricing
Basically, you will always get out of your fundraiser what you put in. This does not mean that you have to spend 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 of your costs when defining your fundraising event pricing.