Fundraising for a good cause can be a great experience on so many levels. Not only will you learn a lot about the process but you will also be helping others tremendously too. From crowd funding to national fundraising to local fundraising you have a few different options at your disposal. For the purpose of this article however we will start with the most basic form: doing something local.
Local fundraising is probably the easiest and most realistic way for most people to fundraise on a non professional level. The nice part of local fundraising is that you can get away with doing it on a low budget making your overhead pretty minimal overall. You can do something like hold a block carnival, organize a local competition (like a fun run to raise money), or do something like meet up at a local venue and hold a raffle or auction. All of these are basic but great ways to get the ball rolling.
A side note regarding reservations is that it is best to make them as far in advance as possible. If you are thinking of catering food it is also best to let the place where you would like food catered from know as far in advance as possible as late catering reservations can cause loads of problems.
The event itself:
Once you have your venue selected the next thing you should do is start focusing on what you want to accomplish at the event. Things from food to drinks to items you want to auction are all variables that are going to need to be planned out well in advance before you do anything else. Try to visualize the event as you would imagine it playing out and plan accordingly from there. If you think you are going to get one hundred people then plan out a scenario which caters to one hundred people. Also realize that it is important to be be flexible though because if you get extra people you will likely have to bend your plan to accommodate them too.
Another consideration is what you want to accomplish at the event itself. Obviously you are there to collect money for a cause but how are you going to go about doing it? This is where you should consider things such as offering out incentives for donators, hiring live talent, or even giving a heartwarming speech yourself. More is always better here so be innovative with ideas.
After you finally have everything down on paper make sure the event as a whole is seamless from start to finish so that when it comes to executing the plan you will know it like the back of your hand. One easy way to get stressed out last minute is because you forgot an important detail that you wanted to accomplish during the event. It pays to be extra careful in making sure you run over your plan as many times as possible so that when people finally arrive you are fully prepared to achieve everything you had in mind.
Have a backup plan:
Now lets talk about if things go wrong. They rarely do but it is always best to remember that no plan is foolproof and something wrong can always happen. Backup plans are a crucial part of planning events and especially fundraisers because you always want to always make sure you are giving off a great impression so people are more inclined to stay the full duration of the event and get more involved too. The purpose of a backup plan is to ensure no unexpected obstacles pop up during your big event night. From running out of food to losing your reservation always come with an alternative strategy in case things don’t go as planned.
Promote, promote, promote:
It is extremely important that you promote your own event! Fundraisers are common nowadays and it is crucial that you do something to make yours stand out. I suggest adding fun unusual elements to it while still keeping in the spirit of fundraising. Don’t go too overboard but maybe consider making the event theme related. Something like “free dinner and a show for all children” will entice a lot of parents to come knowing that their kid can get a nice snack and some free entertainment. More than likely they would be willing to chip in some money too.
When promoting it is also important that you utilize all of your connections both on social media and in your work and personal life. Spread the word! Don’t be afraid to tell people about what you have coming up because you never know who might be interested. More people attending the event provides more opportunities for donations. Try to also give your fundraiser a personalized feel and make sure everyone feels welcome. It is the small details such as that one which will really help your fundraiser take that extra step and make things special for everyone in attendance.
Additionally, for people who can’t attend the event because of untimely obligations create other avenues where you can receive donations such as via an online account which you can link to your Facebook.
Yup, that’s basically it. Just a little this and that and you will be there in no time…. said no one ever. Don’t worry though I am sure you will do great. Just remember that there is no such thing as bad time invested in this. You are raising money to help others and you should feel great every second that you do it.