The other day, I was thinking about the different types of events there are – cause days, balls, dinners, auctions, VIP events, community events, personal challenges and endurance events and the list goes on and on and on. Oh, and then there are virtual events!
Add then to that the hundreds of online events being promoted by charities around Australia and you have a fundraising event explosion! And then there are virtual events …an event without actually hosting an event!
All of which our firm has been involved in creating or coordinating.
So what does this mean for charities and fundraising events as a viable source of income?
According to the latest Giving Trends report produced by O’Keefe and Partners, special events is still considered to be one of the most effective solicitations techniques, right up there with Direct Mail and Major Gifts. Despite the number of events and high level of competition for the donor dollar, income from special events remained stable or increased for a massive 70% of charities surveyed.
It appears that the influx of events is shining a light on charitable causes and helping to build a culture of philanthropy.
For the those charities who are looking to enter the events
space or those who want to get more out of their
investment in this often expensive activity here are three
tips for a successful fundraising event. If you are looking
for more tips, feel free to give us a call.
Embrace online and new technologies
While many donors will still prefer a paper invitation, why not reinforce your message and build excitement by integrating digital media. Empower your supporters to help you spread the word through social media and ensure you have an online presence with a dedicated website or event page. You can also make an event more engaging by utilising new technologies such as live text-to-pledge.
Don’t forget to ask
It seems like a no-brainer, but too often charities neglect to directly ask for a donation. You can’t assume that event participants know what is expected of them, so you need to spell it out – inform, educate & inspire! Most importantly, make it simple for people to donate and secure their support at the event. A follow-up email or letter is great for thanking and relationship building, but less effective for prompting donations.
Make sure you follow up
If you want a long-term relationship with your event participants you must have a strategy in place to ensure they don’t feel like a one night stand. Follow up with them after the event, thank them for their support and show them what has been achieved. Let them know how often you will be in contact with them and invite them to engage with you in another way, such as signing up for your newsletter or becoming a volunteer. Just as important as following up with your participants, is following up internally to analyse the performance of your event. This important but often a missing step will ensure you learn from your mistakes and benefit from continuous improvement.
O’Keefe and Partners were pioneers in the area of fundraising events and have played a role in the establishment of many long-running and successful events. We work with organisations big and small, helping them to:
- Creating new events
- Identify and scope out opportunities for new events
- Audit and review the performance of events and devise strategies to manage risksand meet today’s challenges
- Develop plans and event collateral
- Maximise the fundraising potential of events (pre, during and post the event)
If your event is underperforming or you are looking for ways to ensure your event remains profitable, relevant, contemporary and engaging from year to year, then call or email us today.
Our services can be engaged on an hourly rate, project fee or an annual retainer. Contact us today
We all know Feasibility Studies are an important step to undertaken when preparing for a
capital appeal, however did you know that the Feasibility process is also valuable to test a new event concept?
In the meantime, remember to: