Tips For Planning a Successful Fundraising Event

It’s prime time for event peer to peer fundraising season. The spring through fall timeframe is a great opportunity for organizations of all sizes to achieve their fundraising goals through well-organized events.

Many of our clients rely on a fundraising walk-a-thon, bike-a-thon or jog-a-thon fundraising events.  Our clients often ask us about the keys to a successful walk/bike/run fundraising campaign. Using our 20 plus years of building event peer to peer fundraising software, we have learned through our clients what works best.

Have goals and display your progress

Event participants and teams need goals. The goal can be amount of money raised, the number of donors or attendees. If your goal is money raised, determine the amount before planning the rest of your fundraiser. This will help you determine how much you actually have to raise to net that amount after deducting expenses.

Remember that it’s just as important for your event attendees to have their own goals. Goals always help people stay motivated. Most times when registrants set a goal, they more than achieve it because those donating on their behalf also want them to achieve that goal. Make sure your fundraising website requires each registrant to set a goal and remind them of their progress regularly.

Emphasize fundraising and minimize registration fees

Make the fundraising part of your event your focus, not registration fees to create a fundraising culture.  Charging registration fees as your primary fundraising revenue will not get you to your goal. After you remove the costs of running the event, what is left for your cause will be minimal.

This approach ignores the immense potential of peer to peer fundraising. Charge little to nothing to attend an event and instead require that attendees raise money. Organizations who use peer to peer fundraising tend to raise more. The math here is difficult to refute.  You can charge someone $20 to attend the event or ask them to raise $100.

Fundraisers are more engaged participants and supporters of your organization. The end result is always increased attendance and much higher revenue for the event. Keep in mind it is better to have an event with 100 attendees who each raise $500, than 500 attendees who pay a $20 registration fee.

Make team fundraising easy and fun

Events that allow and provide incentives for team fundraising raise the most money. Be creative and add weekly or biweekly incentives so that fundraisers stay interested in what the latest game is. Teams that encourage each other, motivate each other, and hold themselves accountable raise the most money.

Add more fun with costumes! They can be a fun highlight of the event and create great photo opportunities. Get teams to take photos in their costumes and post them on social media sites prior to the event. Then get more team photos the day of the event. Use the photos to celebrate and increase interest for your next event.

Invest in a post event celebration versus the swag bag. Make your event a happening that people look forward to attending every year.

Communication + Encouragement = Fundraising

Your spring event is not the only thing people are doing. Communicate weekly, update your membership in the weeks and months leading up to the event. Let them know how much has been raised so far and how much is left to go.

Your communications should be energizing, sharing how much has been raised so far. Recognize the top fundraising teams and individuals on a regular basis, providing some friendly competition among the participants. Always celebrate wins for every registrant. Remind and remind again why it is important to raise money and who will benefit from the fundraising efforts.

Have a deadline

Open-ended fundraising campaigns are less likely to hit their goals. Set a distinct fundraising deadline which will motivate participants. People need deadlines to achieve their goals because deadlines remove the procrastination that can happen when they are not defined. With a deadline, participants need to know when they need to finish their fundraising.

Implement an easy to use event fundraising platform

A software fundraising platform allows event registrants to create a personal page to help track their success. Registrants can define their fundraising goal and can share their personal page through email when they solicit donations. Each participant should have their own checklist for a successful event.

By following the simple guidelines above, you can make sure to create a fundraising event that is impactful, fun, and will stand the test of time. Let us know how we can help you experience Simple. Easy. Yes! Good luck with your fundraising!