Producing a major fundraising event can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor.
Rather than thinking of your event as a place to solicit donations, focus instead on using your event as the culmination of all your efforts to build relationships with donors. This means that before the event you need to communicate about your organization's work and build on those relationships. Then the event can celebrate your fundraising success, recognize devoted and generous donors, build community, and draw others closer to your mission.
To ensure success and to make sure you are paying attention to the fundamentals, it really helps to work with an experienced event planner. A little study on the subject doesn’t hurt. Here are some resources:
- The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) offers a free download of The 2014 Special Events Report, which is intended to help nonprofits produce quality events with desirable ROI.
- The NonProfit Times article, “7 Elements of a Successful Fundraising Event.”
- One of AFP’s “Ready Reference Series” guides, titled “Making the Most of Your Special Event.”
- Chapter 5 of Blackbaud’s "Best Practices for FUNDRAISING SUCCESS -- Diversifying Giving Channels" contains valuable insights.
- Explore the Chronicle of Philanthropy's website for helpful articles.
- Join and learn from Advancement Northwest, our state's AFP affiliate, which we welcome this month to the Statewide Nonprofit Resource Directory.