Planning a fundraising event? Here are 5 tips to help you make it a success

Planning an event can be very stressful and hectic. It is also be a fantastic way to raise a significant amount of money for your special cause. That being said, there is a long list of variables that need to come together in unison to create an effective fundraising event.

Our team has put together a shortlist of the top five fundraising event tips and best practices.

Fundraising Event Tip #1: Set your event budget

It is important to ensure that your ticket price will cover most of your event costs. This will ensure that the funds you raise will go directly to your cause. Set and secure sponsorships as early as possible as this also helps cover other expenses involved with putting together the event.

Fundraising Event Tip #2: Plan your run sheet

It’s important that the event flows in the most important way to maximise fundraising. Ensure guests are well fed, ‘watered’ and entertained before really emphasising why they have all come together for your event.

Use a heartfelt speech or video that tells the story of your cause in an emotional way to appeal to you guests. This should make sure everyone understands the impact of their donations Then, ensure you go straight into your Live Auction. This is the most crucial time to drum up funds.

Important note: Ensure that food service is not happening during the Live Auction. Guests should not be distracted by dessert or their food. You want their full attention on the auction items.

Fundraising Event Tip #3: Keep the activities fun and entertaining

Do something different. Create a spark! Wow your guests to encourage them to donate and spend money. Consider including competitive games such as heads and tails, balloon raffles, or Helping Hand Group’s Last Donors Standing Format as a way to engage with your guests.

Use your table centrepieces as a way to raise funds. It is most likely that you’ve spent money to make the room attractive. Use them as a lucky draw with raffle tickets with one winner at each table!

Try out a unique venue location indoors or outdoors that offers a special view, architecture or décor. Consider pairing your event up with a public event that is planned in close proximity to your venue.

Fundraising Event Tip #4: Be well organised ahead of time with proper help to reduce stress and workload

Consider bringing in a third party fundraising specialist (such as Helping Hand Group) to ensure your auction is stress free! They take care of everything such as bringing in big ticket items, providing the bidding platforms for you to facilitate your auctions, and providing a smooth, care-free auction process.

Don’t leave finding donations to the last minute. Plan ahead and reach out to your network and chase people up persistently to ensure they confirm all details so you can plan and promote your auction lists well in advance.

Start selling event tickets early. Planners have been known to often leave this detail to the last minute. Focusing on guest attendance should be a high priority as this is the hardest element of the event sometimes.

Note: If you will use an electronic silent auction platform, connect your ticketing system with your auction platform. This promotes registration before your event so your guests don’t have to spend time doing it at your event. Speak to a Helping Hand Group staff member today about how we can help you do this!

Fundraising Event Tip #5: Post-event Follow Ups and Thank Yous

Take the time to use the data you’ve collected from your event to thank people for their contributions. This could include your prize purchasers, your volunteers, people who donated items or people who donated their time helping you put the event together. It’s a small gesture that can go a long way when planning your next event.

Helping Hand Group can handle all your post-event auction tasks such as chasing outstanding winners for payment, handling item deliveries and ensuring guests get their vouchers and have a great time using their prizes!

Contact a Helping Hand Group Fundraising Event Expert near you for more information and tips for your next fundraising event.