Gala event room

Top Proven Nonprofit Fundraising Event Planning Tips

Gala event room

In my last article I offered a compendium of common sense event planning advice. It centered on the wisdom offered to Alice by the Cheshire Cat when she asked which road she should take:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,”
said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

— Alice in Wonderland

Your direction and goal is important. Once you settle on the goal, then you’re able to pick the best road to take you there.

Hopefully you read the previous article, determined an event was your best strategic option to reach your primary end goal, and now you’re ready to get to work!

What are Some Top Planning Tips to Invite and Ignite?

Do these four things:

1. First you want people to come. 

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Gala event reception

Common Sense Nonprofit Event Planning Advice

Gala event reception

Let’s begin with the Big Kahuna piece of advice: Ask yourself WHY you want to do this event.

Were you to bring your event proposal to a wise shaman or mentor, this is the question they would ask you first – well before asking what theme or format you have in mind or what color scheme you want to use!

And yet this is the one question I find nonprofits failing to ask.  Somehow staff and boards alike think events are simply an inevitable part of the diversified fundraising mix.  Or maybe even the primary way to generate awareness and funds.

Events are neither inevitable nor primary. They are merely a means to an end.

And since they are extremely resource-intensive, it’s critical to think long and hard before embarking on a strategy that could potentially derail other more lucrative and cost-effective approaches.

Events have their place, to be sure; it’s up to you to put them in their place. You must take charge, lest they take charge of you!

What is Your End Goal?

You don’t buy a drill because you need a drill. More likely, you need to create a hole. Maybe the drill will do that best or, perhaps, there’s another more effective tool. It depends on the size and purpose of your desired hole. The same is true with nonprofit special events.

You don’t create an event for the sake of having one (no matter what one or more board members think would be swell.).

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5 Ways Mobile Bidding Can Help You Raise More Revenue

Title slideWhen planning a charity auction, there are several moving parts to keep track of: your venue, item procurement, guest registration, guest management, and more. Whether you’re running a silent auction or a live event, these moving parts are important and need to be carefully monitored.

So, how can you best oversee the planning process and the event itself?

Mobile bidding and auction software has grown in popularity among charity auction events. With this software, you can streamline your event planning process from start to finish and make it easier for people to bid. But before we dive into the specifics, let’s define mobile bidding.

What is mobile bidding?

Mobile bidding is a paperless bidding method that allows guests to place bids straight from their phones. The software simplifies all aspects of your live and silent auctions, your event planning and management, ticketing, and other needs. It can add engagement to the event as well.

There are many ways mobile bidding can help boost your revenue and streamline everything at your charity auction. In this article, we’ll focus on the following areas where that can happen:

  1. Item Procurement
  2. Guest Experience
  3. Competition
  4. Participants
  5. Analytics

Are you ready to take a closer look at the ways mobile bidding can help you reach your fundraising goals? Let’s get started!

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Event guests wearing masks

Nonprofit Event Fundraising Part 2: They’ll Never Forget How You Made Them Feel

In Part 1 we looked at establishing event goals and objectives; then determining if an event was the most efficient and effective way to achieve desired outcomes.

We recognized most events are less about actual monetary return on investment (ROI) than they are about return on engagement (ROE).

In other words, if you’re doing an event purely to raise money there are other more cost-effective fundraising strategies. However, events done right are an excellent awareness-raising, branding and donor cultivation tool. You just have to go into events fully cognizant of what success will look like, both from your organization’s and your donor’s perspectives.  Only armed with this understanding can you create events that will be worth your while.

Today we look at ways to make events – once you’ve decided to hold them – fulfill both your and your donors’ dreams.

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marathon event

Nonprofit Event Fundraising Part 1: What’s the Point?

Do you think of your nonprofit event as a “fund raiser” or a “donor cultivation experience?”

The simple, obvious answer, of course, is that a good event is both.

In practice, however, successful event fundraising – galas and sport events and auctions that are worth the effort — is not this simple.

So let me ask this question another way:

What is your number one goal with your special event?

Think about this carefully for a moment. There can be a lot of reasons, good and not-so-good, for embarking on this admittedly resource-intensive strategy.  Do your ends justify your means?

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Fundraising Silent Auctions: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, the Easy

Got a silent auction coming up?

After our recent article (Charity Auctions: Providing a Better Donor Experience), I got a number of questions from folks who’d had negative experiences.

These weren’t just poor donor experiences. They were also real drags on staff.

And I feel your pain.

Sadly, I’ve been there.

I’ve worked these painful events. And I’ve been a bidder at them.

Silent auctions are a bit like the story of the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead:

When they are good they are very, very good; when they are bad they are horrid.

The Good

Silent auctions can be a great way to both increase event revenue and entertain your guests.

Don’t rule out the importance of the latter.

The very best events I’ve witnessed are those where

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Charity Auctions: Providing a Better Donor Experience

Event_auction_phone_biddingCharity auctions are an oft-held fundraising event, but even the most seasoned nonprofits often don’t host them well.

Since auctions are multifaceted events that are relatively complicated to organize, many organizations focus too much on getting the logistics in order and not enough on how they can provide an amazing experience for their donors.

Instead of considering how they can leverage their auction to build deeper supporter relationships, they bolt straight to the fundraising finish line: increasing event proceeds. It’s no wonder that event retention is so low!

In this article you’ll receive great advice from Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation, as to how you can make your auction a more positive experience for your donors, focusing specifically on how auction software can help.

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