Planning Your Fundraising Event… With Excellence!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with the daunting task of planning your next fundraising event? There is just so much to consider! For instance…

Do you want a small gathering or a large crowd? A warm environment or glitz and glam? A brief program or a big-name entertainer?

As you plan and strategize, it’s imperative you ask yourself these four vital questions:

1. What’s the purpose of this event?

First, consider your key objective(s). Does your organization need a large sum of money, or does the organization need to inspire donors to increase their support? Are you simply in need of bringing awareness to a project or initiative, or do you need to prioritize the stewardship of your donors?

2. Who do you want at the event?

Donor selection is an important factor as you begin the planning process. Do you want a broad base of top donors, mid-level supporters, and emerging donors? Or would you rather have a select group of key major donors?

What about donors who just need to learn more about your organization before they make the decision to invest in your ministry? You may be focused on gaining momentum with general supporters, providing clarity for how they can be a part of the future of the organization.

3. Where will your event take place?

Are you looking to do multiple regional events, building rapport in the community, or one large event? Some prefer a destination location while others opt for staying close to their headquarters and their key donor base, which additionally, allows staff to attend.

Where do you want to take them? And how do you want the space to feel? A five-star high-end hotel with people dressed to the nines feels different than an intimate, yet casual, setting at a getaway retreat center.

And lastly, consider this: Are you going to pay for all of it or meet them in the middle?

4. What donor research do you need to consider?

Wealth screening your donors before the event is a good habit to get into. You need to know what they’re capable of to ensure that what you’re presenting is pertinent to the audience.

Other things to consider: Is there anything in a recent call note you can prepare to ask them about – the wellbeing of a hospitalized family member, or a recent life change? Maybe you’ve never asked them ‘why they chose to support your organization in the first place’, or ‘why they choose to support the ministry still today’?

Preparing for the donor’s attendance is critical to a successful event. Knowing their likes and dislikes and prepping your team to ask specific questions, only enhances the flow of the event, and allows your donors to feel cared for and special.

Doing this prep work ahead of time will greatly increase the effectiveness of your event.

So, keep these four key questions in mind as you dive into the planning process for your next big event. And just maybe… it won’t seem quite so daunting.

For more tips on executing your next fundraising event, be sure to check out my Dunham Institute Course, Major Gift Development: Staging the Event.


More Insights from Dunham+Company: “4 Free Tools to Maximize Your #GivingTuesday Campaign”

Ready to take the next step? Dunham+Company is here to help your organization have more impact and establish deeper relationships with your donors and supporters.

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