Want to know the successful recipe for event fundraising success?
First, of course, is to have a fun event that really draws your target audience. But, how does that translate to fundraising? Particularly for community events without an admission fee, raising money for charitable organizations can sometimes require a bit of work – and a lot of planning.
- Choose wisely
Beyond pulling together an engaging event to draw your target audience, it’s important to choose a worthwhile cause. In other words, what organization or cause could you see vendors and sponsors really supporting? Which nonprofit could you envision spectators and guests supporting through ticket sales (if applicable), raffle tickets and donations?
Some events lend themselves naturally to a specific nonprofit. Think Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.
However, when groups create an event anew and opt to have it double as a fundraiser, choosing the right benefactor helps to ultimately decide if it will be an annual event or a one-time thing.
- Make it personal
Many times, selecting a cause close to an organizer’s heart speaks volumes to the businesses and other would-be financial supporters who assist in furthering the cause through their participation and/or donation.
When Falls Township Supervisor Jeff Boraski started the township’s Touch A Truck event, Jeff knew he wanted the event to benefit The Barkann Family Healing Hearts Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides financial aid to families in need due to recent adversity or tragedy.
The Foundation’s cause is an easy one to champion. People love to help people. The businesses and organizations that sponsor the event have a unique opportunity to meet and talk to local families, all while supporting families in need of assistance.
The popular Touch A Truck event (April 27, 2019) features bounce houses, face painting and, more importantly, dozens of large excavators, dump trucks, construction vehicles, fire trucks, emergency response vehicles and other machinery for kids to not only look at, but also climb on, explore and touch.
My company designed the fliers and other event graphics for the third annual event and I created a Facebook page promoting it. In choosing the cover photo and event images for our materials, I made sure to select photos from previous years to showcase the companies that supported Touch A Truck in the past and to provide a preview of sorts for attendees (sponsors or community members) new to the event.
- Offer unique marketing opportunities
Integral in creating effective sponsorship opportunities is offering give-backs that provide the most value to companies. For Touch A Truck, we are offering one-of-a-kind promotional initiatives for participants, including the ability for a company to sponsor the hard hats and safety glasses for kids. In turn, we will include the business name and logo on the materials – a value-added option that provides name recognition post-event.
I worked alongside Jeff and other township organizers in updating sponsorship levels to offer sponsors more marketing muscle for their generous contributions. Businesses may support an event simply for the cause alone, but to retain that buy-in year after year, it’s important to answer the business owner’s number one question – “what’s in it for me” – through your event’s sponsorship levels.
This blog scratches merely the surface of event fundraising. Many more ideas abound. The best ones, perhaps, are tailored to individual event themes. What are your ideas for effective event fundraising and how have you achieved your goals?
For the last four years, Katalinas Communications has provided public relations, writing, graphic design and social media services to the Falls Township Board of Supervisors, a municipal government organization in Falls Township. At times, my company has also assisted township officials with fundraising efforts, including Touch A Truck and the former Que for the Troops BBQ competition, which benefited nonprofit organization Liberty USO.
To learn more about how Katalinas Communications can help with your group’s sponsorship efforts, email Theresa at Theresa@KatalinasCommunications.com or call 215-519-8833.