Fundraising events continue to be important when it comes to raising money because people love opportunities to socialize and interact, especially when there’s a good cause involved. And regardless of your cause, events offer a powerful way to rise above the noise of everyone else who is also asking for money. They give you an opportunity to showcase what makes you different, help people have a great time for a great cause, and really build on your network. This article digs into key ideas you can use to create and boost your fundraising event.
Fundraising Event Ideas
If you can dream it, you can create an event around it! And if there’s an idea that relates directly to your cause, your brand, or you are otherwise passionate about, then that’s a good place to start. With that said, you can use this list of popular event ideas as a jumping-off point, or even combine a few of them into a single event:
- Fun Run/Walk
- Auction—Silent or Live
- Meals (there are great options at both low or high price points)
- Art Exhibit
- Wine or Beer Tasting
How to Boost Your Fundraising Event
Once you’ve decided to host an event, now it’s time to really maximize your efforts. And while events may not have the highest ROI, they do create the best engagement and are a great deal of fun. Here are some of our favorite ways to make your event really count, and what’s more, you can combine aspects of each of these options to create a truly harmonious event.
1. Social Media
Social Media is important during every aspect of your event—starting with advance marketing, continuing during the event with real-time posts, live streaming, and engagement building, and ending with event follow up. In order to get the most people involved, you’ll want to plan out your social media campaigns and event hashtags well in advance!
Your partnerships also play a role in the success of your event. Do you have corporate sponsors? Is anyone matching donations? How are your volunteers involved? And, to be fair, a lot of these roles depend largely on the type of event you’re hosting and the type of help you need to pull it off.
For example, if you’re offering a silent auction, are you getting the items free or are you paying for them? Are you paying full price for any door prizes, food, or drink—or are you getting them at wholesale cost? Where do the items for your swag bags come from?
These are opportunities to sell sponsorships or garner in-kind donations in exchange for visibility in social campaigns and to your event attendees. Needless to say, by lowering costs, you increase your ROI, when they pay for the privilege to so, your bottom line grows!
Gamification is the art of creating a game out of just about anything to increase participation and engagement with a big fun factor. Not only do people get involved at a higher level, but by adding a social component, you can increase awareness and use social proof to grow your customer base. And, of course, you can get a sponsor for each of these, and tie them into your social media campaigns. Examples of gamification at fundraising events include:
- Scavenger Hunts
- Photo Competitions
- Fundraising Leaderboards
- Raffles and Door Prizes
4. Photo Booths
Photo booths are fun and interactive. And like, gamification, they are a great way to get your attendees involved and laughing. What’s more, today’s photo booths are app-based with a robust suite of integrations. The end result is a high-powered marketing tool that is effective for increasing event participation, elevating social awareness, and just as importantly, enabling lead generation for post-event follow up.
What does all this mean for your event? Well, apps like Onebooth give you an opportunity to create branded backgrounds and overlays right from the dashboard. So not only can you sell a photobooth sponsorship and feature your sponsor’s logo on every digital image and/or print out, but your attendees can immediately share them socially using your predefined hashtags.
And that’s not even the best way that photo booths can boost your fundraising event. You can enable lead generation, meaning that you’re capturing the user’s name and contact info. You can then utilize them in the next step—follow up.
5. Follow Up
While following up with all of your attendees sounds like a no-brainer, it’s possibly the most important aspect of your fundraising event. And, ideally, you have all this planned out before you even set your event up. From hand-writing individual thank you notes to your sponsors and biggest donors to email campaigns thanking your attendees. You want to give social shout outs to your sponsors, too. Plus, don’t forget to engage with everyone who used your hashtag, and if you’ve collected their contact information, a short email sequence welcoming them to your brand and cause. Not only does this start building a relationship, but if you include a small link inviting them to donate, you might just increase your fundraising efforts in a big way after your event.
We summarized everything for you in an infographic! 😉