Fundraising events are the backbone of many nonprofits. The more money the organization pulls in during their big events, the more they can do to help the cause they support. This means nonprofits need to maximize every opportunity at those events to pull in more donations. Luckily, nonprofit personnel can take steps to improve the event experience for donors, which should drive more donations. Here are several ways to improve the effectiveness of your fundraising event.
Create several fun ways for attendees of the event to donate
Fundraising events should be happy and fun. It's best if you can link the good time people have to the donations they make. Consider having a raffle, an auction, party games and some contests with a small entry fee, SignUpGenius suggested. Have prizes for the winners. You can collect all of the entry fees as donations and give out prizes to the winners of these types of activities.
When putting these activities together, reach out to local businesses and long-time donors to provide the prizes. That can be their contribution to the cause you support. While you should be thankful to the businesses and people who provide the prizes, try not to give away prizes people don't want. The more alluring the prize the higher number of participants, which also leads to more donations for your organization.
Make the donation process as simple as possible
Cash, check and credit or debit card are the only types of payment processing you need, right? Wrong. Don't leave out electronic checks or any local payment types. Direct debit, while typically more of an e-commerce payment option, is also a smart method to have at your events. By branching out in terms of payment methods, you're sure to include each and every person attending.
Have a mobile donation options set up specifically for the event
Text message donations aren't typically large. However, if you get everyone at the event to donate a small amount of money via their phones, it can add up quickly. Create a mobile device campaign specifically for your nonprofit event. People are more likely to donate this way if they are attending when they hear about it.
Show donors how they have impacted the cause
If you really want donors to dig out their pocketbooks, you need to show them how they make an impact. According to the Network for Good, donors like knowing exactly how the money they're gifting to you is being used. Have visual representations and flyers that show how much money was raised last year and what was done with that money. Also, be clear about your fundraising goals for this year and why you've set your goals where they are.
Have a suggested donation for entrance to the event
While you don't want to have mandatory admission, just place someone by the door with a basket and a suggested donation sign. Even a small amount can add up as people come in. Another option is to not actually suggest an amount, just have a sign asking people to pay what they think they should to enter the event.
Have food for sale with a portion of the purchase going to your organization
Reach out to a local restaurant or food truck and see if they would like to sell their food onsite at your event. You can either charge them a flat fee for being at the event or ask them to donate a portion of their profits from the day to your organization. Make sure attendees realize spending money with the food vendor will also help your nonprofit. This will help ensure that both your organization and the food vendor benefit from the day.
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