The year is fast running out and right about now, everyone is getting in the mood for the holiday festivities. As a nonprofit organization, you should be doing the same too while consciously setting the plan in place for a hitch-free 2018 for your cause.
One of the things you should be working on in these last days of the year is a plan to make next year better than this year for your organization. Part of these ways must also include charity events you are penciling down to push the cause you believe in.
Charity events are a great way for every nonprofit to raise funds for the (good) cause they represent while showing a visible and positive approach to make your cause known to the community.
Planning for events can be an uphill task but don’t sweat it; we have tips to help you get started with planning profitable charity events in 2018.
You will need these three things first: Time, purpose (why are we organizing this event? (Fundraising or publicity?), people. With that set, here goes…
1. Set your goals
Once you have identified your project idea and made the decision to go with it, you need to have clear goals. Your goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
- How much will you spend?
- How much money will you raise?
- How much publicity will this event bring you?
- Who will you target?
- How do you measure ROI (Return on Investment)
- What KPI’s (Key performance index) should you watch for?
- What deadlines should you set?
2. Find a target audience
Who do you want to participate or attend your event? Are you targeting a specific group of business people, entrepreneurs, elites, artists, enthusiasts? Or is this a general charity event where everyone will be invited?
3. Determine your type of event
Now that you have selected your target audience, find out what kind of events will appeal to your target. Do some background research to see what has already been successful in your community and what has worked well for other non-profits. Get your inspiration from that research and then spice it up to make yours better. For example, if a run/walk event worked great in your community, you can add a cycling bit to make it different. There is always a way you can improve on what is obtainable. Find that way and make your event stand out.
4. Seek Collaboration
A single tree does not make a forest. By coming together with other people, you can achieve what may have seemed impossible if you tried it alone. Do you have a team? Yes? Then, assign tasks to your team members.
Send out a survey to your supporters so that they can fill out in what capacity they wish to assist you for the event. Answering this gives you clarity on who will be doing what and in what volume they will be doing it.
Contact external vendors (like venue owners, food, and drink suppliers, etc.). Keep in touch with your supporters and vendors to make sure that everyone delivers from their own end.
5. Prepare a complete budget
So now that you have selected and contacted the external vendors, assigned tasks to your team members and also gotten your supporters feedback, you can finally go ahead and create your complete budget for the event. Put in all expenses required to hold the event, consider also your fundraising or publicity goal and don’t forget to include unexpected expenses that may come up.
6. Set up your marketing plan
With your budget ready, it is time to make some noise to the right ears about your event. Your target audience needs to know about your event in order to attend it. Use creative ways to convince them that your event is worth attending.
Leverage social media, direct emails, old donors, non-profits’ fundraising network, flyers distribution, stickers and any other conceivable ways to get the word out.
7. Create a timeline
When a deadline is clear, you can work with it in mind. In this regard, your deadline is the day of your event. Until that day comes, you should put all your energy into planning and ironing out all the fine details.
8. Follow up
Now that your event was a success, getting some feedback will be essential. Why? It will not only help you determine how much participants liked your event, it will give you insight into what can be improved for your next event. To do this, send out an online survey to participants and gather their responses. Make it a point to also thank your supporters and all who helped out in one way or the other. Maintaining good relations with your supporters and vendors is key to having them available when you need them again.