The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

How to Inspire More Donations at Your Fundraising Events

How to Ask for Donations for a Fundraising

Fundraising events are a powerful way to grow your community, engage with donors, and give supporters a positive experience with your organization. Of course, nonprofit fundraising events can also help you raise more money for your cause. Beyond ticket sales, events are the perfect time for connecting with donors who are feeling inspired and want to make a difference.

Donations for FundraiserGive Attendees the Option to Give More

This sounds painfully obvious, but it’s often overlooked at nonprofit events. Be appreciative of those who have purchased tickets and are attending your event, but recognize that a portion of your attendees will be ready and willing to do even more. Here are four strategies for opening the door to more donations during your next event:

Auctions & Raffles:  Auctions, games and raffles are a popular way to raise even more money at your fundraising event. The best raffles and auctions feature items that tie back to your cause or reflect your community’s unique interests.

Mobile Donations:  At your event, supporters will feel a strong connection to your cause and are often inspired to do more. Channel their good feelings and generosity into more gifts by reminding them they can give on the spot via their mobile device. (Don’t have a mobile-friendly donation solution? All Network for Good donation pages include easy-to-use mobile giving features for donating via smartphones.)

Recurring Donations and Memberships:  Set up a “Donation Station” or membership kiosk that will help your loyal supporters set up a recurring gift or become members of your organization. Be sure to staff your booth to help make this process personal, easy and fun.

Turn Attendees Into Fundraisers:  While your attendees are inspired and feeling great about your organization, challenge them to rally support from their networks with their own personal fundraising pages. This helps you extend your reach beyond your current list of donors and creates powerful fundraisers for your programs. A peer-to-peer fundraising strategy is an excellent complement to your events.

Additional Gifts:  Make it easy for attendees to not only register for tickets online, but offer them the chance to give an additional gift while you’re at it. These supporters are already excited about your work and will likely be happy to donate. Use an online fundraising event management service to sell and manage your event tickets, collect additional donations and allow non-attendees to donate as well. (Bonus: Network for Good’s event pages are mobile-optimized for your success!)


Illustrate Your Impact

Donors want to know exactly how their gifts are being used and what difference they’re making. When your donors feel like there is a real, tangible benefit as a result of their donation, they’re likely to give again. How can you let your supporters know your organization is a good steward of their funds? Give them an inside look at the impact they have made possible.

Showcase Your Work:  Events offer a unique opportunity to really bring your work to life in the eyes of your community of supporters. Skip the boring speech full of statistics and illuminate your work in other ways, like telling compelling stories, showing live demonstrations, or giving hands-on education opportunities.

Feature a Testimonial:  Invite those who have been served by your organization to speak at your event. Encourage them to share what difference your work has made in their lives. If you aren’t able to include an in-person testimonial, bring this story to life in other ways, like video, posters, and multimedia presentations.


Secure Future Support by Showing Your Appreciation

Loyal donors are happy donors and your loyal donors will give more over time.  Donors state the primary reason for ending support to an organization is due to lack of communication or appreciation for their contribution. Fundraising events are a perfect venue for improving donor retention. What better way to thank donors for all they do than during a live event?

Showcase Your Donors: Use your fundraising event as an opportunity to really highlight your donors and attendees. Feature loyal donors and ask them to share why they support your organization. Their enthusiasm will have a strong social influence on the actions of their peers.

Make Donors the Stars of Your Event: Treat your supporters like the VIPs they are. Think donor wall of fame, or even a red carpet photo booth where your supporters can be treated like the VIPs they are. Bonus: elements like these are infinitely shareable – who doesn’t want to brag about their name in lights?

Don’t Forget Your Sponsors:  Most events wouldn’t get off the ground without the generous support from local businesses and other organizations. Pay special attention to how you acknowledge your sponsors in all of your printed material as well as online outreach. Create special ways to feature their involvement by incorporating their sponsorship in all aspects of your event planning. Most businesses are happy to support events and your cause, but just like donors, they want to know their investment is appreciated and that they’re making a difference.


Once your fundraising event is over, you can continue the positive afterglow. Do this by tracking your event attendees’ contributions and history to properly thank, grow, and retain them as loyal donors for years to come. Network for Good’s fundraising software suite is built just for smaller nonprofits and includes a simple, yet powerful, donor management system to help you keep your donor data organized.  Ready to learn how you can raise more money this year? Let’s chat.

Raise More This Year with Smarter Fundraising Software

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About This Blog

Liz Ragland
Senior Associate, Marketing and Content

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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