Fundraising events are a nonprofit mainstay, but they typically take a lot of time, money, and effort to produce. Because even the most basic events can run into tens of thousands of dollars, it’s important to squeeze as much return on investment from these big-budget items as possible.
All too often, though, many nonprofits see the event itself as the finish line, missing critical opportunities for more connection, insight, and inspiration along the way. (All things that lead you to more loyal donors and increased giving.)
That’s why we’ve assembled a thorough, step-by-step guide to maximizing your event ROI. Inside the pages of How To Get The Most ROI From Your Event Season, you’ll find tips and guidance for every planning stage to help ensure you bring in more money at your event than you spend on it—while engaging donors and building long-lasting relationships.
This free eGuide covers everything from choosing an appropriate type of event; defining success; using your fundraising software for online invitations, ticketing, donations, and follow-up; and maximizing next year’s event ROI based on this year’s outcomes.
It’s like having an expert event planner by your side all the way from idea to execution and beyond.
Ready to get the gala rolling? Or do you need a little jump-start? Here’s a sneak peek from the eGuide to help you with the very first step: clarifying your vision.
Clearly articulating your grand plan is the very first—and very crucial—step in hosting a successful fundraising event. It’s also the step most of us skip because we really want to get down to the “fun” parts, like choosing a theme, catering, and decorations. But hosting a big event without knowing the who, what, where, how, and why from the get-go is kind of like showing up in a unicorn costume while all the other guests are in black tie. Someone didn’t get the memo!
Before you do anything else, order up some coffee, gather your event committee, and brainstorm these questions:
- Who are our potential guests?
- What are the best ways to reach them?
- What do we want our guests to do? Are we trying to educate people? Are we seeking actions that support our cause? Are we raising money?
- Is an event really the best way to get our audience to take that desired action?
- Is an event an ideal complement to our organization’s other engagement efforts?
Those last two are excellent questions! Your nonprofit might save a lot of time and resources focusing on another way to achieve your desired goal or goals. If an event truly is in your future, continue discussing these next four questions.
- How can we streamline the event process to maximize success and minimize stress?
- What key theme or message will prompt my audience to take the desired action(s)?
- What is the stated purpose of the event?
- Where is the best place to stage the event given our audience and purpose?
Once the event committee has answered these questions, it’s time to set one overarching goal. Just one! Avoid trying to cover a dozen bases—that’ll just muddy your message and confuse people. Having a strong, clear focus is your best bet for success.
Now that you’ve defined the vision for your fundraising event, the next step is to define what success means in the context of your event. Knowing if you’re on track to meet your goal will ensure that you make smart decisions during every step of planning and execution. Download How To Get The Most ROI From Your Event Season for examples of measurable goals, plus guidance through the rest of your planning. At the end of this eGuide is a bonus High-ROI Event Planning Checklist that’ll give you an at-a-glance view of the entire process so you won’t miss a single step.
Need more? Register for our upcoming webinar How to Turn your Events into Moneymakers.