Rent venue. Print invitations. Choose event committee. Acquire sponsors. Mailing list grows. Revenue increases. Social awareness sky-rockets. Nonprofits often have a love-hate relationship with their fundraising events. Events require immense time, planning, & organization to be a success. Variables outside your control like weather or competing events can ruin even the best-planned fundraiser. Why even bother?
Events naturally create several features that strategically encourage human behavior. Dr. Robert Cialdini poses Six Principles of Influence– 6 key determinants of human persuasion. These principles shed light on the irresistible experience of a fundraising event :
Nonprofits spend time, money, & resources to create an enjoyable event experience. In return, we feel comfortable giving them our money.
2. Commitment & Consistency
Once you’ve gone to an event, and therefore shown interest, it is comforting & rewarding to your brain if you continue that consistency by giving financially.
3. Social Proof
When lots of other people are doing something, we deem it valid. If you are surrounded by other people at an event, your monetary support feels affirmed. Especially if they are also donating.
When things are limited, they are more attractive to us. An event creates a point-in-time that cannot be replaced.
We are more influenced by people we like—people who are similar or familiar to us. Events create an opportunity for friends & networks to support each other.
People feel a sense of duty or obligation to people in powerful positions. Events often showcase important speakers, honorees, or leaders in the nonprofit sector who can influence giving behavior.
Want to utilize these 6 principles at your next fundraising event? Check out Swell’s follow-up piece, recommendations to maximize your event’s impact!