As we mentioned in an earlier post, there comes a time for every nonprofit where a fundraising event simply does not have the same draw to donors as it used to. Old events become stale and it is necessary to change them or to create new events. Here are some simple things to keep in mind when changing and creating your fundraising events.
- Use resources already developed by your organization.
Rather than creating a whole new fundraiser from scratch, take a look at what resources your organization already has in place and see if there is a better way to utilize them. Can less successful fundraisers be repurposed into better ones? Does your organization have some sort of large event that a fundraising aspect could be added to? (Psst, it might: 5 Signs You’re Throwing a Party Instead of a Fundraiser) Using these resources will be cheaper and easier than developing an entirely new fundraiser.
Furthermore, it is important to make sure to use contact lists and other materials in possession of the organization to their utmost extent. Although finding new donors is important, donors who are already familiar with your organization form your base, and they will be the easiest initial draw to a new or changed event.
- Acknowledge what has succeeded and failed during past fundraising events.
Take a look at the events your organization has put on in the past. What went right? What went wrong? Try to take the most successful elements of past events and implement them into your new fundraiser. What made people like a fundraiser so much? Was there a really creative style to the event? Was it in a great location? At the same time, it is important to learn from any mistakes made in the past. Were past fundraisers too long? Did they not have a hard ask at some point? Just as you learn from what went right in the past, learn from what went wrong, too.
- Go back to your core values
When thinking about a new or changed event, make sure to always keep the purpose of your organization in the forefront of your mind. What is it that you are trying to achieve? Does this event relate to that goal at all? A good fundraising event will keep the issues your organization is trying to confront in the forefront of donors’ minds as much as possible.
Keep these simple tips in mind when trying to change a fundraising event or creating a new one. Change may seem hard at first, but it is necessary at times.