Maximize the Merriment!
Donors agree on one thing at fundraising events – they want to have FUN while supporting their favorite organization. Here are our ten most loved and frequently used strategies to do just that while fundraising.
10. No Lines. Anywhere. EVER!
This is the first and last impression you impress upon your donors at check-in and out. And lines are the #1 things donors hate at events. We teach best practices and strategies to minimize – and often eliminate – lines altogether, thus pleasing your donors and allowing them to have loads of fun NOT standing in line!
9. Provide FUN Cocktail Hour Activities to Engage Donors
Socializing can feel forced and awkward when there’s not enough to do during the social hour. Engage your community and watch the fun-o-meter grow! Donors want to show their support of your cause – so provide varied revenue-generating opportunities for them to do just that WHILE having more fun. Win. Win!
8. Keep Bars Plentiful + Pass Drinks at Registration
A little social lubricant goes a long way toward a successful evening so make it easy for guests to procure a drink or two without standing in line or having to wait. They’ll have more fun – sooner! And you’ll enjoy their fun-loving spirit and generous nature!
7. Display Adequate Signage
Folks will know what activities are available – where to go, what to do and how to do it. Use LARGE well-worded and thoughtfully-placed signs EVERYWHERE so all your guests remain in the know, are able to engage with planned activities, and rest easy knowing they are doing what’s intended for them. Learn more about great signage here!
6. Keep the Cocktail Hour Short
Always leave donors wanting more. There is a good reason we don’t call it cocktail hourS. Ninety minutes or less is the perfect amount of time to commune with friends and engage in revenue streams prior to starting formal programming. Don’t wear out your crowd prior to getting to the real fundraising. Less is definitely more.
5. Seat ALL Guests
For all live programming and during any fundraising, no one wants to stand in uncomfortable shoes any longer than they have to. Comfortable guests are FAR more generous and attentive – so give them each a seat! From formal tables to informal stadium seating, and everything in between, sitting equates to more money AND fun at your event. Precisely how much this one detail impacts giving is staggering.
4. Keep Live Programming Succinct – Packed Full of Educational + Cohesive Info
Learn the anatomy of a successful live fundraising event program and be a stickler about what is (and what is not) presented to your guests. Pore over every word of the script and make each one count. Notice how short this one is?
3. Give Great Reasons to Support Your Cause with Emotional Stories
Show us how you’re impacting your community. Teach us more about what you do, how you do it, what sets you apart others doing similar work. Most importantly, tell us your WHY. Donors need to know why their support should go to you and not another organization doing similar work. Move us. Inspire us. Make us laugh or cry. Tell us a great story in an innovative way and provoke us to action. Discover more tips on effective storytelling here.
2. Choose Vibrant Stage Personalities
Every speaker representing your organization onstage must be energetic, charismatic and eloquent – from the emcee, the organizational storyteller and the benefit auctioneer to the appeal speaker and lead sponsors. No one will pay attention to an uninspiring speaker. Once you’ve lost your donors’ attention, you’ve also lost their fiscal support.
1. The After-Party!
And the number one strategy for having more fun while FUNdraising? DO provide your supporters with something fun to do after the fundraising if time and budget allow. Save the rowdy party for after the fundraising is over however. Give them live music, dancing, DJ music, orators, entertainers or anything else that appeals to your crowd. Entice them to stay longer and have a lot more fun – then they’ll spread the word and faithfully return to your event next year; with friends!
These ten proven strategies infuse a lot more fun into your event. Try one or try them all and let us know how your guests respond. Contact us for more information and best practices to start implementing today. Learn more about our fundraising services here for your in-person or virtual gala. We can’t wait to work with you!