Hosting a fundraising event can be the pinnacle point of the year for a charity. Sometimes occurring just once every two years, event co-ordinators put blood, sweat, and tears into the extensive planning of each and every element of the evening. It’s crucial that the event runs smoothly to ensure success.
In the heat of the moment, it can be easy to forget the goal of the event: to raise funds for your life changing cause. To combat this, we have spoken to Katie, our very own Fundraising and Event Specialist here at Givergy, who has supported countless charities in their quest to raise more at their fundraising events. She has a bank of knowledge and experience to draw from. Here are Katie's 5 top tips that every Fundraising and Event Specialist can apply to help charities raise more at their fundraising events:
1) Understand Your Guests
This could be the most important tip. As a Fundraising and Event Specialist, it’s essential that you’re able to adapt quickly and use your initiative, especially when at events. Each event varies massively depending on the charity, venue, entertainment and most importantly guests. Without the right guests, all your planning and hard work could go down the drain. Guests really are the people who make the whole event worth happening, as they provide the essential funds to support the amazing cause your event is in aid of.
Part of being a great Fundraising and Event Specialist is recognising the guest’s demographic. Everyone will have their own individual personalities and expectations, so understanding how to approach them in order to raise the most amount of money for the organisation is essential. Analyse the room, get to know your guests, and be hands-on in the process! If guests feel comfortable, it’s easier to develop a level of trust that could be essential if they have a question about bidding on an auction item, or making a donation, and could be the difference between them parting with their money or not!
2) Silent Auction
Having the presence of a silent auction at your event really can have a huge positive outcome for the fundraising goals of your organisation. Using a fundraising technology company like Givergy moves you away from a labour-intensive pen and paper auction, and towards an easy to manage alternative. Not only that, but having a fundraising consultant allows you have to access to a wealth of experience and knowledge. Getting advice from experienced fundraisers to help along the way, alleviates the stress of the event and helps the whole process run smoothly.
On the night, use TV screens to light up the room with the incredible auction items you have available, not only introducing a competitive atmosphere, but also heightening interest and engagement. Part of being a successful Fundraising and Event Specialist is to promote the silent auction and have knowledge on the items and technology itself. Doing this effectively will bring another aspect to the event along with a buzz and excitement to the night.
3) Host Engagement
Taking control and making sure the fundraising element is promoted throughout the night is crucial. Creating a good relationship with the host for the event can be vital to its success, and will help make sure a charity reaches, and hopefully surpasses their fundraising goals. Getting guests to be engage with the fundraising aspects of the event can be difficult, but if the MC/host is knowledgeable and has the support from you, they will effectively interact and engage with the guests, getting them to part with their cash.
Keeping guests updated on how the fundraising is going and encouraging bidding and donations, will ensure guests feel like they are actually making a difference. The Fundraising and Event Specialist can keep track of this and give the host ideas, advice and guidance to keep the engagement high and guests interested on fundraising, rather than just drinking!
4) Event Timings
Being organised and up to date with event timings is an essential part of being an effective Fundraising and Event Specialist, as a lot of people rely on you to give them the most up to date information about the event. Being knowledgeable on the event timings is crucial. Knowing the important aspects of the night including when the live auction is taking place, the silent auction closing time and when the main entertainment performances are, helps the event run smoother. Every member of your team needs to know the crucial fundraising times like a pledge moment to make sure they’re ready to go at a moment’s notice
When working in events, you’ll already have a certain ‘tough-skin’ and understand the importance of remaining calm and patient. Every time you go into an event, treat it like a brand new challenge and remain motivated and professional. You want your client to view you as personable and effective. This can be achieved with good communication, being knowledgeable about the event and always keeping the fundraising goal at the forefront of your own and your team’s minds!
If you would like to find out more about how to raise more at your next fundraising event or simply want some advice, please get in touch!
By Katie Gass, Fundraising & Events Specialist