Inevitably, there are so many different elements to consider when planning a fundraising gala, and justifiably it’s so easy to become consumed with décor, entrainment, guest lists, table arrangements and of course the list goes on. Unavoidably, the fundraising element of your event may begin to take a back burner.
After seven years of operating in the fundraising technology space, we’ve become experts in helping charities to maximise their fundraising potential at events with little disruption to other event planning priorities.
Here are our top seven super easy steps to implement to ensure you raise as much as possible!
1) A host who has the knack
Great guest satisfaction predominantly depends on a host who has the ability to simultaneously entertain and remind guests why they are there. Jonny Gould for example, has done a fantastic job in the past bringing to light those guests who haven’t contributed to the fundraising target in a playful and engaging way. Using data to his advantage, he will specifically call out individuals who he knows have not yet contributed or plays on competition in the room.
2) Delegation is key
Event managers can be pulled in five or six different directions on the night of the event, so it’s important that the event manager can delegate tasks efficiently. Delegation will give the event manager time to keep the host informed on how well the auction is doing so the relevant announcements can be made during the evening, as well as juggle all of the balls in the air. We’ve seen first-hand the impact these announcements can have on the overall target, you don’t want to miss this opportunity!
3) Strategically create your guest list
Try to sustain a balance between people who have contributed their time and effort to your cause mixed with high net worth donors. You’ll be surprised how much an invite means to someone who has worked their socks off to raise awareness. This also gives your major donors a chance to hear what’s going on directly from the people that are making a difference and chances are this will provoke them to dig a little deeper in their pockets.
4) Know your volunteers
It’s paramount that you take the time to get to know the people that will play a huge role in making sure you hit your fundraising target. Hold a volunteering briefing prior to let them know what’s expected of them on the night, but also a bit of background to why the event is being held and how the money raised will be used to keep them motivated.
5) Provide a variety of auction items
Hopefully you’ll have access to some incredible items and experiences that you can auction off during the event. However, keep in mind the demographic of your guests and to display a good variation of auction items and experiences so something will appeal to the mix. For example, if you have a room full of golfing enthusiasts, golf orientated items and experiences will of course be a hit, but don’t forget to include gifts they may like to bring home to their family as well, such as a holiday or tangible gift. If you need help supplementing your current items and experiences, you can speak to one of our lot consultants or request a list of our exclusive auction items from our brochure.
6) Announce your target
Great food, music, world class entertainment and alcohol are all contributing factors to forgetting to pledge or bid. Make sure you squeeze in one last push for funding before Cirque du Soleil break out on stage.
Break down the target to further encourage everyone to get involved, for example, if your target is £10,000 and you have invited 500 guests, every guest would only need to donate or bid £20 to reach the target. The target seems much closer to hand and this will provoke the entire room to contribute. This tried and tested strategy could even help you surpass your target.
7) Make the most of technology
Silent auction technology brings events to life by creating a more engaging and competitive environment by allowing guests to bid on an array of unique auction items, either through bespoke Kindle tablets, or using their own smartphone.
Ensure that you use leader boards and place them strategically throughout the venue to showcase new bids being made as well as targets being achieved throughout the night.
Make the most of the data the system captures, and use it to push items that aren’t doing well and to congratulate the individuals or tables that have contributed a substantial amount.
We’ve helped raise over £25 million for causes across the globe through cutting-edge fundraising technology. So if you’d like to learn more about how can make the most of fundraising technology or to discuss the steps above in more details, please get in touch.