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01 Dec 2017

Cost Effective Ways To Increase Donations At Your Next Fundraising Event!

Learn how to significantly increase donations at your next fundraising event. With the combination of creating a competitive environment and feeding the correct data to your MC or auctioneer, you'll set yourself up to achieve your fundraising target.


Here are some highlights:

Do your research:

“Typically, 75% of your attendees likely haven’t paid to be at your event,” said Harry Santa-Ollala, MC and Fundraising Consultant. Due to that fact, it’s important to research your guest demographic before the event begins. If you understand who they are, it will be easier to pinpoint what’s going to motivate them to donate. For instance, if the majority of your demographic are young professionals, implementing a competition amongst the crowd can increase pledges.

If you’ve held similar events before, it’s recommended to study past event data and pinpoint where in the fundraising narrative there were spikes in pledges. This a will give you a strong indication of when to strategically ask for donations during the evening.

It’s easy to sit back and enjoy watching other people compete for auction items in the live auction, essentially making it a ‘spectators sport’, however pledging gives everyone the opportunity to get involved no matter what their budget, and if executed correctly the 75% who haven’t paid to be there will donate to your cause.

What makes a good MC?

Here are a few qualities you should look for in an MC to ensure they are fully on board with the fundraising element, and aware that it is just as important as entertaining guests!

  • An intimate understanding of the audience
              1) Who's who, and where they are in the room
              2) How high up the agenda the fundraising portion of the event is
              3) The demographic (family/friends, corporate partners, high net worth donors...)
  • Knowledge on what was raised last year, and (ideally) what they are aiming for this year guests 
  • A bubbly yet sharp persona to captivate and engage guests
  • A willingness to stick to the plan
  • Familiar with the fundraising technology being utilized

How can the MC encourage donations?

Presenting a scenario and making it relatable to your demographic is key to provoking the majority to participate. For example, if your guests are young professionals ask them to donate what they would normally spend on a night out in the city.

Another great way to encourage donations it to feed data to your MC so he/she knows how hard to push. If your MC knows only 24% have donated, a strategic tactic can be applied to increase participation. However, if 90% have donated it’s a great stat to announce and thank guests for their participation, which is likely to influence the remaining 10% to donate too.

Display a goal to guests and challenge them!

Encouraging the table to work together as a team will get those who might slip through the net to donate. Announcing a competition similar to this: ‘the table who pledge the most collectively as a team will win a bottle of champagne’, will increase participation and offer a bit of fun.

Who are the silent majority?

"The silent majority are the 70% that show up to your event as mere seat fillers for corporate tables to enjoy the fruits of your labors. It’s not that these people aren’t willing to give; you just need to engage them to do so."

Harry Santa-Olalla, MC & Fundraising Consultant

How to engage the silent majority!

All of the suggestions above will help you engage the ‘silent majority’. When you have a healthy percentage of people who have donated, the minority will feel obligated to give. Success should be measured by how many people participate.

We appreciate that fundraising strategies vary all over the world. Watch the recording that best suits your location:




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