You've found the perfect venue, booked the entertainment, and all the logistics are falling into place, so now all you need to do is focus on how to make the most of the evening and ensure you raise as much as possible.We've created 10 easy and effective tips to help you raise more at your next fundraising event...
1. Get your guest list right
This is an obvious one, but it can be easy to get carried away when deciding who to invite. It’s vital to include your regular donors and those supporters that scream about your cause. Look through your previous event attendees, newsletter subscribers, regular social media fans and ask different teams within your organisation to submit a list of people they think should be invited, so you reach a wider network.
2. Promote the event and your goals
Simultaneously build excitement and inform guests through pre-event comms so they’re fully aware of what needs to be achieved on the night. Although the event might have amazing entertainment or guest stars, you don't want that to be the only reason people want to attend. They need to be aware that the goal is to make a difference and they should be attending with the right intentions, so make your pre-event comms about the goal not just the night itself.
3. Start the auction before the entertainment
Guests naturally get carried away as soon as the entertainment starts, so make sure you have prompted and prodded guests to donate as much as you can before you lose them to alcohol and music. Doing this the other way round can lead to a fundraising disaster!
4. Get elite auction items
If you can focus only on one thing before your event, it should be to spend as much time as possible sourcing fantastic auction items. Having desirable, high-quality items/experiences for your guests to bid on will be sure to drive up the amount you raise on the night.
5. Employ an enthusiastic host
A good host has the natural ability to keep the event on track, create excitement around its fundraising element and convey the emotive message of why the event is being held. Technology provides a great platform to raise funds, but only the host can create an atmosphere to make the whole event a success. They'll need to encourage guests to not only bid, but then outbid each other.
6. Incorporate a countdown
The last minutes of an auction can be chaotic, so make sure you incorporate an announcement, that 'there are just 10 minutes left to bid' into the running order of the event. You'll see people get competitive and hopefully more generous in the last few minutes, especially if you highlight your end monetary goal. If you've already surpassed your fundraising goal, create a new one to drive up bids and make sure you let the audience know what this additional money will be spent on.
7. Use technology
Good technology should allow you to present your auction items throughout the evening on screens and tablets, and make the bidding process easy for your guests. You'll be able to see exactly how much you have raised so far, without having to collect paper bids and do the math. This will not only make your event more efficient, but you can then share your total raised in real-time.
8. Get your team in place
You can’t be in two places at once and may end up having a chat with a guest at a crucial moment, so ensure everyone in your team is aware of the plan and distribute a timed schedule of events to volunteers. Make sure your staff stand out, so your guests know who they should approach should they require assistance and ensure your team is aware of health and safety rules, and what to do in case of an emergency.
9. Limit the number of auction items
We have probably all been to events where the live auction goes on far too long, gets awkward and really puts a dampener on the event. Don’t be afraid to limit the number of items in the live auction to around 5 or 6 high-end experiences. This will have the added benefit of making each prize seem more valuable to your audience and should increase bids.
10. Don’t forget about pledging
It's become increasingly popular to have a live pledge moment in your event where you ask people to make donations there and then, this again will require your MC to drum up activity. Placing donations through technology allows the MC to use a live totaliser on screens to encourage others to participate, and therefore get closer to that financial goal. This is best done during the most emotive part of the evening, which could be after an inspirational talk or video for example.
We hope you find these steps useful and if you'd like to find out more about Givergy's technology, you can do so here.