Throwing and hosting a party can already be stressful. Now add in the pressure to raise money for a worthy cause and the stress levels skyrocket. Reaching your fundraising goal can be made or broken by the success of your charity event. But, don’t worry – we are here to help. Here are some of our tips and tricks to through a seamless and successful fundraiser.
Picking a Charity to Honor
It’s the centerpiece, the talking point and the guest of honor. If you already have a charity that is near-and-dear then you are golden. Just move to the next step. If you are unsure of which charity to celebrate then here are three important tips.
1. Do your homework. All charities are wonderful, but what if some helped the world a bit more? Charity Navigator is a website that rates charities based on financial health, accountability and transparency and results reporting. In layman’s terms – are charities using money and doing what they say they are?
2. Choose a charity that matches your scale. How big of a party are you planning? What is your fundraising goal? If the answer is smaller, pick a smaller charity to match. Although every charity is thankful for any donation amount, a small amount can make a huge difference to a small charity.
3. Pick a charity close to home. People are more likely to donate to a charity that affects their environment. When in doubt – choose a charity that is right around the corner. If the event is hosted here in Clermont selecting a charity that has a base in the South Lake community will inspire local involvement.
Planning A Charity Fundraising Event
Lots of things can unhinge your party. It is important to plan ahead and be mindful of everything that could derail your charitable event.
Picking a date. The goal is have as many attendees as possible in order to raise as much as possible. Choose a date that is isolated. Stay away from dates near holidays, plan around large conferences and be mindful of local events, like local sports events or concerts.
Talk with your charity. Not only will this give you a better idea of what they do, but also they can help you. Charities, after all, are in the business of making money. Spend a bit of time chatting about what fundraising tactics have working in the past.
Promote, promote, promote. People won’t come to a party they don’t know about. Decide if you want a closed guest list or an open guest list – meaning do you want a set number of people or open it to anyone that hears about it. This will also be dependent on what type of party you have (see below). If you decide on closed, send your invitation out as early as possible and then send a follow-up invite closer to the date. Hang up posters around town to promote attendance or create a Facebook page if anyone is welcome.
The Theme. Pick a theme that matches your fundraising and your fundraising goal. If you are hosting an event for the Children’s Hospital go with a Dr. Seuss theme, decorate with pink in support Breast Cancer Awareness or if you are raiding funds for a restoration project have a decades party from the building’s era. It is also important to keep in mind your fundraising goal. Ritzy and extravagant themes can something elevate the amounts people are willing to donate – perhaps a roaring 20s or masquerade ball?
The Charity Event
Keep the focus on the charity. It can be easy, especially if you are hosting as a company, to inadvertently shift the focus from the charity back to yourself or your company. Try your best to avoid that. While some publicity is inevitable, and welcome, the night is ultimately about raising awareness.
Focus on the big picture. What are these funds going towards? People want specifics about where their money is going and they want to know what they are doing to help. Chat with the charity representative to find out specifics and make sure to advertise this on the big night.
After the Party
Be punctual. Most people will donate via checks. In order to save yourself a headache, and the donors some worry, take the raised funds to the charity as soon as possible. There is nothing worse than the surprise of having your check cashed a month late.
Say thank you. One of the biggest complaints about charity events was that no one said thank you. Consider making small take-home gifts or take the time to write out hand-written notes. An appreciated donor/party-goer is more likely to come and give again.
And as always – the Wesley Center is here to help! We promise to put our expertise into every party we help host, making your big night a success! For more helpful tricks, tip and themes for throwing a flawless and successful Charity Event visit our Pinterest Board at: