Want to Host a Fantastic Fundraiser?
Here are our tips from almost 30 years of catering fundraising events on how to get the most for your organization.
Pick the Right Location!
A wise woman once said – if you’re raising funds for a specific place – show the people what you NEED. Don’t host the fundraiser at a fancy hotel if you need a new roof for your building – instead, throw the fundraiser inside of your space with lights highlighting the holes in the roof to increase the urgency of the problem. Show your donors & guests the need & let them crowd source a solution at the event.
Meals Should Match the Ticket Price
Not every event should have tenderloin, but if you are throwing a black tie event that people have paid hundreds of dollars a seat, there will be an expectation of a multi-course event with a lovely first course & entrée. If this is a $25 / entrée – then cheese & crackers it is!
Keep Your Auction Small, Live & Incredible
Arranging for auction items takes time & effort & can sometimes lead to lackluster numbers. If you keep your auction items limited & amazing & offer them during entrée service (when people have had enough time to drink wine!) you will be surprised at how much you can raise with a couple of items. Spend your time and the donated time of your volunteers getting items that raise lots of bucks & this technique really can work.
Offer Multiple Ways to Donate at Many Levels
Auctions aren’t the only way to raise funds & having options for donors of all levels will up the dollars you collect at your next event. Popular techniques are raffles offered upon entering & during the cocktail hour. Give away light up rings with every $40 donation going to …… insert a specific item you need here. This shows everyone at the party that you donated to the raffle. Plus once guests have had a glass o wine, everyone will want that ring that lights up! Paddle raises (aka. public pledges) for a specific cause, during dinner are another fantastic way to encourage people to donate (because everyone at the event is noticing who is giving) at different levels. There is a great article here on how to paddle raise most effectively, if you are looking for some more info. (http://www.readysetauction.com/blog/increase-auction-proceeds-with-a-paddle-call)
These are our overarching tips for fundraising successfully at your next event. Next article we will talk about the logistics of the fundraiser. See you then!