Everyone does a special event of one sort or another.

Since it’s such a common strategy and since so many aren’t nearly as successful as they could be, I thought I’d post some tips for making them better.

Here are 5 tips for maximizing your events:

 1.       Clearly define each event you hold.

This is so important! Is the event a friend-raiser or fund-raiser?  Are you having the event to raise awareness?  Knowing your purpose will help you set the direction and expectations for the event to ensure success.  It will also help you narrow down the list of donors or potential donors you invite to the event so that you are getting the people that will help you meet your expectations and goals for the event.

 2.      Know how many events you can handle.

Be careful not to overload your staff and volunteers with too many events.  You want your events to be well-planned and effective.  One or two big events that are broad-reaching into the community are much better than lots of little events that use up all your time and energy.  Make sure that the events you do are a big deal to your staff, volunteers, donors, and the community.

 3.  Use special events as a chance to involve businesses.

Event sponsorships are a great way to involve local businesses and corporations in your special events.  If your event garners publicity, particularly through the media, you can probably secure at least one corporate sponsor.  Good candidates for sponsors are banks, communications companies, and other businesses that have broad target audiences.

 4.  Use a planning timeline.

Once you set the date for your event, use a timeline to back up from the event to plan all the details.  You can include things like sending a press release to the local media a week before the event, confirming with a caterer two days before the event, and so forth.  This great planning tool can help you keep track of all the details and avoid letting things fall between the cracks.

 5.  Use a committee of volunteers to plan the event.

Recruit volunteers to help you plan and execute your event.  You can get help pulling the event off and you will probably get some good ideas, too.  It will be much easier tending to all the details with extra hands.  Plus, involving volunteers in the work you are doing is a great way to get to know them and build a relationship.  After all, it’s all about relationships!

Use these tips to make your fundraising events as good as possible.

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