This guide explores three ideas for concurrent fundraising events that can help nonprofits boost their revenue.

Your nonprofit has several needs and limited resources. Available funds are low, and you know it will take more than one fundraiser to get your books where they need to be.

To tackle this need for extra funds, many nonprofits launch concurrent fundraising events. By multitasking, organizations of any size can motivate donors to give and maximize their fundraising revenue. We’ll look at three combinations of fundraising opportunities for nonprofits, including:

  • Silent Auction and Entertainment Night
  • Sports Tournament and Raffle
  • Live Auction and Gala Dinner

Let’s take a closer look at the best concurrent fundraising events and how your nonprofit can boost its revenue by hosting them.

Silent Auction and Entertainment Night

Keeping supporters engaged in your event requires more than a simple fundraising activity. Since silent auctions omit the supervision of an auctioneer, they’re great fundraising events to pair with another source of entertainment. 

Plan a main attraction to supplement your silent auction, such as: 

  • Music, which may be provided by a local band, DJ, or musician. Some musicians might even perform as a donation to your organization, and their popularity will bring a large crowd to your event.
  • A talent showcase, like a professional comedian or magician. See if the entertainer can make their performance relevant to your cause. For example, a magician might make a well-behaved shelter animal his assistant at a silent auction for an animal shelter.
  • A mission-related speaker, or someone close to your nonprofit’s cause who could give an engaging presentation about the importance of your work. Think of your nonprofit’s leaders, long-time volunteers, or beneficiaries who might have an inspiring story to tell.

Some attendees may come simply to watch their favorite comedian, but they’ll still contribute to your cause when they purchase a ticket for your event. And if they find an item they’re interested in bidding on, their attendance will be even more fruitful!

Once you’ve secured the entertainment for your auction, actively promote it to entice more people to come. According to ClickBid’s guide to silent auction software, you can go above and beyond with event marketing by driving more traffic to your communication channels. For example, instead of simply creating a landing page about your auction, leverage the Google Ad Grant program to promote the page (and your site) for free!

Live Auction and Gala Dinner

Whereas silent auctions allow for another form of entertainment, live auctions will inevitably take center stage in your venue. The loud auctioneer, competitive bidding, and domineering gavel are the main event! That’s why any other fundraising activities should take the back seat—you need to collect revenue without taking attention away from the auction.

Build your live auction around a gala dinner to provide a classy, yet exciting, bidding environment. To successfully host a dinner alongside your auction, plan to secure the following services:

  • A venue: You’ll need a space with tables and chairs where attendees will dine, a stage for the auctioneer, and enough room to include auction item displays. 
  • Professional catering: Find a catering team to cook, deliver, and serve the food. You might consider finding a reputable restaurant willing to offer their services for a discounted rate in exchange for sponsorship promotion. Be sure to plan a menu of crowd favorites. If you’re not sure what attendees would like, consider asking your existing supporters through a social media survey or a meal preference choice on the RSVP.
  • An engaging auctioneer: Since the bidding will be the main event, you should find a presenter that fully captures your audience’s attention and makes the bidding process come to life. Consider choosing someone close to your nonprofit so they can speak briefly about your mission before the bidding commences.

Auction-specific fundraising software can help you make the most of your time by streamlining tasks, like donation collections. Then, your nonprofit will collect event registration fees along with winning bid amounts to boost the amount of revenue you would have raised from one of these events alone.

Sports Tournament and Raffle

If your nonprofit’s team is feeling the pressure of burnout from constant fundraising strategies, plan an event that’s focused on fun! Host a sports tournament, charging donors a participation fee to compete in their favorite games. You can also sell tickets to their friends and family, who will make up an excited audience to cheer the game on.

To level up your fundraising tournament experience, give away enticing prizes in a raffle. By encouraging your audience to purchase raffle tickets, you’ll extend the spirit of competition into the crowd. Choose giveaways that will appeal to your audience, such as:

  • Sport-themed basket: Whether you hosted a golf outing, tennis match, or basketball tournament, a themed basket to match the activity can be a memorable prize, especially for the people who played the game! For example, you might prepare a basket of golf balls, tees, and other golf essentials to be raffled at the event.
  • Team merchandise: What local sports team does your community support? Let’s say your nonprofit is based in Atlanta and your supporters are playing baseball. Consider raffling off Atlanta Braves merchandise at the end of the game.
  • Sponsor contribution: Like many other fundraising event ideas, a local business might sponsor your sports tournament. By asking them to provide the raffle prize, you’ll bring brand awareness to their company and raffle revenue to your nonprofit! For example, your golf tournament sponsors might prepare a basket full of golf balls, koozies, and towels with their company’s logo for your raffle.
  • Mystery gift: Keep things exciting by offering a mystery gift as the raffle prize! Your supporters will be intrigued, and everyone will want to stay for the big reveal to learn what the raffle prize was!

For even more revenue, look for sponsorship opportunities. Double the Donation’s guide to corporate sponsorships recommends presenting a tailored request to potential sponsors while making a connection between their company’s objectives and your mission. Highlight the benefits that both organizations could see from the partnership and draft a sponsorship agreement to make your expectations and offerings clear.

The Bottom Line

To maximize your fundraising potential, your nonprofit must take its supporters’ preferences into consideration. As you connect with your donors through these fundraising events, you’ll learn more about them and their entertainment, meal, and sports preferences. That way, you’ll know which concurrent fundraising events will draw the most attention from potential donors.

About the Author

Matthew is a 1999 graduate of Grand Valley State University with a degree in film and computer science. He has more than 20 years of experience working with nonprofits to boost the efficiency of their fundraising efforts. As the founder of ClickBid — an all-in-one event fundraising platform that makes raising money simple — Matthew’s goal is to provide nonprofit leaders with the tools they need to use their valuable time effectively. From critical fundraising mistakes to the million-dollar milestones, he’s seen it all. When not blending media with software he is at home playing video games with his son or denying that he’s too old to learn a new tech stack.