This might not be a problem if your nonprofit already has a large number of volunteers at its disposal, but this isn't the case for all organizations. As Thomas Wolf wrote in his book, "Managing a Nonprofit Organization," agencies that fall into this category must come up with new plans to ensure their event runs as smoothly as possible.
Wolf laid out nine rules that will help make things more practical:
- Set a dollar goal early and stick to it. Too many event planners get off course by confusing public relations functions with fundraising;
- The secret of success is net income, not gross income. What counts is how much the organization has left over after all the expenses for the event have been paid;
- Plan an event that people will enjoy. It is easier to get people to participate if the event itself is a drawing card as well as the organization sponsoring it;
- Establish a committee with a strong chairperson to work on the event. The chair (or co-chairs) often determines the success of an event;
- Exaggerate the number of volunteers and dollars you will need to make the event a success. It’s better to have too much help rather than too little;
- Allow plenty of planning time. Things always seem to take longer than expected, and there should be plenty of margin for error;
- Build in plenty of ancillary ways to pick up money in conjunction with the event;
- Involve local merchants; and,
- Attempt to find a type of event that works for the organization and stick to it for several years.