During a recent international conference on fundraising, Vivian A. Smith of Liberty Quest Enterprises said that a diverse fund development program should include events, but urged organizations to incorporate them thoughtfully into their overall strategy. They should not, she said, be viewed as standalone initiatives used just to raise money.
To be successful, planners of an event must consider:
- Event Purpose. Is it just money, new prospects, increasing public awareness, gaining attention or some other objective?
- Prospective audience. Think of characteristics and demographics, as well as the size of the group and the kind of appeal that is appropriate.
- Type of event. It should meet the goals and reach the target market. It should be mission focused. Is there competition?
- Resources needed for the event. This includes staffing, leadership, volunteers, time, skills, budget and a contingency plan.
- Cost per dollar raised. This includes both direct an indirect costs.
- Evaluation. Think of event goals, net revenue, staff commitment and volunteer impact.
- Outcome. This is not just dollars raised at the time of the event. It can also serve as an opportunity to build team spirit among volunteers and staff.