Giving back is one of the best things we can do for ourselves; nothing is so good for the heart as reaching out and doing something wonderful for another human being. There are so, so many great causes out there, so picking one to get involved with can be a tough decision. Luckily for you, it’s impossible to go wrong regardless of the decision you make! One of the biggest ways to contribute to a non-profit organization is to get involved with planning a fundraiser for them.
Tip #1: Pick A Cause & Focus
You may be thinking to yourself, I’ve already picked my cause! What do you mean I need a focus? A focus is an extension of your cause. People like to know where their money is going. Exactly where it’s going. For example, if you are looking to raise money for a non-profit that supports the homeless, you may need to specify that the money you raise will go toward creating bags with warm clothing and non-perishable food. If your event will support a preschool that caters to low-income families you should make sure that it’s completely transparent that the money will be used to fund a new library nook for the little ones.
Unfortunately, far too many nonprofits and charities have abused the trust of hard working people with big hearts. Transparency here is key. When people know their efforts will benefit a specific person or buy a specific piece of equipment, they will be more likely to contribute their time and open their checkbooks.
Tip #2: Make It Unique
We’ve all been there. The 5Ks. The silent auctions. The raffles. Change it up for heaven’s sake! Some people may attend your event because they think you are raising money for a really worthy cause; however, others may be coming for a little entertainment. It’s your job to give it to them.
It’s time to get creative. How would you like to spend your Saturday afternoon? Throw a carnival where volunteers help the kiddos with bean bag tosses and hula hoop contests. Invite all your favorite people to a tasty event where they are encouraged to decorate cupcakes. Have a nursery rhyme karaoke contest. The options are endless. If you can match up the theme of the event to the focus you are trying to fundraise for, that’s even better.
Tip #3: Target Your Supporters
Who is really going to be interested in attending this event? Maybe the people who the event will support, their families, their friends. The people who work for the nonprofit might also like to join in on the fun. A successful event will need killer attendance, so start your marketing efforts off right by determining who you need to target first, and work your way out from there. Look to influential people in the community to help you spread the word. Connect with locals via social media and look to local media outlets that can use their influence to up your attendance rate.
Tip #4: Give It A Hashtag
Speaking of social media, you can do much more with it then promote an event before hand. Have you ever considered promoting the event as it is going on? Social media is all about influence and engagement, so use the attendees you have to get even more reach for your fabulous cause (and focus too!. Create a hashtag that fits with the event’s ultimate vision and tone. Encourage the people who come to share their experience on social and to take lots of selfies. Don’t forget to use the hashtag! These little blurbs that are blasted out as the event progresses will be seen by plenty of people who didn’t get the opportunity to attend or maybe didn’t even know the event was taking place. Are you averse to accepting donations after the fundraising event is finished? I think not.
Tip #5: Always Say Thanks
Lots of people took time out of their busy schedules to support a cause that was near and dear to your heart. That deserves a sincere thanks. As people arrive, sign them in and request that they share their email address with you so you can stay in touch. This little gesture can open up so many future opportunities for you and the nonprofit you are trying to support. Send a humble email after the event to thank everyone for coming and share with them what you were able to accomplish as a result of their participation. You may make some fabulous new connections this way, and now you have a list of kind-hearted people to get in touch with the next time you plan an event for a nonprofit.
Email marketing is a powerful thing, and being entrusted with someone’s personal information isn’t to be taken lightly, so make sure emails aren’t sent frequently and are completely on topic.
Don’t forget to thank the volunteers! This amazing day wouldn’t have happened at all if it wasn’t for their efforts.
Nonprofits Are Worth Your Time
If this is your first experience working with a nonprofit, we salute you! If this was a positive experience for you—and we’re sure that it was—it might be time to up your commitment. Lots of nonprofits need assistance with their volunteers or putting together events like yours that raise the necessary funds to help them function properly. You can offer your services to help them with these noble tasks or you can see if they have any seats open on their board of directors so you can make an impact that way. If you truly want to help, there are plenty of ways you can make a difference.