The key to crafting memorable charity events is setting yourself up for success early. Learn how to make your next event a hit!
Imagine this: Your nonprofit hosts a benefit dinner in which you thank your volunteers to wrap up the year-end giving season. The night goes well and no problems are encountered. Then, a few weeks later, you begin reaching out to the attendees to invite them to take additional opportunities to get involved with your nonprofit.
As you make phone calls, you start to notice a trend. When you ask how your supporters enjoyed the event, you get responses like, “Yeah, that was nice,” or “It was alright.” There are even a few times when you have to remind people they attended the event at all!
All told, you don’t get the reaction to the event that you were hoping for. So, how can you prevent this in the future? You’ll need to craft memorable charity events that will leave lasting impressions on your community.
It all starts with fine-tuning your event planning strategy. In this quick guide, we’ll walk you through a few planning tips so that you’re hitting the mark with your events every time. Let’s begin by taking a closer look at the benefits of hosting memorable events for your social organisation.
According to CharityBids’ guide to nonprofit event planning, “rather than a bookend to a fundraising push or a one-and-done celebration, events are vehicles of opportunity.” This is why it’s critical to make sure you’re planning events that your supporters will remember—so that you can fully leverage the opportunities that spring from these special occasions.
Here are just some of the opportunities that come with memorable events:
Knowing these benefits can help your organisation set its sights on what really matters when it comes to events. Instead of fixating on the minute details, you can view your events as part of a holistic strategy to further your cause and empower your volunteers.
Now, let’s dive into a few event planning tips!
Begin the event planning process by establishing an event planning committee. By delegating different tasks to various committee members, you’ll have all your bases covered by the time your big event rolls around.
Here are some typical roles you might create on your committee:
Once assembled, your committee can work with your social organisation’s leaders to determine goals, create a budget, and set a timeline for your event. This will ensure that your entire organisation is on the same page ahead of your event.
Like creating a precise line of dominoes, finessing the details of your event will lead to a seamless execution of all event activities on the big day. So, make sure you’re giving your team plenty of time to iron out all of the moving parts.
Here are a few examples of details your team might want to pay extra special attention to:
While these details are important, getting caught up in them can be easy, especially as you’re trying to perfect your event planning strategy. Keep your big-picture goals in mind, and remember the real reason you’re hosting an event: to engage your community!
You can make a memorable impression on your attendees weeks or even months before your event takes place—through your marketing efforts!
As you spread the word, you’ll not only encourage people to register and to add the occasion to their calendars, but you’ll also generate excitement and curiosity about your event, which you can then capitalize on the day of.
The best way to start your marketing off strong is to segment your audience. This involves dividing your community of supporters into groups based on their similarities. Then, you can choose specific marketing channels and assets for each group. For a great example, check out how the Order of Malta uses social media to attract and engage volunteers!
For example, you might segment your audience by communication preference, noting that some of your donors prefer to receive communications via email and others prefer direct mail. You could then create an email stream for one group and mail out promotional flyers for the other.
As you promote your event to potential attendees, don’t forget to promote other opportunities for involvement, too. For instance, by creating event-specific “job postings” for different volunteer positions ahead of time, you can recruit and train all of the volunteers you’ll need.
To retain interest and further support, your charity needs to plan memorable events. Optimise your event planning strategy with these tips so that you can reap the rewards of having supporters who feel inspired to continue giving to your cause.
And, if you’re looking to make the event planning process even easier, consider partnering with an event production company. The right team can help you bring your vision to life, taking care of all the heavy lifting for you while bringing new ideas to the table!
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