What Makes a Good Fundraiser? 9 Important Components

people hanging out at pool

Whether you’re getting ready to raise money for travel, charity, or anything in between, you’ll want your fundraiser to be a hit! Here’s what makes a good fundraiser. ☆ Fundraisers are a great way to raise money and awareness about your cause. Yes, they can be a lot of work, but with some careful preparation and organization they can be very successful and rewarding. But what makes a good fundraiser?

friends laughing together at golden hour
A solid guest list is step number one to throwing a good fundraiser.

There are so many ideas out there for fundraisers, and you can have a lot of fun organizing yours. Whether you decide to have a chicken race, a giant water fight, or a wedding dress ball, read below for some top tips to make your next fundraiser a goal raiser!

9 tips for a ballin’ fundraiser

1. Know your goal

Keep your fundraising goal in mind whenever you are making a decision. Profit margins can make or break a successful fundraiser. Your budget for the event will depend on your fundraising goal, as you need to make sure your expenses don’t cut into your fundraising goals. Think of as many ways to maximize profits without overwhelming your attendees.

2. Location, location, location

When people are thinking about what makes a good fundraiser they often ignore the location. However, the location of your fundraiser can be the difference between you smashing your fundraising target, or having a mildly successful event. Can people get there? Don’t make it too hard for your supporters to come and dig deep into their pockets.

Choose a location with parking, public transport, and doesn’t seem like a trek to Everest. Is the location suitable for the event you are running? Don’t hire somewhere with strict rules on alcohol when you are planning to make a good profit from selling drinks. If the location is all outdoors, what will you do when it rains? Always have a contingency plan so that your fundraiser doesn’t go off the rails.

3. Timing, my dear friend

Timing is everything. Think about the timing of your event. Is it during the wedding season so everyone is booked up months in advance? Or during the rush of Christmas festivities? Think about when your audience will be free and willing to attend. Does a weekend or a weekday work better? Are your guests morning larks or night owls?

While at the event, make sure everything runs to time. You will probably need to have a rehearsal beforehand to iron out any kinks. After all, you don’t want your guests getting bored and leaving after arriving on time to find your event is delayed.

friends laughing together with a bottle of wine
What makes a good fundraiser? Wine, probably.

 4. Did you send out invitations?

What makes a good fundraiser? People! There is no point in organizing an event if no one turns up. Make sure you send out invitations that have plenty of notice. Think about your audience—do they have facebook, or is sending an invite through the post more appropriate? Maybe you need to use a variety of methods?

The best way to make people aware of your event is to have a group of individuals that can all send invitations to their individual networks. The more people who know about your fundraiser, the more people will arrive, and more money will be raised.

5. Don’t forget to remind people

Yes, you sent out an invitation, but in this busy world people often forget, or get dates mixed up. So make sure you send some subtle reminders in the weeks and days leading up to the fundraiser. Don’t be too brash and in peoples’ faces. Consider sending an email highlighting the achievements of your cause so far with a reminder of the event attached, or a quick Facebook post showing some of the prizes to be won. These small actions can get your attendees excited, and keep the event at the forefront of their mind.

[The 12 Best (And Most Creative!) Fundraising Ideas]

6. Think about the competition

What other fundraising events have been run recently? You don’t want to organize a bridal dress ball, only to find there is already one planned for one week before. You want your event to stand out from the crowd. Research to see what other events have happened and will be happening. See which ones have worked and haven’t worked. And then make yours better!

7. Is there food? People love food!

The easiest way to encourage people to attend is through food. People love food! And hungry people usually equal angry people (and those angry people are less likely to loosen the purse strings). Make sure attendees know there will be food at the event so that they don’t eat beforehand. Also think about what kind of food is the most suitable. What would make you hungry enough to attend an event? (*cough* Chipotle? *cough*)

people eating together at a table
Full people are happy people, and happy people might be more inclined to donate to your cause.

8. “Thank you” are the sweetest words

People are kind, and you will find many people are willing to donate time and/or goods to your fundraiser. Try and take a moment to say thank you at the event, and/or write a follow up note letting them know that you appreciate their support.

Emails are quick and easy, but there is always something extra special about a handwritten note. Also, use social media to keep everyone who attended up to date with what the money that was fundraised has gone towards. This will make them more enthusiastic about coming to future events.

9. Don’t rest!

Your event may be over, and you may want to sit down and recover, but now is the time to strike! Use the contacts you built at the event to start cultivating more donations or opportunities. Your cause is at the front of people’s minds right now, so make sure it stays there.

[When is the Best Time of Year to Fundraise?]

What makes a good fundraiser? All of the above!

women hanging out together
Most importantly: don’t give up!

The main thing that makes a great fundraiser is YOU! Your passion, drive, and commitment will go far to make your fundraiser a success. You are putting your time into this fundraiser for a reason, so allow your enthusiasm to show through and people will quickly want to help out. All fundraisers take a lot of energy and effort to organize, but with the above tips your donations will come flying in and people will be joining you in supporting your cause.

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rachel taylorThis article was written by Rachel Taylor. After moving to Malaysia, Rachel caught the travel bug and hasn’t been back to the UK since. Her travels have taken her via Europe, East and Southern Africa, and Asia. She is currently settled in northeast China, where she is hoping one day to hold a conversation in Chinese not about the weather.

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