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October 23, 2015 Avoid the 3-Ring Circus at Your Fundraising Events


I recently had some conversation with a nonprofit about the plans for their upcoming fundraiser.  As I listened to them describe their event and all of the various activities they were going to offer their guests I thought to myself, “Wow. You sure do have a lot going on.”

When you conduct a fundraising event for your nonprofit, there are two main focuses where you should zero in.

First and foremost is the fundraising aspect.  The majority of the time a gala or auction event is the largest single event a nonprofit facilitates. This is the event that generates the bulk of revenue for the year.

Next up, make sure your guests have FUN so that they want to come back year after year in support of your nonprofit.

Most fundraising events include a silent and live auction along with a Fund A Need. Called by many names (including Paddle Raise, Ask, Appeal, etc), this is a time for guest to simply give to your nonprofit’s mission.

You may also include games and/or raffles to tap into guest’s pockets’. This is a good way to offer things for the guests that would like to participate but maybe don’t have the financial wherewithal to do so on a grand scale in the live auction. These games provide a fun activity for all of the guests during the event.

Some events include a band after the fundraising and allow the guests to dance the night way.

I want to caution you that too many activities can cause the evening to become diluted.  Remember, this night can’t be all things to all people.  I encourage you to focus on the best ways to raise funds at your event and be mindful about not distracting your guests away from that focus.

You have a big investment in your fundraising events. Make sure the activities you are offering your guests during that event are things they will enthusiastically participate in so that you get the most return on your investment. And don’t forget that hiring a professional fundraising auctioneer is definitely a return on your money!

Make every minute a revenue generating minute!

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