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Fundraising Events - Make Your Fundraising Efforts Pay!

Here are some basic tips to make sure that your fundraising event is well prepared and reaches it's potential:

Delegate – don’t leave it to the same committee members to organise everything. When you decide on your activity make a list that covers what needs to be done and then accept offers of help from other people or simply ask people to help. Make people responsible for a specific task and then let them get on with it!

Have one person in overall charge – it leads to less confusion. Fundraising members should know who to speak to about their particular area of responsibility. Nothing is worse than if you’re the person who’s agreed to hire the bouncy castle or book the disco and you have three different people asking if you’ve done this.

Plan it – the old adage `fail to plan, plan to fail’ is oh so true! Make sure that everybody understands what they are supposed to be doing and when they’re supposed to be doing it by! Bad planning often leads to duplicated effort – have a clear plan. Have a contingency plan too – if you’re running a school fete have a dry weather layout and a wet weather layout. There’s nothing worse than running around two hours before the event wondering where you’re going to fit the face painter and the jewellery craft stall.

Advertise it – make sure that people know about your event. This doesn’t mean expense – be creative with this - use the local radio, the free press, the church notice boards, the school magazine etc etc.

Sell tickets - if you’re running an event such as a disco, charity supper, guest speaker, cheese and wine evening etc that requires a ticket to get in make sure you sell the tickets in advance. Don’t just wait for people to pay on the door - get some sales revenue in before hand. This means that you will have a pretty good idea on how many people might be attending the event. This will help you budget and fund the cheese and wine, disco etc that you need at the event. It also has the advantage that some people might not actually make it to the event but you will already have received their entry ticket money into your fundraising coffers.

Divide and conquer! If you are selling tickets, raffle tickets, scratch cards, programmes, catalogue sales or products make sure that lots of people are selling a few of each. There is nothing worse than 3 committee members trying to sell 30 tickets each to the gala dinner. It’s much better to have 15 people selling 6 tickets each – it’s far less daunting a task. This has the added advantage that it should increase the mix of people at your fundraising (it’s not just the same faces over and over again). Always get new enthusiastic members of your group to sell a few tickets to their friends and family. This will keep your fundraising events fresh and lively.

Post Fundraising mortem! Make sure you learn from each event/activity. What went well? What didn’t go well? What would you do differently next time? Was the return on the effort worthwhile? Would you do that particular fundraising activity/event again? Keep a note of it somewhere useful (along with the names and numbers of useful contacts) the next organiser will be very glad of it!

Good luck with your fundraising!

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