When the time comes to plan your first fundraiser, you might find yourself very nervous and overwhelmed at the prospect of setting up and hosting an event by yourself. If you’re new to the fundraising world, then don’t worry! Although setting up your first fundraiser might seem daunting, it’s not as complicated and time-consuming as you think.
Given the current circumstances, it’s likely that most fundraisers will continue to be hosted online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s why we’ve put together our Fundraising Everywhere top ten tips to help you plan your first virtual fundraiser. As long as you follow these ten steps, your event should be a success!
1. Decide on your cause
Defining exactly why you’re raising money and who you’re raising it for should always be the first step in planning any fundraiser. This will help you not only create an effective promotional strategy later down the line, but it’ll also help you put an operational plan in place moving forward. This ‘mission statement’ will be encompassed in all other decisions around the planning of your virtual fundraiser.
2. Set a fundraising goal
Once you’ve defined your fundraising cause, you then need to decide on what your goals are for the fundraiser. How much money do you want to raise? Maybe your fundraiser isn’t even about the money, perhaps you just want to drive awareness and expand your network. When planning your first fundraiser, it’s important that you keep all potential goals in mind.
3. Create an event budget
Every event must have a budget, and it’s also important to keep in mind that you’ll need to raise funds above the amount you’re going to spend on your fundraiser. However, one of the benefits of virtual fundraising events is that they’re more cost-effective than their in-person equivalents. You don’t have to worry about venue hire, catering or travel costs!
4. Choose your target audience
Pinpointing the audience you want to attract to your fundraiser will not only help you plan a better event, but it’ll also help you to advertise it to the appropriate audience. Think about whether your event and cause appeals to a certain age or interest. Is it just a local fundraiser, or a world-wide event where anyone can take part? By defining your audience, you can figure out the best way to reach potential attendees and prospective donors.
5. Plan the fundraiser particulars
The planning of in-person events required fundraisers to find a venue to host it, but with virtual fundraisers, it’s a little different. Instead, you need to think about the following:
- The streaming/video hosting service you’ll use
- Any video clips or graphics that need to be prepared
- Virtual entertainment
- The itinerary of the event
There’s less planning than in-person fundraisers, but virtual events still need a lot of preparation to make sure things go off without a hit!
6. Decide what you’ll do during the fundraiser
You’ll want to make sure that you get people excited about your cause, but you also want to make sure that they’re engaged and having fun during your fundraiser. The happier attendees are, the more likely they are to offer support. To inspire future and returning donors, come up with a fun, unique idea that gets them excited to attend. Struggling for ideas? Check out our previous blog post to get you inspired!
7. Shout about your fundraiser
Marketing your fundraiser is vital to its success. Why? Well, without any guests or attendees you’re not going to meet your target goal! Creating a digital marketing strategy is the best way to spread the word about your event. Employ email marketing, paid advertising and social media marketing to help create buzz around your fundraiser.
Having a good marketing strategy will not only help you get attendees, but it can also convince supporters that your cause and fundraising event is worthy of their time and money.
8. Decide how you’ll accept donations
Of course, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to accept donations for your chosen cause. Unlike in-person events, you can’t just shake a donation bucket at people everytime they walk past. With virtual fundraisers, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one donation method.
Set up an online event ticketing platform, which can take digital and mobile payments in advance. Or, make the whole donation process easier by linking a chosen Paypal account that’ll accept donations. You can also set up a donate button on your fundraiser page for quick digital giving. This method is attractive to people who might not be able to attend your event but want to support your cause regardless.
9. Encourage attendees to share your event
Lean on your community of supporters to generate buzz during your fundraiser. You can do this by providing good content to share online, such as video clips, images and shareable posts, so attendees can easily reshare them on to their own followers. This will help you generate more interest in your cause, as well as any future fundraising events you plan on hosting.
10. Automate as much as you can
Automation of both your operations and marketing will be more efficient and will lower the overall cost of your fundraiser. For example, automated emails can give guests detailed event information once they’ve bought their online ticket. Likewise, social media management tools will make posting content and tracking the results across all platforms more seamless. If you keep on top of metrics like this, the whole event will run a lot smoother and will be much less stressful for you.
Need help with your fundraiser?
It can take a lot of money, skill and finesse to plan a successful fundraising event, so if you’re looking for external support with your fundraising efforts, Fundraising Everywhere is here to help.
Through virtual conferences, monthly webinars and virtual support, we connect you directly to the proven methods, people, and new ideas that are guaranteed to help you raise more money. This means you can learn wherever you are, in your own time, and at an affordable price. If you’re interested in finding out how we can support you, get in touch with us today.