8 Tips for a Successful Fundraiser Event

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In 2018, Americans gave $427.71 billion to U.S. charities. Individuals represented the most charitable donors, accounting for $292.09 billion of the total amount. Meanwhile, corporations accounted for just $20.5 billion. Obviously, there's a lot of potential in fundraising, especially on a person-to-person level. 

If you're considering hosting a fundraiser of your own, it is possible to raise quite a large sum of money. The key is to create a successful event — one that people will be eager to support. That being said, here are a few tips to help you organize a fundraiser and raise money. 

1. Set a Realistic Goal 

The first and most important thing to consider when fundraising is the goal of your efforts. What do you aim to accomplish through this event? Decide what amount of money you want to raise before planning the rest of your fundraiser. The total dollar amount should be how much you hope to net after deducting expenses. This will narrow your goal, help you stick to your budget and gear everything toward reaching the specified amount. 

2. Make a Budget

It's essential to have a budget. Make a complete list of all necessary expenses and the total amount of money you plan to spend on the fundraiser. Leave a little wiggle room for unforeseen costs. After all, it's best to raise more than you planned than not enough. The last thing you want to tell sponsors is their money funded more of the event than the charity. 

3. Gear the Event Toward Supporters

Fundraisers are incredibly effective in uniting people to accomplish a common goal. While the charity aspect itself will do this, having a unique and engaging theme will also aid in boosting attendance. Therefore, you must pick one that will resonate with the majority of your target audience. If the demographic is older, consider hosting a '70s-themed fundraiser. Likewise, if attendees will most likely be younger, include hashtags, technology and maybe even a photo booth. 

4. Brand Wisely

Developing a branding strategy is crucial to streamlining communication and creating a visually engaging marketing strategy. You should include a color scheme, event hashtags, a logo, and standardized fonts and images. This will help the public recognize your event, whether they see a flyer in a coffee shop or a sticker with your logo on it. Be sure to include a consistent brand message when promoting your fundraiser as well to cement your team's mission into people's minds.

5. Find a Venue 

The atmosphere of your fundraising event should match and even enhance the theme. For instance, if your fundraiser is circus-themed, host it outside underneath a giant tent. Likewise, if your event is more formal, you might consider renting out a country club or historical building. If you find a venue you and supporters would love, don't let the price turn you away. Many places will rent out space for free or at a discounted rate to be associated with a nonprofit. 

6. Market Aggressively

Once you've established the brand, location, theme and all other specifics of your fundraiser, it's time to take action. Promote it on social media, your organization's website and your corporate sponsors' websites. Invite those committed to your cause to share promotional information on their personal profiles. The more aggressively you market your fundraiser, the more likely you'll attract attendees, which translates into more funding. 

7. Express Your Gratitude 

Of course, there would be no point in fundraising if there were no one to support your cause. You owe a debt of gratitude, therefore, to your many volunteers, sponsors, attendees and event organizers. Express your appreciation publicly during the event. Without these people, you wouldn't have been able to raise the money to support such a worthy cause. Thanking donors will also keep them happy, which is important if you plan to ask for more donations in the future. 

8. Remember to Follow Up 

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Once the event has come to a close, you may be tempted to spend the next few days celebrating your success and recovering from the chaos of planning. However, it's crucial you connect with donors and volunteers over the next few days and personally thank them for their support. They'll remember your gratitude and be more willing to help again when it comes time for another fundraiser.


  1. Rob S. says:

    It’s easy to forget just how many moving parts exist in regard to fundraising. Not only do you have to establish a cause, but bring people on to help it forward, market effectively, and beyond. Great checklist for those looking to raise funds for causes they believe in!

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