Special Event Fundraising
Special event fundraising : minimizing the risks
Special event fundraising has plenty of potential, but also plenty of risks. With bigger events, the opportunity to raise a lot of money comes with the risk of losing equally substantial amounts. However, special event fundraising has become a staple element of the fundraising calendar, for professionals and amateurs alike. By minimizing the financial risks, you can join the ranks of people who have organized a fundraising event and lived to tell the tale.
Stick to the budget
The only way to minimize the amount of money you lose is to cut down on the amount of money you spend. This rule may seem obvious, but when you are in the middle of organizing a fundraising event it is easy to spend more than you originally planned. A combination of your own vanity and friends' unrealistic advice may persuade you that you have to spend money to make money and that it makes good business sense to buy gold jewelery for every guest or hire live swans and a chocolate fountain. So set a fixed limit to your total budget before you begin planning the event, and stick to it whatever happens.
One way of cutting down on special event fundraising costs is to cut down the scale of the event itself. For example, if you're not completely certain that you will sell all the tickets to a concert, try moving to a smaller and cheaper venue. If you're considering a five-course banquet but are worried about the costs, why not hold a picnic instead? An outdoor meal saves on venue costs as well as being more relaxed and informal. You could even ask guests to each bring a dish of their own. That way, you don't have to pay for the food either, and your guests get to sample as many dishes as there are people.
The best things in life are free
Before you spend money on something for your special fundraising event, first find out whether or not you can get it free. Approach businesses and persuade them that helping you out will be great free publicity for them. Asking companies to donate raffle prizes is a common tactic, but you can go further. For example, perhaps a local restaurant would be prepared to donate the main course for a fundraising dinner. Or perhaps a company with printing facilities will produce your programs for free, in exchange for acknowledgement in the program.