Let’s face it running a non-profit event can be much harder than running a profit-driven event since you’re relying on fewer (volunteer) people to help and there usually isn’t loads of money just laying around to spend on it. Under these circumstances, utilizing resources creatively to build interest is a key factor in determining success and having a great event. At Nuila Events, LLC, we’ve done these long enough to be able to gives you a few nuggets of wisdom-
Hosting a Themed Event - There are a ton of Non-Profit entities out there. By choosing a theme, you can create interest in your Non-Profit simply because it sounds fun or interesting. We know that, with the rise of the “experience economy”, people are looking for moments that can be shared over social platforms and increase the life of engagement. Therefore, giving the event an eye-catching theme will help expand the donor base and increase participant engagement. Sometimes it’s too hard to come up with an interesting themed event, so many nonprofit organizations choose to partner with a themed event in order to recruit potential donors. For example, recently the Jacksonville (Florida) Symphony Guild raised thousands of dollars by having a 1920’s –themed gala, complete with bands, gambling (for donations), dinner, and a silent auction. Similarly, the Hot Chocolate Run partnered with the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) to help raise money for children dealing with serious medical issues.
Engage Social Media – You see them, walking around hallways, nose in their phone. Social Media is a huge tool if used correctly. By integrating a Facebook event page to expand the reach of your email invitations, to collecting and publishing images on Instagram and Youtube, there are many social media platforms to take advantage of. Recently a social media stunt was performed to help raise funds for a charity: Famous UK band, “Coldplay”, created a mockumentary “Game Of Thrones” video for Red Nose Day. The video quickly went viral throughout the world and helped Red Nose Day raise more money, more efficiently.
Dive into the Local Community -- No matter the goal, cause, or issue, every non-profit organization requires strong roots in its local community in order to flourish. Most people refer to local news or topics that interest or benefit them in some way. People would be more willing to support an organization if they are convinced that they can make a difference in their own community. Therefore, non-profit organizations should build relationships with local leaders and local media outlets to strengthen their presence in the community. Secondly, non-profits should leverage the power of local businesses. Not only could local businesses become potential sponsors or donors, but they could also be a great resource to recruit volunteers.
Keep it on the Level – As a Non-Profit, you know that people will volunteer their time and money to events and the organization generously, but a little mistake can lead to people losing faith in your organization. The last thing you want at your event is an injured kid or an accident-prone, inebriated, sponsor! One of the most crucial things that donors care about is how you utilize the charitable funds. Make sure you’ve compiled all applicable legal documents, audit reports and lists of cash flow. When you share the success of fundraiser events, remember to thank all of the participants sincerely! Sending out thank-you cards right after an event can not only secure continued participation, but can win positive feedback from donors as well as keep them abreast of what and when your next event is.
In the end, the devil is always in the details, and we’ve all been to events that felt “cheap”. Just because you are a non-profit doesn’t mean that you can’t have a high quality event and as a snapshot of your organization, it is imperative that you show quality for all your guests. They need to be your biggest fans! As always, though, we can help. Schedule time for us to see how Nuila Events, LLC can make your life easier and your event amazing!