Special events can go so well, or oh so badly. During Fundraising Day New York 2013, sponsored by the New York City chapter of the Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP), a variety of tips for increasing revenue, decreasing expenses or miscellaneous items were offered and discussed.
- Engage the committee in setting revenue goals.
- Use local networks and contacts to help get things donated.
- Give a lot of visibility and attention to in-kind donors at events.
- Squeeze board members to use their contacts.
- Offer “payment plans” for larger sponsorships.
- Ask corporate board members to open doors for corporate sponsors.
- Set a minimum value for donated auction items.
- Get stuff donated.
- Cut deals with in-kind donors (e.g. “Give us free wine, we’ll give you a nice ad in the journal”).
- Don’t spend money on giveaways if they’re not expected by guests.
- Do an on-screen journal instead of paper.
- Segment the mailing list instead of sending huge mailings.
- Ask for bids from new vendors — don’t assume “our guy” is still giving the best price.
Do Not Get Cheap on:
- Anything to do with the organization’s image or branding.
- Items that need to be high quality, such as music and food.
- Audio/visual or other technology.