A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing a Fundraising Event

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Nonprofit organizations rely on money from donors – whether it’s individuals or larger organizations – to keep their business running and achieve their goals. Many nonprofits find that hosting fundraising events is an effective tactic to raise money and meet their financial goals. If your organization is planning an upcoming fundraising event, here are a few tips to ensure that your event is successful and that you reach – and maybe even exceed – your goals. 

Identify Your Cause

It can be easy to assume that everyone understands what your nonprofit is trying to achieve. But that may not always be the case so it’s important to clearly communicate your organization’s cause and why you’re holding a fundraising event. Is it for a specific project? Is it for general revenue to keep the business going? Be sure that you, and your team, can clearly and succinctly convey your goals. In addition to helping your attendees connect with your mission, this can help you develop a more precise marketing plan. Before planning next steps or the event’s specific details, make sure you have that one-liner mission statement that can serve as the event’s backbone throughout.

Determine Your Fundraising Goal

Make sure you have a good understanding of how much you need to raise for this specific event. Working with your finance or development teams can help you see where your organization is and how much more you need to raise for the immediate and long-term. It is always a good idea to keep your eyes focused on your financial goal to know when to keep going and when the team can take a break from fundraising. 

Define an Event Budget

Every event needs to have a budget, and that includes charity events and fundraisers. You will of course still have to spend money to put on a compelling and engaging event while also meeting your fundraising goals. You could even argue that the content and style of a fundraising event is even more critical when asking individuals to part with their money. But, you’ll need to be mindful of setting a realistic budget that achieves your goals without spending unnecessary money. When setting a budget, consider including a miscellaneous line item for emergencies or unexpected expenses. 

Determine Your Audience

Knowing who might join you in the cause could help you reach your money goals faster. If you understand your audience and what resonates with them, you may be able to connect with them more easily and get them to your fundraiser. 

You can conduct research to see if your organization and its cause has a defined audience persona that you can tailor your promotions to. For example, if your target audience is primarily animal lovers, consider using photos of animals to attract people to your event and get them to write a check. 


Promote a Theme

A theme is not to be confused with your event’s mission or your organization’s cause. Instead, it can be an element to excite people to attend your event. Using the animal lover example, you could consider a safari theme to create a unique atmosphere and create fun and interesting content to include on social media and other marketing channels. 

Market It Well

People will not hear about your event if you do not market it properly. Be aggressive in your marketing tactics and think of new and creative ways to reach out to potential attendees. You could consider finding influencers or prior event attendees to help get the word out on your event. And of course, don’t forget to use the tried-and-true tactics such as social media and email marketing. 


A successful fundraising campaign and event depends on the connection your organization builds with potential attendees and how you choose to market the event. If you know your audience well and what makes them tick, you are one step ahead towards a successful event. 

Seeking the help of an event marketing agency can also help skyrocket attendance for your next event. Using the power of referral marketing, we can help your nonprofit achieve your fundraising goals. Reach out today to learn more!


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