Charity events are a staple in most organizations’ fundraising strategies. And for many good reasons: Events can be a great opportunity for charities and NPOs to raise money for their causes, connect with long-term donors and meet new ones.
If you want to learn more about how to counter the pre-event sleepless nights and nail biting with strategies that simplify the planning process, Brittany Wong recently shared some great tips on re: charity.
Charitable events are also becoming increasingly popular in the for-profit world, what with more and more companies integrating corporate social responsibility into their business models.
Whether you’re a business or a non-profit organization raising money for your own charity or other causes: If you have ever organized a charitable event, you know how much time and hard work goes into the planning process. There are a million things to consider from budgeting to speeches to food.
Empower Your Supporters to Give Their Way
One question that (surprisingly) often takes the backseat in charitable event planning is: How can we make giving personal, easy and fun?
It’s a question well worth thinking about. How to integrate creative giving opportunities into your event is key in engaging old and new supporters in meaningful ways — and it helps raise more money for your cause.
Here are some ideas for you, along with examples of charities and companies that, in the past, have excelled at incorporating giving into their charitable event.
Charitable Claim Cards & Emails
Give your supporters or customers charitable dollars for them to give away. What’s so great about this idea is that you are empowering your supporters or customers to decide where they want to give.
Ask a corporation or major donor to sponsor a $5 to $10 gift for each attendee and make this gift part of your event, e.g. in the form of a welcome/thank you package or email.
Museum of Vancouver & The Happy Show
To reward Vancouverites for visiting the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) and Stefan Sagmeister’s Happy Show, MOV decided to give their visitors $5 to give away to MOV — or any charity in Canada. All visitors have to do is go to sharewithchimp.ca, claim their charitable dollars and start giving.
Family Day at Science World
Science World made charitable giving part of everyday life for their visitors on this year’s family day with charitable claim cards. Upon completion of a scavenger hunt, families received a charitable allowance claim card to kick off their family giving plan.
TOMS Bag Line Launch Event
With the help of charitable claim cards, TOMS recently took its pledge to empower customers to give back to the next level. TOMS presented the first 10 customers who bought a bag at launch events in Vancouver and Toronto with a charitable gift card loaded up with 20 Chimp dollars to give away to any charity in Canada.
Give Online, Tweet to Give or Text to Pledge
Giving event attendees more options to give than just your standard money or cheque donation has two advantages: For one, you are more likely to get more donations, because you’re giving people the chance to give whichever way they prefer: offline, online, or via their mobile phone.
Offering ways to donate online or via mobile devices also cuts down on administration time and costs. Donations received offline need to be processed, personal donor information entered manually into a database, receipts written and mailed, and so on. Most online or mobile giving platforms have automated these steps, which saves you time and costs.
Tweet to Give: AFP Vancouver
With the help of Peer Giving Solutions, the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) offered $10 to give away to any Canadian charity to each of the 700 attendees at AFP’s National Philanthropy Day luncheon. Attendees could claim their $10 with a tweet using the #AFPvanNPD and #chimpNPD hashtags.
Text to Pledge: Whitecaps FC #BuckUp Day
On May 30, Whitecaps FC gave thousands of soccer fans an opportunity to give for mental health on #BuckUp Day. Visitors to the game were encouraged to drop $1 into one of the many buckets volunteers carried around the stadium or “text to pledge” $5 for mental health. Learn more about “text to pledge” and “text to donate”
Social fundraising doesn’t necessarily have to be tied to an event, but together they can be a powerful combination. Social fundraising teaches us two important lessons that can make your charitable event a greater success:
- Tap into the power of your supporters’ networks! Ask them to rally their friends, family, colleagues etc. to raise more money and awareness for your cause.
- Giving doesn’t have to be limited to the day of the event. If you ask your supporters to fundraise for you leading up to your event, you can generate donations over a longer period of time.
Run for Water
On March 30, thousands of runners hit the roads in Abbotsford to raise money for clean water in Ethiopia at this year’s Run for Water. Leading up to the event, the Run for Water Foundation invited its supporters to raise money through private fundraisers. Supporters raised an impressive $23,000 prior to the event — and a total of $313,000. Tell me more about Run for Water
10 Questions: Decide What’s Right For You
How do you figure out what might encourage your supporters to give more — and what might have the exact opposite effect? To learn more about what giving solutions might be best for your charity or company, ask yourself the following 10 questions next time you start planning an event.
- How much money do you want to raise?
- What’s the one thing you want your supporters to do (what’s your main ask)?
- Who is your target audience for this event?
- What ways of giving do you think your audience prefers?
- Do you have access to wifi at your event location?
- Based on the type of event you’re planning: Could mobile giving become distracting or could it be easily integrated?
- How important is it for you to collect donor data at the event?
- What kind of data would you like to collect?
- When you think about previous events: What has encouraged your supporters to give?
- What has discouraged supporters to give in the past and how could exploring new giving opportunities bridge the gap?
Are you planning your next charity event? Get in touch with us at 1-877-531-0580 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can help you.