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8 Step Guide to Planning a Successful Live Event Fundraiser: Tips, Examples and Best Practices

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

Preparing for a live event fundraiser can be a daunting task, but by following a few key steps, you can ensure that your event is a success.

  1. Define your goals: Before you begin planning your event, it's important to define your goals. What do you hope to accomplish with your fundraiser? Are you raising money for a specific cause or organization? Are you trying to raise awareness about a particular issue? Having clear goals will help guide your planning process and ensure that your event is aligned with your mission.

  2. Choose a venue: Once you have defined your goals, it's time to choose a venue. Consider factors such as location, capacity, and cost when selecting a venue. If possible, choose a venue that is easily accessible and has plenty of parking. You may also want to consider whether the venue has built-in audio/visual capabilities, as this can save you time and money on equipment rentals.

  3. Set a date and time: Once you have chosen a venue, set a date and time for your event. Keep in mind that weekends are typically the best time for fundraising events, as most people are off work and able to attend. You may also want to consider the weather and whether an indoor or outdoor event would be more appropriate.

  4. Plan your program: Now it's time to plan the program for your event. Consider what activities or performances you would like to include, such as music, speeches, or a silent auction. You may also want to consider hiring a professional emcee or host to keep the event running smoothly.

  5. Publicize your event: Once you have your program planned, it's time to publicize your event. Create a website or social media page where people can learn more about your fundraiser and purchase tickets. You may also want to consider reaching out to local media outlets to publicize your event and generate interest.

  6. Prepare for the day of the event: The day of the event is when all the planning comes together. Make sure to have a detailed schedule, including setup, performance and cleanup. You should also have a plan for registration of guests, and a checklist of equipment and supplies that will be needed for the event. This includes necessary audio and visual equipment, signage, decorations and any other items that will be needed to make the event run smoothly.

  7. Host the event: The big day has finally arrived! Make sure that all your team members are prepared and ready to go. Greet your guests as they arrive, and keep the program running smoothly.

  8. Follow-up: After the event, it's important to follow-up with your guests. Send thank-you emails or letters to everyone who attended, and share the final fundraising tally with them. You may also want to consider sending a survey to get feedback on the event and gather ideas for future fundraisers.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your live event fundraiser is a success. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can create an event that is both enjoyable and effective in raising funds for your cause.

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