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Well-run events attract more attendees and donors, raise more money for your cause, and leave lasting impressions on all your guests. Read on to learn proven strategies for raising the most money with your charity event:
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Have a clear, compelling reason for your event
As Simon Sinek says, “start with why.” Identify your purpose, cause or belief and communicate it clearly to everyone involved. This will become your North Star, and will keep you motivated and inspired during the long hours involved in hosting an event. It also indicates to your sponsors, donors, athletes, spectators and event team that the hard work is worth the investment – and that they can help make a difference.
Set a meaningful (and measurable) fundraising goal
Okay, so you now have a clear and compelling reason for your event. The next step to raising the most is to set a meaningful (and measurable) fundraising goal. How much money do you want to raise at the event? What financial goals are you trying to meet with this event? Are you looking to also get physical, non-monetary donations? What type of impact do you envision making?
Be transparent. The more upfront you are about your event goals and where you are in meeting those goals, the more people will take action to help you get there. Take a fundraising thermometer for example; they provide a quick, visual look at your fundraising campaign’s health. You might find it tacky, but according to the QGiv Fundraising Blog, this simple tool works because:
- They appeal to our preferences as human beings for visual storytelling
- They give us a job to do
- They make us feel accomplished
People want to be a part of something big so, when they see a fundraising campaign with a rapidly rising thermometer, they’re more likely to give.
And you can get creative with this! Instead of a thermometer, how about a rope climb visual?
Setup Easy Online Donations
Make it easy for potential donors to give by setting up an online donation link. You could even gift donors some of your extra swag to say thank you. For example, if they donate over x amount of dollars, they’d get a commemorative competition t-shirt.
Strongest Compete makes it easy to collect online donations through your Registration page. Simply create a new Division titled “Donation Only” and categorize it as a Volunteer so these registrations don’t show up on your leaderboard or competition schedule.
You can see here that we’ve created two Donor “divisions” – one for $10 donations, and the other for $20 donations. Then, we further customized the donation experience by giving the higher $20 donors a thank you t-shirt of their size:
Sell Tickets to Unique Experiences
Creating one-of-a-kind experiences is a great way to raise more money and interest. Along with standard spectator tickets, you could organize add-ons like:
- Pre-party get together
- Meet and greet with athletes
- A group workout
- Workshops and seminars
- A healthy sponsored lunch with a guest speaker
Whatever you do, make sure it’s interactive. The best events are the ones that bring people together and further our sport in rich and meaningful ways.
In either case, you’ll want to get your spectators to commit to attending as soon as possible. Strongest’s powerful ticketing system makes it easy to create customized experiences and buy tickets online:
Collect at the Event
Harness the excitement and energy of your live event into giving power. The day of your event is a key time to fundraise in-person.
With some advanced planning, you could raise more funds during your event through:
- Raffles: Hold a raffle for a compelling prize donated by one of your sponsors. Sell the raffle tickets for $5/each or 3 for $10. Announce the winner during competition breaks and workout transitions to keep audience engagement up.
- Challenges: ask a group of spectators to participate in a one-for-one sponsor movement challenge. For example, x sponsor will donate $1 for every burpee the specator completes in 1 minute. This is a great opportunity to encourage sponsors to donate a bit more. Rx tip: kids LOVE these challenges!
- Collection Buckets: Have collection buckets around your event for canned/non-perishable goods or monetary donations.
Let others know
Local media love local stories (especially feel good ones!). Why not let them know about your competition before and after your event?
Make sure to also use all the social media tools you can. Be strategic about who you’re tagging when you’re posting about your event. Make it easy for the media, sponsors, athletes, influencers and gyms to share your event.
Optimize your link in bio so it’s easy for people to donate online. Make it easy for others to understand your event mission – your “why”. Social is a great tool to build anticipation, excitement – and donations. For more ideas, check out our article Managing Your Upcoming Competition on Social.
Well-run events attract more attendees and donors, raise more money for your cause, and leave lasting impressions on all your guests. Planning the details of your event is so much more than making sure there are workouts, scores and food. The best competition planners understand the value of transparency, integration, and an immersive experience for their guests. They know how to get guests to commit early and often. They also know how to get guests to come back for more. Hosting an event can be costly – but it can also be incredibly rewarding for your cause.