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How to Increase Fundraising Events Attendance

How to Increase Attendance For Fundraising Events

Are you planning a political campaign fundraising event? This is a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to increase attendance for fundraising events, raise awareness and donations to meet a campaign goal. Fundraising events are a cornerstone of many nonprofit organizations, advocacy and political campaigns to raise much-needed funds for their causes.

However, organizing a successful fundraising event involves more than just planning; it also requires ensuring that you have a strong turnout. After all, the more attendees you have, the more funds you can raise. There are many types of fundraising events that organizations and individuals can organize to raise money for various causes. Some of these events are covered here in this post.



What is Fundraising Event?

A fundraising event is an event designed to raise awareness and donations to meet an organization’s mission. A fundraising event can be a concert, silent auction, half marathon, neighborhood cookathon, and more. Nonprofits use fundraising events to raise money to fuel their missions. Looking for nonprofit or political campaign event ideas? Here are some examples of fundraising events you can try.


Types of Fundraising Events:

  • Charity Gala: A formal evening event with dinner, entertainment, and silent or live auctions. Guests typically purchase tickets to attend.
  • Walkathons and 5K Runs: Here participants collect pledges or donations for walking or running a certain distance.
  • Bake Sale: Volunteers bake and sell homemade goods like cookies, cakes, and pies at a local event or market.
  • Auction: Organize a live or silent auction where people bid on items, services, or experiences donated by individuals or businesses.
  • Benefit Concert: Arrange a musical performance or concert where ticket sales go to the chosen cause.
  • Thon Events: Events like dance-a-thons, read-a-thons, or game-a-thons where participants collect pledges for the time they spend doing the activity.
  • Dinner Fundraiser: Host a meal or dinner event with ticket sales benefiting the cause.
  • Art Exhibition: Showcase and sell art created by local artists, with a percentage of the sales going to the cause.
  • Trivia Night: Organize a trivia competition where teams pay an entry fee to participate.
  • Charity Auction: Collect donations from individuals or businesses and auction them off at an event.
  • Sporting Event: Organize a sports tournament or game and charge an entry fee or sell tickets.
  • Movie Night: Host a screening of a popular movie and sell tickets, concessions, or merchandise.
  • Fashion Show: Feature local fashion designers or boutiques, with proceeds from ticket sales going to the cause.
  • Community Yard Sale: People donate items they no longer need, and the proceeds from the sale are directed to the cause.
  • Pancake Breakfast: Serve pancakes, waffles, or a breakfast buffet for a fee.
  • Carnival or Fair: Organize a community fair with games, food stalls, and rides, and allocate a portion of the proceeds to the cause.
  • Golf Tournament: Host a golf event where participants pay an entry fee, with a portion of the fees going to the cause.
  • Book Sale: Collect donated books and sell them at a discounted price.
  • Raffle: Sell raffle tickets for a chance to win prizes donated by individuals or businesses.
  • Tree Planting Sale: Offer a variety of plants and flowers where a portion of the buy-ins goes to the cause.
  • Talent Show: Organize a talent competition with entry fees and ticket sales.
  • Art and Craft Fair: Host a fair where local artisans and crafters sell their creations.
  • Charity Auction Dinner Cruise: Combine a dinner cruise with a live auction to raise funds.
  • Run/Walk for a Cause: Organize a charity run or walk to raise funds and awareness.

These are just a few examples of fundraising events, and the possibilities are virtually limitless. Your choice of event should align with your cause, target audience, and the resources available to you. Now lets explore various strategies and tactics to boost attendance for your fundraising events.


How to Increase Fundraising Events Attendance in 21 Steps:


1. Set Clear Goals and Objectives

Before you start planning your event, it’s crucial to define clear goals and objectives. Understanding what you aim to achieve will help shape your event and its marketing strategies. Consider the following questions:

  • How much money do you need to raise?
  • What’s the primary purpose of the event (e.g., capital campaign, awareness, community building)?
  • What is your target attendance number?
  • What demographics are you trying to attract (e.g., age, gender, income level)?


2. Choose the Right Type of Event

The type of event you choose can significantly impact attendance. Different events cater to different audiences. Here are a few options to consider:

Gala or Black-Tie Event: Gala dinners and black-tie events often attract donors who are willing to spend a significant amount of money on tickets. These events can be quite exclusive and formal, making them suitable for high-net-worth individuals.

Auctions and Raffles: Auctions, silent auctions, and raffles can be exciting and offer attendees the chance to win valuable items or experiences. They are particularly appealing to those who enjoy the thrill of competition.

Community and Family-Friendly Events: If you want to attract families and community members, consider events like fairs, festivals, or runs/walks. These events are often more casual and inclusive, encouraging a broader range of attendees.


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3. Create a Compelling Event Theme

A well-defined theme can make your event more attractive and memorable. It provides a cohesive element that ties all aspects of the event together. The theme should resonate with your target audience and the mission of your organization.


4. Plan Your Event Well in Advance

The success of your fundraising event largely depends on careful planning. Start planning at least six to twelve months before the event. This timeline allows you to secure a venue for in-person events, book speakers or entertainers, solicit sponsors, and promote the event effectively.


5. Choose an Appropriate Date and Time

The timing of your event is critical. Avoid scheduling your event on major holidays or during times when your target audience is likely to be busy. Weekends, especially Saturdays, are often the best choices for most events.

Additionally, consider the time of the day; evening events are generally more suitable for adults, while daytime events may cater to families, live events are more suitable for youths.


6. Select the Right Event Venue

The venue you choose should be appropriate for the type of event you’re hosting and your target audience. It should be easily accessible and comfortable for attendees. For formal events, you might opt for a ballroom or banquet hall, while a community fair might be better suited to a local park or community center.


7. Consider Virtual Events Hosting Platforms

You can also increase fundraising events attendance by leveraging the power of virtual events and live streaming platforms like zoom which offer global accessibility and convenience. Our online fundraising planform provides event management software to help you organize impactful campaign fundraising events.

You can create a custom event page, set event date, collect data, register participants, sell events tickets online; and share events on social media to increase donations.


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8. Partner with Notable Sponsors & Influencers

Sponsorships can significantly enhance your event’s attendance and revenue. Approach local businesses, corporations, or individuals who align with your cause and might be willing to contribute to your event in exchange for recognition, logo inclusion and exposure.

Your event sponsors can cover expenses, such as venue rental, catering, or entertainment cost, allowing you to allocate more funds to your mission. Identify local influencers or celebrities who are aligned with your cause and willing to support your event. They can help promote your event to their followers, thus expanding your reach.


9. Leverage Social Media and Online Marketing

In today’s digital age, an online presence is crucial for promoting your fundraising event. Utilize various social media platforms, create event pages, and post regularly about the event, its purpose, and any updates. Consider using paid social media advertising on platforms like Facebook or Instagram to reach a broader audience.


10. Include Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing is an effective way to reach your existing supporters and potential attendees. Segment your email list to send targeted messages to different groups. Use compelling subject lines and create visually appealing emails with clear calls to action.


11. Utilize Traditional Marketing Methods

While online marketing is essential, don’t underestimate the power of traditional marketing methods. Use well designed flyers, campaign posters, and local media to raise awareness about your event. Engage local newspapers, TV stations, and radio stations to promote your event through interviews, Q&As and news coverage.


12. Send Personal Invitations and Place Calls

Personalized invitations can be highly effective to increasing attendance for your fundraising events. Encourage your board members, volunteers, and staff to invite their friends, family, and professional networks. Personal recommendations often carry more weight than generic invitations.

For high-value donors or prospective attendees, consider personalized outreach like handwritten invitation letters, phone calls, or in-person meetings to increase your impact and show appreciation for their potential support.


13. Early-Bird Discounts and Incentives

Offer early-bird discounts or incentives to encourage early registration or ticket purchases. Early-bird pricing can create a sense of urgency and reward those who commit early. Create a referral program that rewards attendees for referring others to your event.

This can help you tap into the networks of your existing supporters and increase attendance. Again, consider bulk tickets purchase discount and gifting options. Provide a variety of ticketing options to accommodate different budgets. This may include general admission, VIP tickets, and group packages. Ensure that your ticketing platform is user-friendly and secure.


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14. Build Your Own Campaign Website

You can build a donor-friendly and secure campaign website and include Donation Button to encourage people to give without leaving your site. Ensure that your organization’s website prominently features information about the event.

Include an easy-to-find event page with details on ticket sales, sponsorships, speakers, and the event schedule. Use compelling visuals and storytelling techniques to pique interest and increase fundraising events attendance.


15. Use Video Marketing

Video is a powerful tool to engage and inform potential attendees. Create promotional videos that showcase the impact of your organization and highlight what attendees can expect at the event.

You can hire a professional video producer to do the job. Remember to share your campaign video on YouTube and other online channels to create awareness and boost attendance for your event.


16. Harness the Power of Public Relations

Running a successful fundraising event requires meticulous planning, attention to detail, and effective management to ensure it achieves its goals. As a leading political events planning firm, we help election candidates, nonprofit organizations, and advocacy groups to plan and manage all their in-person and virtual political events; be it political rallies, solidarity matches, protest walks, leadership conferences, community engagements or townhall meetings.

We build relationships with local journalists and media outlets to secure media coverage for your event. We create press releases, media kits, and compelling human interest stories that can generate interest and boost attendance for your event.


17. Provide Value and Unique Experiences

Consider what value your event offers attendees beyond supporting a good cause. Unique experiences, entertainment, or guest speakers can make your event more appealing. For example, you could offer a chance to meet a celebrity or a behind-the-scenes tour. Leading up to the event, create buzz and raise anticipation with teaser campaigns and countdowns.

Post daily or weekly updates on social media, revealing exciting event details and features. Incorporate mobile-friendly options for ticket purchasing and event registration. Many people use their mobile devices to access online information and make transactions, so it’s essential to provide a seamless mobile experience.

A complicated or lengthy registration process can discourage potential attendees. Ensure that your event registration or ticketing process is straightforward, with minimal required contact information such as donor name, phone number or email address.


Learn: How to Help a Campaign Candidate Win an Election


18. Create an Engaging Event Program

Plan a dynamic and engaging event program that keeps attendees entertained and informed. Use a mix of entertainment, storytelling, and speakers to maintain interest throughout the event. Ensure that your event is accessible to people with disabilities. This includes providing wheelchair access, sign language interpreters, and accessible restrooms. A welcoming and inclusive environment can attract a broader audience.


19. Ensure Pre-Event Communication

Attendees’ experiences don’t begin and end with the event itself. Offer excellent customer service through responsive communication, clear instructions, and assistance with any questions or concerns. Keep attendees informed and excited about the event with pre-event communication. Send reminders, event schedules, and important details to registered attendees as the event date approaches.


20. Hire Volunteers to Get Involved

Hire the best company to handle your volunteers recruitment and training for successful campaign events. Be it unpaid or paid volunteers and part time local change makers or citizens who are ready to help you organize your event and increase fundraising efforts.

Engage your organization’s volunteers or motivated supporters by inviting them to attend the event and be a part in the process. They are already passionate about your cause and can help generate enthusiasm among attendees and create more awareness.


21. Collaborate with Other Organizations

Do you still want to know how to increase attendance for fundraising events? Consider collaborating with other non-profit organizations, advocacy or community groups. Co-hosting an event can expand your reach and attract a wider audience. Engage local celebrities, well-known community figures, or respected leaders to endorse your event. Their support can lend credibility and attract attendees which increase the money you raise.


22. Leverage Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Encourage your supporters to create peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns on your behalf. This allows them to leverage their own networks to drive attendance and increase donations. Create and share your event content with volunteers, such as photos, videos, and testimonials, to highlight the features of the event and showcase the impact of the funds raised. This content can generate interest and support for your event. Recruit event ambassadors from your supporters who are passionate about your cause. These ambassadors can help spread the word, share their enthusiasm, and motivate others to attend.


23. Use Data-Driven Insights and Follow-Up

Utilize data and insights from previous events to make informed decisions about marketing, outreach, and event planning. This data-driven approach can help you refine your strategies and boost attendance over time. Leverage data analytics tools to track the effectiveness of your event marketing strategies.

This can help you understand which channels and tactics are driving attendance and adjust your approach accordingly. After the event, continue engaging with attendees by sending thank-you notes and updates on the impact of the funds raised. This not only shows appreciation but also keeps them connected to your cause.


Wrapping Up: How to Increase Fundraising Events Attendance

Increasing attendance for your fundraising events is a multifaceted process that involves strategic planning, effective marketing, and a commitment to providing value to your attendees. By implementing the strategies outlined in this guide and staying adaptable and creative, you can maximize attendance, increase funds raised, and ultimately make a more significant impact on your campaign.

Remember that each event is an opportunity to learn and improve, and with dedication and persistence, you can continuously enhance your fundraising efforts. After the event, gather feedback from attendees to learn what worked well and what could be improved. Use this information to enhance future events.

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