You’ve become an established non-profit, and you’re ready to host a semi-formal, or even a black-tie affair to simultaneously thank your donors and generate further donations. Indeed, such an event is a great incentive for donors.
As part of a new blog series, we’ll be zooming in on a handful of tried-and-true fundraising incentives to help you decide what incentives could best benefit your donors and ultimately your cause.
To start, let’s investigate what a well-planned event can do to fund your cause, and how to make it count.
Host a Fundraising Luncheon or Gala
Nothing says ‘noteworthy non-profit’ like an elegant luncheon, or better yet, a gala.
Essentially, both are just fancy words for an excuse to dress up, eat decadent hours devours and get some serious funding for your cause.
A luncheon (aka lunch) is, of course, appropriate for a noon-time setting. Share a nice, midday meal and tea with your non-profits board members and loyal supporters. The interaction with work to further solidify relationships and build enthusiasm for future campaigns.
A gala can begin with a cocktail hour, segway into a sit-down dinner, feature compelling entertainment, and do much to both award your supporters while encouraging them to continue supporting your cause.
“Fundraising galas can be essential to nonprofit resource generation and create a buzz around the charity’s cause that can last long after the event’s end,” says the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
As you may imagine, planning a more formal event is a bit of an investment, but it will go a long way in making your donors feel that your organization is legitimate and here to stay.
Whether you opt for a luncheon or gala, there are important details you don’t want to leave out.
Keys to a Successful Luncheon or Gala for Charity
A carefully planned charity event will include your organization’s most loyal supporters and will take every opportunity to make them feel appreciated.
You may not be able to include all of your supporters, but even getting on the guestlist could be an incentive to make a donation of a certain amount.
For example, donors who have contributed X amount of funds make the guest list. For donors who have yet to reach that benchmark, they still can by a specific date. Add urgency by emphasizing that space is limited.
Here are a few ‘must-haves’ at the event…
- Offer a delicious menu. Consider curating locally sourced food and drinks. Pair it with tasteful decor in accordance with your cause. (Pro tip: to save on the budget, check if any of your board members have formal décor items in storage, perhaps from a recent wedding in the family.)
- Prepare a little speech. Provide an update on how the cause is doing, a sincere ‘thank you’ for the support you’ve already received, and encouragement to support a certain goal your non-profit is reaching out for. A video presentation or at least some meaningful imagery is in order.
- Give a warm shout out of appreciation. Your donors need to feel the love. Let everyone know this is a great opportunity to rally together to fund the cause.
- Prepare a way for your supporters to donate. Use the Create Your Cause platform to make a customized donation page on which your donors can make their contributions.
A fundraising gala or luncheon is a smart way to make your supporters feel wined and dined, connected to one another, and appreciated. These factors combine to add great incentive for them to continue supporting your cause.
Create Your Cause – A Place to Manage Your Non-Profit’s Donations
If a black-tie affair seems out of reach at this point, not to fear! Stay tuned on our ‘Fundraising Incentives’ blog series for more ideas on how to provide an incentive to your donors.
Regardless of your cause or your incentives, your donors need a familiar online place to make their donation. Here at Create Your Cause, we offer a simple, secure, and customizable platform for receiving your supporters’ precious contributions.
Make your non-profit a new donations page with Create Your Cause, and start funding your cause!