March Into Fundraising
Fabulous Fundraisers, let’s march into fundraising and get prepared! The year is young and it's time to get our hands dirty! Hypothetically. Whether your event is virtual, live in-person, or hybrid, it’s always a great time to get and stay organized!
One question I usually get when we talk about keeping your event organized is ``Is there a better time of year to host a fundraising event?”
My answer? No. Yes. Maybe. Let me unvague that for you.
How you get organized, including the time of year you hold your event, depends on your type of nonprofit. Regardless of your fiscal year, your door should be open all year long for fundraising, nurturing donor and sponsor relationships, and accepting donations. But getting prepared for your big yearly fundraising event may depend on a few things. There is no right or wrong time to fundraise, there’s only what works best for your organization.
To add to those resources, in a vaccinated and reopened world keeping an eye out for variants, venues need to get back to their bread and butter events: weddings, anniversaries, retirements and milestone birthdays are all big things people were unable to celebrate for the last two years. Venues are going to start getting booked. All those milestone celebrations that were missed in the past two years might end up being your competition as folks want to celebrate everything they couldn’t at the time. Think it’s a little early to call and check on next year’s date availability? Nah, give ‘em a call now and get on their calendar. We wish Uncle Morty the happiest of 75th birthdays, but you don’t want to compete with him for your event space.
Even if you just wrapped up a fundraiser or you’re already planning for 2023, make some magic happen and check-in early with your day-of-event vendors. It’s important to make sure your key players have availability for your chosen date:
Speakers, performers, and guests
Once you have your venue and day-of ducks in a row, think about how much time that will free up for you. Now you can get your committees together and get started planning how you want to tell the story of your nonprofit. With your venue nailed down and your day-of vendors onboard, you can focus on getting auction items your guests will be excited to bid on. Organizing the big things lets you focus on the little details that will make all the difference on event night!
So does the time of year matter when you’re planning for your gala event? There are a lot of factors to keep in mind about the time of year you hold your gala: how your community celebrates holidays, big events including local sports events, and school break schedules. All of those things matter, but maybe not as much as getting organized and planning/booking ahead matters. The benefits of planning ahead may outstrip the importance of when your event is held because when you’re prepared there’s less room for surprises like an unavailable venue, or schedule conflicts with your preferred vendors. And with everything we've learned since the pandemic began in 2022, being prepared makes it easier to pivot to a hybrid or virtual event if cases rise in your area (knock on wood).
Want more help on your next fundraising event? Don’t be afraid to reach out!