How to Market a Nonprofit Fundraising Event (part 2)
While some like to live by the idea of “build it and they will come,” marketers know that to throw a successful nonprofit fundraising event means building a thoughtful marketing strategy. If no one knows that the event is happening, no one will show up and participate. Make it easy for people to attend, and be sure to publicize the event!
To help your nonprofit create the best fundraiser yet, here are a few ideas for how to market a nonprofit fundraising event.
Know Your Event Branding
Before you can truly begin to market your event, you need to know the event’s theme, event name, logo, and colors. A cohesive strategy begins with knowing your event’s theme, which will determine the rest of the details of your marketing, decorations, catering, and entertainment. Every detail will further enhance your event.
Know your event name
Create an event logo
Choose color schemes, fonts, and images
Claim a hashtag
Send Out Save the Date Invitations
For a large fundraising event, send out save the dates to ensure that you have a higher attendance rate. You can choose to send out a mass email as well as a paper save the date. You’ll want to choose the best mailing option based on your budget and the event type. Send out the invite 6-12 months ahead of the event.
Save the Date information
Date and location
Event and organization mission
Know Your Event Entertainment
Once you know your event entertainment, you can use this information to highlight your event and drive excitement. Whether you have a guest speaker or music entertainment, you want to be sure that the connection between the entertainment and the cause is strong. If you aren’t sure about what type of entertainment to include, consider surveying your supporters to find out what they might most enjoy.
Choose Event Paraphernalia
Promotional items for the event can be a hit before, during, and after an event. The items can raise awareness beforehand and also grow excitement. When choosing paraphernalia to promote your event, be sure to choose items that make sense for your event, brand them with the nonprofit logo, and make them easily available.
Active events: water bottles or t-shirts
Educational events: magnets or pens
Fancy events: cocktail kits or coasters
Create Publicity Materials
While social media gains a lot of attention, it’s important to consider other publicity materials such as flyers, local news stations, advertisements, and sponsorship networks. Work with graphic designers and writers to develop materials that can be widely distributed, whether at local businesses or in mass mailings. Send out paper invitations to select donors.
Flyers can be an easy way to build recognition and maybe catch the eye of someone who might not normally attend your events.
Press releases are a great way to let the local news stations know about your event.
Billboard advertising can be a big way to broadcast your event.
Personalize your Social Media Strategy
Social media is all about being social. Therefore, create a strategy that offers a more personable look at your upcoming event. Use posts as a way to give followers a glimpse of the planning, decorating, and more. Social media stories can be a great way to get quick opinions with the poll and question options.
Create a content calendar for marketing your event.
Share photos and content about the event with the event hashtag.
Highlight volunteer stories and the impact of the event.
Host ticket giveaways that require followers to enter by liking, sharing, and tagging friends.
Use Your Email List
Your email list can be a great place to go in-depth about your upcoming fundraising event. With its long-form option, an email offers a great space for longer storytelling. Remind your audience about the point of the event and how the funds raised will impact the world.
Connect your email list to your other social media accounts
Ask for early registration to the event
Provide buttons to your nonprofit website
Tell People the Old Fashioned Way
Word of mouth can be the best way to market a nonprofit fundraising event because people are much more likely to attend when they’ve been personally invited. Friend recommendations carry a much heavier weight than an organization’s suggestion or recommendation. Encourage your network of employees, volunteers, donors, and sponsors to personally invite their friends, family, workout buddies, gaming friends to the event.
RSVP to the Event
Whether or not you require RSVPs or purchased tickets before the event, you want it to be easy for interested parties to be able to register or purchase tickets. Be sure to include how to RSVP or purchase tickets in nearly every communication, whether a flyer or a social media post. It’s best if you can have an easy to navigate landing page.
Provide clear direction for registration or ticket purchase
Offer a simple landing page with all the required information
Provide contact information for questions
Include a share button
Knowing how to market a nonprofit fundraising event requires a thoughtful strategy, a good timeline, and a great team. If you aren’t sure how to start planning a nonprofit fundraising event, be sure to read part 1 of this 3-part series. Keep an eye out for how to host a nonprofit fundraising event!