Holding a fundraising event soon? Use these tips from Kerri Moore, Director of Marketing at Booster to get the word out. And add your tips in the comment section below ~Kristina
Guest Post by Kerri Moore of Booster
Marketing your fundraising event is a necessity to attract attendees. After all, if people don’t know about your event or what it stands for, they’re not very likely to come.
But the marketing process can feel overwhelming, especially since every detail matters when it comes to receiving donations. The right tools and strategies can help you create a solid, focused marketing plan that promotes your nonprofit beyond the event itself.
To pump up your promotions and ace your advertising, follow our ultimate checklist below.
1. Pick your star features!
Your star features are the aspects of your event that will attract attendees. Once you’ve identified your main attraction(s), center your marketing around them. But be sure to keep the main focus on your mission.
- Determine the event’s primary message or cause to center your marketing.
- Pick your main attraction (ex: a big ticket auction item, the headlining band).
- Highlight opportunities for engagement (ex: showcase fundraising teams or leaderboards).
2. Build your event brand!
Creating a standardized event brand will help ensure that all of your marketing materials are easily identifiable. You want people to recognize your event no matter where they see it so that they remember your nonprofit.
- Create the event logo.
- Standardize the color palette, fonts, and images for marketing materials and decor.
- Choose promotional items and brand them with your logo!
- Build an event page on your nonprofit’s website or on Facebook.
3. Secure plans with sponsors!
Sponsors can help fund your event, but they can also attract attendees. Some guests may have an affinity for or a relationship with a certain business. If you market your sponsorships, you can pull in these individuals.
- Acquire sponsors’ logos, slogans, and colors for marketing materials.
- Determine which aspects of the sponsorship you want to highlight (ex: food, financial support).
- Work with sponsors to create an advertising plan and schedule for the both of you.
Once you have your brand in place and you know what you want to market, you’ll need to spread the word and publicize the best aspects of your event. Stay on schedule so that your promotional releases both introduce and build hype before your event.
- Plan the advertising schedule at least 6 months before the event.
- Delegate PR tasks to your event committee.
- Set up newspaper, magazine, and radio ads, highlighting your star features.
- Post fliers around your community (bonus tip: use QR codes to direct people to your event page!).
- Plan social media promotions (bonus tip: use tools such as Tweetdeck or Buffer to manage and schedule social media posts).
- Schedule a press release about notable attendees or event features 1-2 months before the event.
5. Invite your attendees!
Even though you’ve spread the news about your event far and wide, you’ll still need to send personal invites to your current donor base. Show them that they have a special place in your organization — you’d miss them if they didn’t attend!
- Call major donors or special attendees to invite them over the phone.
- Mail personalized print invites to your mailing list.
- Email invites to your email list, including links to your event page (bonus tip: vary content in each communication channel to avoid spamming donors who overlap on your lists).
- Create a call to action via social media (ex: purchase tickets, volunteer for the event) and encourage followers to share with their own social networks.
6. Amplify event with on-site marketing!
Your marketing doesn’t end once the event starts. You’ll need to be prepared to promote online donations during and after the event so that attendees have the opportunity to express their satisfaction. You can also capitalize on your event’s success, using it to gear up excitement for next time.
- Hire a professional photographer or videographer (bonus tip: post photo galleries to your Facebook page, tagging your event in each photo, to generate web traffic).
- Debut a nonprofit milestone or a story about your services’ recipients during the event.
- Encourage attendees to share their participation on social media (bonus tip: provide crazy costume pieces for photo ops so that attendees can post silly pictures to their pages).
- Promote mobile giving or text-to-give for on-the-spot donations.
- Recap the event’s success over social media and newsletters.
Have you checked off all these suggestions? Do you have more in mind?
Use what you’ve learned to maximize your marketing and host the ultimate fundraising event!
Kerri Moore is the Director of Marketing at Booster, Created by CustomInk. She and her team help create content aimed at maximizing organizers’ fundraising potential and furthering their mission to raise awareness for the cause or passion that means the most to them.