Special Events CAP University Archdiocese of Hartford
Special Events • An opportunity for people to become involved with your organization. The key to success is to get people interested in your organization while they are at the event. • Both “Friend-Raisers” and Fundraisers can play an important role in your school’s annual fundraising efforts. • Leverage volunteers to coordinate and execute an event.
Reasons for Organizing Special Events • Increase visibility • Promote the mission • Honor and recognize people • Identify and cultivate new donors • Allow donors to feel connected to the organization • Interact with donors without asking for money • Fundraise!
Types of Events • Auctions • Cocktail Receptions • Concerts • Dinners • Fairs and Festivals • Lectures • Open Houses • Reunions • Sporting Events • Walk-a-thons *Sample event invitations can be found in the CAP Manual in your binders.
How to Choose the Appropriate Event for YOUR Organization • Budget • Identify Audience • Determine Internal Support • Board • Volunteers • Staff • CAP Team
Friend-Raiser vs. Fundraiser • Determine the goal of your event • Friend-Raisers allow you to interact with donors without asking for money • A great way to engage alumni who have been out of the school community • Friend-Raisers can also be Fundraisers
Reasons for a Friend-Raiser • Cultivate New Relationships • Expand Donor Base • Rally New Volunteers
Themes for a Friend-Raiser • Celebrate milestones and achievements • School/Parish anniversary • Honor a long time teacher at their retirement • Highlight a special message • Thank volunteers, donors, teachers or principals, etc. • Kick-off a fundraising campaign or other special event • Parish or school campaign • Auctions – live and silent
Steps to Planning a Successful Event • Identify the goal of the event • Determine type of event • Identify a theme and stick with it • Develop a realistic budget • Select a venue • Develop a timeline • Public Relations - Promote your event! • Be consistent in the timing of annual events
Budget Suggestions • Stick to lower budget events until you have established audience & donor plans. • Instead of creating a new event, add a new twist to an already existing event that could generate additional funds and involve new constituent groups. • Aim to earn at least five times your expenses. • Identify what expenses you can put off incurring until you are sure of attendance – be careful with guarantees! • Identify vendors who will be able to provide in-kind or discounted services. • Each year it will be easier to set a budget as you learn your donors’ habits and preference.
Event Planning • Allow plenty of lead time • Define committees and assign leadership • Hold regular meetings • Send e-mail updates/weekly progress reports • Keep all notes and records in filing system *Sample event timeline can be found in the CAP Manual in your binders.
Promotion and Publicity • Newsletter • School & Parish Websites • School Facebook Fan Page • Save-the-Date Cards • E-mail blasts • Parish Bulletin
Promotion and Publicity • Invitations • Ask Board members and other volunteers to provide mailing lists • Alumni chairs/representative to provide outreach to classmates • Many people do not open snail mail so have an electronic version ready • Posters • Flyers • Home/School Envelopes
Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities • Create a pamphlet or one-pager summarizing the event and where the proceeds will go • Encourage sponsorship participation by highlighting the benefits of public relations • Make sure businesses know • how you will promote their company through the event • the cause and nature of the event • expected attendance
Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities • Create different sponsorship levels to appeal to different donors • Multiple giving levels make the lower levels look smaller! Example: • $5,000 – Platinum Event Sponsor • $2,500 – Gold Event Sponsor • $1,000 – Silver Event Sponsor • $500 – Program Ad • $100 – Auction item • Ask Board members to purchase corporate sponsorships and find additional corporate sponsorships • This is a great way to increase their commitment to the school
Post-Event • Thank you notes and phone calls • Assess the overall success, including financial reporting • Post-event press release/article with photos • Follow up with potential and major donors • Assemble and file records for future events