Are you planning your first nonprofit event? Events are a great way to raise money or gain members for your organization. However, it can be a lot of work to be successful. Here is a 10-step guide on how to create the most seamless event for your non-profit organization.
1. Build Your Team
The first step to having a successful event is selecting critical members for your team, including an event chair, president, or board member. Then, you form a diverse team that covers key aspects like marketing and finance. The final key team members will be volunteers who align with your nonprofit’s goals. This ideal team of people will support your mission in creating the best event possible.
2. Define Your Event Type
When creating a nonprofit event, you want to align the type of event with the organization’s interests and goals. Consider options such as galas, auctions, conferences, or webinars when choosing the event type. Next, you identify your target audience. This will help you entice attendees to an event they want to attend.
3. Set Clear Goals
Setting clear and specific goals, such as attendee numbers and ticket sales will allow you to pursue a particular vision for your event. This allows you to establish objectives to guide the event planning process, with key dates, deadlines, etc.
4. Create a Detailed Budget
A budget can be everyone’s worst nightmare, but if you research costs based on similar events and venues it will allow you to get realistic numbers to your organization. A budget must include expenses for venue, food, decorations, technology, staff, and marketing. Once all of the expenses are confirmed, you will need to develop a thorough budget for approval.
5. Master Planner and Date Selection
A master planner is going to be vital to the event planning process. Your master planner will be detailing timelines, budgets, sponsors, speakers, etc., which include Key Event Components:
- Confirm the venue and date.
- Secure sponsorships or in-kind donations.
- Arrange food and beverages.
- Address AV/technology needs.
- Coordinate entertainment.
- Recruit and organize volunteers/staff.
- Track ticket sales and manage the budget.
- Outline major day-of-event tasks.
6. Engage Sponsors and Donors
Sponsors and donors are major factors at nonprofit events, so establishing sponsorship levels based on event size will give you an idea of exactly what you are looking for in a sponsor/donor. When looking for sponsors, explore internal sponsors within your organization. After an internal review of sponsors, reach out to external sponsors aligned with your mission.
7. Efficient Registration/Ticketing
Registration for an event is essential to building an event because it is what everyone uses to start their attendance. Make sure to tailor registration formats based on event size. Then, use simple and clear registration forms for both priced and free events. Finally, collect valuable information for future engagement.
8. Comprehensive Marketing Strategy
Gaining people’s attention and drawing them in to attend your event will be based on marketing strategies. Utilize various channels, including social media, email, ads, posters, flyers, and print ads to help build an audience for your event. Implementing a robust marketing plan to maximize event attendance will significantly impact your attendance numbers.
9. Host Your Event
The day of the event is stressful, however if you execute the run of show, it will ensure a seamless event. Ensure you oversee the schedule to ensure a smooth flow and that all items are completed.
10. Post-Event Follow-Up
Congratulations, your event has concluded without any issues! Reach out to attendees via email, direct mail, or video to express your organization’s gratitude for their involvement in your event. Give people some positive that occurred during the event by sharing event successes in a recap sent to attendees. Encourage attendees to post about their experiences on social media. You want to continuously improve your events, so collecting feedback through surveys will allow for consistent growth.
Planning an event can be extremely stressful, especially with the many steps involved. However, by putting together every aspect, from starting an event team to getting everything in a planner, then through the end of the event, it will all come together to create an inviting atmosphere for attendees to cherish their time getting involved with your non-profit organization. If you follow this 10-step guide, you will have nothing but success and praise for an outstanding event.