Tips for Planning a Successful Outdoor Fundraiser

a group of people walking

To survive in the non-profit market today, many organizations, from schools to homeless shelters, must fundraise. With more demand and increased economic uncertainty due to a global pandemic, fundraising is more important than ever for non-profit organizations. Fundraising doesn’t just involve emails, cold calls, or solicitation, however. Big events are one of the many ways to engage and attract financial supporters. With some research and planning, an event can raise a significant amount of money in a short period of time.

While events are a great way to raise funds, not all are the same. From fancy fundraising galas to golf tournaments to 5k events, there are many options for successful fundraisers. You’ll want to host a fundraiser that will appeal to your target audience and that has a personal connection to your cause. With nicer weather during the spring, summer, and fall, many non-profits turn their attention to outdoor fundraisers in the form of runs, walks, golf outings, and festivals — to name a few. Let’s take a look at few tips for planning a successful outdoor fundraiser.

Make a plan.


Once you decide on an outdoor event, it’s never too early to start planning. Logistics is a good place to start when planning an event. From public parks to fairgrounds, there are numerous options for your outdoor event. The first step will be to reach out to companies that offer everything from tents and portable restrooms to tables and chairs. Additionally, your local township might require permits, and you’ll want to contact them to get the event on the calendar.

In thinking about the things that you might need for an outdoor event, you’ll also want to consider the type of paper products such as plates, cups, and napkins that you might need. Along with this, if you’ll be serving drinks and things, you’ll need lots of ice. This will be especially important if it’s a hot day—coolers or ice trays might not be enough.

You might consider a tabletop ice maker that has the ability to make a lot of ice for your needs. Rather than a larger machine that requires space, small portable ice makers might be more suitable for your needs. With a countertop ice maker, you can have all of the ice cubes that you need instead of coolers with an ice basket or ice bucket.

Create marketing materials.


The key to any successful fundraising event will be marketing. Think of your supporters as potential customers, and your goal will be to get a lot of people excited about your event. A good marketing campaign will help to create excitement for your event and brand awareness for your non-profit. It would be best to consider different approaches, from social media posts and direct mail postcards to a nice brochure design. A high-quality brochure design will allow you to place pamphlets and flyers in local businesses as well as share them online.

You might even hire designers to help you develop a visual identity with your brochure design. You can also have flyers and pamphlets at the event to help create a brand identity and show contact information for last-chance donation options. No matter which marketing approach you choose, it’ll be important to get the word out to as many people as possible.

Start before the event.


Once you get major details set, you’ll want to hit the ground running. Not only should your marketing brochures and flyers create visual interest for your event, but they also need to promote giving opportunities. Use your upcoming event as a way to send a clear message about your cause and need for access to funds. You can create a method for supporters to donate immediately, no matter if they attend the event.

There are more than 1.5 million registered nonprofit organizations in the United States today. With so many organizations competing for funding, unique ideas and events are a great way to raise the needed money. With the right planning and marketing, an outdoor fundraising event can prove to be a successful way to get funds.

Isla Leighton is the Founder & Editor behind Rock Salt Plum, a digital community curated to deliver an accessible yet sophisticated lifestyle standard. The inspiration behind the brand’s creative drive and style influence is mirrored in Isla’s day-to-day experiences and passion for beautiful design, personal growth, and elegant lifestyle content.

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