1. Set goals that are realistic, targeted, and specific
Make certain that your goals, the rationale for them, and everyone on your team’s role in achieving them are understood and supported by your people.
Likewise, when you roll out your campaign, be sure that your audience of potential supporters and donors can easily grasp: 1) what you're asking of them, 2) why it’s important; and 3) how their contribution of time or money will be important.
2. Create a killer project plan
A successful event depends on two things: a smart, detail-intensive plan and disciplined execution. There are five critical success factors:
- A comprehensive and coherent project control document - that is understood by everyone involved it its execution
- Clear definitions of responsibilities for all participants
- A high impact event promotion plan
- A task-specific education for all event supporters
- A comprehensive and user-friendly tracking method for by both activities and results.
3. Make registration easy
- KISS (Keep It Simple, S...!) is the secret of success in event registration. Online signups gives you the means to get the job done with optimum efficiency and will please your supporters at the same time.
- Don't forget to enable your registration sites to accept credit cards. It eliminates the hassle for your attendees and simplifies the back office work for your implementation team.
4. Play the socialization card
- Social networking is the most cost-effective way to publicize your event – not only because it optimizes your NPO’s internal resources, but it also provides your supporters with the means to exploit their networks to promote your campaigns.
- Relying on mail campaigns, telethons and radio/TV advertising to promote your event is not only inefficient, but it also sends the wrong message to your supporters. This is the era of social networking.
5. Start your online promotion too early
The bottom line: all of your resources benefit from an early start. You can begin an online auction weeks before an onsite event and merge the two together for maximum impact. A long lead-time allows your supporters to work their peer-to-peer networks in support of your event. Start your online promotion early because word of mouth communication takes time.
6. Make sure your team has the tools they need
What’s that old saying? "Don't go to a gunfight with a knife?" Give your staff the tools they need to promote and execute your event effectively and efficiently. And make sure you train them on how to use those tools!
History abounds with examples of successful military campaigns, transformative philosophies, and mind-blowing technologies. Ask yourself: will your team do the thoughtful planning, proper training, and smooth execution that will ensure a successful fundraising event?
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