As the need for fundraising occurs with greater frequency, so too does the need for unique fundraising strategies. We have gained an appreciation that – when it comes to fundraising, we need to be doing more than just asking people to reach into their pockets. Guests are attending event after event and they need to understand the difference from one to the next.
We’ve identified the three ‘e’s’ of fundraising to help generate the maximum revenues and impact. None of the “e”s are new concepts, but we have noticed that when we can find ways to combine them all at the same time, the impact is significant.
- Emote – When we can create an emotional connection to the organization, guests are substantially more likely to want to contribute. It is important to understand the audience and draw on their emotions – by testimonials, impactful stories, visuals of successes of the organization, etc. It is important to think about what might resonate with each audience member and why. If the event is raising money for Olympic athletes, it is probably best to have as many of them in the room and hear from them. If the event is raising money for the cardiac machine in a Children’s hospital, then it is important to hear from the parents whose daughter’s life was saved because of the machine.
- Engage – When guests are engaged at event, they are more likely to be excited about raising funds and learning more about the organization. It is important to ensure that guests are participating in an active way, as opposed to just signing their name or raising a paddle. Ways to ensure this is through the programming of the evening, and using your Master of Ceremonies in a very dynamic way, as well as laying out the room in a layout that encourages movement and interactivity. The more areas there are for guests to engage with the cause the better!
- Educate – It is too often we get caught up in the overarching messaging of the charitable organization – but do not translate that message to the specific needs and corresponding costs of each of those needs. Once we break these down, the guests understand the costs and the impact that their dollars are having on the outcome. We often think that our $100 will not make much of a difference to the organization. However, when we learn that $100 could feed child in a day care for homeless children for a month – we understand that impact we actually can have.
When we combine all three of the “e”s at events there are lasting effects – the revenues increase, the guests share the impact of the event with their friends, the sales for future events become easier and the cycle begins all over again – with higher expectations and higher rewards!
Jocelyn Flanagan is the President, CEO & Founder of e=mc2 events, a leading Canadian event management company with offices in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. She’ll be presenting “Emotional Connectivity and Bottom Line Results Through Third Party Events” at Fundraising Day 2013 in Toronto.