Promoting a Fundraising Event
When and where to get the word out about your event?
The most exciting event in the world will succeed only if people actually attend. In fact, a major cause of failure is too much time spent planning and not enough promoting. Reaching Your Target AudienceThere are many ways to get people to come to your event. Consider the following list, and decide which methods are most appropriate for the audience and the event:Save-the-Date cards: Sent to your mailing list three to four months before the event, these are a great way to get the word out early and build some buzz in the community.Personal notes: Your target audience probably gets a lot of invitations. Yours have a much better chance of getting a positive response if you have your board, fund raising and event committees add personal notes and put their names above the return address on the envelope. You can have these key people go through your mailing list in advance and indicate anyone they feel would be attracted by a personal note from them. Then simply pull those names from the general mailing, get the notes written and mail those invitations first class.Mailed invitations:Your mailing list (everyone or just a targeted portion?)Contacts suggested by your fundraising committee and event committee members. They may also be able to get you names from club or community directories.Other mailing lists that include your targeted audienceE-invitationsPhone calls, letters, or a pre-event gathering in addition to invitations to create early buzz among key audience members
Newsletters — yours and others
Fliers and posters (consider placement to maximize effectiveness)
Notices in utility billsPress releases sent to media, including newspapers and TV and Radio Stations, that target the audience you want to reach
Public service announcements (PSAs) on TV and Radio Stations that serve your audience; PSAs have to be carefully worded, especially when promoting an event, but they are an option.TV appearancesCommunity calendarsAds (expensive but you might get them donated)
Websites — yours and othersSocial media outlets, such as Twitter and Facebook, particularly if your target audience includes young adults and other technically savvy folks
Some Promotional Pointers
Promoting a community dog walk is very different from promoting a formal dinner for your major-gifts prospects. You began your event planning by identifying fundraising goals and a target audience and then selecting an appropriate event based on this information. Promoting the event to this audience requires similar strategizing.
Don't forget the importance of your event committee. Including members with direct links to your target audience may do more than anything else to bring in the people you want.
There's a lot of competition for your target audience's time and attention. Be sure to put together the most appealing invitations and other materials you can afford. If possible, find a graphic designer to do the work for free.
**Be sure to include promotional activities on your event planning schedule. Media outlets have strict deadlines for advertisements and calendar submissions. They are also unlikely to run press releases or PSAs that arrive at the last minute or ask a reporter to follow up for a story on your event at the eleventh hour. Any graphic design and printing work will also have a schedule that is not controlled by you.Be kind to yourself, and allow enough time to promote your event effectively. ASPCA
Our number #1 obstacle is funding our programs. We do NOT receive funding from the government to run our programs. We are only able to help so many dogs because of generous donations from people like you. You can help us save more dogs by hosting a fundraiser in your community. From something as simple as a bake sale, your efforts can have a major impact on the homeless dogs of Puerto Rico. If you would like to hold a fundraiser please contact us at Info@islanddog.org. We are very open to your ideas!!
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