Events. Every organization hosts events, but are they effective? It’s important to be very clear about what the goals are for any event you host and have strategies in place to meet those goals. Fundraising events in particular require a lot of staff time and expenses can greatly reduce the amount of revenue received by the organization.
While raising money is the main reason the event is being hosted it would be a missed opportunity to only focus on revenue and ignore other ways the event can support your mission.
For 10 event seasons, from 2005-2014, I managed 25 events a year that raised approximately $1,000,000 for a Boston-based nonprofit. To improve communication with my team I designed an event strategy form. These are the questions I considered before planning any fundraiser or donor cultivation event.
An event strategy form clearly outlines all the goals of the event and the strategies to achieve them. I recommend that the first draft of this form be filled in by the event manager and then discussed with key members of the development team. Once a plan has been created, document any significant changes on this form. Reference this document after the event to measure how well you succeeded at your goals and include your findings in a separate event debrief document.