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Be Prepared with Better Fundraising Events

A lot of fundraising headlines are looking the same these days: ‘What to do when your fundraising event gets canceled’ or ‘How to switch to a virtual event when plans change.’

While these articles might be handy in a pinch - they’re missing the point.

Fundraisers need to shift their focus from ‘How can I salvage this event?’ to ‘How can I host an event that works whether it’s in-person or not?’ Or, as we’ve been saying at Pledge It, how to make your Plan B your Plan A.

Any good fundraiser knows that events build community. The key is figuring out how to do so with or without face-to-face interactions. When it’s done well, your supporters will be the ones telling the story of your organization for you.

You might be thinking, "That sounds great, but how do I make that happen?" Luckily, we’ve seen it done in all kinds of creative ways. First, consider your audience:

Have an audience that wants to work together? Give them a collective goal or challenge to work towards together: Travel 7,000 miles to combat 7,000 different rare diseases, work your way 3,000 miles from coast to coast to battle breast cancer, or take 10 million steps in a week for more healthy living.

Have an audience that likes to compete? Create a space where they can compete with one another for a good cause. Let them show their pride (and allyship) by completing as many burpees as they can in 10 minutes. See who can grind out the most miles in a month to secure the top spot on the cycling and fundraising leaderboards. Or let them look to the skies to spot as many species of birds as they can in a week (more competitive than you might think!).

Thinking through these two questions will help you narrow in on an event that makes the most sense for you and your supporters. Best of all, you’ll have a plan in place for a successful event, regardless of whether it’s in-person, virtual, or hybrid.

Supporters are eager to support you and share your mission - they just need a platform to do so! Click here to set up your own Activity-Based Challenge with Pledge It.

Participating together in a shared challenge, working toward a collective goal and engaging in some friendly competition also leads to something else very powerful for your audience…it builds camaraderie. As participants begin to engage with each other, they create avenues to authentically share WHY they are running miles or spotting birds for your cause. And sharing their ‘why’ creates connections that strengthen the bonds in your community long after the activity challenge ends.

Doing that will make your event mean more to supporters than just the bottom line of dollars and cents. They will be able to look back with pride on what they achieved individually, collectively, and monetarily for your organization.

It's a simple formula for you to follow that will raise awareness, increase donations, and create an unforgettable event.

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Published on September 1, 2021

by Joe Prozeralik

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