So you’ve spent weeks (or months) planning your fundraising event, and now the day or night has finally come. We’re sure that you’re excited for your event, but are also stressed about whether or not the event will live up to you and your attendees’ expectations. As fundraiser hosts ourselves, we can relate to the nerves and excitement that come with running a fundraising event. To make things a bit more manageable as you prepare for your event, we put together our list of the 5 things you should be doing on the night of your fundraiser. Enjoy!
A few hours prior to your event, be sure to do one more walk-through of your venue. Whether you are running a large event at a major venu, or are hosting a small fundraiser at a local bar or restaurant, it is important to see that the venue is set up to your liking. Work with the venue staff/manager to make sure everything is in place, and that they have the necessary supplies, food, and beverages for the crowd that you are anticipating. If you are at a smaller venue, ensure that there are signs guiding attendees to your private room or section of the venue. If you are in a larger venue, pay special attention to the proper placement of signage, prize tables (for a raffle or silent auction), food, the bar setup, and the check-in/coat check area. Also make sure there is somewhere in the venue where you guests can be updated on the progress of the fundraiser itself (TV’s, projector screen, etc). Completing a final walk-through will make you feel better about your fundraiser, but will also ensure a great experience for your attendees.
Greeting your guests in one of the most important things that you can do on the night of your event. Regardless of the size of your fundraiser, be sure to spend a significant portion of your time at the door or entrance of your venue to say hello. If you can’t greet everyone, spend time hovering throughout your venue during the event to say a few words to your guests. This will show your appreciation, but will also help your guests connect with your event on a personal level. After all, these are the people that are donating their time and money to support your cause!
Hopefully once all of your guests arrive, your event will really start to take off. People will be enjoying the venue, music, food, and beverages. While we hope your fundraiser is one of the best social events of the year, there is still some more business to be done! By this, we mean that you and your team should continue to raise proceeds during the event. Does your fundraiser include a silent auction or raffle? If so, be sure to monitor the progress you have made throughout the course of your event. Tracking your progress will help you measure success, and take any actions needed to course correct, ultimately leading to greater proceeds raised. With services like Accelevents, you can monitor any proceeds raised in real-time from your computer or smartphone, allowing you to have instant updates without losing a step!
Once you’ve checked on the progress of your event, it’s time for a quick announcement. Scared of public speaking? Keep it short and simple. The goal here to get people's attention! Try to use your announcement to connect with your audience, thank them for their contributions, and to remind them to continue supporting your cause throughout the night with your raffle or silent auction. If possible, you can also include a personal anecdote about how the cause you are supporting has affected you or your family. Even better (but not always possible) is if you can share with your audience a glimpse of what their donations will be put towards within the organization you are supporting. But remember, keep it short. For cocktail events try to keep it under 60 seconds, for dinners you can go a bit longer.
After all of the hours you’ve poured into your fundraiser, you should be proud of what you have accomplished! Take some time to reflect on the work you have done, the event that you have organized, and the cause/people that will benefit from all of your hard work and proceeds raised.You can also check out our Event Planning Checklist to help you stay organized as your event approaches!
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