So you’ve been tirelessly planning your fundraiser for a few months (or weeks), and have now arrived at the final seven-day countdown to your event. You’ve carefully selected a team to help support your goals, have locked down the perfect venue, and have hopefully secured a few amazing sponsors.
The final week leading up to your event may feel like a frantic runaround of getting your committee in line, tracking down those final silent auction/raffle items, or even remembering to invite your mom and dad to the event (can’t forget the family!).
To save you some time and worry, we’ve put together a list of things to complete during the final week before your fundraiser – we call it our Fundraiser Checklist. We’ve done this a few times, so we know where the pain points can be. Take a quick breather from your crazy week, and check out our list below:
1. Final Venue Walk Through
As early in the week as possible, we recommend making it over to your venue for a final walk-through. Whether hosting a large event at a big venue, or a small event at a local bar or restaurant, the final walk-through will give you a better idea of the layout of your fundraiser and will make you feel more prepared for the day or night of your event. A few things in particular to confirm:
- Check-in / Registration Process (don’t forget coat check!)
- Food station and bar setup
- Placement of silent auction / raffle prizes table
- Audio Video Capabilities
- Capacity limits
- Private room or part of the general public
- Audio Video Capabilities
For a more thorough list of important items for your venue walk through, check out our blog post on the topic here.
2. Create a Production Schedule
After your final venue walk through, you should have a pretty good idea of how your event will transpire. Using this information, we recommend creating a quick production schedule. This schedule should include contact information for any vendors that will be at the event (photographers, DJ, etc.), and should also clearly outline the time at which important event milestones will occur. Example items for your production schedule can include:
- Vendor arrival and set up at the venue
- Committee arrival at the venue
- Guests arrive
- Committee announcement
- Silent Auction / Raffle ends
- Guests leave
3. Final Committee Meeting
If time permits, a final committee meeting is advised. This meeting will allow everyone to come together and finalize the game plan for the day or night of your event. A final meeting will also serve as a great motivator for your members to make one last push to sell additional event tickets or gain last minutes sponsorship before your event.
A few key items to cover during your final committee meeting include:
- Update on total proceeds to date
- Final run through of sponsors
- Final run through of silent auction / raffle items
- Production Schedule review
- Roles and Responsibilities for the day or night of event
4. Set Up Your Silent Auction or Raffle
Regardless of whether your fundraiser will include a silent auction or raffle, it is a great idea to have this part of your fundraiser set up and finalized during the last week leading up to your event.
Your first step here will be to take a final inventory of all items collected for your silent auction or raffle. Next, we suggest creating a paper sheet for each item with an image and description included on the sheet.
When using a mobile fundraising platform like Accelevents, you can set up your event in minutes online. Platforms like Accelevents make fundraiser setup easy and allow you to track your items and proceeds in one central location. If you decide to use a platform like this, you can also share out your fundraising website before your event to start collecting donations earlier!
5. Message Your Audience
One more thing to do in the final week is to message your audience. Whether using email, social media, or both, a final message to your audience will help generate some hype for your event. This messages can also generate a spike in last minute ticket sales.
When crafting your message, remember to include some of the key elements below:
- A ‘thank you’ to those planning to attend
- Acknowledgement and thanks to your sponsors
- Reminder to purchase last minute tickets
**Pro Tip: If using a mobile fundraising platform like Accelevents, be sure to send a link to your silent auction or raffle in your final outreach. This will help you collect donations prior to your event, and will generate buzz around your best items.
Our hope is that this list will make your life a little easier during the week leading up to your fundraiser. While you may be stressed at times, don’t forget to take some time to step back and appreciate the cause that motivated you to organize a fundraiser in the first place!