The Fundraising Blueprint: From Committees to Sponsorship

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Last year’s Fall Formal benefiting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute was a larger success than we ever could have hoped but was also more work than we imaged. As we enter the planning stages of the second annual fundraiser, we’ve taken the time to reflect upon areas of strength, as well as development, to make the 2015 Fall Formal an even bigger hit.In the first installment of the Fundraising Blueprint, we identified several areas of improvement for this year. Aside from raising more money for Dana-Farber and creating a fun and unique event at the 2015 Fall Formal, our additional goals this year include building a successful planning committee and engaging more sponsors to donate to the event.

Part I: The Committee

A structured and dedicated planning committee makes the hard work of creating a large event much more manageable. A strong committee can also be a great outlet for building awareness for your event and raising additional proceeds through donations and sponsorships - a topic we’ve discussed in previous blog posts. In an effort to build a successful planning committee for the 2015 Fall Formal, we have put together a comprehensive list of responsibilities for each member, outlining the expectations of being part of our committee. This is a helpful way to ensure that everyone involved in planning the event is on the same page regarding the work required, in terms of time and effort. Responsibilities of a committee member often include:

  • Sponsorship sales
  • Ticket sales
  • Public relations / media releases
  • Auction/raffle item procurement

Additionally, many fundraisers implement a minimum personal fundraising goal for each committee member, whether it be through ticket sales, sponsorships, silent auction/raffle items, or a combination of all three!

Part II: Engaging Sponsors

As we all know, there are several ways a fundraising event can raise money. The top three areas we are focusing on to maximize our fundraising potential this year are:

  1. Ticket sales
  2. Raffle and/or auction proceeds
  3. Sponsorships

This year we are emphasizing the importance of company and individual sponsorships to our greater committee. Sponsorships are a great way to increase proceeds while making others feel more engaged and invested in your event. When searching for sponsors it is essential to know your event’s core demographic. Last year we utilized a post-event survey to collect data on our attendees. and learned that the average age of our attendees was just over 25 – mostly young professionals living in Boston. With this information, we can begin to target brands and organizations that are keen on engaging with millennials and young professionals, while also ensuring that we find sponsors that are engaging and rewarding for our donors. (I think we’d all appreciate some Uber credits). A key task of our committee this year will be to reach out to these brands and invite them to be a part of our fundraising mission.We will soon be sharing our comprehensive ‘Committee Member Responsibilities’ list and discuss how we plan on optimizing our committee resources to prepare for the event. Additionally, we will talk about our sponsorship outreach plan and provide you with some sponsorship marketing material. In the meantime, stay tuned for the next Fundraiser Blueprint post, where we will discuss how to select the best venue for your event and will also be officially announcing the exciting venue of the 2015 Boston Fall Formal.

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