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When planning an event, the size of your organization doesn’t matter. Big or small, the only thing that matters is that the event is successful. A well run event will meet its fundraising goals and maintain the continuing support of attendees, while a poorly managed event will fail to meet its goals and might even do long term harm to the organization’s reputation.

So, how does an organization plan a successful event?

 

Communication

One way to ensure an event goes as planned is to have effective communication between all parties involved in the event. An event won’t run smoothly if team members are confused about what task they are assigned. Plus, it makes it easy to track deadlines and follow up on items.

Fundraising programs help organizations assign tasks and track progress. Of course, if a fundraising program is beyond your organizations budget, something as simple as a spreadsheet in Google Documents can help track assignments and keep team members focused. Using a cloud based event management program means that team members can remain in the loop whether they are a desk away or a state away.

Mike Coy from The Scottsdale Active 20-30 club uses a cloud-based program, “Our group is made up of 50 guys in their 20's and 30's so we don't actually have an office/offices. Because it's in the cloud though, anybody who needs to hop on and update or make changes can do so from their office/house/vacation. It makes it way simple to keep the ball rolling for an event.”

Flexibility

Not only do the people planning the event need to be flexible, but also the software package should be too. A good software package offers organizations ability to plan both large-scale events and something more intimate, all from within the same program. For some organizations, there are a set number of people involved in each event. Mike Coy’s says, “The number of people usually ends up around 15 for each event although everybody help in some ways.” This same flexibility means that an organization can use less manpower to plan each event.

Petr Verner Director of Operations for the Jazz Foundation of America "Sage Fundraising Online gives us more flexibility with our online fundraising campaigns and events, plus allows us to manage the event registration and ticket sales processes with minimal staff-something that was unimaginable before.“

In addition, online packages have cost saving advantages. According to Petr Verner Sage’s Fundraising Online, “flexible back-end lets us quickly and easily control everything in-house, as well as adapt our online fundraising strategies for customized events."

Promotion

For an event to be a success, an organization has to get the word out. While larger organizations have the resources to run radio and television ads, smaller organizations rely on flyers, email and mailers to spread the word about their event. While those options still work, there is a new option for spreading the word-social media. More and more people are turning to social media for information about their favorite causes. It offers a free and easy way to spread the word about upcoming events.

A fundraising program that makes it easy for organizations to post information and updates about upcoming events to social media site like Facebook and Twitter helps guarantee a well-attended event. Mike Coy loves that his fundraising program lets his organization sell event tickets directly from their Facebook page.

Follow Up

Let your donors know you appreciate them, software programs like the one The Scottsdale Active 20-30 club use makes it easy for the organization to send thank you cards to their attendees.

Last modified on Sunday, 19 May 2013
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