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Revenue Lagging? Should We Add a Special Event?

Many nonprofit organizations are closing in on the half-way point of the fiscal year. Whether six months in or not, If fundraising revenue is lagging behind your projection for the year, it might be time to consider adding a new event to generate new revenue. Going in, consider the cost of producing an event. Events don’t happen for free. They eat up staff time, can get the development committee off on a course that’s not helpful. So, in short order, if we need to do something to raise new $ that will come in before fiscal year is over, how can we do this and not shoot ourselves in the proverbial foot?

  • We need a plan! Don’t head off into Event Wonderland without a sound plan first. Consider your options: Auction? Luncheon to honor a star in our universe? Allow yourself enough time to prepare that gives you the best possibility of success.
  • Do we need a committee? If we need to engage volunteers to help make this work, we will likely need a committee. Maybe call it a “work group” or a “task force.” This is not a group that necessarily needs to work year-round. Is there a board member in love with the event idea?  Let’s start with that person, and build out from there.
  • Can the new event be a spin off of an existing event? If you can design a spring event that matches something you do in the fall, but won’t require the same supporters to come out twice each year for you, this could be a way to go. Is there an effective committee already doing a solid job in the fall?  Check in with the chair. Does a spin off make sense?
  • Can we revive an oldy but goody? Think back: is there an event we used to do a few years back that worked well for us that’s worthy of revival? Just because it wore out five years ago doesn’t mean it can’t come back now. For example: we used to run a successful Celebrity Waiter Luncheon for years. Then everyone else did it, and it wore itself out. But guess what: we haven’t had one in our community for a few years. Maybe we can breathe new life into an oldy but goody!

It can be a real challenge to build and execute a successful special fundraising event in less than six months. So, proceed with caution. But maybe you’ll get that mojo you need from this new boost of energy!  It might be worth some thought and a thoughtful plan to follow. But don’t push too hard. Remember the other activities on your calendar for spring. Don’t undermine what you have in the pipeline!

Give me a jingle if you want someone with experience in these matters to give you a hand.

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